In the days of yore and the age of legends, there lived monstrous beasts known as dragons. They lived on land, soared in the sky, and petrified our ancestors with their ability to storm towns, belch flames, and, even if slain, rained poison blood upon those unlucky enough to vanquish them off this mortal coil.
That, people, was a long time ago. We’re a skeptical society that, like it or not, is just not as easily impressed. Hell, we’ve turned the word “fail,” audaciously, into a complete sentence. But even with that in mind, our more reserved nature actually is relevant when discussing dragons because, well, there’s been a swelling of lame, unimpressive, and sometimes even sweater-clad ones. Whereas brave knights might have entered into battle against these dragon-fails, today, we are smarter: We know the best defense is to cherry-pick them, number them arbitrarily, and mock them in list form. Behold!
7) Magellan from Eureeka’s Castle
Even overlooking his Carlton-from-Fresh Prince-like dorky name, Magellan from this early ’90s Nickelodeon kids’ show is pretty tough to take as remotely seriously as the more demonic members of his species. Exhibit A: He wears pastel-flecked Hawaiian shirts. Exhibit B: He’s afraid of monsters and has a tiny pet named Cooey. Exhibit C: Real dragons don’t play sax solos (see the above video). Verdict: Guilty. Sentencing: Having his TV show canceled. Also, housecats yawn at your mere presence. Also also, death.
6) Melwin the Gay Dragon from A Gay Dragon
Meet Melwin. He’s a gay dragon. And if you’re still busy boycotting Chick-fil-A, don’t worry: Melwin isn’t a wuss because he’s gay. Instead, it has more to do with how he carries himself in this lesser-known 99-cent iOS game. He wants to kidnap the prince because his lair “is cold and empty without some warm and tender love,” so he has to side-step female dragons (who want to mate on sight), smear himself in gold (it’s “like a shield,” he explains) and evade the human princess (who wants to slay him for stealing her true love). I guess it’d be wussier to have him sit them down to explain his sexual preferences and how it’s totally acceptable in 2012, but a dragon having a heart-to-heart is rather ineffectual. Especially since in the olden times, dragons had one approach to conflict resolution: eating you.
5) Haku from Spirited Away
Of all the dragons in this list, Haku from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is the one who seems kind of intimidating, but he actually isn’t if you think about it long enough. Haku is a rather pretty-looking teenaged boy who is actually a lost river spirit who can take the form of a white dragon. Though he occasionally seems powerful, he’s actually pretty dopey because he doesn’t remember his own name – which keeps him trapped him as a dragon because of some plot devices enacted by the witch Yubaba. All of this is to say: Haku looks pretty badass, but only being a dragon because you forgot your name is pretty weak.
4) Figment from Disney World
With a voice reminiscent of Hedonismbot from Futurama, a fondness for yellow sweaters, and a penchant for annoying children and adults, Figment, sadly, is not just a figment of our imaginations. He’s basically a big pile of goo that takes up space and breathes our air: This scaly dork is tutored by a scientist named Dreamfinder who tries, in vain, to teach him how to use his imagination. This guy coulda cured both kinds of AIDS and instead he’s getting a dumb singing dragon to use his dumb brain to imagine stuff. What do dragons even daydream about? Cheetos? Man, Figment sucks.
3) Dragonair from Pok?mon
Well, he looks like a blue feather boa, is wearing pearls, and has feathery ears. Are we supposed to be afraid of this thing? As its deep blue color somewhat suggests, Dragonair excels at soothing its keeper with a “gentle aura” and also can change the weather. The latter half explains why it’s so adept at an attack called “outrage,” which has a nearly 100 percent chance of confusing the enemy. That’s because they can make it slightly sunnier than the weatherman said it would be. Wow. Terrifying.
2) Spyro from Spyro
Look at him. Case closed.
1) Dudley the Dragon from The Adventures Of Dudley The Dragon
There have been a ton of crappy Disney dragons (Puff, Elliot, Mushu, The Reluctant Dragon), so rather than pad this list with them, here’s an oddball one you may not remember: The star of an also-ran kid’s show about a dragon who awakes from a 100-year nap, he discovers he’s a friggin’ dork. Dudley hangs out with two kids and they spent their time having tea parties, building snowmen, and throwing him a birthday party every single day. In an unaired episode, the two kids realize how much better their lives were when Dudley was sleeping because they could play Nintendo and chuck rocks at passing cars on the freeway