The Three Caballeros (1944)

Article 2253 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-17-2007
Posting Date: 10-13-2007
Directed by Norman Ferguson
Featuring Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina, Dora Luz

Donald Duck receives a birthday present which consists of some movies, a book on Brazil from his friend Joe Carioca, and a pinata from Panchito.

This is a distinctly minor Disney animated feature, made during the war with the intention of engendering better relations with the countries of Latin America. It starts out with a couple of shorts, one about a penguin who wants to move to a warmer climate, and one about a man who discovers a flying donkey. These are fairly entertaining. But once we get to this point, it embarks on its main mission, which is to celebrate the music and dance of our Latin American neighbors. To that end, Donald is given two friends, Joe Carioca from Brazil and Panchito from Mexico. The rest of the movie is fairly plotless, and the action largely consists of 1) footage of Latin American music and dancing, 2) Donald Duck ogling beautiful women, and 3) Joe Carioca and Panchito playing tricks on Donald. There’s also a wealth of surreal and bizarre animation, and though the latter should win me over to the movie, it lacks the eerie power of similar animation in DUMBO ( “Pink Elephants on Parade”) or the elegant poetry of FANTASIA . Quite frankly, I found myself rapidly losing interest in the movie after the shorts finished up; the lack of any real plot or meaningful conflict means that the interest level here is dependent on your affinity for Latin American music and dancing, and, if this movie is any indication, it just wasn’t enough to tide me over. As of this time, I rank this as the least interesting of Disney’s animated features that I have reviewed.



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