Sooo, I’m a little late on this one, but nevertheless: Happy Chinese New Year everyone!! 2012 marks the Year of the Dragon! Probably the coolest of all the Chinese zodiac signs (sorry pig and rat.) So what better way to ring in the new year for all my Chinese reader (you know who you are,) by counted down my list of the top 10 animated dragons!!
(Honorary mention goes to Dragonite from Pokémon, photoed here being a total boss.)
10) Elliot (Pete’s Dragon)
Honestly, I always found this movie pretty dull as a kid. It was slow, boring, and pretty sappy. But I watched it anyway. Why? Because there’s a sweet-ass animated dragon that only the main character can see! Plus, Elliot here’s animated by famed animator Don Bluth before his departure from Disney. That’s pretty frickin’ cool. And honestly, what kid wouldn’t want their own personal invisible cartoon dragon? Boring kids. That’s who. The kind whose favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla and who actually enjoy the plot of Pete’s Dragon.
9) Puff (Puff the Magic Dragon)
Originally a hippy-dippy sing-along song, later turned into a hippy-dippy animated movie. He’s often confused with our number ten spot, Elliot, but I feel Puff gets the edge over him for two reasons. One: he has a bow tie, and that’s just plain classy. And two: pretty sure he’s high, which is funny. If he’s not, then his parents certainly were when they named him “Puff.” That would also explain why his hair kinda looks like pot.
8) Mushu (Mulan)
The first actual Chinese dragon to hit this list, Mushu here’s kind of a mixed bag. He’s a dragon, yes, but he’s also puny. He did a pretty good job being the tokin comic relief in Disney’s Mulan. I mean, he’s pretty much just Eddie Murphy as a dragon. That’s pretty cool. But on the other hand…he’s just Eddie Murphy as a dragon…hrmm… Like I said, it’s a mixed bag.
7) Dragon (Shrek)
The dragon creatively named “Dragon” was first used as a big second act set piece in the first Shrek movie, then later as a reoccurring character in a franchise that’s slightly overstaying its welcome. She deserves a spot on this list, not just for being kick-ass, but for also reppin’ lady dragons everywhere. Although the weird thing is Dragon gets “bizz-ay” with Eddie Murphy’s Donkey character, producing three little adorable dragon/donkey abominations. Man! Eddie Murphy mustreally like dragons…ehhh, it’s probably best not to think about it too much…
6) That Dragon From Beowulf (Beowulf)
Sometimes just being really, really, really, really badass is enough reason to make it on a list. This dragon acts as the final act in the 2007 mo-capathon film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film kinda falls into that category of looking soooo realistic at the time, but just kinda looks like standard stuff CG now (along with Polar Express and Final Fantasy: Spirits Within.) But what does hold up is this dragon and the epic fight old man Beowulf has with it. When you think about what a classic dragon should be, think of this sucker. He’s classic dragon all the way.
5) Draco (Dragonheart)
Yes he’s old CG in a live action movie. Doesn’t matter. Wanna know why? It’s Sean Connery as a dragon… Let me repeat that again. It’s Sean Connery as adragon. Nuff said.
4) Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon)
Remember when I was talking about Elliot from Pete’s Dragon? And how cool it would be to have a personal dragon as your best bud? You know what would be cooler than that? A freakin’ kick-ass dragon who’s crazy fast, a powerful fighter, is feared by all, and let’s you ride him. And on top of that, when you feed him he acts like a kitty cat. Sign me up movie! I want to live in your world!
3) Trogdor the Burninator (Homestar Runner)
Sometimes, you don’t need to look proportionally accurate to be awesome. Sometimes all you need is a S shaped body, consummate V’s, and a big beefy arm stickin’ out of the back of your neck to strike fear into the hearts of peasants and to have kickin’ rock songs about you. Trogdor’s popularity sky rocketed during the mid 2000s as one of the internet’s earlier inside jokes, getting so popular to have his own adventure game, and his song appearing in Guitar Hero II. Way to go, Burninator. Way to go.
2) Smaug (The Hobbit)
Ohhhh, ho ho! We’re certainly getting in to the heavy hitters now. While we still have to wait until we get a glimpse of Peter Jackson’s version of this Tolkin terror, Smaug has already had his big screen debut in the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated film. True, this isn’t exactly how I pictured this big baddy, what with the Thundercat-like face and the headlight-like eye beams, but still! With his booming voice (by Richard Boone) and all the great hype the film gives to this character, it’s hard to deny how cool he is. This is a dragon you don’t want to mess with. Honestly, there’s only one dragon that I think could give ol’ Smaug a run for his money…
1) Shenron (Dragon Ball)
With all the fighting, powering up, grunting, yelling, and more powering up that the series is known for, it’s not uncommon to forget about the dragon that the titular balls are named for. Known as Shenron, the summoning of this dragon was the main MacGuffin of the original Dragon Ball series. And even while it was used more as a side element in Dragon Ball Z (really only being used as a means to get dead characters back into the show) you got to admit that even though the cast has summoned this guy time and time again, his presence was always a big deal. I mean, just look at the guy! Apart from being just so impossibly massive, this dragon also has the power to do…well…anything! He’s pretty much dragon God, and deserves to be number one atop this list.
I hope you all enjoyed this list. Happy Year of the Dragon, everyone!