Disney's Classics/Masterpieces

orig poster
usa 1945

vhs cover
usa 1999

dvd cover
usa 2000
gold coll.

[7] [1945 Feb 3] [71 min]
(S) Tre Caballeros

Comments: This "sequel" to Saludos Amigos is Disney's first mixing of live action figures and animation. And a good job too at that. But still, this is a pure advertising movie to lure tourists to Latin America. It starts off quite normally with a couple of short stories that are OK and nice but not that special. Then the film turns into a mix of Fantasia and a traditional commercial. No story whatsoever, just beautiful scenes and shots with a lot of music and dance. As a theater move it has a very hard time to keep the audience interested to the end, but that may not have been the case when it was released. People were probably not that fed up with commercials at that time. There is no question about it; the more or less surreal scenes are beautiful and impressive, but that is all. The Aracuan - the crazy clown bird of the jungle, is introduced, but the full short with him and Donald is not included in the film.

The full story: Donald gets a huge birthday packet from his "friends in Latin America". It contains three smaller presents and Donald opens the red one first. It's a film projector and a film about strange birds. He starts the film.

The Cold-Blooded Penguin: Professor Holloway tells us that Pablo lives on the South Pole. All penguins love their lives - but not Pablo. He dreams of tropical islands and spends his time with Smoky Joe, his stove. As he leaves for the tropics, all penguins waves him off. But away from his stove he freezes up and rolls back down the slope as a snowball, knocking his friends apart like bowling pins. He tries again and again without success and fewer and fewer friends to wave him off. Finally he saws out a big piece of ice for a boat. Then he sails off to the north with both his igloo and stove. He sails via Cape Horn, through the Straits of Magellan, past Chile, past Juan Fernadez Island with Robinson Crusoe and past Peru. He runs into the equator and follows it west to the Galapagos Islands. His dreams are just to become true when his ice boat starts to melt. Everything, including Smoky Joe, sinks. Only his bathtub stays afloat. By putting the shower pipe in the drain and facing it backwards, the water sprouts out and drives the tub forwards. So he finds his island and lives there as the happiest penguin on earth. Only sometimes… he dreams of the cool and soothing home again…

Donald gets a lesson about many strange and exotic birds that live deep into the Amazon jungle. He sees the Arapapa, the Toucan, the Flamingo and many more. He also gets to meet the Aracuan - the clown bird of the jungle. Then an old Gaucho from Uruguay tells a story.

The Flying Gauchito: Early in the morning, the young Paraguayan narrator is up for a solo hunt. He climbs the mountains and finds a nest. But absurdly enough it is a flying donkey that lives there, not a condor. Gauchito tries to catch it but it only plays with him until he manages to get on its back. The flying donkey is caught, tamed, trained and named "Burrito". At the fiesta of Carrera, they enter the horse race to win 1000 pesos in price money. All laugh at them at the start and the horses disappear quickly, leaving our friend behind. Out of sight, they let go of the wings and pass all the horses. Sadly, when they were collecting the price Burrito shows the wings so they have to fly away instead. .

The film ends and Donald opens another present. It's a book about Brazil, only it opens and reveal a 3-D theater scene with Joe Carioca. Joe dreams about a beautiful town called Baia, with music and song. Then he invites Donald there through the book. They jump on a shaky train that ends up in Baia were Donald falls in love with the cookie girl, Aurora Miranda, a live beautiful singer. Joe and Donald dance with a hole bunch of live dancers in order to get Miranda to notice them. Finally Donald get to give her some flowers and gets a kiss in return. They all dance through the dancing city.
     The book folds in again. They squeeze out and balloons them self up to normal size before opening the last present labeled "Mexico". Joe and Donald meets Panchito after an instrumental and graphical "firework" about Mexico.
      The three Caballeros dance and sing about always standing together. Donald's gift from Mexico is a piñata. Panchito describes a Christmas custom about children playing the part of Mary and Josef trying to find shelter. When the find it, they party and smash the piñata. And so does Donald. A frenzy of things and stuff falls out and starts to move around to music.
     In another book Mexico is described in music and romantic graphics. They sail away into the book and into live action scenes. They learn to dance a Mexican dance and then flies off to Vera Cruz for another dance. Then they are off to Acapulco were Donald dives right down to the ladies at the beach to show off and play. Then it is Mexico City that is shown with surreal animations and sung about. Again Donald fall in love with both a singer, Carmen Molina and a dancer, Dora Luz. The music ends with a bit of fake bull fighting and fireworks.

Donald Duck - the white duck
Joe Carioca - the green parrot
Panchito - the red cock
Pablo - the black and white penguin
(Smoky Joe - Pablo's gray stove)
Aracuan - the pink and crazy jungle clown bird
Gauchito - the little hunter
Burrito - the brown flying donkey

Aurora Miranda - the Brazilian singer
Carmen Molina - the Mexican singer
Dora Luz - the Mexican dancer

Updated: 19 July 2000 - Pictures (c) Disney