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 »
Walt Disney's sojourn in South America on behalf of the Roosevelt Administration's "Good Neighbor Policy" would make for an interesting film, but this isn't it. The film is not so much a documentary as a dry recitation of the itineraries of the people involved, often read by surviving family members, with little or no perspective into what the trip meant (save for allowing legendary design artist Mary Blair to blossom professionally) and what it ultimately accomplished. Some of the footage is interesting, but rarely does any of it contain the energy of the poster image of Walt swinging a lasso. While Disney's appearance in S.A. was no question big news down there, the film implies that it was also unique. Other Hollywood figures--notably Orson Welles--were also sent down south by FDR (and in Welles' case the almost-result was the unfinished "It's All True"), while other South American performers were invited up to Hollywood. Perhaps most telling is the subtext that runs throughout the film, blaming the 1941 strike at the Disney studio, which forced it to unionize, as the factor that killed both the studio's spirit and its brief Golden Age of innovation, a dubious (but Disney-sanctioned) interpretation of the facts. This isn't a terrible film, just not a particularly interesting or informative one.
6 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?