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The Three Caballeros – the first official Disney animated sequel.  In fact, it’s one of four as of the present (Fantasia 2000, The Rescuers Down Under, and Winnie the Pooh being the others.) Fun fact – the sequels everyone is familiar with these days  are made by an entirely different division of the company. That’s why the animation is…different and most of the time they are released straight to home video and do not have the same appeal as the originals.

I happen to love this sequel about 1000x more than the original.
The whole film and the absurdity of it all makes me laugh. A lot.  And talk to the TV. A lot. (NO, I HAVEN’T BEEN TO BAIA!) I was first introduced to the film through a Disney’s Sing A Long Songs VHS tape I had growing up.  It featured the title song: The Three Caballeros.

Today, this forgotten film is immortalized through Epcot’s Mexico pavilion’s Gran Fiesta Tour ride.  Walt Disney World’s All Star Music hotel also features a statue of the three characters in a pool…..But let’s be serious, do any of today’s kids know who Panchito and Jose are? Probably not.  Do most people from my generation (unless you’re a Disnerd)? Also, probably not. Google tells me they were featured on the show “House of Mouse,” but I don’t know if that counts. A+ for Disney to trying to hold on to their history, but in a “culture” defined by princesses and talking cars, these films are certainly a lost art.

While the last film, Saludos Amigos, featured a lot of live-action sequences, this film takes advantage of more animation.  Not that there isn’t random live action thrown in, but I’m more comfortable calling this one an animated film compared to the last one.  Also like Saludos Amigos, there is no one solid storyline. There is a plethora of shorts tied together in the guise of Donald Duck’s birthday.

What did Donald get for his birthday?  A video about a penguin and a flying donkey,  a magic serape ride, and the opportunity to ogle a bunch of women. The women in the film serve as objects of lust and nothing else. It’s the 40s, not one of the company’s worst decisions for content, but not the best. They wouldn’t be able to get away with it today without backlash, but meh.  It doesn’t bug me that much.  (As a female, it probably should….but oh well.) Donald’s female counterpart, Daisy, does not make an appearance in the film.  Wonder what she would have to say about his ogling? She was first introduced in 1940 as a romantic interest. Maybe they weren’t serious yet? It’s only been 4 years. Sheesh.

So anyway.  The film was again part of a good will mission to South/Latin America by Walt and his team.  Have I learned anything about their culture?  Nothing besides that all they seemingly do is dance….and there’s lots of birds?

Things worth noting about the film:

Ward Kimball, one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men,” was responsible for animating the title number.  It’s about as quirky as it comes. Visual and auditory comedy.  By far, my favorite part of the film.

Mary Blair, another famous Disney artist (who is responsible for concept art of Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella – along with the design of It’s a Small World and a whole bunch of other important stuff) was a supervisor on this film and it’s predecessor.  She is responsible for the designs of the Baia number.
Speaking of Baia, I constantly want to yell during that part.

There are some serious creeper men appearing in this film.

The aracuan bird is on crack and I love him for it.

This toucan also reminds me of a scene in Alice in Wonderland….but we’re not there yet.

Donald goes on a serious acid trip for the ending sequence.  People always make comments about Alice in Wonderland or the pink elephants in Dumbo, but this film sequence seriously takes the cake.

Overall, individually, I like the pieces of the film.  Together? Meh.
Do I want to go to Latin America? Nope, but that’s okay.  The film makes me laugh. I couldn’t watch it everyday, but I enjoy it enough.