Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Happy 65th Anniversary to The Three Caballeros!

The Three Caballeros was produced as part of the studio's good will message for South America, but less obviously propagandistic. The film starred Donald Duck, who in the course of the film is joined by old friend José Carioca, the cigar-smoking parrot from Saludos Amigos (1942) representing Brazil and later makes a new friend in the persona of pistol-packing rooster Panchito Pistoles, representing Mexico.

Several Latin American stars of the period appear, including singers Aurora Miranda (sister of Carmen Miranda) and Dora Luz as well as dancer Carmen Molina.

The film is plotted as a series of self-contained segments, strung together by the device of Donald Duck opening birthday gifts from his Latin American friends. The film premiered in Mexico City on December 21, 1944. It was released in the United States on February 3, 1945. The film received two Academy Award nominations for Original Music Score and Best Sound.

Film Segments Include:

  • The Cold-Blooded Penguin involved a penguin named Pablo, who is so fed up with the freezing conditions of the South Pole that he decides to leave for warmer climates.
  • The Flying Gauchito involved the adventures of a little boy from Uruguay and his winged donkey, Burrito.
  • Bahia involved a pop-up book trip through Salvador, the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, as Donald Duck and José Carioca meet up with some of the locals who dance an interesting samba and Donald starts pining for one of the females in the group.
  • Las Posadas was the story of a group of Mexican children who celebrated Christmas by re-enacting the journey of Mary and Joseph searching for room at the inn. Posada means inn, and they are told no posada at each house until they come to one where they are offered shelter in a stable. This leads to festivities including the breaking of the piñata, which in turn leads to Donald Duck trying to break the piñata as well.


  • This was the first time Walt Disney had attempted the technique of combining animation with live actors since the Alice Comedies in the 1920s.
  • The Pablo the Penguin segment features a shot of a penguin diving into the water. This animation is taken from the Silly Symphony Peculiar Penguins.
  • Clarence Nash also provides the voice of Donald Duck in the Spanish-dubbed version, giving Donald a charming American accent that complements José Carioca's Brazilian and Panchito's Northern Mexican ones.
  • Donald Duck & José Carioca would team up again in Blame it on the Samba segment of the 1948 anthology feature Melody Time.
The Walt Disney Classics Collection have only had one scene release from this film. Donald, José, Panchito and an Opening Title were released in August, 1995 and retired in April, 1996. Images and information on these releases can be found in The Three Caballeros Image Gallery section of the website.

Below is the Title Song from The Three Caballeros featuring Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito and To Baia featuring Donald Duck,
José Carioca and Panchito and To Baia featuring Donald Duck and José Carioca (both clips courtesy of

Three Three Caballeros

The Three Caballeros is ©Disney

To Baia

The Three Caballeros is ©Disney

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