Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 163: Three Caballeros (1944) - Rank 4/5


I decided to follow "Saludos Amigos" with Disney's sequel, "Three Caballeros." I was worried that I would receive more of the "We love South America! Everyone should love South America!" message from the film, but it was thankfully subdued to the point that its almost absent. This might seem surprising, considering the story is still set in South American culture. However, the artists and writers seemed more concerned with entertaining this time around than utilizing their talents for a mild form of propaganda.

The story is still a loose means of allowing a smorgasbord of cartoons to grace the screen; Donald receives presents from his Latin American friends. His first present in a film reel about birds, a novelty I appreciate, and before it gets to the decent animated short, "The Cold-Blooded Penguin," an eccentric Disney character I'd forgotten completely about makes his debut - the Aracuan Bird. I suppose it was Disney's answer to the Looney Tunes Do-Do character. Still, I cracked up at his goofy song as much as I did when I was young and vowed there to parody it in a future production of mine.

As for the musical numbers, they were not only memorable and catchy, but they expertly blended animation with live action as Donald and his two newfound friends (Jose Chariocha of "Saludos Amigos" and new character Panchitos) sing/woo callipygean latinas. In fact, an alternate title for the film could have been "Donald Chases Tail" because that's what half of the musical numbers are about (leading me to the sound conclusion that this film could not be made in this day and age, due to its obvious chauvinistic undertones). The grand finale is evidence of this as Donald regresses into a primordial hallucination, filled with armies of dancing legs and other imagery that blows the "Pink Elephants on Parade" segment in "Dumbo" out of the water. But in the end, all the dames diss him. No wonder Donald stays pissed.

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