Charizard is featured in the Pokémon anime series with the most recurring being from the main character, Ash Ketchum. It is featured in printed adaptations such as Pokémon Adventures, in the possession of Blue, one of the main characters. Charizard has received positive reception from the media, with GamesRadar describing it as "hands-down one of the coolest Pokémon out there". Charizard is the version mascot of Pokémon Red and FireRed versions, and makes an appearance on the boxarts of Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky.
Charizard is the evolved form of Charmeleon, which is the evolved form of Charmander.
Charizard was one of several different designs conceived by Game Freak's character development team and finalized by Ken Sugimori for the first generation of Pocket Monsters games Red and Green, which were localized outside of Japan as Pokémon Red and Blue. Originally called "Lizardon" in Japanese, Nintendo decided to give the various Pokémon species "clever and descriptive names" related to their appearance or features when translating the game for western audiences as a means to make the characters more relatable to American children. As a result they were renamed "Charizard", a combination of the words "charcoal" or "char" and "lizard". During an interview, Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara stated Charizard was expected to be popular with North American audiences because of their preference for strong, powerful characters.
Whereas its pre-evolutions Charmander and Charmeleon are ground-bound lizard like creatures, Charizard resembles a large traditional European dragon. Despite the resemblance, Charizard is explicitly a Fire/Flying-type, not a Dragon-type. Charizard have two wings that are blue, while the back is orange, as with the most of its body. Its belly and soles are cream-colored, while their eyes are light blue in color. The video games describe Charizard as having wings that can carry them close to an altitude of 4,600 feet, flying proudly around the sky and constantly seeking for powerful opponents to quarrel with. They can breathe intense flames that can melt any material, but will never torch a weaker foe. If Charizard become angry, the flame at the tip of their tail can flare up in a whitish-blue color. Because of their reckless behavior, Charizard are known to unintentionally cause wildfires.