Three Caballeros is a sequel to Saludos Amigos. It starts off with Donald receiving a box of presents from his friends he met in Saludo Amigos.
The first is a film reel that promises to teach him about his fellow birds.
Penguins are the first topic. In particular, it’s the story of Pablo the Penguin who is simply too cold at the South Pole, so decides to move to the sunny shores of Latin America. After a few failed attempts, he turns his local bit of the ice sheet into a boat which he navigates northward. Unfortunately as he approached the Galapagos islands, his ice boat melted forcing him to hop in the bathtub, which of course had a leak here the drain was. So he sticks the shower pipe in it and creates a jet of water to propel him onwards.
Unfortunately, physics doesn’t work that way. While sealing the hole with a pipe would work, the water level in the pipe would only rise so far as the water level outside of the tub/boat.
The next segment is about “aves raras”, or rare birds which introduces Donald so several supposed South American birds. I’d intended to do a bit of reading on them and see if there was anything sciency and exciting, but it turns out many of the birds don’t seem to exist! This includes the main interest in the segment, the aracuan, to which I can find no reference anywhere that isn’t tied to the Disney creation. This disappoints me because I was very much wanting to compare the movie bird call to a real one. Shame it doesn’t exist.
The next segment features the story of a “gauchito” going hunting for condors, but instead finding a Donkey bird (literally a donkey with wings) which he uses to cheat in a race. This segment, of course, makes one think of Shrek, when Donkey claims “you ain’t never seen a Donkey fly.” Well, it looks like Disney beat him to the punch on that one.
Next up, Donald gets a radioactive box. And who’s in it except Jose Carioca who persistently asks Donald if he’s ever been to Baia. After asking 4 times, they finally go and meet Yaya the cookie lady who apparently is the object of lust for every guy around (including Donald and Jose).
And boy does she ever attract some creepers. There’s a malandro (I’m presuming that means a guitar player of some sort), who gives her one of the creepiest stares in movie history, nodding his head in an apparent “I’d hit that with the force of a thousand cartoon hammers” motion. There’s no being subtle here. It’s 100% clear what he’s thinking.
Then there’s the guy whose claim to fame is playing a stick on his teeth. Not exactly a hitting on her in a creepy way, but creepy in his own right. I really have to wonder what’s going on here: Is he playing the stick with his teeth, or using the stick to play his teeth?
Either way, after the main song, the men all launch into a “rooster dance” which is again a not-so-subtle reference to alpha-male posturing to determine who gets the woman.
From there, Jose and Donald travel to Mexico and it starts getting even weirder. First, it harkens back to Fantasia, where the music is represented by psychedelic waveforms that Donald gets himself stuck into. Once he’s out of that, get gets a Pinata which is all fun and games.
But what’s Donald’s real present? Going on a magic serape ride to the beach so Donald can ogle the local women and harass them. What an ass.
Next up, Donald finds a new lusty object in some sort of acid trip with dancing cactuses. In feminism, there is a major, and I think quite valid, complaint that women aren’t even simply objectified. They’re often simply reduced to individual body parts. Women as a whole often are ignored and it’s simply about improving a single aspect so men want you more.
This segment has several good examples of this where the women are reduced to nothing more than a dancing pair of legs, or a face. While it is important to remember the historical context of the film (this was released in 1944 which is when modern feminism was just getting started), it’s still rather creepy to see a pair of legs running around. I find myself entirely unable to comprehend the sex appeal for such a thing. Unless you’re a serial killer or something.
Next week is Make Mine Music which is another collection of shorts. I’m getting quite ready to get back to some real plots….