Greetings, GUARDians! I come to you from the mystical land of Las Vegas, the fertile wetlands (Well, I started this post a week ago when I was in Las Vegas. I am no longer there now. That would be bad)! People that have spent any time with me IRL know that any blank sheet of paper within arms reach is danger of having a dragon doodle on it. I’m just obsessed. I’m like Jonah Hill’s character in Superbad but not about penises… and I suck a whole more at drawing. There’s a joke in that last sentence somewhere. And now, I bring you:
The Top 10 Movie Dragons
1. Peter/Gorbash – The Flight of Dragons
In the film, Peter is a writer who gets transported back in time in order to save the world from Ommadon, the Red Wizard. Another wizard, Carolinus, casts a spell in an attempt to save Peter from certain annihilation at the hand of Ommadon’s dragon, Bryagh. Carolinus bungles the spell and ends up melding Peter’s mind with the body of the dragon Gorbash. Why this makes the list? Well, eff. Peter, an otherwise normal dude, gets to be a dragon and learn how to do dragon things! There’s also this cool scene where Peter/Gorbash attempts to understand the pseudo-science of dragon flight.
2. Falkor – The Neverending Story
Okay, so it’s no secret that I’m in love with this movie and that I totally wish I had my own luck dragon. Specifically, though, he saves Atreyu from the Swamps of Sadness, can fly in outer space, and can presumably jump dimensions – judging by him showing up in the real world to teach Bastian’s bullies a lesson. Also, he looks like a giant dog. Who wouldn’t want a giant dog? I suppose feeding him would be prohibitively expensive, though. Couldn’t I just offer him as a population control method for certain invasive species? Perhaps.
3. Draco from Dragonheart
Draco is a win on several fronts. First, he was the first (that I can think of) real attempt at a fully CGI dragon in a major motion picture. Secondly, he was accompanied by that awesome Randy Edelman score. Thirdly, voiced by Sean Connery. In terms of sheer size, he is dwarfed by most of the dragons on this list, but when you’ve got Allan Quatermain as your voice… er Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez… ok ok Professor Henry Jones as your voice, you’ve more than an ample helping of bad ass.
4. Smaug – The Hobbit/The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
No other dragon on this list has been depicted in media more than the Dragon of Erebor. From the Rankin/Bass animated films to the current Peter Jackson entries, the portrayals of Smaug have always been awe-inspiring. He’s certainly on the larger side in comparison with all the dragons on this list, especially if we take into consideration Jackson’s Smaug, which TheOneRing.net estimates at over 60 meters long. That’s almost 197 feet, for all you non-metrics out there. Also, this gif exists, and that’s pretty much all that matters.
5. Bahamut – Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Sure, this design isn’t exactly my favorite Bahamut. I’m actually partial to the Final Fantasy 8 or 9 iterations of the summons, which were more reptile and less parrot.
You’ve gotta admit, though, this action scene in the mindfucking jumble that was Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was definitely a high point. The high flying antics, spitting the face of classical physics, and awesome on-screen reunion of the FFVII crew was downright bangarangtastic. And, I mean – big ass dragon. Not big ass-dragon.
6. Green Death/Red Death/Merciless – How to Train Your Dragon
Red Death (in the movie, Green Death in the books) was the gargantuan end boss dragon that operated a food racket, manipulating all the other dragons around Berk. If you didn’t tithe appropriately, then you got swallowed whole like that poor Gronkle. This thing was a wrecking machine. Arguably, it was the largest dragon on this list, a neck like massive reptilian hyena, had six eyes, and was just ugly as sin’s nutsack. It rendered an entire army movie Vikings powerless, and would have probably consumed them all if it wasn’t for the next entry in this list.
7. Toothless – How to Train Your Dragon
Maybe it was the amazing John Powell score. Maybe it was the fact that Toothless hearkened back to the feeling of “a boy and his dragon,” from seeing Atreyu/Bastian atop Falkor for the first time. But boy, did I love this movie. A lot. The scene where Hiccup and Toothless start their friendship after the latter draws that seemingly random design in the dirty with a tree branch – I love that scene. To top it all off, Toothless is badass. He like Batman of the sky (less of an asshole though), raining down fury one second, and disappeared into the night as soon as you turn your back. Shit, maybe I’ve wanted a dog all my life.
8. Dragons from Reign of Fire
These guys were the next evolution in realistic CGI dragonry after Dragonheart, and I thought they looked pretty awesome. I’ve always been a fan of deconstructing the mystical, so looking at the dragon as animals, and giving them a biology (I didn’t say it was an extensive one) was fascinating to me. Where most other properties have explained dragonfire as created by igniting a flammable gas, the Reign of Fire dragons produced fire via the mixing of two chemicals which were produced by glands on either side of their mouth. Viable? Maybe. Cool? I think so.
9. Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty
Not quite sure I should have included this dragon on the list, it being a form of Maleficent, rather than her true being. Well, actually, who says she isn’t really a dragon. What really matters is that she’s probably the most epic Disney villain ever. Jafar? Giant snake? Come on.
DRAGON, MOTHAFAKKA! “Now, you shall deal with me, oh prince, and all the powers of Hell!”
All the powers of Hell. That’s hella. Plus, she had Catholic grade school me going, “Oooooh, she said a bad word.”
10. The Eborsisk – Willow
I too, was wondering whether or not to include this ugly SOB on the list, as it was actually just a troll that was magicked into a dragon-like thing. Two heads. Fire breathing. Close enough, says I. While the name “Eborsisk” never made it into the movie, or the credits, it has been referred to as such in articles and reviews. The name was given to the creature by Lucas himself, and is a portmanteau of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel’s surnames. Also, it’s some of the best stop motion work ever to show up in film, in my opinion.
Honorable Mention: Vermithrax Pejorative – Dragonslayer
A tribute to the memory of Ray Harryhausen! This oddly named dragon was one of the earlier attempts at live-action dragon puppetry. They had built several puppets to play this raucous reptile, including a 40-foot mega puppet.
Um. Excuse the music from this clip.