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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 »
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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)
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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 | Plot 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:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Day at Disneys See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features How to Ride a Horse (1950), the first of the Goofy "How-to" cartoons. When narrator John McLeish was brought in to record the narration, he was asked to read it in a very straightforward manner, as if for a serious documentary about horse riding. He was shocked when he was told that the narration he recorded would be used in a Goofy cartoon. 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 »

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

Featured in Omnibus: Disney: The Fairy-Tale Years (1992) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
dressed up Disney studio tour
21 December 2014 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Humorist Robert Benchley is at home. His wife convinces him to sell the rights for his story 'The Reluctant Dragon' to Walt Disney. She drags him to the studio and leaves him there. He wanders around the studio and discovers the animation process along the way. Finally he meets Walt Disney himself.

This starts as a black and white live action fictional drama. The fact that it's not animation made it less than successful originally. However it's fascinating to see where Disney began and what it looked like. It's a studio tour dressed up as a little story. This is terrific as a time capsule and a fun way to see how it was made. This is probably a good movie to show new hires at the time. After 25 minutes, the movie turns into technicolor with some animation. Goofy has a cartoon about how to ride a horse. The final section has the Reluctant Dragon cartoon. This movie has a bit of historical values but as a story, this is rather bland.


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