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Encyclopedia > The Reluctant Dragon
The Reluctant Dragon movie poster
The Reluctant Dragon movie poster

The Reluctant Dragon is a 1898 children's book by Kenneth Grahame (originally published as a chapter in his book Dream Days), which served as the key element to The Reluctant Dragon, a 1941 feature film from Walt Disney Productions. Image File history File links Reluctant_Dragon. ... Image File history File links Reluctant_Dragon. ... 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Basic Characteristics There is some debate as to what constitutes childrens literature. ... Kenneth Grahame Kenneth Grahame (March 8, 1859 – July 6, 1932) was a Scottish novelist. ... This article is about the year. ... A reel of film, which predates digital cinematography. ... Walt Disney Productions is the former name of The Walt Disney Company, which it held from 1929 to 1986. ...

Contents

The book

In Grahame's book, first published in 1898, a young boy discovers an erudite, mushroom-loving dragon living in the Downs above his home. The two become friends, but soon afterwards the dragon is discovered by the townsfolk, who send for St George to rid them of it. St George, by this time, is quite elderly and has little interest in slaying dragons, though he resolves to do it as it is his duty. The boy introduces St George to the dragon, and the two decide that it would be better for them not to fight. Eventually, they decide to stage a fake joust between the two combatants. The dragon appears to have died, and the townsfolk rejoice (though not all of them, as some had placed bets on the dragon winning). St George then reveals that the dragon had not died, and assures the townsfolk that he is not dangerous. The dragon is then accepted by the people, and composes a valedictory poem. 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... // Chinese dragon, colour engraving on wood, Chinese school, 19th Century The dragon is a mythical creature typically depicted as a large and powerful serpent or other reptile, with magical or spiritual qualities. ... For alternate uses, see Saint George (disambiguation) Saint George on horseback rides alongside a wounded dragon being led by a princess, late 19th century engraving. ... This article is about the 1982 arcade game. ...

"Here's a dragon of taste, charm and wit,
Who's been round the world quite a bit,
Dare I state off the cuff, I have travelled enough,
There's a place I've found friends - this is it.
In conclusion I'd just like to say,
That's it's been a remarkable day,
You've all been so kind, I'm sure you won't mind,
If I tell you I think I might stay..."

The film

The Reluctant Dragon was produced by Walt Disney, directed by Alfred J. Werker, and released by RKO Radio Pictures on June 20, 1941. Essentially a tour of the then-new Walt Disney Studios facility in Burbank, California, the film stars comedian Robert Benchley and many Disney staffers such as Ward Kimball, Fred Moore, Norman Ferguson, Clarence Nash, and Walt Disney, all as themselves. Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966), was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, visionary, and philanthropist. ... The classic logo of RKO Radio Pictures. ... June 20 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 194 days remaining. ... This article is about the year. ... Tour may mean: Concert tour, series of performances in different markets Tourism, travel for pleasure James Tour, nanoscientist Le Tour de France, the worlds biggest bicycle race This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... ... Founded May 1, 1887 Incorporated July 8, 1911 General Information County Los Angeles County, California Latitude Longitude 34°1049 N 118°1942 W Area  - Total  - Water 45 km² (17. ... A comedian, or comic, is an entertainer who amuses an audience by making them laugh. ... Robert Charles Benchley (September 15, 1889 in Worcester, Massachusetts – November 21, 1945) was an American humorist, newspaper columnist, film actor, and drama editor. ... Firehouse Five Plus Two LP album cover. ... Fred Moore was an American character animator for Walt Disney Productions, best known for being the resident specialist of the animation of Mickey Mouse. ... Clarence Ducky Nash (December 7, 1904–February 20, 1985) was an American voice actor, best known for providing the voice of Donald Duck for Walt Disney Studios. ...


The first third of the film is in black-and-white, the remaining two-thirds are in Technicolor. Most of the film is live-action, with four short animation segments inserted into the running time: a black-and-white animation featuring Casey Junior from Dumbo; and three Technicolor animations: Baby Weems, Goofy's How to Ride a Horse, and the extended-length short The Reluctant Dragon, based upon Graham's book. Black-and-white or black and white) can refer to a general term used in photography, film, and other media (see black-and-white). ... Logo celebrating Technicolors 90th Anniversary. ... In film and video, live action refers to works that are acted out by flesh-and-blood actors, as opposed to animation. ... Short subject is an American film industry term that historically has referred to any film in the format of two reels, or approximately 20 minutes running time, or less. ... Animation is the filming a sequence of drawings or positions of models to create an illusion of movement. ... Dumbo is the fourth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... Goofy is a fictional character from the Walt Disneys Mickey Mouse universe. ...


Studio operations toured by Benchley in the film

The loose plot of the film features Robert Benchley trying to find (or, rather, avoid finding) Walt Disney so that he can, at the insistence of his wife, pitch to him the idea of making an animated version of Kenneth Graham's book. Dodging a Nazi-like studio guide named Humphrey (played by Buddy Pepper), Benchley stumbles upon a number of the Disney studio operations and learns about the traditional animation process, some of the facets of which are explained by a staff employee named Doris (Francis Gifford): National Socialism redirects here. ... Traditional animation, sometimes also called cel animation or hand-drawn animation, is the oldest and historically the most popular form of animation. ...

  • The life drawing classroom, where animators learn to caricature people and animals by observing the real thing.
  • A film score and voice recording session featuring Clarence Nash, the voice of Donald Duck, and Florence Gill, the voice of Clara Cluck
  • A foley session for a cartoon featuring Casey Junior from Dumbo. Doris demonstrates the sonovox in this scene, which was used to create the train's voice.
  • The camera room, featuring a demonstration of the multiplane camera. Upon Benchley's entering the camera room, the film turns from black-and-white to Technicolor (ala The Wizard of Oz), prompting the droll Benchley to (breaking the fourth wall) examine his now red-and-blue tie and his yellow copy of the Reluctant Dragon storybook and comment, "Ahh...Technicolor!" When Doris arrives to show him around the camera room, she asks Benchley if he remembers her. His answer: "yes, but you look so much different in Technicolor!" Donald Duck appears on the camera stand to help explain the mechanics of animation and animation photography.
  • The ink-and-paint department, including a Technicolor-showcasing montage of the paint-making process. Doris presents a completed cel of the titular character from Bambi.
  • The maquette-making department, which makes maquettes (small statues) to help the animators envision a character from all sides. Some of the maquettes on display included Aunt Sarah, Si, and Am from Lady and the Tramp and Captain Hook and Tinkerbell from Peter Pan; both films were in development at this time, but would be delayed by World War II and not completed until the 1950s. Also on display is Sunflower, the infamous black centaurette from Fantasia, which Benchley steals. The employee on duty makes Benchley a maquette of himself, which many years later was purchased and owned by Warner Bros. director Chuck Jones.
  • The storyboard department, where a group of storymen (one of whom is portrayed by Alan Ladd) test their idea for a new short on Benchley: Baby Weems. The story is shown to the audience in the form of an animatic, or a story reel, using limited animation, and is considered among the Disney studio's best (if unsung) works. Alfred Weker, loaned out by 20th Century Fox to direct this film, later became the first outside film director to use the storyboard, which the Disney staff had developed from predecessive illustrated scripts during the early-1930s.
  • The room of animators Ward Kimball, Fred Moore, and Norm Ferguson. Benchley watches Kimball animating Goofy, and Ferguson animating Pluto. He and the audiences are also treated to a preview of a new Goofy cartoon, How to Ride a Horse, the first of the many how-to parodies in the Goofy series. RKO released How to Ride a Horse as a stand-alone short on February 24, 1950.
  • Humphrey, who has been one step behind Benchley the entire film, finally apprehends him and delivers him in person to Walt Disney, who is in the studio projection room about to screen a newly completed film. Disney invited Benchley to join them; to Benchley's slight embarrassment yet relief, the film they screen is a two-reel (twenty minute) short based upon the very book Benchley wanted Walt to adapt, The Reluctant Dragon.

Figure drawing, also known as life drawing, is an exercise in drawing the human body in its various shapes and positions. ... A common caricature of Charles Darwin focuses on his beard, eyebrows, and baldness, while often giving him the features of an ape or monkey. ... A film score is the music in a film, generally written for the film and often used to heighten emotions provoked by the imagery on the screen or by the dialogue. ... A voice actor (also a voice artist) is a person who provides voices for animated characters (including those in feature films, television series, animated shorts), voice-overs in radio and television commercials, audio dramas, dubbed foreign language films, video games, puppet shows, and amusement rides. ... Clarence Ducky Nash (December 7, 1904–February 20, 1985) was an American voice actor, best known for providing the voice of Donald Duck for Walt Disney Studios. ... Donald Duck is an animated cartoon and comic-book character from Walt Disney Productions. ... Foley is a surname, originating in Ireland in the south east Munster region. ... Dumbo is the fourth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... A vocoder (name derived from voice coder, formerly also called voder) is a speech analyser and synthesizer. ... A camera is a device used to capture images, usually photographs, either singly or in sequence such as with video cameras. ... The multiplane camera is a special motion picture camera used in the traditional animation process that moves a number of pieces of artwork past the camera at various speeds and at various distances from one another. ... The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. ... The fourth wall is the imaginary invisible wall at the front of the stage in a proscenium theatre, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play. ... Red may be any of a number of similar colors at the lowest frequencies of light discernible by the human eye. ... The term Blue may refer any of a number of similar colors. ... Yellow is any color of light that stimulates both the red and green cone cells of the retina, but not the blue cone cells. ... MONTAGE MONTAGE [1] American pop group (1991-current) consisting of singer/songwriter Chris Jones, drummer/songwriter Andrew Doss and various guitarists. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the 1942 Walt Disney film. ... This page describe terms and jargon related to sculpture and sculpting. ... Lady and the Tramp is the fifteenth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... Captain Hook as seen in the Disney version of Peter Pan. ... Tinker Bell or Tinkerbell is a fictional character in J.M. Barries play and subsequent novel Peter Pan, and various adaptations of them. ... Peter Pan is the fourteenth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... The 1950s was the decade spanning from the 1st of January, 1950 to the 31st December, 1959. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... This article is on the mythological creatures. ... Fantasia is a 1940 motion picture, the third in the Disney animated features canon, which was a Walt Disney experiment in animation and music. ... Warner Bros. ... Charles Martin Chuck Jones (September 21, 1912–February 22, 2002) was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Brothers cartoon studio. ... A storyboard for an 8-minute animated cartoon. ... Alan Walbridge Ladd (September 3, 1913 - January 29, 1964) was an American film actor. ... An animatic is created to test dramatic timing. ... Limited animation is a process of making animated cartoons that does not follow a realistic approach. ... Fox Plaza, the company headquarters. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Firehouse Five Plus Two LP album cover. ... Fred Moore was an American character animator for Walt Disney Productions, best known for being the resident specialist of the animation of Mickey Mouse. ... Norman Gerard Ferguson (Born October 16, 1945, Sydney, Nova Scotia) was a center and right wing in the National Hockey League with the Oakland / California Seals and played with various World Hockey Association teams. ... Goofy is a fictional character from the Walt Disneys Mickey Mouse universe. ... Pluto Pluto is a fictional character made famous in a series of Disney short cartoons. ... A how-to is an informal, often short, description of how to accomplish some specific task. ... Parody of Back to the Future In contemporary usage, a parody is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke some affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ... February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966), was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, visionary, and philanthropist. ...

The Reluctant Dragon Segment

The cartoon starts with an introduction by the narrator of the story. We are introduced to one of the main characters: The Boy, who is reading a book about knights and bloodthirsty dragons. His father comes rushing by, claiming to have seen a monster. The Boy reassures his father that it was only a dragon, to which the father panics and runs to the village in fear.


The Boy then goes to the Dragon's lair, where he is confronted not by a ferocious beast, but a shy, poetry spouting creature. The Boy, though surprised at seeing what a nice creature the Dragon is, befriends him.


When he arrives back at the village, the Boy discovers that Sir Giles the Dragon slayer has arrived. He runs to tell the Dragon that he should fight him, only to be left disappointed when the Dragon announces that he never fights.


The Boy visits Sir Giles, and it is revealed that Sir Giles is an old man. The Boy tells Sir Giles that the Dragon will never fight and they decide to visit him.


Sir Giles and the Boy visit the Dragon while he is having a picnic. It turns out that Sir Giles also loves to make up poetry, so The Dragon and Sir Giles serenade each other. The Boy then decides to recite a poem, then shouts about wanting the Dragon and Sir Giles to fight. The Dragon leaves but is persuaded back out of his cave when he is flattered by Sir Giles. Sir Giles and the Dragon eventually decide to fight, but as Sir Giles and the Boy leave, the Dragon has second thoughts.


The next day, the villagers have gathered to watch the fight. Sir Giles arrives waiting for the Dragon.


Inside his cave, the Dragon is too scared to fight. He cannot breathe fire. An insult from the Boy leads to the Dragon getting angry and eventually spitting flames. The Dragon jumps for joy as he is now ferocious.


The fight starts. Sir Giles chases the Dragon around with his sword, and inside the cave, drink tea and make noises to make it seem they are fighting. Out in the open, they charge at each other, creating a cloud. Inside they dance, and Sir Giles reveals that it is time for the Dragon to be slain, but only for pretend, to which the Dragon gets excited. Sir Giles places his lance under the Dragon's arm, then the Dragon jumps out of the cloud and performs a dramatic death scene.


The story ends with the Dragon being accepted into society, to which the Dragon recites a poem:

"I promise not to rant or roar, and scourge the countryside anymore!"

Release and reaction

The film was released in the middle of the Disney animators' strike of 1941. Strikers picketed the film's premiere with signs that attacked Disney for unfair business practices, low pay, lack of recognition, and favoritism. Critics and audiences were put off by the fact that the film was not a new Disney animated feature in the vein of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Pinocchio, but essentially a collection of four short cartoons and various live-action vignettes. The Reluctant Dragon cost $600,000 to make, but only returned $400,000 from the box office. The bitter animators strike of 1941 at Walt Disney Studios was a psychological turning point within the company. ... This article is about the year. ... Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... Pinocchio is the second animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. ... The term box office can refer to either: A place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to a venue The amount of business a particular production, such as a movie or theatre show, does. ...


Disney released the film on VHS in 1991. In 2002, it was released on both VHS and DVD, alongside two 1937 short subject studio tours and three episodes of the Disneyland television show, as "Walt Disney Treasures: Behind the Magic at the Disney Studio". Top view of VHS cassette with U.S. 25c coin for scale Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS, is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette... 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... Top view of VHS cassette with U.S. 25c coin for scale Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed Top view of VHS cassette with front casing removed The Video Home System, better known by its abbreviation VHS, is a recording and playing standard for analog video cassette... DVD (sometimes called Digital Versatile Disc, or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... The first incarnation of the Walt Disney anthology series, commonly called The Wonderful World of Disney, premiered on ABC on October 27, 1954 under the name Disneyland. ... A television program is the content of television broadcasting. ...


See also

This is a list of films that are feature-length compilations of short subjects in animation. ... This is a list of animated feature-length films from around the world organised chronologically by year; theatrical releases as well as made-for-TV and direct-to-video movies. ...

External links


 
 

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