* MacGuffin / SoulJar: The amulet. [[spoiler: Its destruction brings about that of Ulrich's.]]
* MostWonderfulSound / HellIsThatNoise: A ''dragon inhaling''...
* OldShame: For whatever reason, Peter MacNicol does not list the film (his debut, no less) on his CV.
* King Casiodorus is almost a [[StrawManHasAPoint Strawman with a point]]. The thing is, the lottery ''worked''. Casiodorus tells the story of how his brother Gazerick, a brave warrior king, went out to try and slay the dragon. Vermithrax killed Gazerick and all his men, then laid waste to whole towns in retaliation. The point is underscored when [[spoiler:Galen's first bungled effort at dragonslaying provokes a slaughter]]. Casiodorus's solution of pacifying the dragon with a handful of sacrifices was far better. Even though Casiodorus is later shown to be a hypocrite who [[spoiler:accepts bribes to keep rich ladies out of the lottery, then jettisons the whole scheme when his own daughter offers herself up]], no one ever presents a compelling answer to his argument: Better a few should die that many may live.
** However, Casiodoru doesn't have one vital piece of information: [[spoiler:the dragon has just had babies. A few virgins a year to one dragon until it dies of old age might be a logical (if heartless) trade-off, but with three more dragons, and the possibility of more dragons in the future, it appears that Galan is in the right in trying to kill the dragon and its young now.]]
* TearJerker: Despite being a monstrous killing machine, one can't help but feel sorry for Vermithrax when she finds her hatchlings dead. This goes into NightmareFuel mode when she goes into a [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge murderous rampage]].
* VindicatedByCable: Not a box-office hit on its release (mostly due to it being Disney's darkest and edgiest film ever, though being released two weeks after ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' certainly didn't help), the film still became popular with fantasy buffs for its impressive sfx, deconstructive tropes, and effective acting.
* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: Vermithrax is the most realistic stop-motion animated creature ever, thanks to IndustrialLightAndMagic's new "Go Motion", which added subtle blur to the movement, removing the jerkiness most stop-motion animated visual effects had.