The Reluctant Dragon

Synopsis: Humorist Robert Benchley attempts to find Walt Disney to ask him to adapt a short story about a gentle dragon who would rather recite poetry than be ferocious. Along the way, he is given a tour of Walt Disney Studios, and learns about the animation process.
74 min

Long, long ago,

in a faraway land across the sea,

there lived a little boy

who considered himself

quite an authority on brave,

fearless knights.

And their mortal enemies,

those horrible fire-breathing dragons

that daily terrorize the countryside.

One afternoon as the boy sat

deeply engrossed in his favourite su...

- Good afternoon, Father.

- Oh, son, I seen it.

Up on the bounds it was,

all covered with scales and such.

And a tail with a sort of a hook on it.

Now wait until I catch my breath.

It's horrible. That's what it is, horrible.

It's only a dragon, Father.

Only a dragon?!

Oh, the village!

Help! There's a dragon coming! Help!

Don't worry, Father.

I'll have a look at him.

Hello, Dragon.

Oh, now, boy. Don't you throw stones

at me or squirt water or anything

I won't have it.

Oh, I just came for a friendly chat.

But if I'm not wanted...

Oh, well, do be seated.

- Well, thank you.

- But if you don't mind...

...the other way, please?

I'll only be a minute.

Have you had any nice battles lately?


Oh, no, no. No battles. No.

Oh, probably too busy

scourging our countryside

and devouring fair damsels, then.

Scourging, devouring?

Good heavens, no.

But don't you ever

do anything desperate?

Well, yes, I...

I do make up poetry.


Verses, you know.

Care to hear my latest sonnet?

- Well, I...

- Oh, you'll love this.

I call it "Just A-Drifting."

Just a-drifting o'er the leaves

Like a dewdrop, fancy-free

Playing with the gentle breezes

Romping with the bumblebeeses

Oh, what fun,

Joy never ceases

Just a-drifting

Very nice.

But you're in for trouble, you know.

- Trouble?

- My father's arousing the village.

And they'll be here with spears

and things to exterminate you.

You're an enemy of the human race.

Oh, I haven't an enemy in the world.

Too nice to make them.

Prancing, dancing to and fro

Not too fast, not too slow

Where the early birds are seeking

Early worms are slyly peeking

Hear the night owls softly squeaking

Just a-drifting

Hey, what's all the excitement?

It's Sir Giles, stupid.

Sir Giles?

Hooray for Sir Giles.

Hooray for Sir Giles.

Hooray for the dragon-killer.

Hooray for the dra...


Oh, gosh.

It's all out, Dragon.

He's coming.

- He's here now.

- Now, boy.

It's impolite to interrupt a person.

- Who's coming?

- Sir Giles.

On a big horse

with a long sword and spear.

You'll have to fight him.

Oh, I never fight. I never did.

- Doesn't agree with me.

- But... But... But...

Now, boy, now, boy. Just run along.

Tell Sir Giles to go home.

I'm sure you can arrange it.


All right, now. All right, off you go.

Sir Giles can't be disturbed.

Sure, he's in conference, he is.

There ain't no one, absolutely no one,

can see Sir Giles.

Now off you go. Off you go.

Away with you.

Excuse me, sir. I've come to...

Sir Giles, I presume?

Come, come, come, lad.

Stop mumbling.

- I came to talk about the Dragon.

- Oh, yes, yes, yes.

Another tale of woe and misery,

I suppose.

Devoured your flocks, no doubt.

Oh, no, sir. He...

Made off with your loving parents,

has he?

Well, they shall be avenged.

- You don't understand.

- What?

Don't tell me

he's kidnapped some fair damsel.

With flaxen hair and ruby lips

and form divine.

Why, he can't do that to her.

He shall pay dearly

on the field of battle.

But that's just it. He won't fight.

Yes, he...

He won't fight?


The fellow must be an infernal cad.

Bit of a rotter, what?

He is not. He's a nice old dragon

who likes to write poetry.


Yes, you know, verses?

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Ted Sears

Edward Sears (March 13, 1900 – August 22, 1958) was an American animator during The Golden Age of American animation. Sears worked for the Fleischer Studios in the late-1920s and early-1930s, and was hired away from Max Fleischer to work at the Walt Disney studio in 1931. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Reluctant Dragon" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Sep. 2021. <>.

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