Today is St. George’s day, and rather than doing something shamelessly cheesy like an English flag made out of people, we thought we’d do something shamelessly cheesy like a Buzzfeed list…
So without further ado, here are our top 10 favourite CGI dragons…
10) Elliot – Pete’s Dragon
1977’s version of seriously impressive technical effects produced Pete’s guardian dragon Elliot – just the type of invisible friend to have as a lonely boy in early twentieth century New England.
9) Daenerys’ dragons – Game of Thrones
Although now rapidly advancing beyond the pup stage and with the slightly naughty habit of charring children to death, Daenerys’ (literal) baby dragons are still smaller than others on this list – but expect big things from them in future seasons, as there’s probably a reason that King’s Landing folk might be a tad worried by Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion.
8) Spyro the Dragon – Spyro
A purple, eager dragon fronting a much-loved series of videogames, introduced in 1998 and still sold today (after two complete reboots) – that’s impressive longevity in the gaming and tech industry.
7) The Hungarian Horntail – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Got to have a Harry Potter dragon on here somewhere and it only seems fair to feature the most fearsome breed. We can love her even more for letting Harry escape with just a nasty cut on his arm during his first Triwizard Tournament challenge – but she still made him work for that golden egg, putting on a masterful flying display.
6) Toothless – How to Train Your Dragon
Time for a cute one – Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon films. Not only do he and his human friend Hiccup unite their species together after years of strife, but Toothless is always on hand to provide a good face-licking.
5) Dragon – Shrek franchise
Merely named Dragon, this lady remains one of the best surprises of the Shrek franchise as she luckily proved to be a goodie and saved both Shrek and Donkey’s bacon just in time. Then she got together with Donkey for waffles and dragon-donkey babies. That’s when it got a bit weird.
4) Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty / Maleficent
Don’t tick off a super-powerful fairy by not inviting her to your daughter’s christening because you think she’s a bit of a party pooper – she will most likely turn up anyway, curse your daughter and then transform into a giant dragon years later just to make it really hard for anyone to break her spell. That’s probably the lesson we can all learn here. Or, is she just chronically misunderstood? That’s how Disney had it once Angelina Jolie came on board.
3) Draco – Dragonheart
He’s a dragon with the gruff-yet-smooth voice of Sean Connery! Classic nineties film fluff to enjoy.
2) Dragons – Reign of Fire
For anyone who’s not seen this underrated 2002 gem, you’ve missed a serious fire-fest as dragons rule in this alternative UK, twenty years in the future. The film’s tension-building is fantastic as you wait a long time to see a dragon in all its glory. Christian Bale’s rage wins out in the end though.
1) Smaug – The Hobbit films
This preening, egotistical, massive dragon, sitting on a haul of treasure for so long that his belly is now encrusted with them, had to be first. Add to that the dulcet, dripping tones (and mo-cap) of Benedict Cumberbatch and there’s something alarmingly attractive about this beast, expertly created by the wizards at Weta.
Bonus) The Hydra – Hercules
Although technically not a dragon, the Hydra is certainly dragon-esque – and has the added danger of growing two extra heads for every one Hercules hacks one off. Added props to Disney for a typically impressive CGI sequence in the 1997 animated version.