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Delightful Dragon

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Who's a good dragon? You are, yes you are!

"Dragons, they are kind and amazing creatures that can bring people together."
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European Dragons are traditionally shown as forces of nature, or even symbolic of evil in its purest form. They can only be tamed by the select few, and the ones that don'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. They're not mean or destructive; in fact, they're downright friendly. 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. Small ones may be a Shoulder-Sized Dragon. 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.

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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.

Compare Lovable Lizard, a much smaller, but equally friendly reptile.


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Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Advertising 
  • Harry the Dragon, mascot of the Harris Teeter supermarket chain, is this kind of dragon.
  • Delbert the Dragon (a creation of Jim Henson and his Muppet masters) was the mascot for La Choy chow mein in the 1960's, wherein he would provide the dragon fire to cook the titular chow mein.

     Anime and Manga 

     Films — Animation 
  • 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). But as Hiccup was quick to discover, 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.
  • Mushu from Mulan is a relatively rare example of a Chinese or Eastern dragon being depicted this way. Though most Chinese dragons actually are benevolent; they’re just serious and mystical, not wisecracking sidekicks.
  • Xiao Shen Long from the Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf film Mission Incredible: Adventures on the Dragon's Trail gets into action only to fight the villainous dragons, but other than that he's quite friendly towards the goats (and wolves) and teaches them some martial arts moves to use on their journey.
  • Quest for Camelot: Devon and Cornwall are twin-headed dragon brothers with an adorably Big Fun design. They serve as the film's Plucky Comic Relief, constantly bickering with each other at first, but eventually learning to get along with each other.
  • Another Eastern dragon example is Sisu from Raya and the Last Dragon, a kind-hearted water dragon who genuinely believes the best of everyone and appeals to their better inner qualities.
  • Dragon becomes this in Shrek due to her crush on Donkey. In the original film, she starts out as a fierce dragon who guards the tower that Princess Fiona is trapped in, but near the end, she flies Shrek and Donkey to Lord Farquaad's castle to stop Farquaad from marrying Fiona, and eats Farquaad shortly after. At the end of Shrek 2, she and Donkey become parents of Dronkeys, creatures that are half-dragon and half-donkey.

     Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Dragons are a benevolent species in The Bad Unicorn Trilogy. Some especially delightful dragons include Obsikar, the Dragon King who wants to protect the three worlds from evil, and Puff, an adorable, friendly, and fluffy dragon who joins the heroes.
  • Discworld features Captain Vimes's clumsy pet dragon Errol.
  • Raedon the copper dragon in Dragonlance: The New Adventures is friendly even for a metallic dragon (in Dragonlance, metallic dragons are good while chromatic ones are evil), and helps out the heroes on several occasions. Which makes it all the worse when the Big Bad performs a Grand Theft Me on him and uses his body to destroy a village.
  • 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.
  • My Father's Dragon: Dragons in general are friendly, but Elmer forms a special bond with one in particular.
  • Falkor from The Neverending Story is a Luckdragon, a white Eastern-style dragon covered in fur known for their intelligence, optimism and being lucky. A luckdragon's voice is described as being like "the golden note of a large bell", and their singing is the stuff of legends. Swooping in to save the day when things seem at their most dire is kind of his thing in general throughout the book.
  • Night Dragon: While the titular dragon is the main villain who's bringing forth a new age of apocalypse over Khul, there's also the Conclave of Dragons, an alliance of six lawful dragons who actively assists the human hero in his quest to slay the Night Dragon. Notably the Earth Dragon, who performs a Heroic Sacrifice for the hero and their leader, the Gold Dragon, who rescues the hero from certain death near the Night Dragon's Collapsing Lair.
  • Zigzagged in Wings of Fire: dragons are portrayed simply as people, with all the varied personalities that implies. That said, most of the protagonists and many of their allies qualify for this trope, being generally friendly and kind-hearted people.

    Music 

    Mythology and Religion 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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.

    Puppet Shows 
  • 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.
  • Dragon from Magic Mountain is a friendly dragon who always shows genuine care for his friends and is never afraid to use his magic to help them when in need.
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: While dragons are innately violent and tyrannical, Paarthurnax meditates to overcome his base nature and serves as the Big Good by being a wise mentor for the Grey Beards and helping the Dovahkiin stop his evil brother, Alduin. Paarthurnax is also pleasant for an old dragon.
  • Freedom Planet: The game's heroine, Sash Lilac, is anthropomorphic water dragon who always helps those in need, cares for her friends, and saves the galaxy from Lord Brevon and his forces.
  • Monster Hunter: Stories lets you befriend and ride many of the franchise's most ferocious monsters, most of which resemble wyverns. The central conflict of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is that Navirou wants to prove that the Razewing Rathalos can use its powers for good, and Avinia was saved by a Barioth when she got lost in the snow as a child.
  • 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 at 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. It's a part Dragon-type for some inexplicable reason, but it's a large, gentle fluffy bird with cloud wings with no visibly draconic features, and sings in a beautiful soprano that makes you feel like you're in a dream. It's Pokedex talks about it hugging its trainer with said wings. In the remakes, it gains a Mega Evolution which makes it even fluffier and gains the Fairy type. Also, it looks humorously ridiculous when wet because those clouds "deflate."
      • Rayquaza is also friendly, but as an Aloof Ally as it lives in the stratosphere, away from nearly all other living thingsnote  and secretly protects Earth from threats from outer space. In said remakes, the Player Character helps Rayquaza defend Earth from Deoxys.
    • 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 in her hair!
    • 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 its Trainer it loves to give them big hugs. Unfortunately, they're all covered in slime, and a hug from Goodra will get you slimed as well. Pokémon Legends: Arceus gives them an alternate form, Hisuian Sliggoo and Goodra; the latter is said to be incredibly affectionate and gets upset if its trainer ever leaves its side.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon has the Normal/Dragon Type Pokémon Drampa, 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. Drampa is known to have a sense of justice as a Bully Hunter, though perhaps a bit misguided as they burn bullies' homes to the ground.
  • Mr. Mordaunt in RuneScape is a professor who will sometimes call you into his classroom for a pop quiz. Unlike the other dragons in the game, he’s intelligent and doesn’t try to burn you to a crisp.
  • Spyro the Dragon: The titular character is a purple Western dragon. Despite his snarkiness, he's quite friendly towards other people he meets. That doesn't mean he's soft on his enemies, however.
  • Sub Terra Draconis stars a cute little dragon who wants to build the biggest hoard ever.
  • Taiko No Tatsujin:Chibi Dragon to Fushigi na Orb has Raruko, a cute, friendly little dragon who's Princess Soprano's friend, and teams up with Don-chan on his quest to find the seven orbs to restore Soprano's stolen voice.
  • World of Mana has the recurring Flammie, who serves as the Global Airship in some games. While their backstory and even gender are different each game, Flammie is consistently depicted as childlike (except in Heroes of Mana), friendly, and a loyal ally to the heroes.
  • World of Warcraft usually has serious godlike or demonic 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.
    • Alexstrasza the Life-Binder is a massive dragon of fire and her flames give life rather than death by burning poison and evil. It helps that she's an All-Loving Hero and a benevolent counterpart to her villainous brother, Deathwing.

    Webcomics 
  • Dragons in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! are a race of Ultra Terrestrials who left Earth for outer space centuries ago, to avoid coming into violent conflict with humans. While certainly powerful enough to be destructive, and rather disdainful of humans, most of the dragons we've seen are nice once you get to know them. They prefer to live as "rustic philosophers" out in the wilderness. Hibachi in particular is a Nice Guy and good friend to the main characters.
  • Ozy and Millie depicts dragons in general as harmless and lovably eccentric. This is especially evident with Llewellyn, who is a loving adoptive father to Ozy and a Cool Old Guy.
  • Twin Dragons: The protagonists and titular characters, Kai and Kaya Romero are humanoid dragon hybrids. Kai is friendly to his peers, polite to his elders, and is even willing to reach out to those who haven't been nice to him if he sees a speck of goodness in them. Kaya is a playful sweetheart who is very sorry for every perceived wrongdoing on her part, is very affectionate to those she cares for, and her sincerity and loyalty means she's the one that Cleo trusts the most. Don't think you can mistreat anyone they care about, though.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs (2020) had a dragon named Benedict in the short "How to Brain Your Dragon", who had an interest in the arts. He destroys the castle at the end of the episode, but it was an accident induced by his over-acting.
  • Azymondias aka Zym from The Dragon Prince is a baby dragon. Cheerful and playful, he loves to cuddle with his human friends. His mother is also very nice and friendly to people, although of course much more mature mentally and much larger physically.
    • Totally inverted with Sol Regem. He is a vicious and very dangerous dragon who hates humans more than anything. In one scene he even threatened to kill the elf Rayla and the young dragon Azymondias because they are friends with a human (Callum).
  • 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.
  • In the Gummi Bears episode "Someday My Prints will Come", Tummi finds a mechanical decoy that makes dragon footprints, and when he bounces across the kingdom of Dunwyn with it, he lures a dragon out of her cave. She turns out to be the friendliest dragon in the kingdom, in contrast to the stereotype. The Gummi Bears befriend her and defend her from the knights of Dunwyn, who think the footprints that were made by the decoy were made by a real dragon.
  • The dragon from Jane and the Dragon is a bigger example than most, but when Jane went to slay him, he turned out to be 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.
    • Ember and Smolder, introduced in later seasons, are a bit more on the Tsundere side, but are still rather friendly by dragon standards.
  • The old dragon from the third TV special The Last of the Red-hot Dragons from Noah’s Animals and Other Stories.
  • 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.
  • Sorrowful the dragon from She-Ra: Princess of Power is huge but has a sweet, timid personality, and although he likes our heroes and wants to help them, it takes enormous force of will for him to help them by acting scary to their enemies.
  • The titular character of Tabaluga is a heroic young dragon who protects his animal friends from the evil snow king, Arktos.
  • The titular character in the animated short Zog is a keen yet accident-prone young dragon who dreams of growing up into a real dragon by learning to roar, fly and breath fire at dragon school.

     Real Life 
  • There are many species of lizards called dragons with a docile and friendly nature, who make great pets; these include Bearded dragons and Chinese water dragons. Even the feared Komodo dragons tend to behave friendly towards their keepers in zoos or other big lizard establishments (provided they are well fed at all times, of course). Certain species, including Komodo dragons, are even able to recognize individual humans, although they also may become aggressive towards unfamiliar individuals.
    • Draco volans or Flying Dragon, a species of agamid lizard, has become very popular partly due to this trope—it's a small lizard that flattens out loose flaps of skin to glide between trees, making it look like a very small dragon with colorful "wings". Though unlike their larger kin the bearded and water dragons, the flying dragons do not make good pets and are largely enjoyed in viral photos.

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