Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"You know, Donald, you have more relatives than there are coffee beans in Brazil. "

Film: "Three Caballeros"

Release Date: 3 February 1943

Director: Normand Ferguson

"Three Caballeros" was both the second of the "package film era" of Disney Animation and the second of the South of the Boarder propaganda films. But, unlike "Saludos Amigos" and other propoganda shorts made in the time period, "Three Caballeros" is a bit more hard to tell what it really is. The premise of the film, just like the other films of the 1940's, is a string of shorts put together and released as a full film. For "Three Caballeros," the film is held together by Donald Duck's birthday. Donald receives a few gifts from his friends South of the Boarder and each gift is used to tradition into the next short.

This would be Donald Duck's second theatrical film appearance, his first being in "Saludos Amigos", and first where he basically was the main star. He would later appear in "Fun and Fancy Free," "Fantasia 2000," and make cameos in non-Cannon Disney films "A Goofy Movie" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" "Three Caballeros" features many major film and music stars from South American countries of that era, including famed Mexican composer Manuel Esperon, as well as singers Aurora Miranda, Dora Luz and dancer Carmen Molina. It was originally released in Mexico City on December 21, 1944, and then released in the States on February 3, 1945. It was the last Disney film to be subsidized by the US Government as well as the last released during the second World War.

My Reaction: Again, I'm not a fan of the "package film era." As far as this film goes, there are a few shorts that I like, the opening about Pablo the Penguin is perfectly find by itself, the flying donkey makes a great short and the short "Las Posadas, about Mexican children at Christmas time is a great educational short, but beyond that I'm not fan of this film.

I found much of the rest of the film as odd, strange and even more odd when you keep in mind this is a Walt Disney film. True, Disney even had odd moments, but the ones found in this film takes the cake, save for maybe the "Pink Elephants of Parade" segment from "Dumbo" and "Heffalumps and Woozles" from "Winnie the Pooh"!

My Wife's Reaction: She likes this film for the simple reason it was a childhood favorite growing up and her mom the teacher would show it to her Spanish kids in Spanish.

My Final Grade: (C+) I'm not a fan of the "package film era" as a whole. That said many of the shorts that make up the six films in this era of Disney Animation are some of the studio's best work, but on the whole I'm not a fan. Disney's best films are single stories. This film, while maybe one of the best in the series and maybe best known, was a disappointment to me and is more in my collection for completest and historical reasons.

All images copyright Disney. All rights reserved.

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