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The movie premiered in Rio de Janeiro on August 24, 1942.
The first of two features Walt Disney made at the behest of the Office of Inter-American Affairs, Saludos Amigos consists of four cartoons linked by live-action travel footage. The very funny "Lake Titicaca" finds Donald Duck high in the Bolivian Andes, struggling with a recalcitrant llama. "Pedro," the story of a little airplane replacing his father on a mail run across the Andes, is a variation on "The Little Engine That Could." "El Gaucho Goofy" continues the popular "How To" cartoon series that juxtaposes a deadpan narration with increasing physical mayhem. Here, Goofy demonstrates Pampas-style riding and the use of the bola. The jaunty parrot Jose Carioca makes his debut in "Aquarela do Brasil." Although largely eclipsed by the wilder The Three Caballeros (1944), Saludos Amigos retains its charm. Included in the supplemental material is South of the Border with Disney, which chronicles the Good Will Tour Walt and a group of his artists made in 1941. The 16mm footage has darkened, but this featurette offers rare glimpses of some of these artists at work, including Frank Thomas, Norm Ferguson, and Mary Blair, whose stylized drawings set the look for much of Saludos Amigos and Caballeros. --Charles Solomon
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