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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Pete's Dragon' And Kids And Their Monsters

Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disney's <em>Pete's Dragon</em>.
Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disney's Pete's Dragon.

This week, we took ourselves to the Disney live-action film Pete's Dragon, currently riding high with (most) critics and answering the question, "Can you really put a line in a movie about capturing a dragon where a guy says, 'Follow that dragon!'?" We talk about how well the film's very sweet and optimistic tone worked on the various members of the panel, including NPR Music's Daoud Tyler-Ameen in the fourth chair. Can Glen make peace with this much earnest sweetness? Oh, he'll tell you.

In our second segment, we take some inspiration from all these dragon stories and consider the appeal of monsters and other fantasy companions for kids. Daoud kicks us off with one of my favorite clips we've run in quite a while, and we talk about your aliens, giants, stuffed tigers ... it's a broad-ranging discussion that even gets you as far as mythical lions and the very young Matt Dillon.

As always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. Stephen is happy about the reading he's done about Frank Ocean, including some right here at NPR Music, and he's happy about a very big concert that passed somewhere to our general north. Glen is happy about a Twitter bot — and he knows you're surprised — as well as about a movie that he missed until now and an actor whose eyes he apparently also missed until now. (Oh, Glen.) Daoud is happy about a game he's caught up with. I am happy about a great consultation I received this week as well as a show I finally got on board with, just in time for the second season.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: the show, me, Stephen, Glen, Daoud, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus/music director/pal-for-life Mike.

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.