Movie Sign: The Three Caballeros

The Disney Film that would become a cult classic...becomes a review!
January 09, 2013
Hi, Everyone...welcome back and I must say...


Okay, before I begin I decided to do something, not another Top-# List, I decided to review a movie that was part of my childhood. So if you've seen the movie, okay. If not and want to see this warned...there's a spoiler alert!

And this month's movie is called "The Three Caballeros" which features Donald Duck. Now my dad rented the film and I was with him when I went to the video store in 1989 (remember video stores)? This movie is based upon the Good Neighbor Policy which actually started by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930's.

At the time, America was in The Great Depression and Europe was in jeopardy with absolute leaders, so during FDR's administration he tried to make stronger relations with Latin America. Walt Disney himself would take advantage of The Good Neighbor Policy in 1942 with a film called "Saludos Amigos" which also had Donald Duck as well as Goofy and a new character named Jose Carioca.

Two years later, Walt Disney released another Latin-theme movie called "The Three Caballeros" which would introduce a new character named Panchito Pistoles who's from Mexico. The movie begins with on Donald Duck's Birthday (which is March 13th, since there's NO 13th Month so no Smarch weather)! The gifts Donald Duck gets were from Latin America and the 1st Gift Donald opens contains a film projector and a film which in English is called "Strange Birds".

The first short is called "Pablo the Penguin" who hates the cold despite being a penguin in the South Pole. He tries everything to leave and it eventually leaves to two penguins seeing him leave (they must have no life). It wasn't until Pablo would cut-off his property to go north of the Pacific Ocean and he sets-off to the Galapagos Islands and yes...there's actual penguins living there as we speak!

The second short features the birds of the Amazon such as flamingos, umbrella birds, toucans, scissor-birds, but the one who would steal the spotlight would be the Araucan Bird that would even cause havoc through some of the film. The third short is called "The Flying Gauchito" which features a young Gaucho from the Pampas of Uruguay and it features a...donkey? Well, this donkey flies and he's known as Burrito (And no, not what you get from Taco Bell)! The gauchito plans on having him compete in a horse race which the prize is 1000 Pesos. The Gauchito would be behind until he would reveal his secret weapon...the burrito's wings! Gauchito would win the race, but once the burrito flew-off, the other racers were angry because they believe Gauchito cheated and both Gauchito and the burrito would fly away.

After the "Strange Birds" segment, Donald Duck would open his next gift which is a Book about Brazil and it features Jose Carioca who makes his 2nd appearance in a film. He tells Donald about Baia (Now Salvador) Brazil. Jose would get interrupted by the Arucuan Bird, even stealing Jose's cigar! But after that fiasco, Jose would sing about "Bahia" which this segment is colorful and mystic. Then Jose would split himself into four, even at one point looking like Carmen Miranda (Known Fact: Carmen's sister Aurora Miranda would make an appearance in this film).

So Jose would take Donald to Bahia where they would meet-up with Aurora Miranda and some Samba Singers. Donald Duck would dance with Aurora, but would face competition with the Samba Singers and Dancers, Donald even gets envious and Jose insists that he try to knock him out...but Donald would fail. But after that, Donald Duck would give Aurora flowers and she kisses Donald, then there would a colorful samba where Donald and Jose would participate and even see two of the Samba Dancers fight the caiopera as well as turn into roosters.

After that, Donald and Jose try to get the last gift Donald received, but there's one problem...BOTH Donald and Jose are small! So to get big, Jose suggest that they would blow into their fingers. Jose didn't have a problem, but Donald had some problems, such as a "Wardrobe Malfunction", but he blows into his thumb and stretches into a Bowling Pin, a Wiener Dog, and would then deflate like a balloon!

Well, Jose tells Donald to blow into his index finger and he's normal-size again! After that, Donald and Jose open-up the last gift which has an animated soundtrack character line (like in "Fantasia"). It turns into Mariachi Instruments like the trumpet and guitar which Jose picks-up easily and plays. Donald Duck would get stuck into the trumpet and would be part of the line until Panchito Pistoles jumps-out of the line as well as Donald.

Now, Panchito would have Jose and Donald join along to the song as well as the title of the movie "The Three Caballeros". Once Panchito would hold the last note, Donald and Jose would try everything to shut him up, but fail. Then Panchito disappears and gives Donald Duck another gift called a pinata. Panchito would talk about the Posada, a tradition in Mexico during Christmas where the Mexican Children would make a replica of Joseph and Mary and take it from house to house to reminisce Joseph's and Mary's journey to Bethlehem. This would continue until the children would find an open house where they would have a fiesta and open-up the pinata.

Now, it was Donald Duck's turn to open his pinata with some funny attempts and even some peeking. But once Donald opened-up the pinata, more gifts shower-down on The Three Caballeros. Next, Panchito would talk about the history of the Mexican Coat-of-Arms which came as far as the Aztec Culture where the Aztecs would form the city of Tenochtitlan, which would later become Mexico City and the 3rd biggest city in the world next to Tokyo and Seoul.

Then Panchito would take Donald and Jose on a magic serape ride and see the country of Mexico in technicolor. Then Panchito would teach Donald and Jose the dances of Mexico, one of them was a popular dance in Veracruz. Panchito and Jose told Donald that he had two left feet (meaning he can't dance), but he showed them otherwise by dancing the Jitterbug...actually more of a jitterbird!

Next up...Acapulco where Donald Duck would act like he was on Spring Break by going down to the beach and having fun with the ladies who were down there. Panchito and Jose knew he was lady-crazy, acting like a wolf in duck's clothing! So Panchito would show Jose and Donald Mexico City at night. Now here's where the trip REALLY starts!...

Here, Dora Luz sings "You Belong to my Heart" where Donald gets The Love, NOT the film! He sees Dora as a star and a flower as well as Jose and Panchito and a lot of ladies which almost represents the scene from "Pink Elephants on Parade" from the film "Dumbo"...except it's ladies rather than elephants. Donald Duck also turns into a neon hummingbird and a flower and then he'd see Carmen Molina dance to "La Sandunga" which looks like a silent-era (or a Russian Communist) cartoon. Then, Donald would see Carmen Molina again dressed as a Mariachi Dancer and would dance to the song "Jesusita en Chihuahua" where Donald Duck would dance with cacti which would also represent Donald himself.

The final scene would have a reenactment of a Bullfight where Donald Duck was the bull, Panchito was the Matador, and Jose was the crowd. Jose would add dynamite to the bull which would explode into fireworks spectacular and unite The Three Caballeros seeing "The End" in three languages...Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

The movie itself came-out in 1945, but it was panned by critics. Seeming it was too "Psychedelic" which wasn't popular until 20 years after this film came-out. But nevertheless, it was nominated for Best Musical and Best Sound for that year...but lost. And 1945 was a year for the musical with "State Fair", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Bells of St. Marys" which featured Bing Crosby who sang "The Three Caballeros" later on, and another film which also had Live Action and Animation called "Anchors Aweigh", which originally was to have Mickey Mouse dance with Gene Kelly...but another mouse danced with him called Jerry Mouse!

But of the Disney Anthology Films which there were nine and they were seen between 1942 and 1949 between "Bambi" and "Cinderella", but I think this is the most recognizable anthology film of them all. Now it's NOT the best Disney Film out there...but this is my favorite Disney Film ever. And I rate this...

4 Stars

I wish one day this would be in the National Film Registry just because of The Good Neighbor Policy. Today, The Three Caballeros got recognition in a cartoon called "House of Mouse" where Donald Duck thought he was the forgotten Caballero...yeah right...and Aliens might fly out of my butt!...

Well...he got recognized by his wardrobe malfunction! But later on, Don Rosa would have two stories with The Three Caballeros and even a Walt Disney World Grand Fiesta Tour which would feature Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, and Panchito traveling through Mexico. Well...that is it for my 1st Movie Review, there will be more during the year. Up Next..."Help"!

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