Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Disney's The Three Caballeros

The second of the package films and seventh film in the Disney animated series, The Three Caballeros, was another good will movie towards the South American countries, though less propagandist than Saludos Amigos! Due to the popularity of his last film, Walt Disney decided to make another movie based around the South and Central American countries. The film combines animation and live action to give the viewer an inside look at other areas below the United States, all while we celebrate Donald's birthday. Donald receives three gifts from his friends in Latin America. This sets up the several sections of the movie as we see what Donald gets and who he meets.

In his first gift, Donald receives a film projector, which shows him a documentary on birds, specifically the Aracuan bird. Here we are introduced to perhaps to one of the most annoying cartoon characters ever. Seriously, this bird won't shut the hell up. To make matters worse, he keeps showing up periodically throughout the film. I guess he kind of funny in a silly sort of way.

Donald's next gift is a book labeled "Brasil," in which Jose Carioca comes out of. Jose gives Donald a short tour of the state Bahia, one of the twenty-six states of Brazil. We get another look at the samba and watch Donald pine over a Brazilian girl. After the two get back from the book, Donald realizes that he has another gift, though it's too big to open. After Jose shows him how to grow to be able to open the present, Donald opens it and out comes Panchito Pistoles, a native of Mexico. Panchito is the typical Mexican bandito, which you could argue is Disney stereotyping Mexicans as being gun happy. Panchito is however less of a typical Mexican and just what he appears to be, a excitable bandito sort of character. Many Brazilians embrace Jose Carioca because he is an accurate portrayal of a upperclass Brazilian ladies man. The three call themselves the Three Caballeros and they break into song, which is arguably the only song that most people will recognize from the movie. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you've probably heard the title song, "The Three Caballeros."

That's the main part of the movie, in between these parts are the typical shorts that made up Saludos Amigos. I'm not going to go into much detail with these shorts, as I would like to keep these package films short and sweet so we can get back to the main films that more people have seen and enjoyed.

Among the shorts are
  • The Cold-Blooded Penguin, where Pablo the penguin decides that he is tired of the cold of the South Pole and moves to warmer climates.
  • The Flying Gauchito, which follows a little boy in Uruguay and his winged donkey, Burrito.....mmmmm burrito.
  • Baia is a pop-up book style trip through said city. This is the segment where Donald and Jose do the samba and experience the city.
  • Las Posadas is a story about Mexican children celebrating Christmas by re-enacting the journey of Mary and Joseph. Posadas is Mexican for inn. This leads to festivities that include the breaking of a pinata. After Jesus is born, we hit a fake animal with a stick and get candy! I love Christmas!
  • Mexico: Patzcuaro, Veracruz, and Acapulco: Panchito gives Donald and Jose a flying tour of Mexico on a sarape. In the journey they look at different Mexican dances and songs.
  • You Belong to My Heart's segment shows Donald falling in love with a singing woman. The song goes along with the changing landscape.
  • Donald's Surreal Reverie is basically the equivalent of Dumbo's Pink Elephants scene. After a few kisses, Donald declares that love is a drug and goes into a sort of drunk scene like Dumbo. Donald constantly envisions sugar rush colors, flowers, and Panchito and Jose popping in at the worst moments. The rest of the scene is Donald dancing and singing with random girls.
Just like Saludos Amigos, there is a lot of good songs and a great mix of animation and live action. Panchito and Jose both pop up in Disney related shows, like House of Mouse and they can be seen in front of Mexico at Epcot. While they are not the most popular Disney characters, they are still pretty memorable. The cool thing is that if you want to see this and Saludos Amigos, Disney sells them both in one DVD. I own it myself and recommend it for a little different sort of Disney movie.

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