The Three Caballeros is a sequel to Saludos Amigos, and features Donald Duck receiving gifts from his friends in Latin America. This film is closer to a regular feature than its predecessor due to the overarching plot regarding the presents, but it is still broken into multiple vignettes reminiscent of a Latino Fantasia. It also makes heavier use of live action.
I enjoyed the first short, featuring a penguin who longs for warmer climes and spends all his time dreaming up schemes to keep himself warm. They usually backfire and cause him problems, however, so he carves out a boat of ice and heads north to the Galapagos.
My favorite segment was “The Flying Gauchito”, featuring a young boy who finds a flying donkey (whom he names “Burrito”) while exploring the Andes near his home. The boy trains Burrito so he can win a race with a large prize purse.
The Brasilian parrot, José Carioca, makes his return and guides Donald through an adventure in Baía (or Bahia) in Brasil after José shrinks Donald so they can enter the pictures in the book that is his present to Donald.
The third segment features the excitable rooster, Panchito Pistoles (a decidedly un-PC name for a character representing Mexico). He takes Donald and José on a tour of all the famous Mexican hotspots via a flying sarape (the colorful traditional blankets often worn over the shoulder, usually by men).
I enjoyed The Three Caballeros more than Saludos Amigos, mainly because of the shorts I mentioned above. It is also one which likely won’t ever make it onto a list of the best ever Disney animated features, but it’s still a fun one to watch. It’s worth getting just to enjoy the fun and interesting adventure through a number of different Latin American cultures, especially when you can get it in the double feature with Saludos Amigos.
Release Date: December 21, 1944 (USA)
MPAA Rating: G
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (mild social drinking, mostly for comedic effect)
Sexuality: 1 (mild innuendo and sexy dancing)
Violence: 0 (though Panchito does shoot off his pistols a lot)