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The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

Approved | | Animation, Comedy, Family | 20 June 1941 (USA)
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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) | 9 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Benchley ...
...
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 ...
Florence Gill / Clara Cluck
Clarence Nash ...
Clarence Nash / Donald Duck
Norman Ferguson ...
Norm Ferguson (as Norm Ferguson)
Ward Kimball ...
Ward Kimball
Jimmy Luske ...
Jimmy - Baby Weems Model
...
Al - Baby Weems Storyboard Artist
Truman Woodworth ...
Truman Woodworth
Hamilton MacFadden ...
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:

Walt Disney's AMAZING, NEW FULL-LENGTH FEATURE PRODUCTION (original print media ad - many 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

Film debut of John Dehner. 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

At the end of the opening credits, a title reads: "This picture is made in answer to the many requests to show the backstage life of animated cartoons --P.S. Any resemblance to a regular motion picture is purely coincidental" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mission: Impossible: The Reluctant Dragon (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

The Reluctant Dragon
Music by Charles Wolcott
Lyrics by T. Hee and Erdman Penner (as Ed Penner)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Favourite Disney Mini Classic!
18 June 2006 | by (Port Glasgow, Scotland) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed all the Disney cartoons when I was at a really young age. I used to rent the Mini Classics out of my local video store. As soon as I saw this particular cartoon, I knew that this would be the all-time best in my opinion. It's a fantastic cartoon.

The characters breathe life into the story, and are not what you would expect. If you think the Dragon is going to be a ferocious beast, you're wrong. He's just a shy, fun and flamboyant creature who loves to recite poetry, drink tea and sing songs. He steals each scene. Sir Giles and the Boy are also brilliant supporting characters.

The animation is a sight to see. There is so much detail. It's extraordinary to see a cartoon from the Forties that has amazing colour. It's very good for its time.

The most important thing about this cartoon is the message of not putting people into their anticipated stereotypes. Just because the main character happens to be a dragon doesn't mean he will be ferocious. The same goes for Sir Giles. He is apparently a dragon slayer, yet he is portrayed as an old man with the same interest as the Dragon, which is poetry. He seems like someone who has never slain a dragon before, yet is praised for being something he is not.

I really recommend this. It's warm and funny, and will entertain people of all ages. I'm 16 now, and I am still in love with this film. The Reluctant Dragon is the best of the Walt Disney Mini Classics, and if you want to see it, I can happily tell you that it is now part of the Disney Fables DVD series, paired with Mickey and the Beanstalk.


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