|Photo cover of The Reluctant Dragon DVD|
Homeschooling with Movies: TEACHING WITH THE DISNEY MOVIE THE RELUCTANT DRAGON
Per FTC disclosure: This site contains affiliate links. Storytellers have the ability to take any story, good or bad, and make them unforgettable. Walt Disney was that kind of raconteur. He could take a bad story, a mediocre story, a good story or a great story and weave it into something better. He even had the ability to take music, arrange it with a story and make it magnificent. And today I bring you one of the great storyteller’s projects. Teaching with the Disney movie The Reluctant Dragon will prove to be a treat for both you and your children.
THE RELUCTANT DRAGON STORYBOOK
In the storybook, Charlotte and her brother find tracks in the snow. While investigating those tracks, they come across the house of a circus-man who invites them in for tea and a delightful discussion about beasts. It begins to get dark so the circus-man walks them home and tells them a story about a young boy who befriends a dragon. He finds that the dragon doesn’t want to fight anyone but just wants to read and recite poetry. The townspeople want a dragon fight and call St. George to battle the “fierce” dragon. St. George begs the dragon to fight, but the dragon won’t budge. The young boy finds a compromise for both St. George and the dragon that makes the townspeople happy too.
WALT DISNEY’S MOVIE THE RELUCTANT DRAGON
In the opening scene, Robert Benchley is playing in his pool while his wife reads The Reluctant Dragon. She wants him to sell the rights of the book to Walt Disney and he is hesitant. You might even say he is reluctant. Eventually, his wife drives him over to Walt Disney Studios and drops him off while she goes shopping. He is escorted by a studio guide named Humphrey whose job is to take him to see Walt.
DISNEY STUDIO TOUR
THEME PARK TIE-INS TO DISNEY’S RELUCTANT DRAGON
WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS:
Florida used to have an impressive tour that was cut short and then completely eliminated. All of the attractions in Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios relating to making movies have closed.
Over the years, Hollywood Studios hosted a back-lot tour that is now closed.
The Magic of Disney Animation used to show a 9-minute film which depicted how characters are made. After the film, guests were welcome to experience a hands-on area that includes animation, sound, digital paint and ink, and tour and animation gallery.
The Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show revealed some of the magic of stunts witnessed in movies. You may be able to find some video footage of these areas online.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Art of Animation offers drawing classes taught by real animators. Learn to draw your favorite characters such as Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. Although geared towards children, adults are welcome to participate!
|Art class at The Art of Animation Resort, Florida|
TEACHING WITH THE DISNEY MOVIE THE RELUCTANT DRAGON
Robert tries to evade and hide from his studio guide and while doing so a woman lies for him. When talking about Walt Disney Studios, Robert’s wife tells him, “They are always open to new ideas.” In an ever-changing culture, we need to be open to new ideas and concepts. Have your children come up with some “new” inventions.
Walt Disney Studios is located in Burbank, California. Kenneth Grahame was from Scotland. Find both locations. How far is Disneyland from where you live?
Learn about dragons and the history of St. George and the dragon. Research movie making from the earliest days without sound. Learn about the introduction of talking movies and what happened to silent film stars. Watch some silent movies (Charlie Chaplin) and some of Walt Disney’s original silent cartoons.
Read The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame. Read about St. George and the Dragon. Ask your child, “Do you believe dragons existed?” Depending on their age and answer, have them present a persuasive argument or paper representing the other side.
Record various sounds to try to imitate sounds in movies such as thunder, horses running, doors opening and shutting, people walking, etc. Watch your favorite movie and try to imitate the sounds.
How are Sound Effects Made? Find out at the Wonderopolis website.
Teach about color mixing using this adorable craft by Babble Dabble Do.
To teach simple animation, make a thaumatrope with instructions by Slurpy Studios.
Watch a flipbook in action on YouTube. Have child make their own simple flip book.
Purchase cello sheets and have child draw picture using permanent markers. For younger children, outline their favorite character and allow the child to color it in.
Have a magical time learning with your children!
Thanks, Patty @ A Mother’s Random Thoughts
Next up: Dumbo
Sources: Wikipedia and DisneyWikia.com
Homeschooling mom – 26 years and counting
Movie reviewer/Travel blogger