The Reluctant Dragon (1941) Script

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?

Preposterous. 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?

How jolly.

I'm a bit of a bard myself, you know.

You a poet too? Yes.

No doubt you heard of my "Ode to a Fleecy Cloud"?

- Well, I... Oh, fleecy cloud O cloud of fleece Up in the sky so high Oh, my.

Oh, my.

But come, come. Let's not dilly-dally.

We must meet this fine fellow at once.

Then you'll explain to the Dragon about the fight?

Yes, quite right. Quite right.

Of course, of course, of course. Quite, quite, quite.

I'm the reluctant dragon What ho! Quite so The very reluctant dragon Oh, very, very Don't you know They call me the timid dragon What rot! I'm not!

I just won't fight I'd rather play

- I know I shan't get hurt that way Hello, Dragon.

Oh, hello, boy. I'm having a picnic.

I brought a friend to explain about... Oh, well, well, splendid.

The more, the merrier. Now, boy, you sit here and your friend can sit there.

Thank you. Now, let's see now.

Pickles, jam, muffins, tea. Oh, yes.

Here, do have a jam sandwich, sir...?


What did you say your friend's name was?

Oh, that's Sir Giles.

Sir Giles. Well, well.

Yes, you know, the dragon-killer.

Sir Giles, you better tell the Dragon, quick.

Oh, yes, of course.

Hey, you know, I've been looking forward to meeting you.

The boy here tells me you're quite an accomplished poet.

Oh, he did, really? Yes, yes, yes.

And if it's not too much bother, I'd be pleased to hear you recite.

Oh, my dear, dear fellow, no bother. No bother at all.

Would you care for a sandwich?

Thank you. Jam.

Here. Do have another sandwich and a piece of cake and a crumpet and a lolly and a spot of tea.

Thank you.

This... This is called "To An Upside-down Cake".

Sweet little upside-down cake Cares and woes, you've got them.

Poor little upside-down cake Your top is on your bottom.

Alas, little upside-down cake Your troubles never stop Because, little upside-down cake

Your bottom's on your top Bravo. Quite interesting. Extraordinary.

Now, Sir Giles. Tell the Dragon now.

Oh, yes, of course.

You know, I am a bit of a bard myself.

Really? Oh, how nice.

Yes, yes, yes. Quite, quite.

Radish so red Radish so red Plucked from the heart Of your warm little bed Sprinkled with salt On the top of your head

Delicious Oh, that's exquisite. Simply exquisite.

Yes, of course. You're quite right.

Do you mind if I recite a poem?

You, boy? Why... Oh, not at all.

Oh, of course, of course. Rather, rather.

'Tis evening From the stars above A soft mysterious light Brings thoughts of friendship Joy and love Now how about that fight?!

Splendid. Quite.

Fight? Fight?

There's nothing to fight about. Besides, I don't believe in it.

But dragons and knights always fight.

That's right, by Jove. You can't disappoint the whole village.

Not cricket, you know. Please, I...

I do not wish to discuss it further.

I refuse to listen.

I absolutely will not fight.

Good night.

Well, you know, it's a shame.

It doesn't seem right.

This is really a beautiful spot.

For a fight. Yes, quite right.

Why, I can almost see it. The flags are waving.

The people are cheering.

Bands are playing. The Dragon appears.

What a beautiful sight, with his scales all agleam in the dawn's early light.

You're just flattering me.

Oh, no, fellow. It's true.

That beautiful damsel throws flowers at you.

At me? At you.

As I ramp and I roar, I cut quite a figure.

Sir Giles has a spear just like this, only bigger.

I get set for the charge and...

Did you say spear?

Yes, spear.

Oh, dear.

No. I'll get hurt. I won't do it. Good day.

Just a second, old chap.

We might fix it this way.

You mean:

Quite so.

But are you sure it's quite honest?

Just a second, we'll look.

Nothing against it here in the book.

No, nothing against it here in the book.

If it looks like a battle, I'm sure it's all right.

Very well, then, it's settled. Tomorrow, we fight.

Good night. Good night.

Good night. Good night.

Good night. Good night.

There's going to be a fight There's going to be a fight A fight.

Boy. Sir Giles. Wait a minute. Oh, wait, please.

Oh, why don't I keep my big mouth shut?

So the next day, the villagers gathered to see the valiant knight engage the bloodthirsty Dragon in a battle to the finish.

So I am getting 20-to-1 on Sir Giles. That's twopence on the Dragon.

All right, on the Dragon. Twopence on the Dragon.

You're a smart one.

Balloons. Only a bit for a balloon. They're amusing, inexpensive.

A nice side seat and a nice side spot.

Here now, mind your step, lady. Mind your step.

Look, the Dragon ain't got a chance.

Aye, he'll do the Dragon in.

Hooray, Sir Giles! Hooray!

It's no use.

You might as well tell the people to go away.

I can't do it.

Oh, but try again. You've got to be mad to breathe fire.

But I'm not mad at anybody.

But try real hard. Concentrate.

Not very good, is it?

Nope. Too bad you're not a real dragon instead of a punk poet.

Punk poet?!

Oh, say that again.

Punk poet. Again.

Punk poet! Again.

Punk poet!

Oh, I'm mad, I'm mad! Punk poet! Punk poet! Punk poet!

Punk poet!

Oh, again, again!

Punk poet!

By Jove.

Hooray for the Dragon!

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!




Why, he's disappeared.

Here I am. Oh, so you are.

Am I doing all right? I say, old boy.

Stop acting the silly ass, will you?

Help! Oh, no!

Oh, help!

I say, you hack...! No, no stop it!

Oh, no, stop! Stop it! Oh, no, you can't! That's it. Steady now.

You can't do that! Raise the gate. Raise the gate. Hey.

No, no, no. No, fire.

It's horrible, ain't it?

Oh, no! Help, please.

One lump or two? Help!

Don't mind if I do.

Hey, you vulgar...! Help! Help!

Now I'll chase you.

Help! Oh, no, no, no. Hey!

Help! Steady now.

Hey, Sir Giles.


Hooray, Sir Giles! Hooray!

Hooray, Dragon! Hooray!

Hooray, Sir Giles!

Hooray, Dragon!

Hooray, Sir Giles! Hooray, Dragon!

Hooray, Sir Giles! Hooray, Dragon!

Hooray, Sir Giles! Hooray, Dragon!

Help! Take that!

Horrible! Hey, cut it out! No, no, no.

Help! Take that!

Stop it. Oh, no. Stay the game.

The time has come, you know.

You mean I die now? Oh, yes, indeed.

As per agreed, we'll seal our pact, old thing.

Take that!

- Hooray! Hooray for Sir Giles!

And so as per agreed, Sir Giles completely reformed this ferocious dragon, whereupon the satisfied villagers welcomed him into society.

Speech, speech, speech!

I promise not to rant or roar and scourge the countryside anymore.

For he's a jolly good fellow.