I've finally reached my fifties, but I still love this film as much as the first day I saw it in the cinema. It's a relevant thought, you see, because as I browsed the reviews I came face to face with an old acquaintance -- the realisation that childlike wonder and imagination are actually rare enough to be in short supply, enough to justifiably call those resources scarce.
I raised an eyebrow, vexed, as people complained about realism; I've heard complaints of the improbability of a dragon's ambulatory system without ever the self awareness to realise that with a few tweaks to physics to account for a different world -- one where magic exists as an institution and resource, no less -- along with some fixes to common misconceptions of dragons and animal biology that one could make anything probable. Clever people call this 'escapism,' a retreat into a fantasy, fictitious world unlike our own. Escapism goes so much further than daydreams of attractive sexual partners and fast cars.
Here I see in the 'goofs' section that the dragon's wings don't generate downdraft. Who says they need to? A man in Britain created a box that could generate quantum thrust by manipulating lasers. Who's to say that a dragon's lift doesn't work the same way? Cries off realism come only from dull, mundane, typical minds. Not anyone who's especially brilliant would even mistake fantasy for reality in the first place. Truly, if one is unable to discern that dragon's exist in the realm of the improbable, so far separated from our own, then they've bigger problems than 'unrealistic' dragons.
The pseudo-intellectual of below average intelligence complains of unrealism, thinking himself clever. The truly clever person possessed of a sharp mind and considerable wit finds the challenge of explaining other realities with their own physical laws fun!
So, to wit, this is a lovely film, heartwarming, ingenious, and with a fantabulous showing from Mr. Connery. You may like it, but you should probably only watch it if you're clever enough to understand the distinctions and boundaries between reality and fantasy. Though individuals quite clever enough for that are evidently few and far between.
Don't apply if you subscribe oxymoronically to 'I don't want fantasy in my fantasy, only reality with the rules of that even normalised and simplified into mundanity enough that I'm able to actually understand it;' Or if you're inclined to prefer bat-like dragon's over their six- limbed cousins because they're more realistic (without being erudite enough to realise why that statement makes no sense, because playing by those rules the ambulatory pressure problems created by such a large, flying creature would make bat-like dragons every bit as unrealistic). If either of the prior is true, you're not good enough for this film. It deserves a better audience.
If, however, that gave you a chuckle rather than fired your ire, you may just be good enough for it. In which case you really should watch it!