Live-action segments show members of the Disney staff touring South America and recording their impressions in sketches. These segue into four animated sections: "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 the sights and sounds of Rio de Janiero. Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
The footage of the team boarding the plane was staged after the trip when the decision was made to use home-movie footage as linking material. Disney realized they had no footage of the real boarding, so everyone dressed in the same outfits they left with and shot footage of them leaving the studio and going into the plane. See more »
Here's an unusual expedition: artists, musicians and writers setting out for a trip through Latin America to find new personalities, music and dances for their cartoon films. So, adios, Hollywood, and saludos, amigos.
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With sincere appreciation for the courtesy and cooperation shown us by the artists, musicians and our many friends in Latin America - (signed) Walt Disney See more »
A duck, a llama, a guacho Goofy, a parrot, an airplane and plenty of Samba spirit.
While I may have commented on a number of occasions that Disney documentaries were well-intentioned but highly flawed pieces of work I should also say that they are still well worth seeing when placed in a historical context. Many of the earlier outings from The House Of Mouse managed to show people parts of the world and natural spectacles that they otherwise would have remained completely unaware of. In this respect, the older movies still hold a certain cultural value. Sadly, I still hold the opinion that most of the stuff they put out nowadays in that field (e.g. African Cats) is a waste of time and nothing more than sanitised stories indoctrinating youngsters into the Disney worldview.
But let's get to Saludos Amigos, something that I found surprisingly enjoyable. It runs for about 40 minutes and is really just a few cartoons linked by footage of Disney animators visiting Latin America. We get to see some local colour and lovely scenery and we also get cartoons with the following plot lines: 1) Donald Duck visits Lake Titicaca, meets some local folk and gets in a right mess with a stubborn llama.
2) Pedro, a small airplane, sets off on his first perilous journey to pick up mail and bring it home.
3) Goofy is transported from his cowboy life to show what it is like to be a gaucho.
4) "Watercolor Of Brazil" mixes wonderful music with great visuals as an animator paints a number of lovely, Latin American scenes and then lets Jose Carioca (a cool parrot) introduce Donald Duck to the fun and exuberance of the Samba.
As usual with Disney features of this kind, a number of people took charge of the different sequences and stories. Thankfully, they all do a very good job. The weak spot may be "Pedro" but it's still bearable enough in a film with such a short runtime and the other cartoons and snippets of footage from the areas visited more than makes up for that one poor segment.
I certainly wouldn't call it an essential viewing for Disney fans but it's very enjoyable, especially if you like Goofy and Donald Duck, and I'd recommend picking it up if you ever stumble across it at a bargain price.
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