As soon as three baby dragons were born out of a fire in the season finale of Game of Thrones, the world has kind of become obsessed with the creatures. For eight long seasons, Daenerys Targaryen considered her dragons to be her children. Fans watched as they grew up and became a seemingly unstoppable force.
With Game of Thrones officially done, everyone is trying to find a way to get their fix of dragons. Luckily, there are plenty of movies available that prominently feature dragons. We're taking the ten we think are the best and ranking them. It's the best way to get over that Game of Thrones withdrawal.
This most likely isn't an entry you expected on this list. After all, the dragon in Shrek doesn't play a massive role in the story. However, a few things make this more notable than others. The inclusion of a female dragon in any media is pretty rare, as is a love story involving the creature. Even more impressive was that this gave us one of the earliest looks at a dragon created entirely by modern CGI. Though this movie is nearly two decades old, the quality of the animation still holds up quite well. She was popular enough to appear in the highly successful sequels to the franchise.
9 Flight of the Dragons
Animation and dragons go hand in hand. Flight of the Dragons is one of the first cartoons to heavily feature the creature and also happens to be one of the most unique. Released back in 1982, it centered around a quest to stop a wizard from ruling the world through dark magic. Though the plot sounds basic enough, the film tackled some interesting themes. It's not often a kid's movie will discuss whether or not science and magic can co-exist in the same world. Throw in fantastic voice work from talents like John Ritter and James Earl Jones, and you've got a hidden gem.
8 Pete's Dragon
Both the original 1977 and the 2016 remake deserve some love on this list. The original was half live action, half animated musical, and told the tale of an abused orphan boy who becomes friends with a dragon named Elliott. One of the songs included got nominated for an Academy Award.
The 2016 version featured some breathtaking CGI. Elliott is lovable, while the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford bring a lot of emotion to this story. Critics also loved this film, as it has amassed an 88% score on Rotten Tomatoes. That's almost double what the 1977 installment received.
7 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Even the most hardcore fans of The Lord of the Rings can admit that The Hobbit trilogy was stretched pretty thin. However, one aspect that has received universal acclaim was Smaug, portrayed through voice and motion capture work by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Smaug was fantastic in every single way. The dragon had a must-watch personality, was fearsome, and looked incredible. The effects used to create Smaug, along with every tiny detail Cumberbatch put into the performance, made for one of the most visually stunning dragons ever put on screen. For an actor who played characters like Doctor Strange and Sherlock Holmes, this may be the best work of Cumberbatch's career.
6 The Neverending Story
One of the most legendary film franchises to ever include a dragon is The Neverending Story. It remains an iconic fantasy story over thirty years after it was released. Falcor is an even more known figure than the film itself, having appeared in other media like Family Guy. What makes Falcor stand out is that he was one of the first dragons to be portrayed as friendly. Too often they were used as an enemy of the hero. In The Neverending Story, he was a happy and positive buddy to the hero. His furry, lovable cat-like tendencies paved the way for future dragons.
To a lot of people, this Academy Award nominee is the best dragon motion picture ever made. The aptly titled Dragonheart centers around a dragon named Draco who shares his heart with a human prince in an attempt to keep him alive. Unfortunately, that prince goes on to become a maniacal king.
Draco lost faith in humanity but befriended a knight named Bowen, former teacher of the king. The two team up to stop him leading to something of a tragic conclusion. Sean Connery brought a brilliant sense of sarcasm and bitterness to the role of Draco, giving us a dragon unlike any other we'd seen on screen before.
4 Spirited Away
Spirited Away is widely considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. It remains the highest grossing film in Japanese history for a reason. In this gorgeously animated film, Chihiro, the protagonist befriends Haku, the River Spirit. Haku transforms into a dragon, making him a memorable character.
While in dragon form, Haku must obey the witch Yubaba. That puts him in direct opposition to his desire to protect Chihiro. Though it is Chihiro who saves them both in the end, Haku is a complex character. Spirited Away is such a classic that it needs to be seen by everyone, even if they don't love dragons.
3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A strong case can be made that the most memorable scene in the great Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the one involving the dragon. Harry is thrust into the Triwizard Tournament against his will and must face dangerous tasks to earn eternal glory. The first task puts him up against a Hungarian Horntail.
Another incredible looking dragon, the Hungarian Horntail is a formidable foe. Harry evades him throughout Hogwarts as he attempts to get the golden egg it protects in a breathtaking scene. While this is the most notable dragon in Harry Potter history, it's not alone. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone features a baby named Norbert, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 sees one help the heroes escape Gringotts.
2 Reign of Fire
One of the coolest things about Reign of Fire is the setting. Stories about dragons often take place in the past or a fantasy world. Here, it was a post-apocalyptic future where the human race was dying out thanks to dragon attacks. The dark tone gives us one of the most serious looks at the destruction these creatures can cause.
A group of survivors and commandos played by Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, and Gerard Butler, team up to bravely fight the beasts. It is an intense movie featuring a concept cool enough to eventually adapt to a video game. When you see how deadly these dragons are, you'll get callbacks to what Drogon did in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones.
1 How To Train Your Dragon
Not many franchises can boast the kind of critical acclaim that How To Train Your Dragon can. The three installments have received scores of 99%, 92%, and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The wonderfully animated tale about a young viking who becomes friends with a dragon named Toothless is captivating.
The story is touching and tugs on your heartstrings quite often. Toothless' adorable nature has helped him earn a Build-a-Bear, and yet the series gives viewers scenes where he shows that he's a mighty dragon. And if you're badly missing on Game of Thrones, hearing the voice of Kit Harington as Eret will smooth things over.