New Zealand is home of Disney's Pete's Dragon

New Zealand’s newest movie star role will be revealed when Disney’s Pete’s Dragon has its US première on 8 August, 2016.

Coming soon – New Zealand’s newest movie star role will be revealed when Disney’s Pete’s Dragon has its US première on 8 August, 2016. 

New Zealand is set to star in a new movie fantasy, this time as the home of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon - scheduled for worldwide release in August 2016.

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family classic Pete’s Dragon is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend - a lovable dragon named Elliot.

The film is directed by David Lowery and stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, New Zealand’s own Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford.

In Pete’s Dragon, New Zealand plays Millhaven, an American Pacific Northwest logging town.

Two trailers released to date show four New Zealand locations - New Zealand’s thriving film hub of Wellington, cultural and cycling Mecca Rotorua, adventure capital Queenstown, and fisherman’s paradise Tapanui - featuring in the film.

New Zealand locations

Disney’s classic family film Pete’s Dragon has been brought back to life using spectacular New Zealand locations as the backdrop.

The film was shot over both New Zealand’s main islands, the North and the South, showcasing diverse landscapes. 

Four regions are showcased:

  • Rotorua, central North Island
  • Wellington, lower North Island
  • Queenstown, southern South Island
  • Tapanui, lower South Island

For more information on how to visit the locations used in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, click here.

Disney's Pete's Dragon cast members experience New Zealand

Robert Redford (Mr Meacham), Bryce Dallas Howard (Grace), and Wes Bentley (Jack) share their ‘magical’ experiences while filming Disney’s Pete’s Dragon in New Zealand.

The cast spent four months filming and living in New Zealand- a place they describe as  “a country with a smile on its face”.  

About Pete’s Dragon

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016. The film will be released in New Zealand on 15 September.