I caught up with "Pete's Dragon", oh I'd say a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say it really is such a well-made, beautifully rendered children's entertainment because, well, the director at work here is David Lowery who made the magnificent "Ain't Them Bodies A Saint." back in 2013, which turned out to be a really important film of the last 3 or so years. "Pete's Dragon" is obviously a slight step back for Lowery, but still a very charming movie.
I mean, in all honesty, there are no real ways to finance your own vision anymore. Directors are fucked at the moment in terms of creative freedom. All the millennial filmmakers that showed shades of greatness with an indie are being bought off left and right by Disney for their superhero, mass-marketed franchises. An empire is being built and they can afford to just buy out all these up and coming talent.
There was a line this producer said to me back at Sundance that I'll always remember: "all these filmmakers here think they can retain their creative freedom, even after a Sundance hit, but they eventually sell their soul to the devil. We're living tough times."