Watch The Reluctant Dragon
- 1 hr 13 min
The Reluctant Dragon is a 1941 film produced by Walt Disney and directed by Alfred L. Werker, starring Robert Benchley, Frances Gifford, and Buddy Pepper. The movie features a combination of live action and animation and tells the story of Robert Benchley, who is a humorous writer that visits the Walt Disney Studios to learn about how their animated movies are produced. At the beginning of the movie, Benchley is seen sitting in front of a typewriter, struggling to come up with new ideas for his humorous columns. He decides to visit the Walt Disney Studios to gather some material for his next piece. Upon arriving, he meets a friendly studio employee named Humphrey who takes him on a tour of the facility. During the tour, Benchley comes across various aspects of the animation production process, such as the storyboarding, character development, and voice acting. He even gets to see some of the animators working on short films featuring some of the beloved Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, and Goofy. Benchley, however, is particularly interested in meeting the main attraction of the studio, a dragon named Elliott, who is said to be the star of an upcoming film. However, upon meeting Elliott, Benchley discovers that the dragon is actually quite shy and nervous, and is reluctant to act out his fiery reputation. Determined to help Elliott overcome his fear and put on a show, Benchley decides to take matters into his own hands. He improvises and comes up with a stage play that will feature Elliott as the hero, and manages to get other studio employees on board to help. The play goes ahead, and it turns out to be a big success, with Elliott performing various stunts and breathing fire, to the delight of the audience. The play is followed by Benchley's meeting with Walt Disney himself, who shares some of his future plans for the studio and offers some sound advice to Benchley. In the end, Benchley returns to his typewriter, inspired by the experience and full of new ideas for his columns. The film comes to a close with a series of animated shorts featuring other Disney characters, all of which are reminiscent of the golden era of Disney's animation. Overall, The Reluctant Dragon is a charming movie that showcases the behind-the-scenes processes of Disney's animation studio in a humorous and engaging way. Its mix of live-action and animation sequences, as well as its distinct sense of humor, make it a true classic of its time.