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The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

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

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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:

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
See  »
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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

The animation credits include caricatures and signatures of the crew. 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

 
Adorable but I think this will appeal best to an older audience.
25 September 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I am sure a lot of younger folks watching it will be disappointed. That's because the story of the "Reluctant Dragon" only makes up a tiny portion of this movie. So, if you expect to see a full-length cartoon, you are in for a big surprise.

The film is a behind the scenes look at the Disney Studio, though I must confess that it's VERY heavily orchestrated to give a happy look to the workers--even though at the time a VERY divisive strike was taking place. To make this image of one big happy family, many of the animators and other workers at the studio are actually portrayed by actors! This is dishonest but interesting as you see a very young Alan Ladd pretending to be a Disney animator! In addition, you'll see the prolific character actor John Dehner along side Ladd--but you might not recognize Dehner, as he's VERY skinny here! However, I must confess that despite being a faux look, many of the techniques were real and it still was very satisfying to watch.

This is all part of an over-arching story involving the witty Robert Benchley. His wife nags him to go talk to Walt Disney about making a cartoon out of his story, "The Reluctant Dragon". But, Benchley's heart isn't in it and he mostly just wanders about the studio--watching the workers doing their craft and interacting with them. In addition, you see a rough version of a cartoon about a genius baby and, at the end, the story of this dragon--which is downright adorable. In fact, the film is worth seeing just to see this great dragon tale--it's among the studio's best work, albeit short in length.

The whole package is great--well worth seeing--especially if you are interested in the craft of animation. And, some of the scenes are shot in some of the most vivid color of the era. A nice film in every way--just not what the kiddies might be expecting!


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Name of the Reluctant Dragon Helen-263
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