In our excitement over the release of the new 'Pete's Dragon,' we'd like to pay tribute to the many dragons to have graced the silver screen. Most are terrifying; some are charming. All of them are fantastic.
'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'
Pretty much every mythological creature under the sun shows up in the Harry Potter movies, but the ferocious dragons in the Triwizard Tournament are among the most memorable.
'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'
Not many dragons are so important that their name shows up in the title of the movie. But then, not many dragons are as iconic as Smaug – or voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.
'How to Train Your Dragon'
If there's a dragon-centric movie that's more beloved than this one, we've yet to see it. The friendship between the dorky Viking Hiccup and a misunderstood Night Fury named Toothless is one for the ages (and sequels).
Dragons have long been a favorite subject of animators. Disney produced the short 'The Reluctant Dragon' way back in 1941, but Maleficent's fearsome transformation in 1959's 'Sleeping Beauty' is what truly set the standard.
'Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster'
Leave it to the Japanese, with their post-'Godzilla' fixation on giant monsters, to give us one of cinema's first live-action dragons in 1965. Of course Ghidrah (also spelled Ghidorah) is just a man in a suit. But it's an awesome man in a suit.
Elliott, the clumsy star of this 1977 live-action/animated musical, was Disney's attempt to make dragons cute and cuddly. The film was only a modest success at the time, though it's since gained a cult following and a new reboot.
Disney wasn't done with dragon movies. In the studio's decidedly more adult title, coproduced by Paramount, Peter MacNicol goes up against a creature with the mind-boggling moniker of Vermithrax Pejorative. Yes, really.
'Reign of Fire'
What is it with Disney and dragons? The Mouse House also produced this action flick, starring Christian Bale and an unrecognizable Matthew McConaughey, about warriors fighting the beasts in a postapocalyptic London.
The most amorous of all dragons in moviedom, the subtly named Dragon finds herself falling for the reluctant but ultimately game Donkey (Eddie Murphy). In the sequels, the two characters even have a family of "Dronkeys."
"I'm travel-size, for your convenience!" Eddie Murphy had his own chance to voice a dragon when he played the diminutive Mushu, Mulan's faithful companion and the film's comic relief.
While we're on the subject of talking dragons, here Sean Connery supplies the voice of Draco, loyal friend to English knight Bowen (Dennis Quaid). Critics praised the movie's remarkable special effects, but little else.
Back to Disney we go for the studio's cheeky take on its own animated legacy. Susan Sarandon's Queen Narissa takes a turn as a ferocious fire-breather. The results? Bewitching.
Is Pandora's Great Leonopteryx – known by the Na'vi people as a "Toruk," or "Last Shadow" – officially a dragon? Well, it sure looks like a dragon to us.
This adaptation of teenage author Christopher Paolini's novel, along with 'Pete's Dragon' and 'How to Train Your Dragon,' is a member of the exclusive "boy and his dragon" movie genre.
'The Sword in the Stone'
Though it may not be one of Disney's best-known movies, 'The Sword in the Stone' has the fabulous villainess Madam Mim turn into a dragon while matching witchy wits with the wizard Merlin.
'Dungeons and Dragons'
When you title your movie 'Dungeons and Dragons,' you'd better offer plenty of both. On that front, at least, this notable fantasy flop delivers.
'The NeverEnding Story'
The sweet-natured flying creature known as Falkor looks far more like a big white dog than anything resembling a traditional dragon. But in the movie's parlance he is a "luckdragon" -- and that's good enough for us.