Author: John Hill
They fill the air with fire,
They soar above the tallest tower,
They glisten with emerald-scaled attire
They inspire awe and terror whenever they glower…Dragons!!
Dragons are more than just creatures of myth; they are beings of legend. They are even considered gods in some cultures. Dragons of ancient times garner fear and respect but dragons of modern times entertain and inspire the imagination.
Take a look at some of the more popular dragons of modern times:
Dragons in Movies
Dragonheart: Based on the concept that dragons were being hunted to extinction, this movie has heart. Literally. During this time, one lonely dragon was sought out to save the life of the king’s son. This noble dragon gave this young prince a piece of his dragon heart.
The problem was, with a dragon’s heart beating in his chest, he couldn’t die. This prince turns into one of the worst villains the world had ever known. He is eventually brought down when the dragon sacrifices himself to allow his dragon heart to die.
Dragons, in this film, are seen as noble, valiant creatures with true compassion.
Reign of Fire: This is one of those movies that does a splendid job of picturing dragons as vicious and hungry creatures. Twenty years after his mother inadvertently awakens a fire-breathing dragon, Fire Chief Quinn must do all he can to save the remaining human population from total eradication by the dragons.
Dragons in Literature
There are no cultures in the world that feature the dragon more prominently than the cultures of Japan and China. In Japanese and Chinese literature, dragons are spirits and gods of ancient times with untold power and supernatural wisdom.
Dragons feature greatly in their religious beliefs and cultural ceremonies and rituals. When written and drawn with an Eastern pen, dragons hold immense magic and fantastical power.
Dragons in Animation
Talented and imaginative, animators from all over the world have dipped their pens into the same ancient inkwell and have conjured for us fearsome creatures and loyal friends.
Disney animators have crafted generations of movies that either feature dragons as the main character, as in their movie Mulan or they have dragons as secondary characters as in Sleeping Beauty where Maleficent transforms into a dragon to keep Philip from Aurora and the Sword in the Stone wherein Madam Mim transforms into a dragon during her wizards duel with Merlin.
Everyone remembers the fire breathing dragon guarding the tower in which Aurora slept. Everyone giggles when they catch a glimpse of the laughable and delightful Mushu.
Overall, Disney has created a new look for the dragon that will last generations to come. Animators have a rare chance at crafting an image of dragons that is truly unique
Popular media is filled with all types of dragons little and large; ferocious dragons whose very breathe can fill you with dread. Since the very beginning, dragons have held man captive with their fiery breath and hair-raising tales; it is likely to be that way till the fire dies away, if it ever will.