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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People fear what they don't understand, but that can change when we get to know someone. Encouraging wisdom from characters: "Accept the past and move on." "You are much more than you think you are." "Follow your heart, and the truth will come to you." "Humans do bad things, but good things too." Strong messages about bravery, teamwork, honesty.
Positive Role Models
Firedrake displays courage as he searches for a place where he and other dragons can be safe. Ben lies about being a dragon rider to get out of a shoplifting incident but realizes what he did was wrong and makes up for it. A professor who studies mythical creatures takes them in to rehabilitate and care for them. He teaches some lessons to Ben, offers to take him in as well when he learns what happened to Ben's parents. A dracologist gives words of encouragement to the main characters.
A young White male is the one main human character. During their journey the group travels to India, where they stop in a village and meet a female Indian dracologist who gives them pivotal information for their journey. They occasionally speak Punjabi.
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Violence & Scariness
Though the dragons are friendly, a scary-looking metal dragon-eating machine chases Firedrake around the world trying to eat him. Other creatures might be scary for some sensitive viewers. A djinni causes a lot of destruction by shooting fire out of his eyes. No one is harmed but some moments of peril. Distrust and arguments between a mystical sidekick character and the human character -- in one instance, one gets tricked and tossed off a cliff.
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No cursing, but some language like "fat butt" and "idiot." "Way too much djinn" sounds like "way too much gin."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Firedrake the Silver Dragon (also known as Dragon Rider) is an animated dragon adventure based in modern times. Unlike the dragon stories we're used to with Vikings and dragon slayers, this story incorporates the internet and video calling. Based on the book Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, the movie follows the story of a young dragon named Firedrake (voiced by Thomas Brodie-Sangster), who pushes himself to new limits in an effort to save his dragon village from human destruction. He displays courage as he travels with his best friend, Sorrell (Felicity Jones), another mythical creature in search of a land where dragons and creatures can roam free. The two join forces with a human, and the group has to learn to set aside their assumptions and trust one another while being faced with danger. There are moderate levels of threat from a dragon-eating metal monster called Nettlebrand (Patrick Stewart), who wants to taste a silver dragon. Other monsters and creatures make an appearance through the film, and though no one is harmed, some scenes may be a little scary to sensitive viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This fantasy-adventure has a fantastic vocal cast, including Felicity Jones and Patrick Stewart, which will charm many parents. The target audience will likely enjoy the colorful action sequences. Firedrake the Silver Dragon is an encouraging tale, and the messages are positive. The wise and charismatic characters like Subisha Gulab (Meera Syal) bring welcome humor and wisdom along the way and add an endearing element. While the story feels similar to other dragon movies, this one comes from a dragon's perspective in modern times, so it stands on its own. It's lacking a memorable soundtrack and some depth, which makes the film feel tailored for a younger audience. But young dragon-loving kids will likely find it delightful.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.