Top 10 Dragons from Fantasy Film of the Modern Era
Dragons have been central characters in almost every great fantasy story. Usually the embodiment of evil, dragons in movies have evolved beyond the object of the hero’s quest in dramatic and exciting ways. Here’s our list of the top 10 dragons in movies of the modern era:
10. Saphira (Eragon, 2006)
This film was widely panned, but it gave us one of the most magnificent dragons ever. The CGI for Saphira was pretty spectacular and the viewer truly believes the dragon is alive. One can’t help but wish for a special connection with such a spectacular creature.
9. Mushu (Mulan, 1998)
Eddie Murphy‘s character is a lot smaller than most dragons on this list, but his heart and humor enable him to fulfill his role as a gaurdian spirit. As Mulan’s protector, he is a true hero with big heart. Murphy’s fantastic voiceover bring this flawed, good hearted creature to life. We can’t help but root for the little guy as he helps save the day and is justly restored to his role as a guardian spirit.
8. Draco (Dragonheart, 1996)
Voiced by Sean Connery, this dragon possesses realistic detail and human-like personality. This fantasy adventure is great all family viewing and was nominated for an Academy Award for it’s special effects – Draco in particular. We can’t help but feel his pain, much like he feels ours in the story. Traditionally the symbol of evil, it’s refreshing to see Draco in the role of hero.
7. Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion (Game of Thrones, 2011 – )
First introduced as newborns in the Season One finale, we watch the Mother-Child relationship forming between Daenerys and the quickly growing dragons in Season 2. These little guys have a flaming bite, are loyal to the core and grow up quickly.
6. Hungarian Horntail (Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, 2005)
Though there are several dragons in the Harry Potter series, its the Hungarian that really stands out. The scene with our beloved Harry battling the flying fire-breathing beast in an unforgettable scene. The majestic beast not only stills fear and courage in the wizards heart but illicit thrills and awe in ours.
5. Shenlong (Dragonball)
With a name like Dragonball, its not surprising that dragons play a major role in this series. But it’s Shenlong that makes our list. Not only does this larger than life divine creature possess wish-granting abilities, it’s also what the characters hope to summon once they find all the necessary dragon balls. Simply put, there wouldn’t be a series without it.
4. Vermithrax (Dragonslayer, 1981)
While the special effects seem dated to a generation raised on CGI, in the early ’80s the Go-motion animation earned this film an Oscar. The filmmakers decision to a lot 25% of the film’s entire budget to the dragon, was certainly well-founded. With it’s cool name, threatening look and swooping wings, Vermithrax is everything you’d imagine an evil dragon to be.
3. Maleficient (Sleeping Beauty, 1959)
When it comes to animated villains, you don’t get more menacing than this (2014 live-action remake aside). After the Mistress of Evil’s plans to bring death upon Princess Aurora are foiled, she transforms herself into a dragon so scary, it’s undoubtedly caused nightmares in young kids for generations. The beast is so evil, she never stops trying to eat Prince Philip even as she falls to her death.
2. Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon, 2010)
In a movie full of dragons, the relationship between Toothless and his young Viking companion, Hiccup, are the core story of this Dreamworks animated movie. The dragon shows Hiccup the truth about his kind and also develops an unlikely bond with the teen. Toothless’ original-and cool – design and lovable nature so moved the audience that he later made his way on to TV and has appeared in a sequel.
1. Smaug (The Hobbit trilogy, 2012-14)
Chiefest and greatest calamity of our age — Smaug is THE dragon for many fans of fantasy and lovers of Tolkien’s Hobbit. Voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, this menacing beast oozes evil and the impressive CGI makes him a frightful apparition on the Big Screen. Serving as a major catalyst in Bilbo discovering his true inner courage and the events that lead to the Battle of Five Armies, Smaug is an iconic character in the Fantasy genre and the most impressive of all movie dragons.
Courtesy of WatchMojo
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