Based only loosely on the old myth, it's fair to say this film received mixed reviews on release. It was touted as a children's film and something of a comedy, but there are those who suggest the film company changed the description when they saw how bad it was. Still, it has a baby dragon, called Smite, and a mother dragon, who doesn't give her name.
Another film with mixed reviews, some of them quite scathing. Criticism was also levelled at the very unsubtle Christian message of the film, which was sort of in your face. But the dragon, the wonderfully named Vermithrax Pejorative, was a work of art. Much effort went into its realisation, mostly by a series of computer controlled puppets and other cutting edge (at the time) stuff. The only thing keeping it from a higher position is the dragon being murdered.
Ok, bad film, very bad film. Did they even read any actual D&D material? Two thieves and no real tank? And not to mention the blue lipstick. But the dragons, I thought they were ok, certainly the best part of the film, in my opinion. Luckily, there's a remake in the pipeline, let's hope they get it right this time.
Maybe a bit twee for some, a bit too fuzzy and heart-warming for a dragon story. And the plot was pretty much shouted from the rooftops by the title. But the dragon, although shackled with the completely unoriginal name Draco, was very well done, and voiced by Sean Connery, which can't be bad.
This film has holes in the plot you could fly a dragon through, not least the beginning, the end, and the whole humans-as-bait nonsense. But the dragons themselves are very good, huge and deadly and well rendered. And it does illustrate nicely what would happen if humans were no longer the top predator.
Falkor is technically a luckdragon, based on the wingless oriental dragon, with the face of a friendly puppy. The idea comes from the Japanese 'Fukuryuu' or lucky dragon. The film makers thought this a bit too close to sounding like a certain expletive phrase, and so, probably wisely, changed it to Falkor. Ok, so he's cute and furry, but he still breathes fire! With a remake in the planning stages, we'll have to see how good the CGI version of Falkor will be.
This film was widely criticised, by those who had read the original book for chopping out important parts, and film goers in general for the poor acting. Some people even accused it of 'borrowing' plot elements from Star Wars! What people did agree on was that the dragon, Saphira, was the best part of the film. The blue dragon was voiced by Rachel Weisz, the kick-ass scholar from The Mummy.
3) Dragon Storm
There does seem to be a lot of poor films with dragons in them, and this is no exception. This is a low budget and quickly made film, apparently, although it does star the fantastic John Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli in LotR. It's been said most of the film's budget was spent on creating the CGI dragons, which were widely applauded. It's also described as Science Fiction in some places, probably because of where the dragons come from. But who cares about labels when there are dragons!
Whether you're a big fan of the whole Harry Potter industry or not, you've got to admit there are some pretty good dragons here. My favourite, and the one which features most heavily, is the Hungarian Horntail, the one that chases Harry around Hogwarts and wrecks half the roofs. This is how a dragon should be, dangerous and untamed.
1) The Hobbit Trilogy
Technically three films, but most of the dragon action comes in the middle film, The Desolation of Smaug. To me this is the best designed, visualised and voiced dragon of all time (so far). It has a complete character, a booming voice, great age and intelligence and is believably quite large. I for one (spoiler alert) was quite upset when that horrible man shot him. After all, what did he do wrong? Technically he didn't steal any gold, because it was all right there where the dwarves left it. So he made charcoal briquettes out of a few dwarves and humans? Plenty more of those around. And he remodelled a frankly quite ugly town, did them a favour I say.