Saturday, February 10, 2024

The Year of the Dragon -- February 10, 2024

Today is the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dragon.

In 1898, Kenneth Grahame published a short story called "The Reluctant Dragon." A young boy meets a dragon who lives nearby. He learns that the dragon is intelligent and kind, but when the people of the town learn about the dragon, they want to kill him. They send for Saint George, who is well known for killing dragons. The boy introduces the dragon to Saint George and the knight, and the knight and the dragon decide to stage a fight and then tell the people of the town that the dragon is defeated and will be well-behaved.

In 1941, Disney released a feature film called The Reluctant Dragon. During this time, they did not make fully animated feature films because of budget constraints, but they made several movies that combined animation and live action. My hero Robert Benchley received a tour of the studio and learned how animation works. One of the animated sections is the story of "The Reluctant Dragon."

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