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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:

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:

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

In the "Baby Weems" sequence, Mount Rushmore is seen with only George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The faces were still under construction until October 1941 and this movie was released before it was finished, which is why Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson are missing. 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

Features Old MacDonald Duck (1941) 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

Neglected Disney Classic
23 October 2000 | by Aleck-3See all my reviews

I happened upon this film during a late night when nothing else was on TV, and couldn't have been happier that I came across it.

In this, we're taken behind-the-scenes of Disney studios circa 1941, and given a humorous (and, I'm sure, highly fictionalized) tour of the studio and its various departments. While I've always been a fan of Disney's animation, I'd never been given a glimpse of the animators themselves, and I always thought that they deserved to be as well known as the Warner Brothers stable of talent. Well, here they're given a chance to hog the spotlight (as Disney himself doesn't show up until the final few moments of the film) and show off their talents.

Not only is this a good chance for you to see how some of your Disney favorites were brought to screen, the linking device with comic Robert Benchley is charming throughout, and the attitude is more than a little self-deprecating (playing up the notion that one is indoctrinated into the "Disney way of life" in working for the Mouse, Benchley's guide is portrayed as a militarily-garbed, wormy little walking Disney Rule Book). The animation itself is great (as is usual for Disney of this vintage) and the live-action work is funny in a way that most Disney live-action works aren't. All of this adds up to a most rewarding, and highly neglected, classic from the Vaults of Disney.


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