Dratini is a serpentine Pokémon with a blue body and a white underside. It has white, three-pronged fins on the sides of its head and a white bump on its forehead. Above its round, white snout are oval, purple eyes.
Dratini's life energy is constantly building, so it is always growing and can reach lengths of over six feet. As it grows, it sheds its skin regularly and hides behind a rapid waterfall during the process. Although this Pokémon was originally thought to be nothing more than a myth, a small colony has been found living underwater. It stays near the bottom and feeds on food that sinks from the upper levels. In the past, Outrage was its signature move.
Dratini debuted in EP035, where the warden of the Safari Zone was protecting the Dragon Pokémon. By the end of the episode, it turned out that the Dratini the warden met 30 years earlier had evolved into a Dragonair, and was now raising its own child Dratini. This episode was banned outside of Asia due to excessive use of a firearm.
Lance's Dragonite was once a Dratini, as shown in a flashback in The Legend. It was also revealed to be a Pokémon harmed by human industrialization. This motivated Lance to formulate his plot to destroy humanity many years later.
In early English-language promotional material for Pokémon Red and Blue, Dratini was referred to as "Dragoon". Although this word can mean a European military unit that is transported on horseback but fights on foot, the name was probably selected as a combination of dragon and lagoon.
Dratini is a combination of dragon and a corruption of tiny; tini-tiny is a phrase to indicate smallness. -ini is also an Italian suffix, applied to a word to imply endearment or smallness. Despite this, it is fairly large for a Pokémon, being 5'11" (1.8 m) in length. The name therefore may be in comparison to the size of Dragonair, whose length is 13'01" (4.0 m).
Miniryu is a combination of miniature and 竜 ryū (dragon).