The Case of How to Rate Your Dragon

Hey Cassettes!

So far this May, we have covered Pokemon, Godzilla, and now, DRAGONS. Unfortunately we weren’t able to use the studio this week (we were traveling) so instead we recorded on location!

We made a list of our top 10 movie dragons! Based on ability, plot significance, design, and personality, we ranked our favorite fiery reptiles.

This episode is special for a few reasons. Not only is it slightly shorter than our other cases, it’s also the last full-length episode for May! Next week we will be taking a brief hiatus, but we will be back in June.

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As always,

Thanks for listening!

We ranked each dragon on a scale from 1-10 in four categories. Those categories were: Ability/Power, Plot Significance, Personality, and Design

10. The Hungarian Horntail from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


  • While this dragon only appears for a short time in the film, she certainly makes an impact
  • We ranked the Horntail highly for its ferocious design, but gave her lower scores in personality and plot significance

9. Maleficent (in dragon form) from Sleeping Beauty


  • In dragon form, Maleficent is truly terrifying
  • We love her classic English dragon design, as well as her color scheme and climactic role in the movie
  • It wouldn’t be fair to judge Maleficent on her human traits, so we only focused on her dragon characteristics

8. Dragon from Shrek

Dragon from Shrek

  • Being that Dragon has limited screen time and no dialogue, we focused more on her design and personality
  • As we were giving out scores, we decided that Dragon beat out the first two dragons on our list for her surprising personality

7. Saphira from Eragon


  • It’s no secret that Eragon is not a fan favorite (or a critical one for that matter) but we tried to separate this dragon from her movie
  • We did not give Saphira a great score for design, but we were impressed with her connection to Eragon and her ability to communicate telepathically
  • Being the main character’s dragon, we also gave her a higher score in plot significance than the previous entries on the list

6. Haku from Spirited Away


  • This shape-shifting dragon plays a pivotal role in the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away
  • Haku’s design and personality are unique in that he is the first dragon on our list that does not breathe fire
    • Instead, Haku is a river guardian and is a great example of an elemental dragon that isn’t connected to fire
    • His shape-shifting abilities also hearken back to older mythology where dragons were considered intelligent and magical beings that could shift into human form
    • His design fits that of a Chinese dragon but with a Japanese animation twist that sets him apart

5. Falkor from The Neverending Story


  • As far as practical effects go, Falkor was the gold standard for the mid-80s
  • With a strange design that (somewhat) follows the book description, Falkor has the head of a dog and the body of a fish
    • This design is closer to the classic Chinese dragon design, where dragons did not need wings to fly but instead swam through the air as if they were a fish in water (hence the scales)
  • We didn’t give Falkor a great score for design, as he may be considered creepy to some viewers. BUT we love his unique dragon type (a Luckdragon) and his optimistic nature

4. Smaug from The Desolation of Smaug


  • When we think of a great dragon antagonist, Smaug definitely comes to mind
    • We gave him a clear 10/10 for design, no question
    • Smaug is the epitome of the classic English dragon
      • He’s proud, greedy, and extremely homicidal
    • We also gave him a high score in ability, as we believe he is the most powerful dragon on this list

3. Mushu from Mulan


  • We ranked this sassy reptile highly for his hilarious personality, and strong plot significance
    • Although Mulan is the main character, Mushu helps drive the plot forward by fulfilling the role of comic relief and keeps the younger audience engaged
    • Mushu is a little self-serving, but he does risk his life to help Mulan save China

2. Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon


  • With his jet-black skin, green eyes, and blue glowing scales, Toothless is the only dragon on our list with a 10/10 on design
  • Toothless also scored high in ability, personality, and plot significance, giving him second place on our list
  • We had an incredibly hard time deciding between our number 1 and 2 choice, Toothless scored 35/40 in our ranking while our number 1 scored 36/40

1. Draco from Dragonheart

Dragonheart Draco


  • Finally, here is our number one choice! We have to say, it was really tough
  • Ultimately, we decided that Toothless has a better design than Draco, but we ranked Draco higher for his ability to wield magic and his completely selfless personality
  • In the Dragonheart universe, dragons are an intelligent species with their own culture and language. This sets Draco apart from the other dragons on this list
  • If you haven’t seen Dragonheart, you should give it a chance! Please be advised that it has 1990s CGI and is a bit cheesy, but it has a beautiful score and is a must-see for any dragon fan!



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