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New Zealand - home of Disney’s 'Pete’s Dragon'

New Zealand has been featured for the first time as the home of Disney’s 'Pete’s Dragon', scheduled to be released worldwide later this year.

The reimagining of the animated children’s classic, shot in New Zealand, provides another great opportunity to showcase New Zealand as a visitor destination.

Disney's Pete’s Dragon tells the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.

In the first trailer for the film, released this week, New Zealand plays Millhaven, a logging town in the American Pacific Northwest. Several New Zealand locations are included in the film, including Redwood Forest in Rotorua and Tapanui in the lower South Island, with production at Weta Digital in Wellington.

Rebecca Ingram, Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager PR and Major Events said: Tourism New Zealand has been working in collaboration with Disney on the production of Pete’s Dragon since last year. We are gearing up for the film’s international release later in 2016 and are pleased to share in the excitement as the first trailer is released, revealing New Zealand locations.

“When films are produced in New Zealand it provides an opportunity for Tourism New Zealand to gain access to quality content, marketing opportunities and high impact media channels to promote New Zealand as a tourism destination,” she said.

Film Tourism has become an important sector to Tourism New Zealand. In 2015 New Zealand was voted as the number one film tourism destination in the world by HBO viewers ahead of New York (Sex and the City) and Northern Ireland (Game of Thrones). The same survey found one in four adults now choose where to go on their next holiday based on filming locations used in their favourite TV shows or films.

Disney's Pete’s Dragon is directed by David Lowery and stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, New Zealand native Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford. It will be released in New Zealand cinemas in September 2016.