The Reluctant Dragon

Talk about a treat! The Reluctant Dragon is an early Disney movie (1941) that not too many people know about and even less talk about. Today we are taking a look at this classic which I feel is due to some kind of remake, be it a live-action one or even some kind of animated movie.

How to Download The Reluctant Dragon

You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. Check out also our review of another Disney film from the 1940s – Pinocchio.

The Movie Review

What we have here is a mixture of live-action and animation, but not in a Who Framed Rodger Rabbit kind of style. It starts off with comedian Robert Benchley hanging around his home trying to delay heading to the Disney Studios to sell his story, The Reluctant Dragon. It is a fun premise and the fact this part of the movie is in black and white gives it a timeless charm.

Once he arrives at the studio, he is delaying the process even more as he starts taking a tour of the Walt Disney Studios. Here he meets various animators, voice actors, and other Disney folks that make the magic happen. It is an interesting peek behind the curtain at the way Disney Studios operated at this time…. Kind of.

You see, The Reluctant Dragon has a very interesting history behind it. There was a huge Disney strike at the time this movie was coming out and being made with many protests about the working conditions and pay. All of the “animators” that we see in this movie are actually actors! It makes this a very interesting piece in the history of Disney.

The Reluctant Dragon Trailer

As well as the stuff with Robert trying to (or trying not to) sell his story. The Reluctant Dragon also features animated shorts that are in between the live-action stuff we get a fun one with Goofy and there is one about Casey Jr that is in black and white which I think is very interesting.

However, the main event here is The Reluctant Dragon which is one of the most charming and heartfelt Disney shorts ever made. Seriously, while the whole of this movie is fun, you need to at the very least check out the actual The Reluctant Dragon short as it is just so well done and so much fun.

The plot of The Reluctant Dragon is kind of predictable, but it is also a lot of fun. A young boy finds and befriends a little dragon, but rather than being a fire-breathing monster, he is a sweet and kind dragon that loves poetry! The two strike up a friendship, but when the people in town hear about the dragon, they want it to be slayed!

Eventually, Sir Giles goes to see the dragon and the dragon has no interest in fighting him. Sir Giles and the dragon strike up a friendship and eventually put on an epic show for the people that makes them warm to the dragon so he can live in peace and the people are not scared of him.

It is such a lovely little story and one that I feel has been kind of lost to history. While I said in the intro I would love a live-action or even a full-animated remake of this, the more I think about it, the less likely it is to happen. I am not sure the modern Disney would want attention brought back to a time when many of their employees were so unhappy with their working conditions.

The Reluctant Dragon
The Reluctant Dragon is a live-action comedy film with several short animated parts. Download it now and see what happened.
8 Total Score
The Reluctant Dragon Review Summary

Sound & Music
  • The actual Reluctant Dragon short is truly wonderful stuff
  • I also really liked Goofy’s How To Ride A Horse that is part of this
  • Seeing Robert Benchley hang around Disney Studios is fun
  • The history of Disney at the time this was made is very interesting
  • There are a couple of other shorts included here that are very forgettable
  • Due to the troubled history, I am sure that is why this is something Disney never really does anything with
User Rating: 5 (1 vote)
RKO Radio Pictures
Publisher Website
Operating System
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10
full movie online
File Size
522 MB
Jason Delacey

Jason Delacey

Jason is a 40-year-old writer from Northern England. He has been playing video games his whole life and writing about them for over a decade. As well as enjoying gaming into the wee hours of the morning, Jason is a real film fanatic too! He is open to watching all genres of movies from animated singing animals to brutal horror!

Jason loves to give his honest opinion on games, movies, TV shows and is always willing to give anything a try!

Favorite Games: Resident Evil 4, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, Bioshock Infinite, Super Mario World, The Last of Us, Halo 2, Streets of Rage 2, Overwatch.

Favorite Movies: Terminator 2, The Empire Strikes Back, Avengers Infinity War, Bloodsport, The Transformers The Movie. Dogma, BASEketball, From Dusk Till Dawn

Favorite TV Shows: X-Files, Supernatural, Lost, American Horror Story, The Mandalorian, Stranger Things.