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Our Dragons Are Different / Live-Action Films
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  • The great flying creatures in Avatar are typically referred to as 'dragons' by fans who've forgotten their canon names. And they do look much like dragons combined with fish. They are given the names Mountain Banshee for the smaller animals and Great Leonopteryx for the larger of the two. They're used as mounts thanks to a neural link, although there's a particularly big and nasty variant that can only be tamed by a great hero. The native Na'vi call them Ikran and Toruk, the latter of which means "Last Shadow". (last one you'll ever see) It's much like the Pandora version of an Eagle, an aerial apex predator. The only difference is that their wingspan can exceed 30 meters. Unlike their smaller cousins, they have two tails, fully developed legs, vicious claws, and an axe-shaped crest on their heads.
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  • The dragons in D-War follow traditional Korean depictions of the creatures.
  • Dragonheart features a very classic dragon in the modern, post-Dungeons and Dragons tradition. Draco is intelligent, well-spoken, huge, fire-breathing, and has four legs in addition to his wings. He also has specific magical properties that are vital to the plot.
    • And he is Sean Connery.
    • In the sequel, an eastern style dragon is introduced, although he is evil and seems to have the same abilities as the western dragons (he does turn human, but that was forced on him rather than being a power). A young dragon is also introduced with ice breath in addition to fire.
  • The Sci Fi Channel gives us "Dragon Fighter" where dragons are portrayed (almost refreshingly) as unintelligent, non-kaiju-sized descendants of dinosaurs. The CGI model for the beast looks like an ash-colored megalosaurus with bat wings and a ring of spikes around its neck. The flames apparently allow it to "kill much more quickly". No explanation is offered as to how it resolves the issue of incinerating half the edible meat of its prey.
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  • Dragonslayer features a dragon called Vermithrax Pejorative, who fulfills many old-school dragon traditions. Vermithrax is a satanic force on the world, feeding on virgins and living in a cave under a lake of fire. She cannot speak and does not seem to be particularly intelligent. Physically she lacks forelimbs and walks on the ground like a giant bat. The film portrayed the creature using "go-motion," which was fairly high-tech back then and still looks pretty darn good.
  • Godzilla:
    • King Ghidorah, Godzilla's Arch-Enemy, is loosely based on the Yamata-No-Orochi (A dragon of Japanese folkore), albeit one with only three-heads instead of eight (This is Justified in GMK which explains that Ghidorah isn't fully mature enough to have grown all of his eight heads). Another inspiration is the Greek Hydra (spelled "Hidora" in Japan). As mentioned, Ghido's got three heads, spits lightning-like "gravity beams", and he's been everything from a planet-killing space monster to a genetically engineered amalgam creature created by time travelers, to being the Orochi itself. However, him being an extraterrestrial is usually the most common origin given for him in most media related to the franchise.
      • Later Toho films have introduced two "relatives"; Desghidorah, and Keizer Ghidorah. Unlike King Ghidorah, Desghidorah and Keizer Ghidorah are quadrupedal in addition to their wings. Des can breathe fire, and Keizer is the One-Winged Angel form of Monster X.
      • The Monsterverse film Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) gives its own take on King Ghidorah. He's portrayed as a very ancient monster and is fittingly enough, the most malevolent kaiju to show up in the reboot series as of yet. He's also given a new set of powers, such as him being able to create massive, cataclysmic electrical storms which is because of the flapping of his massive wings and due to his body being more or less a living electrical reactor. His existence also served as the basis for multiple draconic creatures in the myths of the ancient world, from the Australian rainbow serpent to the Greek hydra. Ghidorah is also noted as strange In-Universe for possessing abilities that don't quite match up with the other "Titans", and it's eventually posited by scientists studying the myths about "the dragon that fell from the stars" that he's actually an alien much like common origin usually given to Ghidorah, albeit one that wants to terraform Earth to an environment more to his liking.
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    • Likewise, Manda is loosely based upon a typical Eastern dragon.
    • While technically a mutated dinosaur that spews radiation instead of fire, Godzilla bears some traits similar to that of Japanese Dragons (e.g. living under the ocean and wreaking havoc if disturbed or enraged). For the record, it should be pointed out that Godzilla has always been a mutated animal according to Word of God, and that he has more in common with The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms than with Japanese mythology.
  • The Lord of the Rings films envisioned the Fell Beasts (the Nazgûls' flying mounts) as a type of wyvern (one pair of legs, one set of wings, no Breath Weapon). They are depicted with serpentine bodies and a wingspan greater than their own length.
    • And of course, Smaug from The Hobbit. In one of the initial trailers for the film he was portrayed as a "traditional" dragons with four legs and two wings, but by the movie's release his design was closer to the 'wyvern' shape with two sets of wing-forelimbs and smaller legs. According to the production staff he also has certain elements of Eastern Dragons mixed in, as evidenced by his long, serpentine body shape and slithering movements. He resembles the dragon Vermithrax in a lot of ways, only being a lot bigger. The featurettes say they were trying to depict a dragon that could actually fly without violating the laws of physics, hence a wingspan "bigger than a 747 jumbo" and a total body length of 131 meters. He's also fully sentient, Faux Affably Evil, plays with his food, terrifyingly intelligent, vain, greedy, and cruel.
  • Falkor from the The Never Ending Story is dog-looking Luckdragon.
  • The 2016 reboot of Disney's Pete's Dragon (1977) drops Elliot's original, more reptilian appearance in favor of a look that is much more mammalian and canine due to the more grounded and down-to-Earth nature that this new version of the movie has.
  • The dragons in Reign of Fire are pretty standard dragons without forelimbs. The same studio also made Dragonslayer, so Disney must like Wyverns as villains. Their dragonbreath is scienced away by asserting that they spit out two reactive chemicals (if you look closely, their breath comes from the corners of their mouths). The film claims that dragons are responsible for all mass extinctions on earth. After their food source dies off, they hibernate until awoken again. The only real distinguishing feature of the dragons in the film is that they only have a single male in the entire world, which is much larger than the females.
  • Star Wars:
    • From the beginning, the franchise has had the Krayt Dragons of Tatooine: giant, nonsentient carnivorous lizards and just about some of the nastiest critters in the entire galaxy far, far away. Obi-wan scared the Sandpeople away from Luke by imitating the Krayt mating call, and the skull and backbone behind C-3PO when he first sees the Jawa sandcrawler was that of a Greater Krayt. Krayt Dragons only appear directly in the Expanded Universe, which further describes Greater Krayts as absolutely colossal, sand-swimming monsters capable of digging up and eating sarlaccs.
    • In the Prequel Trilogy, the planet Utapau is home to a wide variety of dragonlike creatures used as mounts. Dactillions, creatures resembling western-style winged dragons with pterodactyl wings and heads, are seen in the background, and Obi-Wan Kenobi rides on an varactyl, an animal resembling an Eastern-style dragon complete with lionlike mane of colorful feathers.
    • Also from the Expanded Universe: the Duinuogwuin, or Star Dragons, are sentient and (mostly) peaceful. Their bodies are centipede-like, and they are capable of fire-breathing (allegedly powered by cold fusion) and unassisted interstellar travel. When they mate, there is a high chance that their offspring will be either ravening beasts or outright evil monsters that the parents will have to either destroy or abandon on a planet, which has led to numerous dragon-like species in the galaxy, such as the aforementioned Krayt dragons, arising from populations of abandoned monstrous Duinuogwuin offspring.
    • The flying thing seen briefly on Kamino in a shot in episode 2 is technically a sort of flying fish/whale cross, but it looks enough like a dragon for this trope to apply.
    • The Legends continuity had a great variety of non-sentient dragon-like animals, such as the likely extinct Arkanian dragons, fire-breathers with two legs and two-wings; the condor dragons of the mountains of the Moon of Endor; and dragonsnakes, two-limbed, draconic reptiles that live in the swamps of Dagobah.
  • The Eborsisk from Willow is described as a 'dragon', but bears almost no resemblance to your average dragon aside from the fact that it can breathe fire. The thing has two heads with bizarre stony growths, a pair of forelimbs and three pairs of vestigial hind legs.
  • The dragons in Wizards of the Demon Sword are mundane animals who resemble dinosaurs.
  • The dragons in The Shamers Daughter are giant lizards similar to Komodo Dragons. They have no wings and do not breathe fire, but drinking their blood gives you a temporary strength boost.

Alternative Title(s): Film


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