Figment – Dragons of Disney

Disney’s fifth dragon is a bit of a departure from the others. Though Madame Mim had one of the shortest spans of time on film, this next fellow has virtually no screentime whatsoever. And yet despite that, he’s become one of Disney’s most consistent performers over the last thirty-plus years and an icon of Walt Disney World. He is, of course, the lovable Figment.

There, Voila, You’ve Got A Figment

Towards the back of EPCOT Center’s Future World stands the Imagination Pavilion. Inside the original Journey Into Imagination ride back in 1983, a man known simply as the Dreamfinder sought to show audiences the power of our own creative sparks. To help guide us through this journey, he creates one of his favorites figments of imagination, mixing two tiny wings, big yellow eyes, horns of a steer, childish delight, and royal purple pigment. What we get is the fifth Disney Dragon.

Figment

For about sixteen years, Dreamfinder and Figment would have visitors humming along to their song “One Little Spark” and the purple dragon propelled into stardom. Our joyful, little Figment became a symbol of EPCOT Center. But he became a victim of progress in the late 90s.

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Elliot – Dragons of Disney

Eliot

The fourth dragon in the Disney library took on a much larger role than his predecessors. Technically, this dragon comes from a live action film but the character himself is a piece of classic Disney animation. He is a main protagonist through the film which is even titled after his role. Today, Elliot the dragon remains one of Disney’s most recognizable dragons, but he was introduced to the world as simply Pete’s Dragon.

Pete’s Dragon, Elliot

Elliot first “appears” in a completely live-action sequence. As a dragon that can turn invisible, we first see him being prodded by the young orphan Pete who appeared to be floating through the air. As the boy was being chased by the Gogans, Pete’s horrid foster family, Elliot was carrying the boy to safety.

Elliot the Dragon

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Madame Mim – Dragons of Disney

Madame Mim

Walt Disney built a pop culture cornerstone using the timeless fantasy classics. However, the great dragon featured very little during Walt’s lifetime. The first two dragons featured for only a handful of minutes in their features and not until the very end. The last dragon to appear during Walt’s lifetime not only continued this trend but took it to extremes. Madame Mim may now be Disney’s forgotten dragon.

Madame Mim – Magnificent, Marvelous, Mad

Our third dragon appears in the 1963 film, The Sword and the Stone. The storyline was a bit of a departure as it did not feature a progressing plot line so much as unique characters and cute songs to drive the story. One of those unique characters ended up being the Magnificent, Marvelous, Mad Madame Mim.

madame mim

Madame Mim, like Maleficent before her, is a woman that uses magic to transform herself. As she begins a wizarding duel with Merlin, she sets out the rule that neither could become a dragon. But Madame Mim is all about the bad and once she’s in trouble the rules go out the door. And that’s when we’re graced with our third Dragon of Disney. For eighty seconds.

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Dragons of Disney – Maleficent

Dragons of Disney

Today, Disney’s feature film library offers a wide variety of worlds, characters, and stories. When the first of Disney’s Dragons made his “reluctant” appearance, that library consisted of only four films, with two being made up of short vignettes. Before reaching their second iteration of the majestic beasts, the studios added quite a bit more to that library. The twentieth animated feature, and fortieth overall Disney feature, brought us to meet the second of the great Disney Dragons. And she’s even still hanging about.

Maleficent, Mistress of All Evil and Second of Disney’s Dragons

The second Dragon of Disney is quite a departure from her predecessor. For one, she’s not purely a dragon. By now there are a few different stories about what or who Maleficent is but for the sake of this series we’re sticking to the animated features (with just one little exception). So today we’ll just focus on her role in the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty.

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Dragons of Disney: The Reluctant Dragon

dragon

A wide variety of wondrous stories fill the Disney library. The one type of story that fills more of those catalogs than any other is by far that of magical fantasy. Filled with powerful and courageous beings and hallmarked with majestic castles, these types of stories have enthralled the minds of so many well before Walt drew his first cartoon or built his first theme park. Today, we begin taking a look at Disney’s take on one of those most fascinating aspects of the fantasy stories: the Dragon.

The Reluctant Dragon

In true Disney fashion, Walt’s studio decided to take the most recognizable fantastic beast and show it in a way few had ever seen it, including me. Though I have watched many Disney cartoons, movies and television shows in my lifetime, this was my first time viewing The Reluctant Dragon. I have seen many of the Disney films in my lifetime, but preparing for this series brought me somewhere new. And as someone who is fascinated by the history of Walt and his team, it was not a disappointment.

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