The Reluctant Dragon

Last Updated on: January 20th, 2024

The Reluctant Dragon (1941 Movie)

“The Reluctant Dragon” is a 1941 American live-action/animated fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. The movie is a mix of live-action and animation, featuring Robert Benchley, a popular humorist and actor, as the main character.

The story follows Robert Benchley, who visits the Walt Disney Studios with the intention of selling a story idea to Walt Disney himself. He explores the studio and meets various artists and animators, providing an inside look at the animation process.

The majority of the film is a behind-the-scenes tour of the Disney studio, showcasing how animated films are made. The tour includes glimpses of animators at work, voice recording sessions, and the creation of animated characters. Throughout the tour, Benchley encounters a wide variety of Disney characters, including Donald Duck, Goofy, and the title character, the Reluctant Dragon.

The Reluctant Dragon is a friendly dragon who prefers poetry and music to fighting and is generally shy around people. As Benchley interacts with the dragon, they form a bond, and the dragon shares some of his poetry with him.

The film features several animated segments, including the story of “Baby Weems,” “Casey at the Bat,” and “The Reluctant Dragon” itself.

“The Reluctant Dragon” is considered a unique and charming film, giving audiences a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a famous animation studio in the early days of Disney. It has become a cult classic and is celebrated for its clever blend of live-action and animation.

Fun Facts

  • The film includes a segment where a behind-the-scenes tour of the Disney studio is showcased. This tour provides viewers with a humorous and informative look at the animation process, making it a unique and educational part of the movie.
  • The dragon character in the film, who is initially believed to be a threat, turns out to be a pacifist and a poetry lover. This twist adds a humorous and heartwarming element to the story, emphasizing that appearances can be deceiving.
The Reluctant Dragon

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released: 1941
  • Type of Movie: Animated
  • Box Office: 600,000
  • IMDB Link


  • Directors: Alfred Werker, Hamilton Luske, Jack Cutting, Ub Iwerks, Jack Kinney
  • Producer: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Ted Sears, Al Perkins, Larry Clemmons, Bill Cottrell, Harry Clork, Robert Benchley , Kenneth Grahame, Erdman Penner, T. Hee, Baby Weems segment:, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, John Miller
  • Music: Frank Churchill and Larry Morey

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and