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The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 927 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 13 critic

Humorist Robert Benchley learns about the animation process at Walt Disney Studios while trying to find the great man himself to pitch him the idea of making a cartoon about a shy dragon.

Writers:

(based on the story by), (screenplay), 11 more credits »
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Title: The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

The Reluctant Dragon (1941) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Benchley ...
Himself
Frances Gifford ...
Doris (Studio Artist)
Buddy Pepper ...
Humphrey (Studio Guide)
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Benchley
Claud Allister ...
Barnett Parker ...
Billy Lee ...
The Boy (segment "The Reluctant Dragon") (voice)
Florence Gill ...
Herself (Voice Artist)
Clarence Nash ...
Himself / Donald Duck (voice)
Norman Ferguson ...
Himself (as Norm Ferguson)
Ward Kimball ...
Himself (Goofy animator)
Jimmy Luske ...
Jimmy, Baby Weems model
...
Al, Baby Weems storyboard artist
Truman Woodworth
Hamilton MacFadden ...
(as Hamilton Mac Fadden)
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Storyline

Humorist Robert Benchley attempts to find Walt Disney to ask him to adapt a short story about a gentle dragon who would rather recite poetry than be ferocious. Along the way, he is given a tour of Walt Disney Studios, and learns about the animation process. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NEW WORLD OF WALT DISNEY WONDERS! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Day at Disneys  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first full-length feature for Disney where the voices are credited. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mrs. Benchley: [Reading] "So they set off up the hill, arm in arm, the knight, the dragon, and the boy. The lights in the little village began to go out one by one."
[Is interrupted by a toy rifle going off]
Mrs. Benchley: "But there were stars and a late moon as they climbed the downs together."
[Toy rifle again]
Mrs. Benchley: Robert, please.
[Pan to Robert Benchley lying on a raft in the pool, with the toy rifle]
Robert Benchley: Go on, I can hear in any position.
[Shoots a dart at a duck decoy in the pool]
Mrs. Benchley: [Continues reading] "And as they ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The animation credits include caricatures and signatures of the crew. See more »

Connections

Features Old MacDonald Duck (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

The Reluctant Dragon
Music by Charles Wolcott
Lyrics by T. Hee and Erdman Penner (as Ed Penner)
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User Reviews

eye-popping look at the Disney process
8 April 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This little classic spends just short of an hour touring the Disney Studios in the company of Robert Benchley, the humorist who acts like a big kid in a candy store (and is thus the perfect guide for something like this).

We see how the cartoons are made, moving from the recording studio - where the real-life voices of Donald Duck and Clara Cluck sing an aria - through to clay models of the characters to be animated - the sound effects dept. (we see the full Casey Junior sequence, some of which ended up in 1941's 'Dumbo') - the scenario department (we see a whole cartoon - Baby Weems - in storyboard format) - the animation department (we see a cartoon feature on riding a horse, and see Donald Duck showing us how he walks) - and much more. There's also a neat segue from black and white to Technicolor.

'The Reluctant Dragon' is a book which Benchley hopes to pitch to Disney, only to find the film has already been made; the last 20 minutes of this feature is the cartoon about the (rather camp) dragon, and a classic bit of Disney work.

The whole movie is engrossing and a fantastic overview of the state-of-the-art work being done by the Disney Studios at the beginning of the 40s.


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