Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Happy 65th Anniversary Saludos Amigos!

This is turning out to be a week of film anniversaries. Today marks the 65th anniversary of Saludos Amigos. The film premiered in Rio de Janeiro on August 24, 1942. It was released in the United States on February 6, 1943. Live-action segments show members of the Disney staff touring South America and recording their impressions in sketches.

Set in Latin America, it is made up of four different segments; Lake Titicaca depicts tourist Donald Duck's troubles with a stubborn llama; Pedro tells of a little mail plane's adventures flying over the treacherous Andes; El Gaucho Goofy transplants an American cowboy into the Argentine pampas; and in Aquarela do Brasil, Jose Carioca shows Donald Duck the sights and sounds of Rio de Janiero.

The shorts that form this movie were originally intended to be released separately, but were combined to form this movie because it had been decided that each short would only be of interest to the people whose country it depicted. Therefore, footage of the Disney team on location in South America was used to make the framing sequence around the original shorts.

According to Jack Haley Jr.'s documentary Life Goes To War, the United States Department of State commissioned this movie during World War II to be shown in Central and South America to build up relations with the Latin American populace.

The film received 3 Academy Award nominations for Best Sound, Original Music Score and Best Song for Saludos Amigos. It garnered mixed reviews and was only reissued once, in 1949, when it was shown on a double bill with the first reissue of Dumbo.

Trivia:

  • The film's title is Spanish for "Hello, Friends" (more literally, "Greetings, Friends").
  • This was the first Disney Animated feature to be shown in South America before it was screened in the USA.
  • It also features the first appearance of Jose Carioca.
  • The title song for this movie makes a brief appearance in its follow-up, The Three Caballeros, as underscoring.

This blog entry features the only WDCC release to date from Saludos Amigos, Pedro ("Cleared for Take-Off") sculpted by Valerie Edwards, a Walt Disney Collectors Society Members Only Figurine Release for 2002.

For your viewing pleasure, here is the trailer for Saludos Amigos:

Saludos Amigos is ©Disney

6 comments:

disneyprincess27 said...

FYI- I purchased the Aristocrats movie last night and when I opened the DVD and to see the inserts (usually tell you what the next movie release is going to be) and to my surprise this movie is being released on DVD on April 29, 2008. I'm very excited because I never saw this movie. I was a bit confused I heard of the Three Calbaros (spelled wrong) but never this movie. I recognized Pedro and Donald but when I saw goofy instead of a third bird I knew this was a different movie. I just wanted to give everyone the heads up.

Duckman said...

Hi Disneyprincess,

We didn't open our Aristocats until last evening. Thanks for the heads up, it had me looking for the insert.

Saludos Amigos is quite enjoyable. I remember when the movies were on VHS, the only way to get Saludos Amigos was on Laser Disc combined with The Three Caballeros.

I do have both features in the Gold Collection. Both are pretty bare bones. Saludos Amigos contains South of the Boarder featurette and The Three Caballeros contains two cartoons: Don's Fountain of Youth and Pueblo Pluto.

Hopefully this combined release will contain more extras. Thanks very much for the heads up on the release date!

disneyprincess27 said...

I look forward to purchasing Saludos Amigos in April.
What happend to the Disney Store Shelves link? I miss reading about what was coming out in the disney stores and what things are worth. I was in the Disney store the other day and was very disappointed with the Valentine's day merchandise. I just hope for easter they have a better selection. I just bought the Oswald collectors figurine doll currently being sold in the Disney stores for $34.50.. I'm always in the Disney store, and I have to say I am disappointed with their current collection, I hope it turns around soon.

Duckman said...

Sadly, he had to shut his blog down. In the meantime, removed the link for that reason. Juan is hoping to get the blog back up again soon.

Like you, really enjoyed his blog. Seeing what was coming or being planned for the Disney Stores. His blog is greatly missed!

disneyprincess27 said...

I agree, I hope he gets it up and running soon. On his last blog he mentioned how the valentine's day merchandise was diasppointing and for everyone to save their money for the decorative boxes that are coming out. Do you happen to know what he is referring to?

Duckman said...

Sorry I don't :(