The Three Caballeros


Stars: ★★★

Year: 1944

Country: United States 

Director: Norman Ferguson

Voices: Clarence Nash (Donald), José Oliveira (Zé Carioca), Joaquin Gray (Panchito)

Genre: Animation

Producer: Walt Disney Pictures

I think I was like three years old when my grandma bought Disney’s version of The Three Musketeers as a present for me. Only it wasn’t really The Three Musketeers, because she got confused and got The Three Caballeros instead. And that was the best mistake ever!

I doubt if any of you did even know this movie existed, and if you did, I guess it wouldn’t be among your favourites anyway. Why? First of all, The Three Caballeros is from the year 1944. Yes, THAT old. Secondly, it doesn’t follow and ordered series of events, but it is rather a mixture of random clips. And finally, these clips show specific features of Latinamerican countries culture, what may not appeal to people from all over the world. But I’m not writing this review to say whether you should or shouldn’t see The Three Caballeros. Actually, this is more of a tribute to the movie that accompanied me during my whole childhood, and was first in the ranking of my favourites for a long, long time.

The Three Caballeros was Walt Disney’s seventh animated full lenght film, which followed Saludos Amigos, from 1942. Both of them were kind of an attempt to improve the USA’s relations with South America during World War II. The Three Caballeros combines live action (e. i. real actors) with animation, a technique that started being used at the beginning of the 20th century, starring famous Latinamerican stars of the period, such as the Brazilian singer Aurora Miranda and the Mexican dancer and actress Carmen Molina.

So, what is this movie about? It’s Donald Duck’s birthday, and there’s a huge present for him waiting to be opened, from his Latinamerican friends. Inside it, there are three smaller gifts. The first one is a projector with a film about birds in South America, such as the Aracuan, a penguin who hates cold weather, and a flying donkey. The second gift is a pop-up book about Brazil. Zé Carioca, a Brazilian parrot, takes Donald to Brazil’s Bahia, where they meet some natives who sing and dance. The Mexican rooster Panchito gives Donald his last present: a piñata. He also shows Zé and Donald his country Mexico, by flying a magic carpet.

I still can’t understand why I loved this movie so much when I was a kid. I had great films in VHS, like Toy Story and Lion King, but the one I watched over, and over, and over again was The Three Caballeros. Maybe it was because I found Panchito, the Mexican rooster, amusing. Or maybe this movie was closer to me, as it talked about my own culture (there was even a gauchito in it, like the ones from Argentina :D). It could also be the fact that the film was visually very attractive, and full of catchy songs. I don’t know, but I was just obsessed with it.

Spending so much time watching The Three Caballeros may have isolated me hadn’t I found someone to share my obsession with. One day, my mother told the secret of my happiness to my best friend’s mother, so she got a copy of the movie and saw what happened. The results were unbelievable. My friend got addicted to it as well, and from that day on, we would sit together in front of the TV and enjoy hours and hours watching this movie, which we thought was the best one ever made!

I really liked writing this review, as it made me remind great memories from my childhood 🙂 Now it’s time to give it an end and show you the trailer of The Three Caballeros, a movie I will never ever forget. ☆

Note: You may have noticed that in the trailer above, the three caballeros sing: “we are three gay caballeros”. But no! It doesn’t mean what you think! 😛 At that time (we’re talking about 1944, people), the word gay still meant “cheerful and excited”. There’s even a sketch by Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry about this, from their old British show, A Bit of Fry and Laurie. It is very funny, BTW!

– Written by GuadiRC –

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6 Responses to The Three Caballeros

  1. Pingback: Movies – The Three Caballeros | Glutton for books, movies & series

  2. Ben says:

    Is King Lion different from King Lion as The Three Musketeers to The Three Caballeros? 🙂

    That movie never reached our country side and besides even if it did, I wouldn’t know what VHS is, yet alone afford it. But rest assured, I enjoyed your review. 🙂

    PS: I liked the purpose of the movie: to bridge the cultural gaps.

    PPS: May I offer my favorite singing owl? 🙂 I love to singa!

  3. fictionworms says:

    “Is King Lion different from King Lion as The Three Musketeers to The Three Caballeros?” Sorry Ben, I don’t understand the question :/ The Three Musketeers has nothing to do with The Three Caballeros, my grandma just got confused by the titles of the movies.

    Maybe it did reach your country and you just didn’t know. I say that because here NOBODY knows about this movie xD Don’t you know what a VHS is? :O Look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vhs It’s what we used when DVDs didn’t exist. Here they used to cost as much as DVDs cost nowadays…

    When I was a child, I used to see the same kind of movies/TV shows as that singing owl! Those made by Disney, Warner Brothers, oh, also Tom & Jerry! Hey, I think I’m gonna write a post about what I used to see on TV when I was a child 😀 haha

  4. Ben says:

    The VHS technology did reach our country. I even remember the times when my family watches it together every night but not these days since I have a computer and I watch most of the time in it. However, the Caballeros didn’t have a popularity here and even if I knew it back then, I doubt if I would watch it since I was too engrossed in watching Batman.

    There are no VHS lending in our town. Even DVD lending stores cease to exist. That’s because we have a different copyright law so everyone is buying pirated DVD’s

    Ha ha. Count me on that. I’ll also make one for myself. Cartoons really helps to develop childhood. :]

    PS: I don’t know if I would like Dora if I was a child. XD

    • fictionworms says:

      You can’t find VHS here either, since DVDs have replaced them. But don’t think that piracy is any different in my country. Everybody watches movies and series online, download them or buy copies of the movies which are not original… even the movies that you rent in video clubs are not original! And once again, I don’t think that The Three Caballeros is popular anywhere xD haha

      PS: You mean Dora The Explorer? xD It’s kind of embarrasing, but I used to watch it when I was little :]

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