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The Reluctant Dragon

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Disney Movie Club Edition. Ever wanted to go behind the scenes at The Walt Disney Studios to see how such classics as Dumbo, Bambi and others were created? Now you have a studio pass to step back in time! Our tour guide is on his way to see Walt Disney to present a movie idea called The Reluctant Dragon. As he stumbles through the maze of the backlot, we discover how a cartoon is created through art, sound and color. along the way, we meet Donald, Pluto, Goofy and other Disney favorites, witness the birth of Baby Weems, a brilliantly funny animated work-in-progress, and enjoy the complete animated short, The Reluctant Dragon. Full Screen (1.33:1), 2.0 Mono, Spanish Language Track, Color, Rated G, Approximate Running Time 74 minutes.

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Benchley, Frances Gifford, Buddy Pepper
  • Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Hamilton Luske
  • Writers: Ted Sears, Al Perkins, Larry Clemmons, Bill Cottrell
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Format: NTSC, Subtitled, Black & White, Color, Full Screen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R2DSAU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,768 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 29, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hank Zangara on June 4, 2009
Format: DVD
This is the FULL-LENGTH motion picture which is about half live-action and half animation, typical of Disney wartime efforts like Song of the South and So Dear to My Heart. It's a great concept -- give the viewer a walking tour of the Disney Animation studio to learn how cartoons are made. There are 3 standout cartoon sequences, Baby Weems, How to Ride a Horse, and The Reluctant Dragon. The whole film was named after the Dragon for name recognition - it was a popular kids book at the time. Other reviewers are correct, there are no extras. For the record, this entire full length movie is also available on the Disney DVD "Treasures: Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studios" tin box set, where there are a few extras included. The only problem I have with BOTH the DVD being reviewed here and the box set, is that (aside from the film's opening) there are only 3 chapter stops, and those are in mid-scene without any rhyme or reason. It would have been more useful to have a chapter stop at the beginning of each of the 3 cartoon sequences. Perhaps they're saving that for the "Special Edition"! (Don't hold your breath) As it is, you cannot easily access the beginning of any of these cartoons without endlessly scrolling through the rest of the film. However, I believe the whole live action movie is very worthwhile, providing an entertaining slice-of-life peek into the inner workings of the studio at that time. Right now, the ONLY way to easily see the short cartoon "The Reluctant Dragon" is on the 2009 Disney DVD release "Disney Animation Classics Volume 6, The Reluctant Dragon." For the record, "How to Ride a Horse" is also available on the tin box set "Treasures: The Complete Goofy," and on the single-disc DVD Classic Cartoon Favorites Vol. 7, "Extreme Adventure Fun."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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 By A Customer on July 13, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
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 By A Customer on June 18, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By takemehome on January 2, 2008
Format: DVD
In 1941, Walt Disney released a feature-length film that answered the ultimate question - what goes on at the Disney studios? The Reluctant Dragon showed nearly every element of making an animated film, and even included a couple of animated portions - a small piece with Goofy, a work-in-progress peek at a future short about Baby Weems, and a complete short film based on the Kenneth Grahame story that the film is named after.

Looking at the film now, it's definitely quite dated and very very scripted. However, it's absolutely great to see some vintage behind-the-scenes stuff from the Disney studios. And the Reluctant Dragon short is as wonderful as ever.

The DVD is slightly disappointing, but that's to be expected from a Disney Movie Club/Rewards exclusive. I currently have two exclusives - this and DuckTales The Movie: Treasure Of The Lost Lamp. Both are single-layer single-sided DVDs. Both take up less than 4 GB of data on the disc. DuckTales has a fun game that you probably won't play more than once and nice disc art, painted in with the new translucent paint Disney likes to use these days. DuckTales is presented in "family friendly" 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and French and Spanish language tracks and is divided into 12 chapters. A chapter insert is included, with advertisements for Disney TV cartoon shows on the flipside. The main menu is animated, while all submenus are static, and all are 4:3.

The Reluctant Dragon has virtually no bonus features, its original fullscreen aspect ratio, and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, along with a Spanish language track.
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Topic From this Discussion
This DVD is available for $20 from the Disney Movie Club
Not to mention if you buy a lot of Disney DVDs, you're bound to eventually save up the 750 points required to "purchase" it through the Disney Movie Rewards program.

There's also the "3 for $1.99" thing you get when you first join the Disney Movie Club. :)
Jan 2, 2008 by takemehome |  See all 2 posts
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