FILM 1416: THE RELUCTANT DRAGON
TRIVIA: The Mickey Avenue/Dopey Drive signpost was built specifically for the movie, and was supposed to be removed afterward. It wasn't, and it still stands at the Disney studio.
Features How to Ride a Horse (1950), the first of the Goofy "How-to" cartoons. When narrator John McLeish was brought in to record the narration, he was asked to read it in a very straightforward manner, as if for a serious documentary about horse riding. He was shocked when he was told that the narration he recorded would be used in a Goofy cartoon.
In the sound effects department the workers are creating sound effects for a piece of film with the train Casey Junior. Casey would pop up in Disney's next film, Dumbo (1941). Likewise in the art department, the animators are making sketches for "Dumbo". Bambi also makes a minor appearance in this film, a year before Bambi (1942) was released.
Portions of this film had to be redone because of objections by the Hays Office. The dragon was originally drawn with a navel which had to removed before the film could be passed.
Most of the 'animators' shown in the film were actually actors hired to portray animators. And this film, showing the Disney animation studios as a happy, coherent family, was released at the worst possible moment, when half of the actual animators went out on strike. The strikers frequently picketed theaters showing the film, sometimes holding up a large cardboard sign depicting Walt Disney as a dragon, labeled 'The Reluctant Disney.'
In the "Baby Weems" sequence, Mount Rushmore is seen with only George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The faces were still under construction until October 1941 and this movie was released before it was finished, which is why Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson are missing.