August 21, 2015 06:15 PM

When it comes to children’s films, Bryce Dallas Howard is a huge fan.

Not only does the actress attribute important life lessons to classic children’s movies such as The Brave Little Toaster and E.T., but Howard is also taking her love of the genre on-screen with a starring role in the remake of 1977’s Pete’s Dragon.

“It was a favorite,” Howard, mom to daughter Beatrice Jean, 3½, and son Theo Norman, 8, tells PEOPLE at Disney’s D23 Expo of the original movie. “It was playing pretty much on loop in the house growing up.”

Chris McPherson

While being a part of Pete’s Dragon undoubtedly makes her nostalgic, the actress, who stars opposite Robert Redford in the 2016 remake, looks forward to showing her kids the final product.

“This is the first movie that — because I’ve got young kids — I got the script and said, ‘I want this movie to be made for my kids to worship,’ ” she says. “There are really profound themes in this story and I feel like some of the most important lessons I learned as a child was from the movies I watched.”

The mom of two adds, “I learned about courage from The Brave Little Toaster, I learned about friendship from E.T. These were movies that were huge for me growing up and I hope that this movie could be that for my kids.”

— Grace Gavilanes

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