Animated Classics Review #6 -The Three Caballeros

This is part of an ongoing series where we watch each theatrical Disney Animated Classic and review it.  To catch up with previous ones, please start here.

The Three Caballeros

The film starts out with a really cool intro and song. Very grand, pretty much what you would  expect from a movie made in that era.The intro was so enjoyable I almost forgot I was watching a film in which Donald Duck was the star.

The movie is a collection of three distinct scenes that are presented to Donald in the form of a large birthday present sent from a great distance away that has obviously traveled from a great distance judging from the amount of postage stamps stuck to it. The package is addressed to Donald along with a short note written in Spanish, and yes in case you were wondering, Donald Duck speaking Spanish is just as annoying as you imagined it was.

The first present is a film projector and a movie about birds, and a flying donkey. This was my favorite part of the movie.  At first I thought it was an animated documentary. I was wrong.

Once Donald is finished watching the film he opens his second present, a book,  which is from his old friend José Carioca, the cigar-smoking parrot from Saludos Amigos.  Jose and Donald travel into the book to the Brazilian state of Bahía, where they learn about the culture in Bahia. After some singing and dancing the two exit the book and are back in reality.

Next,  Donald opens his third gift, and inside is Panchito Pistoles, a rooster who represents Mexico. I don’t think they ever mention his name in the movie. I had to look it up online after the fact. The whole movie kinda falls apart for me at this point. Basically, they meet Panchito, he gives Donald and Jose a couple of sombreros and then suddenly they are best friends. They sing a song about it and everything. He then takes them to Mexico where they visit 3 different places, Pátzcuaro, Veracruz, and Acapulco

The end of the movie made no sense to me whatsoever: Donald is looking out at the starry Mexico City sky, and all of a sudden there is a woman’s head floating in the sky and singing (what?!)  Donald appears to fall in love with her and he starts singing along. At this point the last 8 minutes of the movie turn into something I think you can only fully appreciate on acid. There are more disembodied faces, and a bull, and fireworks. Seriously, it is so strange.

To be perfectly honest this movie was not my jam. It does not withstand the test of time. I don’t really ever want to watch it again. I don’t recommend for children. It is way too sporadic, and I don’t think it will hold their attention. With that being said, this movie has a rotten tomatoes rating of 88% so maybe I’m the one missing something…

— Bev

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One Reply to “Animated Classics Review #6 -The Three Caballeros”

  1. While I completely understand the viewpoint of, wow, this movie is a crazy noisy mess, I have come to appreciate it and would love for other to do so as well! I think when it’s put into the context of the reasons for its creation, along with Saludos Amigos, as a goodwill introduction to South American for many in the US that had not and would never travel to the areas featured, it’s kinda cool!

    I’d always loved the Las Posadas scenes the most, and after realizing that the artwork was completed by Mary Blair, I love it even more! She was sent to South America to gather inspiration for the art of both of these movies, and I believe did some side jobs as well. I read somewhere that the styles she used were part of the reasoning for disney pulling her back to help with the creation of small world for the world’s fair.

    There are also some cool cultural connections. One of the women featured is the sister of the famous Carmen Miranda. Many of the songs as well had some long standing traditions in the respective countries.

    Before writing this I fell into a ‘googling’ pit and have now a crazy amount of trivia facts about the movie but I’ll leave it at that.

    So yes, mostly crazy and loud…but you gotta love it just a little bit 🙂

    (Please forgive me for typos etc, written quickly from my phone on the way to bed ☺)

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