Welcome back to Animation Monday. This week, we continued to focus on the early/World War 2-era of Disney movies with the sixth movie in the Walt Disney Animation Film collection.
This movie introduces Disney movie-goers to Donald Duck’s friend from Brazil, Jose Caroica. This is also the first of the “compilation” films that marked the World War 2 era of Disney movies. Saludos Amigos was four shorts combined into one longer movie. Donald Duck was the star of two of the shorts while Goofy started in a third. A new character, Pedro, started in the last short.
The most interesting aspect, to the movie, is the movie was not designed for the American audience. The U.S. State Department was looking for a way to promote the United States to Latin and South America nations. Many of the nations were sympathizing toward Nazi Germany at the out-set of World War 2. The U.S. Government understood that many Disney characters were popular in Latin and South American and gave the Disney studio federal loan guarantees to create a movie where Disney characters interacted with characters and the countries of Latin and South America.
The film, during the documentary section of the film, starred Walt Disney along with other popular actors from the United States travelling down to some of these countries and went a long way in changes the views of Latin and South America in the United States. The first animated short starred Donald Duck visiting Lake Titicaca on the Peru/Bolivia border.
The second short involves one of Disney’s short-lived characters, Pedro, a postal plane based in Chile. Poor Pedro did not appear in another Disney film because his character was not while received outside of Chile. However, all was not lost for Pedro, a cartoonist revived the character and created one of the longest-running Latin American cartoons, Condorito.
Goofy stars in the third short playing a gaucho in Argentina. This is most controversial short of the film. There is a scene was Goofy is smoking on film. This scene was cut from later releases of the film but an un-cut version found as an extra on DVD releases.
The last film has Donald Duck visiting Brazil. It is here where Donald meets Jose Caroica and Jose teaches Donald how to dance the samba. Jose and Donald return together to the big screen in Disney’s next movie release The Three Caballeros.
Saludos Amigos was one of Disney shortest films at only 42 minutes in length. Even though, it was one of the shortest movies, it went the longest way in strengthening relations between two regions of the world.
We will return, next week, for Animation Monday with the 20th movie released by Walt Disney Animation, The Aristocats.
Thanks for reading!