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Dragons in Movies,

Television &

Pop Culture

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The dragon is a mythical beast populating many books and
films as a fearsome reptile that flies and breathes fire.
There are many popular movies about the dragon and most
depict him as a villain to be fought and vanquished at all
cost, although a few have been more sympathetic. Looking at
the lizards of today, should such a large and dangerous
creature exist I would tend to agree that it was fearsome.
Lizards are not known for either their intelligence or
compassion and most likely if dragons really existed they
would have terrorized the countryside much like the movies
and stories suggest.

Some of the movies depicting the dragon as the merciless
fire breather that shows no remorse are: "Dragonslayer",
"Dungeons and Dragons", "Reign of Fire", "The Hobbit", just
to name a few. All these movies begin with the basic theme
of the rampaging dragon that must be stopped to save the
maiden, the village, or even the country.

Then there are the movies depicting dragons as intelligent
and sensitive creatures that are simple misunderstood. Many
of these movies are children movies such as "Mulan", "Quest
for Camelot", "Shrek", "Spirited Away", "Puff the Magic
Dragon", "The Reluctant Dragon", "The Never Ending Story",
"The Flight of Dragons", "Pete's Dragon", "DragonHalf", and
the like. There are also a few adult films that depict
dragons in this manner such as "Dragonheart", "Dragonheart:
A New Beginning" and "Eragon," to name a few.

Puff the Magic Dragon


The TV series "Dragon Tales" is a popular children's
television show that is inspirational and teaches
interpersonal dynamics. Dragon Tales follows the adventures
of two human children, Max and Emmy (brother and sister),
and their dragon friends Cassie, Ord, Zak and Wheezie. It
has been shown since September 6, 1999 on the PBS Kids
Channel/PBS Kids Sprout and PBS in the United States. The
dragons are friendly in this show, of course, since it is a
children's program.

"Jane and the Dragon" is a CGI animated series based on the
books of the same name by Martin Baynton. The series follows
the comedic exploits of Jane, a teenaged girl who is
training to be a knight, and her talking, flying, 300-year-
old, fire-breathing dragon friend who is named, of course,

"Xiaolin Showdown" is a comedy/high-adventure television
series, is based on the Xiaolin martial arts school begun
thousands of years ago by Chinese monks. Omi, a young monk-
in-training from the Xiaolin Temple, helps his fellow
trainees, street smart Brazilian Raimundo, hipster girl
Kimiko, and Texas Kung Fu cowboy Clay protect sacred ancient
artifacts that must be protected at all costs. They are
flown around the world by a Chinese dragon whose senses help
them in their efforts. There are of course evil villains and
many showdowns in the course of the show, with good
triumphing over evil eventually.

"Dragon" is an animated show about a tubby little dragon
creatively named Dragon, as he faces his daily challenges
using a simple and direct approach to life. Dragon is
friendly and helpful, but he tends to see things from a
different perspective than others, and that's when he runs
into trouble. The aim of the show is to teach the audience
to see things in a different way than the norm, and to make
each day special accordingly. The show is done all in
colorful "claymation" and presents a cheerful design and
positive message. Good dragon!

"Through The Dragon's Eye" is an educational "BBC Look and
Read" production that was first aired on BBC Two in 1989 and
has been shown regularly ever since. The story centers on
three children named Scott, Jenny, and Amanda who are
painting a mural on the wall of their school. The mural
includes a dragon, and once painted, the dragon in the mural
winks at the children. They are then suddenly transported to
a land called Pelamar, and the dragon, Gorwen, asks the
children to help to save the magical land. The children,
with Gorwen's help, must recover the pieces of the Veetacore
in order to save Pelamar.

However, television notwithstanding, dragons make excellent
villains and that is what inspires most films about dragons
today. Another new film coming soon in 2007 (2008?) depicts
dragons as villains, even though Anne McCaffrey and some
other fantasy genre authors strive to turn them into lovable
great beasts that can not only partner with us and help us
but become our "life mates" much like another human. "The
Dragon Riders of Pern" have become such a phenomenon that
there are over a dozen books dedicated to the human-dragon
partnership. And Anne McCaffrey isn't the only author to
have made this partnership in their books; there are also
Mercedes Lackey, Christopher Paolini, Margaret Weis and
Tracy Hickman, just to name a few.

There are many such examples of Dragons having a place in
stories, movies, books, TV series and such. Because of their
fantastic nature and abilities, they make great villains or
a great friend depending on your point of view. Dragons
bring a much needed and rare element of magic to everyday

Overall, most lizards are depicted as dangerous in the
popular media and I'm thinking that is how it should be.
Although we may love our lizard pets, and some species can
become very tame and seem affectionate to humans, lizards
are not creatures to cuddle. They demand and deserve respect
and mostly live out their lives alone. That is how they
prefer it, and we can treat them with respect and admiration
even when they are "pets". Their wildness is part of their
appeal. So good luck to all of the authors and film writers
who wish to make the dragon into a "human in a lizard-like
body," they are up against a strong challenge when it comes
to the fearsome lizard.

See also:
Air Dragons

Earth Dragons

Fire Dragons

Water Dragons

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Plush Dragons  (A very nice choice of different dragons)


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