Whilst it is important the children's movies are nice, friendly etc., I believe that they should also teach children life lessons and expose them to reality, albeit in a measured and calm way. Pete's Dragon, based on reviews I have read, appears to be 'too nice' for the audience it is trying to reach.
Pete's Dragon has many problems, one of which is that it does not stay true to the original and is much too nice. One of the appeals of the original cartoon, is that it did not gloss over many of the harsh realties and obstacles that people face in real life.
The predilection for American movies to include over-the-top violence, sex and car chases really doesn't contribute much to story lines or culture. At least Pete's Dragon makes an attempt at a new story line instead of dredging back up Ghostbusters, Ocean's 11 or Roman Holiday. I'll take my chances with this over those weak retreads.
Pete's dragon is perfect, and we should praise the film. This is because too many films these days focus on exposing our youth to violence and immorality, even when the ratings state that it shouldn't be viewed without a parent. Many PG-13 movies still have violence. Pete's Dragin is a welcome break.