7.0/10
2,191
22 user 18 critic

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

Approved | | Animation, Comedy, Family | 20 June 1941 (USA)
Clip
1:30 | Clip
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:

Kenneth Grahame (based on the story by), Ted Sears (screenplay) | 9 more credits »
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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, Lee Blair
Melody Time (1948)
Animation | Family | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
Animation | Family | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Animation done to contemporary popular music.

Directors: Robert Cormack, Clyde Geronimi, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Nelson Eddy, Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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, Luana Patten
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
Certificate: Passed Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 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
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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

Directors: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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: Harve Foster, Wilfred Jackson
Stars: Ruth Warrick, Bobby Driscoll, James Baskett
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 10 more credits »
Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Based upon Kenneth Grahame's book of the same name, a dragon who would much rather recite poetry and play is taught how to be ferocious by a young boy and a knight.

Director: Hamilton Luske
Stars: Barnett Parker, Claud Allister, Billy Lee
Pinocchio (1940)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.

Directors: Norman Ferguson, T. Hee, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Dickie Jones, Christian Rub, Mel Blanc
Dumbo (1941)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.

Directors: Samuel Armstrong, Norman Ferguson, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy, Herman Bing
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Benchley ... Robert Benchley
Frances Gifford ... Doris (Studio Artist)
Buddy Pepper Buddy Pepper ... Humphrey (Studio Guide)
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Benchley
Claud Allister ... Sir Giles (segment "The Reluctant Dragon") (voice)
Barnett Parker ... The Dragon (segment "The Reluctant Dragon") (voice)
Billy Lee ... The Boy (segment "The Reluctant Dragon") (voice)
Florence Gill Florence Gill ... Florence Gill / Clara Cluck
Clarence Nash Clarence Nash ... Clarence Nash / Donald Duck
Norman Ferguson Norman Ferguson ... Norm Ferguson (as Norm Ferguson)
Ward Kimball ... Ward Kimball
Jim Luske Jim Luske ... Jimmy - Baby Weems Model (as Jimmy Luske)
Alan Ladd ... Al - Baby Weems Storyboard Artist
Truman Woodworth Truman Woodworth ... Truman Woodworth
Hamilton MacFadden 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Day at Disneys See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$872,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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

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 »

Alternate Versions

Typically releases of this film have the sequences How to Ride A Horse and the title featurette as separate films with the live action footage excised. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Twelve O'Clock High (1949) 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 didi-5See 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? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed