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Saludos Amigos! A fond greeting to you!
In a time during World War II, Disney was sent to South America to create a movie as a gesture of good will (read up on The Good Neighbor Policy for more information on that). The plan was initially to simply release a series of shorts, but when it was worried that a specific short would only be popular in the country it was about, it was decided to package several together in a feature film. The end result is Saludos Amigos, a movie split apart into 4 distinct shorts:
- Lake Titicaca has Donald Duck visiting the titular lake and doing the whole tourist thing, renting a musically trained Llama to help him get around.
- Pedro documents the story of a small plane named Pedro making his first trip to deliver mail between Chile and Mendoza.
- El Gaucho Goofy compares the American Cowboy with the South American Gaucho. Goofy is put into the role of Gaucho, and he learns the basics. Being Goofy, Hilarity Ensues.
- Aquarela do Brasil (Watercolour of Brazil) features the scenery of Brazil, as they are painted in by an artist in watercolour. The film features Donald Duck, and introduces the parrot José Carioca (Or Joe Carioca, as the Narrator and Donald call him), from Rio de Janeiro. José shows Donald around town, and teaches him about Samba.
The shorts are tied together with a live-action documentary, showing the Disney artists' trip around South America, showing their experiences and drawings, and the inspiration for the shorts that follow. The movie is also the shortest to be produced by Disney, running at only 43 minutes, live action segments included, and just barely qualifying as a feature film (which have to be longer than 40 minutes).
During the trip, Disney and his artists apparently came up with about 12 unused ideas for shorts about Latin America. One of them would later become Blame it on the Samba, a short used for the movie Melody Time.
The film went over quite well in Latin America (although a few Chileans felt they got the short end of the stick, as Pedro really only focuses on the fact that Chile is next to Argentina) which led to Walt creating a follow-up film, The Three Caballeros. A documentary about the original trip, Walt and El Grupo was released in 2009.
- Alcohol Hic: A glass of Cachaça gives Donald a rhythmic Alcohol Hic. "Now you have the spirit of the samba!"
- Bilingual Bonus: I have some notes to add as a native Portuguese:
- While Joe Carioca is talking to Donald after meeting him, since Donald picks up the first book he is stating various names of untranslatable town names so if you don't understand, no problem, it's just a list of names.
- Note: Don't forget to be polite. "Muito obrigado"="Thank you very much" in which "obrigado"="thank you"
- Did you know, after he finish hugging Donald, he says "Welcome, my dear"?
- Bilingual Dialogue: José speaks fluent Portuguese (the Brazilian dialect, naturally).
- Bowdlerization: Video and releases of the film have quite awkwardly removed a cigarette Goofy had in the El Gaucho Goofy segment.
- The uncensored version of the whole movie was later included as a bonus feature on Walt and El Grupo, a documentary about the Good Neighbor trip.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: José's Green and Yellow design implements the colours of the Brazilian flag.
- The Danza: José's voice actor is named José Oliveira.
- Disney Death: Pedro appears to have crashed after he runs out of fuel in a storm, but somehow shows up in the end.
- Gargle Blaster: Donald drinking a glass of Cachaça in one go, which prompts a Fire-Breathing Diner moment.
- Have a Gay Old Time: The original poster stated that the movie was Walt Disney's "gayest musical Technicolour feature".
- Meaningful Name: "Carioca" is a term that can be used to describe people from Rio de Janeiro, of which José is.
- More specifically the city. The gentillic for people born in the state, but outside the city of Rio, is "fluminense".
- Mickey Mousing: The second song in Aquarela do Brasil starts with José's various body movements tied to different instruments.
- My Card: José introduces himself this way. When he asks for Donald's card, he's presented with a playing card... with Donald's name on the back.
- No Fourth Wall: In the fist short, Donald and the narrator have a conversation.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Averted and played straight. José Carioca has a very convincing Brazilian accent (he is, after all, voiced by a native Brazilian, José Oliveira). Said accent, unfortunately, is Paulista, instead of the expected Carioca.
- Overly Long Gag: José rambles on in Portuguese for almost 40 seconds. Donald is up to his neck in Portuguese-English dictionaries trying to understand, when José simply says "Or as you Americans say: 'Let's go see the town'". Which he really is saying, he's just being a bit more excited about it in Portuguese and listing off all the individual places in Rio that they should go see.
- Painting the Fourth Wall: Both of the last two segments do a bit of this. Several of the scene transitions in El Gaucho Goofy push around the characters, while Aquarela do Brasil is a bit more literal. Donald even takes some of the paint off of José as he's being drawn and uses it to draw his own picture, causing the artist to draw a pool behind Donald and knock him into it.
- Shown Their Work - Arguably the point of the film; each segment presents itself like a documentary and details the research done by the cartoonists.
- Sorry I Left the BGM On: Goofy begins singing a campfire song in a voice that clearly isn't his. At which point his song starts looping. Pan over to record player with the needle stuck in the groove.
- Stylistic Suck: Look at Donald's drawing; he's not nearly as skilled a cartoonist as the artist drawing José Carioca.
- Which isn't totally out of the blue since José does translate roughly to "Joseph"
- from São Paulo
- from Rio de Janeiro