Walt and his team of artists, musicians, writers and animators say Adios! to the U.S. to explore the heart and soul of Latin America. In Saludos Amigos they travel to fun and exciting places and capture their adventures along the way. Next, it s Donald s turn to take a fantastic journey through these colorful lands with his friends Joe Carioca and Panchito in The Three Caballeros. With lighthearted dance and lively music, it s a celebration the whole family will enjoy!
As a Disney oddity, they don't get much odder than Three Caballeros. Donald Duck receives a birthday package from South America, and the film proceeds to unravel like some peyote-induced hallucination. It starts out reminiscent of other Disney films, where shorts are cobbled together, such as "Make Mine Music" or "Fun and Fancy Free." The film has vignettes such as "The Cold-Blooded Penguin" and "The Flying Guachito." After them it careens straight into part-travelogue, part-stream-of-consciousness animation. Not helping out much are Donald's "friends," Joe Carioca (a parrot) and Panchito (a rooster). They spend most of the rest of the film watching Donald chase skirt. That's right, Donald Duck is a wolf in this movie, and he chases every live-action señorita who bustles across the screen. Although some will say otherwise, Caballeros is for die-hard Disney, Donald, or psychedelia fans only. --Keith Simanton
Review for "Saludos Amigos"
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.