European Dragons are traditionally shown as forces of nature. They can only be tamed by the select few, and the ones that aren't tend to wreck villages and cities, as well as eat livestock and destroy crops. Almost like predator animals, but bigger and stronger. Expect them to be giant winged beasts, that breathe fire. Eastern dragons are usually more benign, but are powerful, almost god-like beings capable of immense destruction if they are angered.
Then you have these dragons. These dragons tend to be only slightly bigger than an adult human and have much rounder features. Expect them to be a Friend to All Living Things, or at least a Friend to All Children. If they are a lot bigger than humans, chances are they'll be a Gentle Giant. Despite their friendly nature, disturbing their friends or home can result in a major case of Beware the Nice Ones. If they aren't intelligent enough to talk, they may act like cats.
This is a fairly recent trope as far as depictions of dragons are concerned. The idea of dragons as relatable characters in their own right in European culture can probably be dated back to Kenneth Grahame's short story The Reluctant Dragon, published in 1898. It would not be until the late 20th century, though, that "cute" dragons truly became a fixture of popular culture. Nowadays, such portrayals are extremely common, to the point of almost rivaling the original, more monstrous, portrayals in number.
- Several dragons in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid are friendlier towards humans than is normal for their species:
- Lucoa, as a former goddess of agriculture and wisdom, tends to treat almost everyone as if she was their laid-back Cool Big Sis. Her complete lack of racism towards human makes quite a bit of sense given the reveal in Mononoke Sharing that she helped create humanity in the first place.
- Ilulu, both before her Start of Darkness and after her HeelFace Turn, has an established love of humanity, particularly when it comes to young children.
- Elma is a Token Heroic Orc among the harmony faction who refuses to accept Human Sacrifices. While she does have the rare moment of looking down on humans, she views it has her duty to lead them to peace and prosperity.
- Tweeny Witches: Dragon is not only harmless but also he often helps his owner, Eva, and her friends by carrying Dragon House.
- In How to Train Your Dragon, it was the general consensus that every dragon species was considered "extremely dangerous; kill on sight" from the smallest Terrible Terror to the most ferocious Monstrous Nightmare (with the exception of Night Furies, the Book of Dragons instructing one to "hide and pray it does not find you" should you encounter it). As Hiccup was quick to discover, he learned that most species of dragons are actually just animals with a capacity of intelligence and compassion and only defend themselves from weapon-wielding humans that hope to either exterminate or exploit them and in the case of Helheim's Gate, a giant chief dragon that would eat them should they not bring it tributes. By the end of the first film, he has taught the rest of his village this and soon enough Berk has made peace with dragon-kind.
- Discworld features Captain Vimes's clumsy pet dragon Errol.
- Falkor from The Neverending Story is a Luckdragon, a white Eastern-style dragon covered in fur known for their intelligence, optimism and being lucky. He saves Atreyu from drowning in the Swamp of Sadness after he had saved the dragon's life (though in the film adaptation he does it because he's just a Nice Guy) and helps Atreyu reach the Sea of Possibilities. Swooping in to save the day when things seem at their most dire is kind of his thing in general throughout the book and films.
- My Father's Dragon: Dragons in general are friendly, but Elmer forms a special bond with one in particular.
- In the InCryptid novel, Discount Armageddon, the dragon William turns out to a be a fairly Nice Guy despite being a giant fire-breathing behemoth. He is a fairly good husband and is friends with The Heroine Verity Price.
- Falkor the luck dragon from The Neverending Story is a very upbeat and friendly character, and much of Atreyu's quest is only possible because of Falkor, who saves him from certain death on several occasions and takes him all across Fantasia in practically no time. Without that help Atreyu would have never even been able to properly start his quest before Fantasia was erased by The Nothing. The film version of Falkor is literally introduced as a Deus ex Machina who not only saves Atreyu in his Darkest Hour but also takes him nearly the entire way of an incredibly long journey just because. The film version also has a head that resembles a dog, for extra friendliness points.
- CHIKARA had Dragon Dragon, a guy in a foam green dragon costume. That was it, and it got over as soon as he walked out to the ring at Running In The Red on November 13, 2005. He was a pure Face, and Oleg The Usurper was notorious for destroying him at WiF! (Wrestling Is Fun!) Ripe For The Picking on July 27, 2013.
- Magellan from Eureeka's Castle is a friendly dragon who is taken care of by Eureeka. He doesn't always understand new concepts, his tail seems to have a mind of its own, and whenever he gets upset, he tends to make sneezes powerful enough to shake the whole castle.
- Süsü, the protagonist of Süsü, a sárkány is a friendly, kind-hearted and somewhat dim-witted dragon who befriends the citizens of a medieval-type kingdom.
- Pokémon has several Dragon type Pokémon that look more like giant plushies than some of the other Dragon types:
- Pokémon Red and Blue. The original Dragon type Pokémon: Dratini, Dragonair, and Dragonite from the First Generation. All of them are as cute as a button (well, Dragonair is more beautiful) and Dragonite is known for helping humans drowning or lost a sea. That said it's also the first pseudo-legendary Pokemon and shouldn't be angered.
- Altaria from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire is an odd example in that it doesn't look like any dragon, but simply has the dragon type. However, it has fluffy wings and sings in a beautiful soprano that makes you feel like you're in a dream. In the remakes, it gains a Mega Evolution which makes it even fluffier and gain the Fairy type.
- While Pokémon Black and White's Haxorus is not an example, its pre-evolution Axew is downright adorable. Iris in the anime even lets hers ride on her shoulder!
- Pokémon X and Y introduced the Goomy line: Goomy, Sliggoo, and Goodra, Expies of the Dratini line of the first Generation. All three of them remain cute though their evolutions, with Goodra being so friendly to it's trainer it loves to give them big hugs, unfortunately they're all covered in slime and a hug from Goodra will get you slimed.
- Pokémon Sun and Moon has the Normal/Dragon Type Pokémon Drampa is a lovable grandfatherly type, whose uses of great power happen to be because you should Beware the Nice Ones; this Pokemon is known for growing attached to children, especially.
- Spyro the Dragon: The titular character, despite his snarkiness, is quite friendly towards other people he meets. That doesn't mean he's soft on his enemies, however.
- World of Warcraft usually has serious godlike or evil dragons, but a few are more silly. In particular, the Bronze Dragonflight is most likely to be played for laughs due to hanging out in an Eldritch Location between time. Except for in the Bad Future where they become the Infinite Dragonflight.
- Chronormu is the ambassador of the bronze dragons. Though she's actually quite smart, she always has her head poking into different timelines, giving her a Ditzy Genius personality. She also usually prefers to remain shapeshifted as a gnome named Chromie, making her come off as even more quirky.
- Faerie dragons (while not actual dragons in lore) are usually depicted this way. They're adorable nature spirits who want to share magic and be your friend. Then again, they're a major case of Beware the Nice Ones, since they don't really understand mortal rules and have been known to eat people they don't like.
- In Anna's Quest, an entire religion is built around a good Red Dragon that saved the world. Anna also helps to reunite a mother dragon with its lost child, and the dragon repays Anna by transporting her to distant places.
- All the dragons from Dragon Tales seem to be the size of adults compared to the kids, and are all super friendly to the kids who visit them.
- The dragon from Jane and the Dragon is a bigger example than most, but when Jane went to slay him, he turned out to sweet and the two became friends. He's shown to be very protective of Jane and hurting her is not a good idea.
- Muppet Babies (2018): In the series' first episode, "Sir Kermit the Brave", when Kermit gets separated from the rest of the babies, he meets a polyester dragon named Belladotta of Sweaterhelm, or Dot for short. Dot helps him overcome his fear of the dark by revealing that she's afraid of the dark as well, and she reunites him with his friends. In a later episode, "Puppy For a Day", Dot helps the babies search for Rizzo, who pretends to be a puppy to teach them about responsibility, when he goes missing.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Due to being raised by Twilight Sparkle ever since being hatched, Spike ends up being the nicest dragon in the entire show along with having interests in things that other dragons would consider lame.
- Show Within a Show example: Bonky from the Recess episode "Bonky Fever" is a dragon who serves as the show's equivalent to Barney the Dinosaur; he's a Friend to All Children and beloved by kindergarteners, but disliked by older children. Mikey briefly goes through a phase where he develops an obsession with Bonky out of fear of turning 10.