Were the nineteen eighties the era of great movies about dragons? Think of The Neverending Story and its sequels, Dragonslayer, Dragonheart and Pete’s Dragon, they are all classics of their time. They were five great dragon videos from the age of VHS and Beta dragons. Kids of all ages loved these beguiling dragons with big hearts. During this time frame, over a couple of decades, dragons were at their cuddliest; and being cute and kid friendly was order of the day. Dragons were like rides on a pony but flying through the air gleefully.
Starting with The Neverending Story, the original, it was imbued with the music of the eighties and a sense of anything was possible; the theme song was by Giorgio Moroder. This West German epic fantasy film was, at the time, the most expensive production outside of the United States. Nobody can deny that it captured the hearts of movie goers worldwide. The plot involves the old magic book and a kid who steals, or borrows, the book and is then sucked into its fantasy world with a mission to save Fantasia. He meets Falkor, the dragon, and saves the day. The movie grossed over one hundred million dollars. It was directed by Wolfgang Petersen.
The sequel, The Neverending Story II, see the same kid grab the same book and he sets off for a new adventure in Fantasia. This time Bastion, the boy, is faced with an evil sorceress, who curses him to lose a memory every time he uses AURYN; in a bid to stop him from rescuing the Childlike Empress. Bastion and Falkor are reunited and Bastion sacrifices his last wish/memory to save the day; which should mean that he cannot return home. But this is fantasy and he is granted a way back by the Childlike Empress after destroying the evil sorceress. This movie only grossed around fifty six million dollars, but is still a great video.
Dragonslayer was a bit darker than these other dragon movies and the dragon is not a co-hero in this flick. The dangerous dragon is a co-baddie with an evil king, who sacrifices virgins to keep his kingdom safe from the dragon. The king’s daughter is to be the next sacrifice and so, an aged wizard and his young, spunky, apprentice slay the dragon and save the princess.
Dragonheart reverses the roles and has the dragon as hero, along with Dennis Quaid’s knight. Draco, voiced by the Sean Connery, is the real star of this movie.
Pete’s Dragon is a favourite with the little kids and has an animated dragon with live action actors; silly and sentimental.