The Best Dragon Movie EVER MADE.

Tue 6/22/2010

At this point, I have seen How to Train Your Dragon three times in the theaters (twice in 3D, which was totally amazing and once in 2D, which was still pretty rad). I think I can safely say that it is The Best Dragon Movie EVER MADE.

Now those are pretty big words. But I am prepared to back them up! I suspected HTTYD was The Best Dragon Movie Ever Made after I saw it for the first time with Max, but I knew there were some dragon movies I hadn't seen, so I decided to track them down and to make sure that I was right. Below is my list of all the dragon movies I've seen, with star ratings (out of 5). I think my claim still stands!

  • Dragon Wars (2007) * - UGH, not even really a dragon movie, more of a Godzilla movie. Also: horrible plot, acting, writing, editing, etc. etc. etc.
  • Eragon (2006) * - One of (if not THE) worst movies I have ever seen. It should have stuck closer to the book. The worst part was when the baby dragon flies behind a cloud and KA-BOOM! it comes out the other side a full grown dragon (?????)
  • Reign of Fire (2002) ** - I remember seeing the previews for this and thinking "Wow, dragons destroy the earth! This is going to rule!" But then the movie starts with a montage, where a bunch of flames swoop across the screen and a NARRATOR says, "Then dragons destroyed the earth!" They essentially SKIPPED OVER the entire reason I went to see the movie.
  • Dragonheart (1996) ** - Everyone in this medieval movie is British (including the actors who would later play Remus Lupin and Lucius Malfoy!) except for Dennis Quaid, the inexplicably American dragon hunter. Also the dragon gives half of his heart to a human to save his life... Not figuratively, LITERALLY. Really??? THAT'S the plot line?
  • Dragonslayer (1981) ** - The dragon in this one is a big, rubber, slow-moving puppet. Plus it only shows up once at the end of the movie. I guess that's the best they could do back in 1981.
  • Pete's Dragon (1977) ** - I was excited to rewatch this one - a kid with an animated dragon sidekick? Cool! But no, the dragon is INVISIBLE half of the time, and when he IS visible, he speaks in gibberish and isn't very dragonlike. Also this whole movie has been so incredibly dumbed-down by Disney, it's almost unwatchable.

Did I miss any? If so, please let me know! Because this list of movies is SAD. Not only do they suck as Dragon Movies, they also just suck as movies in general. I would say the main problem with most of these movies is NOT ENOUGH DRAGONS. I mean, I'm sure it is hard to make a dragon come to life on the silver screen, but if you're going to make a Dragon Movie, it's got to have dragons in it, am I right?!

That's part of what's so great about How to Train Your Dragon. There are a wide variety of dragons, and there is a dragon in almost every scene. I would say there are dragons on screen through at least 90% of the movie. And MAN, what dragons! The character designs were so incredible (I really want to get that Art of How to Train Your Dragon book, so I can revisit all of the great designs) and I loved how each dragon had its own logic to it in terms of how it used fire, or its strengths or weaknesses. Plus the detail of the CG models was incredible. You could really feel every scale on the back of the dragons.

I also really want to read Cressida Cowell's BOOKS that inspired the movie, but I've already got too much stuff to read this summer.

Anyway, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you should! It's great and there's no other Dragon Movie out there that can hold a flame to it! ;)

14 comments on this entry

ha, ha ! Finally !!!

Max Jun24

It's been a long time (20 years) since I've seen it, but I recall 'The Flight of Dragons' being pretty epic. I watched that VHS to shreads when I was a kid.

I immediately thought "How has Alec not seen The Flight of Dragons?" Seriously - I watched the hell out of this when I was little. It's a modern-day (80's) dude who plays a dice game and gets transported to a mythical world where he inhabits the body of a dragon, and gets schooled by an older, wiser dragon while helping out a bunch of wizards 'n stuff. It's really awesome! It made me want to eat limestone as a kid!

Sarah O Jun25

Whoa! Thanks for the tips you guys, I will track down this movie ASAP!

Alec Jun25

A long while ago, my roommate rented a movie called 'Q: The Winged Serpent'. It's a late 70's/early 80s movie starring David Carradine and Richard Roundtree as cops trying to solve a series of killings caused by said Winged Serpent. It was pretty hokey... most of the scenes feel like they were improvised or written on the spot... and I can't recall how much screen time the "dragon" gets. I put dragon in quotations because I think it ended up being a resurrected Aztec God, so I don't know if it counts. And even if it did, it may not rate super high on your dragon movie scale. It just came to mind when you asked for any other dragon movies, and I guess I felt it close enough to be worth a mention.

Jason Jun27

You should take a look at Dragon Hunters, a French animated film. Actually very well done, but not quite as good as HTTYD in terms of plot (but certainly better than anything else on the list). The scenery is nothing short of amazing to look at though. Seriously I never would have thought a French animated film of being this good. And it has some incredible music too. Made in 2008 I think

Justin Dec10

I've seen How To Train Your Dragon 11 times now, and I agree with you: It is the best dragon movie ever made!

Frank H Mar27

Here is my take:

1. How to train your dragon (watched 13 times)
2. Beowulf (watched 10 times)
3. Reign of fire (watched 4 times)

All others not worthy to be mentioned

twiggy Aug20

The Hobbit? No love for Smaug?

I like Smaug, but the Hobbit isn't really ABOUT dragons, it just has a dragon in it - kind of like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

I did finally see "Flight of Dragons" which was so-so but DID have a lot of dragons in it. I'll have to check out Dragon Hunters, it sounds pretty good. I also never saw Beowulf, so I might have to suffer through all that CGI to see if there's some good dragon scenes. Thanks for the tips everyone!

Alec Aug22

Fair enough, buddy.

First of all, Vermithrax in Dragonslayer was NOT a rubber was created by ILM..You might have heard of them..Industrial Light and Magic. The dragon is in more than the final scene, unless you count the last 30 minutes of Dragonslayer as the final scene. How could not love the scene where she comes upon her dead babies and see the anger in her eyes. Her first appearance in the film is just awesome. Galen at the lake of fire and the camera showing her rising up behind him, then the camera shows a POV of Galen by the dragon's eyes, then pans out to see what many in the cinema world calls the greatest dragon ever put on film. peter jackson has said he based Smaug on Vermithrax...go back to your cartoons and let the adults talk.

charles May22

I have always loved DragonHeart and after I found out about the novelization, I just had to get my hands on it and it was more than worth it. It's the true version of DragonHeart and one of the best novelizations I've ever read!

The way Charles Pogue wrote the book it reads like poetry, fleshing out the characters, the world, and the story while the film only scratched the surface. The movie ought to be remade like this -

Alea Dec10

Best Dragon movie ever made is Dragon Slayer period. It also has the best dragon ever put on screen, that dragon was bad was not a puppet. stop motion was used to animate it. And they showed the dragon for a way longer period of time at the end. It kills me to know that even when Pacific Rim came out an incredible movie with giant robots fighting grotesque giant alien monsters, gets beat out by movies like this and Despicable Me 2...Haha! What a childish backwards era we live in....

Charles Jan27

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