The Reluctant Dragon

The Reluctant Dragon

(1941)

Directed by Alfred Werker, Hamilton Luske, et al.

Starring Robert Benchley, Frances Gifford, Buddy Pepper, Walt Disney

Rating: ******

              4/6

We meet Robert Benchley as he visits the Disney Studio.

This film is a cheater,
A cheater, a cheater!
It was made on the cheap to save some dough
And bring some money in.

For a feature film by Disney,
Disney, Disney,
The audience expected
Another cinematic win,

Along the lines of Snow White,
Snow White, Snow White
,
Or Pinocchio, or Fantasia,
A spectacular masterpiece.

Casey Jones has a mishap.

Instead they got this movie,
Movie, movie,
That was all right but does not compare
To the first three in the least.

There’s no reason it should be,
Should be, should be.
It can stand alone all alone on its own
As the kind of film it is.

And what kind of film is it,
Is it, is it?
Well, good ol’ Walt decided
To show what goes on under the lid.

We get a tour of Burbank,
Burbank, Burbank,
In a brand-new studio he built
To manufacture awe.

We see a woman with a cell for Bambi.

We follow Robert Benchley
Benchley, Benchley,
As he tries to find the one man here
Whose word is utter law.

He’s there to pitch an idea,
An idea, an idea.
His wife suggested the studio
Adopt a children’s book,

A book about a dragon
A dragon a dragon,
A quite reluctant dragon.
Walt was sure to take the hook.

We see the storyboard for Baby Weems.

But Rob keeps getting distracted,
Distracted, distracted.
He keeps exploring places
Where he should not be inside.

He sees sound creators,
Creators, creators,
And many animators
As he makes his way to Walt.

When he meets him at a screening,
A screening, a screening,
Of The Reluctant Dragon on the screen,
His mission is slowed to a halt.

At last, we see the Reluctant Dragon.

This film was light and airy,
Airy, airy,
Accented with light humor,
Not too serious in tone.

I’m giving it four stars,
Four stars, four stars.
‘Twas an interesting footnote
From history we were shown.

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