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Walt & El Grupo (2008)

PG  |   |  Documentary  |  26 April 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 238 users   Metascore: 55/100
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It's 1941 and Walt and his creative team go to South America on a goodwill tour.



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Credited cast:
Flávio Barroso ...
Lee Blair ...
Himself (archive footage)
Mary Blair ...
Herself (archive footage)
James Bodrero ...
Himself (archive footage)
Lydia Bodrero ...
Harriet Burns ...
Josefina Molina Chazarreta ...
William Cottrell ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jack Cutting ...
Himself (archive footage)
Lillian Disney ...
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Norman Ferguson ...
Himself (archive footage)
Blaine Gibson ...


It's 1941 and Walt and his creative team go to South America on a goodwill tour.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for historical smoking


Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 April 2008 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,059 (USA) (11 September 2009)


$19,900 (USA) (30 October 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the credits, Walt Disney is heard talking about why, as per the distributor's request, he put the Latin American pictures together in one film: different countries would not be sold on each other (i.e., Argentina in Brazil, Peru in Chile, etc.), and he had to put them all together somehow. See more »

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User Reviews

A Case of One Hand Washing the Other (on a Global Scale)
31 March 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

EXPLOITATION IS ONE of those perfectly good, useful and innocently crafted words that is shackled with a great disparity between its denotative and connotative meanings. Simply stated, it means making good use of circumstances, surroundings and any resources available to achieve an end; that being the denotative. The implication of unfairly exploiting any persons, things or situations or situations for an unfairly gained result is the connotative side of the ledger.

THE HISTORICAL EPISODE of Mr. Disney and Company's being asked by the Federal Government during the 3rd term of the Roosevelt Administration to embark on a Good Will tour of South America is a fine example of exploitation at its best. It also brings us a fine example of a sort of double edged sword version of the concept of exploiting opportunity. In this case, there is no doubt that both the US and the Disney Company both benefited in totally unexpected levels of success.

THE PROBLEM FACING the USA and the Republics of Latin America was the widespread appeal of German-style Fascism in the Western Hemisphere. The various nations, who struggling socially and economically to achieve a higher level of success found many of both their leaders as well as their citizenry among them, who were willing to emulate what had been going on in Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. Much in the same manner as so many of Depression Era people of the United States viewed Marxism and various other Socialisms as being an answer to economic woes, so did the South American see fascism.

THE STORY STARTS out with Disney in a proverbial "behind the Eight Ball" situation; as his plans to do two Animated Features in one year are endangered by the economic realities of the late 1930's. The fate of both PINOCHIO and FANTASIA were put on hold as labor problems also engulfed the Disney Organization. Then along came this State Department sponsored multi-nation tour. With US dollar$ underwriting both the trip, as well as the eventual productions to come out of this sojourn, things couldn't have been better.

IN THE FILM, which was crafted from so many other film sources, the traveling caravan of Disney's artists, writers, musicians and technicians were shown in their visit to so many locales in the Continent of South America and the outstanding reception that they received. In the choice of where to visit, the individuality of the many varied nations was both recognized and established as a reciprocal fact of the relationship of the Americas.

SO FAR AS it is, so good for the US Department of State and the Roosevelt Administration's efforts and purposes; but what about Disney's goals?

AS IS SO beautifully told in the film, "el Grupo" hit the ground with its collective feet running and did not stop. In every locale, music, painting, sculpture, folk dance and the traditional native costuming were the featured items of the day. Walt led the company in a total immersion of the cultures of each people and nation. The best of the artists in each field were called upon for their input and ultimate participation.

THERE WAS SUCH extensive filming and carefully recorded written histories of the various stops along the way as to be the foundation for some of the finest animation that would be done by the studio. Indeed, the filmed record produced was not only the great animated sequences, but also of the breathtakingly beautiful terrain, forests, plains and waterways. All of this had the most pleasing and artistically successfully music ever put to a soundtrack.

AS A RESULT OF this whole expedition, the World would receive two animated features. SALUDOS AMIGOS and THE THREE CABALLEROS were the films that emerged. Both were highly successful at the old Box Office and had high critical acclaim. (Well Schultz, that means that both the public as well as the critics liked them!)

LITTLE DOES THE current population of Americans realize how much Mickey Mouse and the guy behind him were responsible for preserving the Free World. And could we ever use him again today!

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