7.0/10
1,611
21 user 14 critic

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

Approved | | Animation, Comedy, Family | 20 June 1941 (USA)
Trailer
1:29 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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 »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jiminy Cricket hosts two Disney animated shorts: "Bongo," about a circus bear escaping to the wild, and "Mickey and the Beanstalk," a take on the famous fairy tale.

Stars: Edgar Bergen, Dinah Shore, Charlie McCarthy
Animation | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Disney animators tour South America and present four animated shorts inspired by their trip.

Directors: Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Fred Shields, José Oliveira, Pinto Colvig
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An animated adaption of "The Wind in the Willows" followed by an adaption of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".

Directors: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore
Animation | Family | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Animation done to contemporary popular music.

Directors: Robert Cormack, Clyde Geronimi, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Nelson Eddy, Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Donald receives his birthday gifts, which include traditional gifts and information about Brazil (hosted by Zé Carioca) and Mexico (by Panchito, a Mexican Charro Rooster).

Directors: Norman Ferguson, Clyde Geronimi, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina, Dora Luz
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The kindly story-teller Uncle Remus tells a young boy stories about trickster Br'er Rabbit, who outwits Br'er Fox and slow-witted Br'er Bear.

Directors: Wilfred Jackson, Harve Foster
Stars: Ruth Warrick, Bobby Driscoll, James Baskett
Melody Time (1948)
Animation | Family | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An anthology of animated vignettes set to contemporary music.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Roy Rogers, Trigger, Dennis Day
Certificate: Passed Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This heartwarming classic tells the tale of a country boy who adopts a mischevious black lamb and learns valuable lessons about love and dedication.

Directors: Harold D. Schuster, Hamilton Luske
Stars: Burl Ives, Beulah Bondi, Bobby Driscoll
Documentary | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Story of the American Prairie as it was when vast herds of bison and elk grazed.

Director: James Algar
Stars: Winston Hibler
Animation | Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mickey, Donald, and Goofy live in a land where everything is dried up and dead. The only food they have is one loaf of bread, even Donald's plans of killing their cow fail. So Mickey ... See full summary »

Directors: Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts
Stars: Walt Disney, Clarence Nash, Pinto Colvig
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young boy and a bunch of misfit friends embark on a quest to find a dark magic item of ultimate power before a diabolical tyrant can.

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich
Stars: Grant Bardsley, Freddie Jones, Susan Sheridan
Fantasia (1940)
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, and 9 more credits »
Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Doris (Studio Artist)
Buddy Pepper ...
Humphrey (Studio Guide)
...
Mrs. Benchley
...
...
...
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)
Edit

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:

The big feature show with a thousand surprises! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Robert Benchley visits the art department one of the sculptors quickly makes a clay bust caricature of Benchley. In reality the bust was made in advance and then gradually destroyed while being filmed. The film was simply shown backwards to make it appear as though the artist was making the bust from scratch. 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 »


Soundtracks

Excerpts from the opera 'Martha, oder Der Markt von Richmond'" (uncredited)
Music by Friedrich von Flotow
Libretto by Friedrich Wilhelm Riese
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Name of the Reluctant Dragon Helen-263
Why was the start of The Reluctant Dragon shot in black and white? clive-ihd
Jeff Corey andlaw99
Was the Reluctant Dragon a comment on World War II? tharrx
Was "Baby Weems" ever made into an animated short? klarson123
Discuss The Reluctant Dragon (1941) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?