AVClub: Looking for poetry in a live-action family film is usually about as futile as hunting for dragons in your backyard; the vast majority of them wager on the indiscriminate tastes of kids and their dutiful chaperons. But Pete’s Dragon has poetry in spades. It’s right there in the hushed beauty of its prologue, in which a newly parentless boy—the lone survivor of a car crash in the deep Pacific Northwest—wanders off the road and into the mysterious twilight of the surrounding woods. From the foliage emerges a towering wonder, a creature with expressive feline features, the wingspan of an airliner, and green fur so photorealistic that the viewer can practically run its fingers through each errant strand. It’s a kind of platonic love at first sight between the beast and the boy, and the latter takes one last glance back at civilization before embracing his new life as a wild thing. Against the landscape of all-ages entertainment, a moment of such strange power stands out as starkly as a giant, fire-breathing monster.