Dragonite might be influenced by Japanese sea dragons, along with European dragons. Since Dragonite evolves from Dragonair, it could also have been inspired by the legend of the Imugi, a Korean dragon that is said to become a true dragon if it can survive 1,000 years, which may be the inspiration for how long it takes for Dragonair to evolve into Dragonite.
Dragonite has somewhat mixed reception, due to it looking drastically different to other draconian Pokémon native to Kanto, such as Gyarados and Charizard. Some fans are not pleased with it's goofy-looking design when compared to Dragonair's majestic appearance.
Despite it's polarizing design, Dragonite is praised by some for being viable in battle. As a Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, Dragonite has some very strong stats to make good use out of it's diverse movepool. It can learn a lot of attacks, like Hurricane, Earthquake, Fire Blast, Thunder, Surf, and even Hyper Beam.
Although it did face stiff competition with Salamence for Generations III and IV, it rose back to fame in Generation V when it gained a new Ability in the form of Multiscale, which allows it to tank hits when at full health. Dragonite can also learn Roost to ensure that it can tank hits for most of the battle, as long as they're not too overly powerful. Dragonite could also leaen Extreme Speed from HeartGold and SoulSilver onwards, enabling it to have a very strong priority attack to finish off enemies that are dangerously low on health.
In spite of these competitive godsends, Dragonite does have it's drawbacks. It's most notable one is it's 4x weakness to Ice Type attacks, which can easily be carried by Water Types like Greninja and Starmie. It's 80 base Speed stat can also let it down from time to time, although it does have Dragon Dance to fix that.
It is also reputable for being Lance's strongest, but sometimes under-levelled Pokémon. In Red and Blue, it is notorious for knowing Barrier, a move it cannot legally learn, up until 2016 as a distribution to those who have competed in the Kanto Classic Wi-Fi Tournament.