Parents' Guide to

The Flight of Dragons

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Imaginative fantasy pits science against magic.

Movie NR 1986 98 minutes
The Flight of Dragons Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 6+

An Overlooked Classic

One of the best rankin/bass films (the hobbit being absolute top of the list for me). This is truly wonderful - my son was too young to grasp all the nuances of the science/magic dichotomy but it doesn’t matter. It’s captivating on a lot of levels - simply one of the best dragon movies ever made. Some violence, and sex is alluded to. I can’t recommend it enough.
age 6+

Best animated film about dragons that I've ever seen.

This Rankin/Bass classic is one of their best films ever, hands-down! This film is great for everyone, young and old! Nothing else to say but, go ahead and watch it yourself! You will not be disappointed! :-)

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (2):

Few stories feel both traditional and modern; rarer still is a fairy tale that appeals to middle schoolers. Some of the animation is bland, but the smart story still soars and THE FLIGHT OF DRAGONS is one of the brainiest and imaginative fantasies around. This thought-provoking Rankin-Bass video is drawn from an obscure fantasy novel, The Dragon and the George, by Gordon R. Dickson. When Gorbash offers an enchanting biochemical explanation for fire-breathing dragons, or Carolinus shows off his library of yet-to-be-published books (including The Wizard of Oz), you know you've discovered an unusually savvy and enlightened fairy tale.

There's plenty of daring swordplay -- and lots of dragons -- to please young adventure-lovers, but older viewers have even more to relish. Repeated tributes to the many fields of science are inspiring -- especially during the climax, when Peter combats Ommadon's foul incantations by reciting laws of Newtonian physics. Dramatic theme music and engaging humor add to the appeal. The animation is decent, but not a strong point.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 3, 1986
  • On DVD or streaming: August 13, 1996
  • Cast: John Ritter
  • Director: Jules Bass
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Run time: 98 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • MPAA explanation: Not Rated
  • Last updated: March 31, 2022

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