No matter if you’re into epic fantasy movies, animation ones, epic battles – oriented ones, you have to admit, 2013 was the Year of the Dragon in cinema and television. Once Game of Thrones began showing more and more of Daenerys Targaryen’s Dracarys – or her three dragons “children”, the world jumped into embracing this mythical creature as a pet everybody would love to have. And… use for some hidden personal agendas…
And then, Smaug came along and if you didn’t see the second installment of the Hobbit trilogy, leave everything and go watch it, Tolkien fan or not, because what the special effects’ team managed to create is pure gold in terms of CGI, and incredible level of details, while Smaug displayed a personality only Benedict Cumberbatch could have instill in the giant dragon’s silver screen brilliant performance.
An older dragon, less fierce but equally lovable, was Toothless, from the successful animation “How to train your dragon” and his cute face and warm soul will delight us once more, as the sequel is announced for the summer of 2014.
But how about older dragons? Those created with less advanced technology, those which are still cinema icons, those which, with today’s advancements in special effects, seem to have gone forgotten, lost to the world? Let’s see five of them and find out if you still remember some old awesome dragons in movies.
1. Falkor – Neverending Story
A story about a boy and his flying dog might not be the best way to market The Neverending Story nowadays, but both the movie and the Luckdragon (because this is what Falkor is, a dragon, in essence) are icons in fantasy cinema. Falkor can be as cute and adorable as Toothless and maybe as fierce as Smaug, as he flies, breathes fire and is a faithful and strong companion for his human. It is a classic 80’s kids’ fantasy movie and if you want to remember the innocence, watch this movie again. Just don’t expect much from the CGI department.
2. Dragon – Shrek
Yes, the lady Dragon – a nameless, yet adorable creature – which made a guest appearance in the Shrek franchise in order to fall in love with Donkey and help the crazy bunch in times of need and trouble. Animated and quite underrated, Dragon deserves to be added to the category of old awesome dragons in movies, just because she proved, once again, that if you know how to behave with them, the fire-breathing monsters are just misunderstood and can be the most charming of companions when you treat them right.
3. Haku – Spirited Away
The animation movie Spirited Away needs no presentation, as it is an iconic piece of good cinema, any way you look at it. And Haku, the spirit creature turning wolf – dragon is maybe one of cinema’s and children’s most loved characters, as his loyalty is beyond words and his wisdom, charm, trustworthiness and friendly attitude conquered everybody’s hearts.
4. Vermithrax Pejorative – Dragonslayer
Few people know, but sometimes, the history of cinema knew breaking point, milestones that have been reached and conquered only to lead to the amazing technology we have today. Vermithrax Pejorative was such a breakthrough, being the most detailed, convincing and frightening dragon that ever got on the silver screen. Dragonslayer, as a fantasy movie, is a classic for all those who just love a monster film and rumors go that even George R.R. Martin has a soft spot for this truly impressive creature. As old awesome dragons in movies go, Vermithrax showed everything can be done and there is no limit in human’s imagination, effort and hard work to bring myths to a live scale on screen.
5. Draco – Dragonheart
Not the most fortunate name for a truly scary ancient reptilian, but it was 1996, and for that year, putting Draco in its entire splendor on the silver screen was a hard job. Draco could speak too, debunking thus the myth of dragons as monstrous brainless killers, as he proved to be wise, charming and quite funny. It couldn’t have been other than Sean Connery to voice this gigantic feral beast with more brains and knowledge than most humans we know, and whoever decided to be old James Bond, struck gold back in the day. The movie wasn’t the blockbuster you would get now with the proper team, budget, CGI and marketing, but Draco needs to be remembered because he looked incredible and … Sean Connery.
Do you still remember other old awesome dragons in movies? Are you still giving them a thought now, when they became ancient relics of a past cinema?