You simply can’t go wrong with a fire-breathing beastie on the big screen.
Here are the 10 finest films featuring dragons for your viewing pleasure, in chronological order so you can witness the evolution of dragons in cinema from rather dodgy animatronics to CGI masterpieces.
Pete’s Dragon (1977)
We begin in 1977 with Pete’s Dragon, a bizarre little musical number from Disney about an invisible dragon named Elliott who protects a lad named Pete. Sweet and silly, but the shoddy special effects may have you reaching for the gin.
Best push on to 1981 for Dragonslayer where a lucky lad scores the gig of official dragon exterminator. Some satisfying fire and brimstone action for the whole family.
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
In 1984, NeverEnding Story gave us Falkor, a great fluffy luckdragon who captures our hearts as he soars over Fantastica…though that scene with the drowning horse traumatised a whole generation.
Meanwhile, in Willow (1988) dragons took a turn towards the comical and cartoonish, though no less charming for it.
The Pagemaster (1994)
Far less menacing were the sea dragons encountered in Pagemaster (1994) on a young boy’s adventure through literature. These beasts were more fanciful fish than firestorm, but we’ll take what we can get.
Dragonheart in 1996 boasted Sean Connery as the voice of Draco, a dragon quite fond of his mead. His death made grown men weep into their ales, a moment of silence please gents.
Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited Away (2001) dragons took a turn towards the comical and cartoonish, though no less charming for it.
Reign of Fire (2002)
Things got explosively exciting in Reign of Fire (2002) when a plague of beasts descended upon modern-day London.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
In How to Train Your Dragon (2010) we were introduced to Toothless, the Night Fury, swooping into our hearts with his winning ways. This is one of those few examples you can use in which movies are better than the books debate.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Finally, the king of all dragons, Smaug the mighty, burst onto the screen in The Hobbit (2013), a most perfect persecutor for Bilbo and his dwarven companions.
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