February 15, 2010

Movie Monday: The Three Caballeros

The seventh animated feature that plots an adventure through parts of Latin America, combining live-action and animation. This is the second of the Disney package films of the 1940s. The film was produced as part of the studio's good will message for South America, but is less obviously propagandistic than others. The film is plotted as a series of self-contained segments, strung together by the device of Donald Duck opening birthday gifts from his Latin American friends. The film premiered in Mexico City on December 21, 1944. It was released in the States on February 3, 1945.Three_caballeros_poster

The film consists of several shorts together with Donald tying the several shorts, the story of the whole movie features that it is Donald Duck's birthday. He receives three presents. The first present is a film projector, which shows him a documentary on birds. The next present is a book given to Donald by José Carioca, from Saludos Amigos, himself. This book takes them to Bahia. The third present is a piñata given to Donald by Panchito Pistoles. In the piñata, there are many surprises. The celebration ends with Donald Duck being fired away by firecrackers in the shape of a bull. Throughout the film, we see a voiceless character called the Aracuan Bird at random moments. He usually pesters everyone, sometimes stealing Jose's cigar. His most famous gag is when he reroutes the train by drawing new tracks. He returns three years later in Disney's Melody Time.

The film's segments include: 03-3cabs-homemovies

  • The Cold-Blooded Penguin involved a penguin named Pablo, reproducing images of the penguins of Punta Tombo in Argentina along the coast of Patagonia, "Pablo the penguin" is so fed up with the freezing conditions of the South Pole that he decides to leave for warmer climates.
  • The Flying Gauchito involved the adventures of a little boy from Uruguay and his winged donkey, Burrito. It is believed the donkey is modeled after hefty Latin lover Don Juan De Gama.
  • Baia involved a pop-up book trip through Baia the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, as Donald Duck and José Carioca meet up with some of the locals who dance a lively samba and Donald starts pining for one of the females, played by singer Aurora Miranda.
  • Las Posadas was the story of a group of Mexican children who celebrated Christmas by re-enacting the journey of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Saint Joseph searching for room at the inn. "Posada" means "inn", and they are told "no posada" at each house until they come to one where they are offered shelter in a stable. This leads to festivities including the breaking of the piñata, which in turn leads to Donald Duck trying to break the piñata as well.
  • Mexico: Pátzcuaro, Veracruz and Acapulco Panchito gives Donald and Jose a tour of Mexico on a flying sarape. Several Mexican dances and songs are learned here. A key point to what happens later is that Donald seems to be a "wolf" to the ladies again, hounds down every single one he sees, and tries to gain return affections, but fails.


  • You Belong To My Heart The skies of Mexico result in Donald falling in love with a singing woman. The lyrics in the song itself play parts in the scenarios as to what is happening as well.
  • Donald's Surreal Reverie A kiss, or several to be exact, lead to Donald going into the phrase "Love is a drug." This scene is similar to "Pink Elephants on Parade," for being a major "drunk" scene. Donald constantly envisions sugar rush colors, flowers, and Panchito and Jose popping in at the worst moments. The scene changes after Donald manages to dance with a girl from the state of Oaxaca, from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The two dance to the song "La Sandunga." The girl begins by singing the song, with Donald "quacking" out the rest of the chorus. The "drunkness" slows down for a moment, but speeds up again when a Mexican girl uses a conductor's stick to make cacti do just about anything while dancing "Jesusita en Chihuahua", a Mexican Revolution trademark song. This is a notable scene for live action and cartoon animation mixing, and well animation among the cacti. The scene is interrupted when Panchito and Jose spice things up, and Donald ends up battling a toy bull with wheels on its legs. The catch is that it's loaded with firecrackers and other explosives.


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