Released in 1996, Dragonheart still remains one of my most favorite movies. It is one of those rare stories where the dragon is not a fire-breathing monster, but a wise and benevolent being. It is hard not to immediately like the character of Draco and his developing bond with the knight Bowen. Directed by Rob Cohen and starring Dennis Quaid, David Thewlis, and Sean Connery (as the voice of Draco), Dragonheart is a heart-warming story of a knight and a dragon with a bittersweet ending.
Taking place in 10th century, Dragonheart starts off with a dragon giving a half of his heart (at the queen’s request) to the king’s son, Einon, after the king is killed by the rebelling people, and Einon is injured in the process. Einon’s mentor, Bowen (Dennis Quaid) hopes that Einon will follow the old code and be a better king than his tyrannical father. Einon, however, has plans of his own, after he is saved by the dragon and becomes the king. Thinking that the dragon’s heart corrupted Einon, Bowen goes after every dragon he can find, until there is only one left – Draco. They soon become an unlikely team that might be able to bring hope to the people struggling under the tyranny of king Einon (David Thewlis).
It is always interesting to see a movie where one of the key characters is created entirely on a computer. And even though today Draco may look somewhat dated, watching him is still a delight. Listening to Sean Connery do the voice of Draco is quite a treat – I don’t think there could have been a better choice of an actor for this part. And Draco himself is such a likable character (and much nicer than a lot of people in the story, I have to add), you immediately want to sympathize with him. Draco’s interaction with Bowen is another thing to love about this movie, with equal amount of hilarious banter and poignant moments. David Thewlis as king Einon is really convincing and creates a remarkably unlikable character. Dina Meyer as Kara portrays a strong and believable heroine, and Julie Christie as queen Aislinn is another interesting character.
The soundtrack by Randy Edelman is truly magical, almost heart-wrenching at the end of the movie. It has a very distinct main theme that allows it to stand out and fully express the more emotional aspects of the story.
All the dragon lovers should definitely check out this magical and bittersweet tale of the last dragon.