The Music and Magic of the Disney Animated Canon, Vol. 7: The Three Caballeros

Previous Threads:

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs [The Music and Magic of the Disney Animated Canon, Vol. 1: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  2. Pinocchio [The Music and Magic of the Disney Animated Canon, Vol. 2: Pinocchio
  3. Fantasia [Happy 75th to Disney's Fantasia!
  4. Dumbo [The Music and Magic of the Disney Animated Canon, Vol. 4: Dumbo]
  5. Bambi [The Music and Magic of the Disney Animated Canon, Vol. 5: Bambi]
  6. Saludos Amigos [The Music and Magic of the Disney Animated Canon, Vol. 6: Saludos Amigos]

Songs:

Baia
Have You Been to Baia?
Pandiero and Flute
Os Quindins de Yaya
The Three Caballeros
Las Posadas
Mexico
Jarabe Pateno
Lilongo
You Belong to My Heart
La Zandunga
Jesusita en Chihuahua

The Three Caballeros is the second of the Disney “package films”, and like Saludos Amigos before it, received a “cultural insensitivity” notice before the start of the film.

Donald Duck gets three presents for his birthday, which naturally is Friday the 13th, from his friends in Latin America.

The movie consists of seven segments:

“The Cold-Blooded Penguin” tells the story of Pablo the Penguin, who lives in Antarctica but longs to move somewhere where the weather is much warmer. It details his adventures.

“The Flying Gauchito” is about a boy who discovers a flying donkey, and enters him in a race for 1,000 pesos.

“Baia” is a pop-up book trip through the Brazilian state of Bahia, where Donald reunites with Jose Carioca from Saludos Amigos, and he pines for the cookie-seller played by Aurora Miranda.

“Las Posadas” tells the story of how Mexican children celebrate Christmas, by going from house to house looking for shelter, symbolizing the way Mary and Joseph did it.

“Mexico” is a Panchito-guided tour of Mexico, one of its beaches, and showing some of its dances and music. Donald gets a little girl-crazy again here.

“You Belong to My Heart” by singer Dora Luz leads to Donald getting kissed several times in his imagination, which leads to a huge Disney Acid Sequence, “Donald’s Surreal Reverie”, perhaps the most bizarre seven minutes of any Disney film. Dancing cacti, neon flowers, charging bulls with dynamite, semi-automatic umbrellas, you name it.

The Three Caballeros is one of my absolute favorite Disney films, an underrated classic. The Caballeros would come back in their own TV series, Legend of The Three Caballeros, which debuted in The Philippines of all places before making its US debut on Disney+.

I first saw this movie at the home of a friend of my parents, and bugged Mom and Dad to find a copy for me. It took them some time, but they did, and I wore it out. I tried to find it on DVD after the move-over from VHS, but was never able to do so (it was packaged with Saludos Amigos,) but now it’s available to watch anytime I want on Disney+.

They showed me this in the auditorium in primary school. I loved watching a cartoon instead of schoolwork, and thought Jose Carioca was the 2nd greatest Disney character ever (after Jiminy Cricket), 'cause he was so cool.