Disney Animation Collection 6: The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

Genre(s): Animation
Disney || G - 62 minutes - $19.99 || May 12, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-06-04


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Robert Benchley, Frances Gifford


Theatrical Release Date: June 20, 1941


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

This collection has a total of four different classic Disney short films contained on it, which are: “The Reluctant Dragon”, “Goliath II”, “Ferdinand the Bull” and “Johnny Appleseed”.

Kicking off the final collection is the Reluctant Dragon. A young boy’s kingdom is being supposedly terrified by a dragon in the area, but it turns out that the dragon is not what he appears to be. In fact, the dragon seems to talk more than scare, as he recites poetry and music rather than eat people or breathe fire. The boy is in a hurry though to prove that the dragon isn’t what everyone thinks he is, as a hero is coming to stop the dragon from terrorizing the innocent kingdom. Yes, this is yet another cartoon with a moral about not judging people before you meet them based on looks. The humor isn’t really there for this tale, but at least the moral is a positive one.

Ferdinand the Bull is up next, and it tells the tale of a bull who is kidnapped and taken to fight matadors in Spain. The bull isn’t an ordinary bull though, as he doesn’t try and attack the matadors and instead tries to smell the flowers in the middle of the ring. There’s no real moral here, nor are there any laughs to be had. I was hoping for some, but they just weren’t there for me.

Up next is Goliath II, which is the story about a baby elephant that gets separated from his mother off and on throughout their trip in the jungle. Every time Goliath tries to leave a wandering tiger tries to eat him for dinner, and even though Goliath’s mother tells him to stay put, he keeps getting into mischief until he decides that he wants to run away since his mother called him a pest. This one is actually a decent story with a few laughs here and there, but nothing compared to the previous collections in my opinion.

Finally, the story of Johnny Appleseed is told. This one however runs way too long for its own good, as his story isn’t that fun to begin with. Appleseed runs around the land planting apples, talking to creatures, and also to humans about his fascination with apples. There’s more to this story than the cartoon tells, but I lost interest a few minutes into it since it goes on for about fourteen minutes too long. There isn’t any laughter to be found here either, sadly.

As the last one in this collection (so far, anyways), I was thoroughly disappointed with it. I was hoping that the best was saved for last, but I was wrong. Only one of these stories is cute and entertaining, the rest are dull and don’t provide much for adults or children.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

There are no special features to be found on the disc.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Considering that one of these movies is in black and white, and the rest have a terrible color palette, there isn’t much to go on here that is exciting to write about. There’s a fair amount of noise and distortion, but considering that these are so old I’m not really faulting them for anything major. These look nearly identical to how they looked back in the day to be honest, as the color palette is outdated for its time and so is the color scheme. This isn’t demo material, but odds are these are the best these cartoons will ever look.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 track accompanying these movies doesn’t help a lot either, as dialogue wasn’t even in a few of the cartoons and when it was used it sounded low and muffled. I was disappointed with the addition of a 2.0 track, but an upgrade to a 5.1 probably wouldn’t have helped much either. Just like the video, the audio is about as good as it’s ever going to sound, so take it with a grain of salt.



.::OVERALL::.

As the conclusion of the series of six, the sixth one was a disappointment for me. Housing only four cartoons and only one of them being strong isn’t a good thing at all. I know that diehard fans of Disney will easily pick this one up, but I can’t recommend this for a rental since kids will be lost in the bland story-telling and the lackluster stories involved.