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Charizard is based of european myth dragons. Not that but if you do some research you find that a lot of Pokemons are based on mythogical beings, even if only slightly. For example, Pidgeotto and Pidgeot 'eye mark' dos resembles the ones found in Ra pictures (the old egyptian god). Arcanine is based on some Korean myth. Houndoom is also inspired in the Cerberus myth.
Spend some time reading in Bulbapedia and you get to know Pokemon a lot.