The Reluctant Dragon (I) (1941)

Approved   |    |  Animation, Comedy, Family


The Reluctant Dragon (1941) Poster

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.


6.9/10
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8 April 2004 | didi-5
eye-popping look at the Disney process
This little classic spends just short of an hour touring the Disney Studios in the company of Robert Benchley, the humorist who acts like a big kid in a candy store (and is thus the perfect guide for something like this).

We see how the cartoons are made, moving from the recording studio - where the real-life voices of Donald Duck and Clara Cluck sing an aria - through to clay models of the characters to be animated - the sound effects dept. (we see the full Casey Junior sequence, some of which ended up in 1941's 'Dumbo') - the scenario department (we see a whole cartoon - Baby Weems - in storyboard format) - the animation department (we see a cartoon feature on riding a horse, and see Donald Duck showing us how he walks) - and much more. There's also a neat segue from black and white to Technicolor.

'The Reluctant Dragon' is a book which Benchley hopes to pitch to Disney, only to find the film has already been made; the last 20 minutes of this feature is the cartoon about the (rather camp) dragon, and a classic bit of Disney work.

The whole movie is engrossing and a fantastic overview of the state-of-the-art work being done by the Disney Studios at the beginning of the 40s.

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