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The Reluctant Dragon [VHS] (1941)

Robert Benchley , Frances Gifford , Alfred L. Werker , Charles A. Nichols  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

The Reluctant Dragon [VHS] + Melody Time (Fully Restored 50th Anniversary Special Edition) (Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection) [VHS] + Make Mine Music [VHS]
Price for all three: $16.40

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Benchley, Frances Gifford, Buddy Pepper, Nana Bryant, Claud Allister
  • Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Charles A. Nichols, Hamilton Luske, Jack Cutting, Jack Kinney
  • Writers: Al Perkins, Berk Anthony
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Ent
  • VHS Release Date: February 6, 1991
  • Run Time: 28 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300276880
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,338 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Most dragons are fierce, fire-breathing terrors. But the Reluctant Dragon would much rather sit around sipping tea, reciting poetry and singing. Also includes a cartoon bonus about a midget moose who challenges a full-sized moose for the herd's lead position.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dragon who prefers fun than fighting April 29, 2002
A Kid's Review
This Waly Disney Mini Classic is about a dragon who detests fighting and prefers to play,until a young boy and a dragon fighter try to teach the docile creature about the fine art of being bad.
I think this story is the best Walt Disney Mini Classics.My favourite scenes were:
1.The boy meeting the dragon in his lair,where the dragon recites poems
2.The knight meeting the dragon while the dragon is having a picnic
3.The battle,ending with the dragon pretending to die when he jumps out of smoke,pretending to have a spear through him
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Reluctant Dragon June 13, 2001
By A Customer
The 1941 feature film was based around the writer, Robert Benchley, touring the Disney studios. This is why I was interested in purchasing this film. Unfortunately, the Disney "Mini Classic" release has been edited down to just the cartoon. Benchley is not to be seen or heard. For this reason I am disappointed in the release. If you have no interest in Robert Benchley, you will no doubt love this classic Disney "mini" feature (21 minutes long) and the accompnying short cartoon about a small moose. The transfer is well done and the sound is very good for the period.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Disney short movie. July 13, 1999
By A Customer
I used to enjoy watching this when I was a kid (and before the days of videotape). I've been waiting for Disney to re-issue the tape version so I can get it for my kids. In a nutshell, it's about a dragon who does not particularly enjoy terrorizing peasants, a knight who does not particularly enjoy fighting dragons, and -- of course -- the charming little boy who tries to keep them from hurting each other.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Little Film June 18, 2004
By A Customer
Before the review, I wish to note that, contrary to the other reviews, this tape is not the Mini Classic, but the whole,
72-minute film.

The plot follows Benchley's slapstick tour of the studio. Benchley's wife urges him to pitch a storybook her brother wrote - the Reluctant Dragon - to Walt. Reluctant as he is, Benchley has no choice against his wife's demands. Over the course of the day, he gets a decent tour of the premises, all the while dodging his boring nerdy tour guide and trying to find Walt. When he finally finds the boss, he learns that he's been beat to the punch: production had already been finished on the cartoon version of "Dragon," much to the dissapointment of Benchley's wife.

For me , the best scene was the sound effects stage,where employees were recording for a Casey Junior cartoon using a variety of odd gadgets.

Cartoons shown were the afore-mentioned Casey Junior, Baby Weems in storyboard form, the first in Goofy's "How to..." series, the Reluctant Dragon, and quick cameos by Bambi and Donald Duck. The annoying but funny number-cruncher of a tour guide who Benchley is always fleeing from was a nice way to move the plot along and add suspense, and the music/voice recording session was very insightful, featuring the original voices of Donald Duck and the chicken, whose name I can't recall (something like 12 Piece Meal? I don't know...). The best place to get this is not on this tape, but on Walt Disney Treasures: Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not quite up to the book January 3, 2005
I had just read Grahame's book, "The Reluctant Dragon," when I came across this movie by accident. The Disney crew created an amusing, watchable story from Grahame's original.

The characters and action are gentle and silly, somewhat like the original. A dragon arrives in the pastoral countryside, a gentle dragon fond of poetry and picnics. He is befriended by a small, bookish boy. Then, the dragon-slaying knight Sir Giles arrives. This presents a real problem for a dragon who avoids slaying, his own as much as anyone else's. The dragon and knight reach an agreement, and stage a mock battle to satisfy the villagers' need for spectacle. Of course, everyone ends up happy.

The animation is well crafted, fully up to Disney standards. This version, however, exaggerates Grahame's gentle silliness into, well, into a cartoon. Disney also used the "Sir Giles" character in place of Grahame's St. George - an understandable change, but a loss to Grahame'sliterate tone. This really is quite a fair animation, disappointing only because the original story was so exceptional and so fresh in my mind.

As an aside, I was interested to see that Walt Kelly (of Pogo fame) was listed as an animator.

This is an enjoyable tidbit, worth watching with a kid and maybe even without. It's not especially memorable and doesn't rise to the book's level, but it's still pleasant enough.

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