Author Topic: Disney animation marathon: Saludos Amigos (1943)/The Three Caballeros (1945)  (Read 16711 times)

FLYmeatwad

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Saludos Amigos - This film is mighty short, but a lengthy run time does not always a good film make, so perhaps this live action/animation hybrid could kick a little bit of ass. As I was introduced to the Latin American world through documentary footage mixed with a few really nice looking animated maps, I found myself fairly taken with the world that was being shown on screen. Sure it kind of felt like I was watching Discovery without all of the animal sex, but I didn't really consider myself being spoken to by the film, which was good. Plus what I can only assume to be unintentional humor from the narration of these live action documentary parts was great.

As for the shorts I cannot say that I was blown away, but I was mostly entertained throughout and I certainly would not call any of them a low point in the film. Pedro was great and that mountain that was his antagonist or something like that was really menacing, probably much more so than anything else in the marathon so far (take that Bella Lugosi!). Aside from the name hitting home with my need for stupid and simplistic humor, the Lake Titicaca sequence was top notch, both in terms of humor and cohesive narrative. Not to mention it had that great sequence with the llama in film and on paper. They do make me feel unimportant! The Goofy scene was humorous and entertaining, but probably my least favorite of the bunch, though that's not really a bad thing. Plus the film is capped off with one of my favorite displays of animation in the marathon thus far, the Brazil sequence, I didn't even mind that there were not any lyrics! Seriously though, the animation is wonderful and really shows some of the most imaginative streams of images I've seen for a while. This is one good film, not great, but still pretty good.

Also, the culture clash scene between Donald and Jose is probably the most brilliant thing we've seen from Disney in the marathon so far and bumps the final score up by .1

C+ or 3.30923472301402387147

Saludos Amigos achieves a 7.7 out of 17, with 0 being my memory of a specific Disney film that will be discussed at some point in the near future Fantasia, 8 being my recollection of another specific film in this marathon that will be revealed when it has been watched, and 17 representing how great Hercules is based on my most recent watching, which was likely over the summer, or winter break.

The Three Caballeros - The second of Walt Disney's Latin American features is, sadly, less successful than the first despite having a long run time to flesh out the idea and despite the inclusion of three central characters. Actually, I think that is what hurts the film. After the introduction to Jose in Saludos Amigos I was really looking forward to spending more time with him and meeting this new caballero. Unfortunately, the first couple of shorts, while really enjoyable, especially the penguin one, either feature none of the three or are very light on two of the three. The enjoyability is there, but the segments are not overly imaginative or engaging and I think the inclusion of more interjection by Donald, Jose, and Panchito.

The shorts here are less memorable, but the live action mixed with the animation mostly works well and when we finally do get all three of the caballeros together the film picks up, though this is hurt by some of the stretched out dance sequences. The music is much better here than it was in Saludos Amigos, and the theme for the three caballeros is absolutely fantastic. I would enjoy typing more about the film, but I was really underwhelmed and not too much stuck out aside from how great the three main characters are, and the constant attraction that the three had to just about every woman in the film was great. Looking at the character I really think they could stand on their own in a film because the personality for each one is there and they do light up the screen when they are together, sadly the focus on shorts instead of a single story really hurt this film in a manner that did not plague Saludos Amigos. I would like to note that the final few segments, and the introduction of Panchito, are not only the film's two highest points, but these parts are, once again, some of the most fun I've had in the marathon thus far. Sadly, just because I had fun does not make a good film, and the faults of this film are fairly noticeable.

C- or 2.8234823157230751

The Three Caballeros achieves a 6.66 out of 17, with 0 being my memory of a specific Disney film that will be discussed at some point in the near future Fantasia, 8 being my recollection of another specific film in this marathon that will be revealed when it has been watched, and 17 representing how great Hercules is based on my most recent watching, which was likely over the summer, or winter break.

Currently in the marathon the rankings go as...

1. Bambi - (16.3/17)
2. Dumbo - (14.9/17)
3. Pinocchio - (13.3/17)
4. Saludos Amigos - (7.7/17)
5. The Three Caballeros - (6.66/17)
6. Snow White - (2.5/17)
7. Fantasia - (0/17)

I put off watching these films for a while, both by my own free will mixed with my schedule, but I'm really glad I had a chance to check them out. While they are both underwhelming experiences I am glad I got to be introduced to Jose and Panchito, plus that llama kicks ass. That culture clash scene is brilliant and the Brazil one is phenomenal. I think if Disney had focused more on a story and letting these characters exist an incredibly outstanding film could have been crafted, sadly this was not the case. Still, glad I was exposed to these and I'll likely try not to forget them.

Also, I don't really care what the original intent was, only once did I ever feel like the purpose of the film was to educate rather than to entertain. I think the entertainment value is incredibly apparent, though I think it is limited because of the structure of each film, but it does not take a back seat to Disney's agenda to build stronger relations with Latin America or whatever one claims is the film's goal.

1SO

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Pixote will be happy to hear you were also underwhelmed by the Goofy short.

Also, I didn't realize before how close Bambi came to you to reaching Hercules' level of greatness.

I'm also glad you are staying on board through the less popular Disney films.  I think these next few will trickle in weeks beyond their start date.  Even I'm behind with the current 2 films.

FLYmeatwad

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Pixote will be happy to hear you were also underwhelmed by the Goofy short.

Also, I didn't realize before how close Bambi came to you to reaching Hercules' level of greatness.

I'm also glad you are staying on board through the less popular Disney films.  I think these next few will trickle in weeks beyond their start date.  Even I'm behind with the current 2 films.

Yes, Bambi surprised me quite a bit, I imagine only one other film will vie with Hercules for Best Picture when all is said and done, and I also predict that this film involves a few lions.

The biggest problem I have with getting to these films, aside from the other films that I really want to watch, is how long they take to download, but once they finish up I usually don't have much problem throwing on a film or two before Wizards of Waverly Place starts at 10.

The problem I imagine I will encounter with the next two films is the run time for for each since I think they both breach the 70 minute mark. But hey, I got through Reservoir Dogs and Trust back to back, so there should be little problem with these films.

pixote

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The Three Caballeros

- Title song does nothing for me.  Intro was just standard Donald fare.  No real laughs.



- The penguin story was an unremarkable little geography lesson.  I liked the look of Quito, though.  And the one tall, sad penguin.  And fun to hear Sterling Holloway narrating like an old queen.  Grade: C

- Donald and the flamingos was a nice couple of seconds.



- Really nice character design in this sequence.  The gauchito moves and reacts almost exactly like Donald Duck, and it works really well.  And Burrito, the flying donkey, is just as appealing.  Good movement, great smile.  A few nice visual jokes here, too.  Grade: B-

- Brazilians are so gregarious!  And it takes a billion Portuguese words to express the simplest ideas.

- Joe Carioca has a pretty nice ass.
- Both still true!

- That crazy little bird has a lot of Woody Woodpecker in him.  And Joe just called him a very stupid fellow.  Was that an inside joke?



- Really nice colors in the first part of the "Baía" sequence.  And a pleasant song.  Grade: B-

- Donald and Joe make an unexpectedly good match.



- This whole transition bit is my favorite part so far. Grade: B+



- Whoa, a fleshling!  Nice drums in this cookie lady sequence, but the technique has not aged well at all.  It looks like 1970s kids programming on public access or something.  Also, the colors are kind of gross.  Grade: C+



- This seqeuence just got ten times more interesting.   And trippy!  The transition of those birds back into dancers was pretty impressive.  And I suddenly really want to watch Black Orpheus again.  Damn, I wish that had gone on longer.  Grade: B+



- Oh, they're gay caballeros.  Interesting.  Actually, that was pretty boring.  Except, wtf, why were Donald and Joe trying to kill their Mexican friend at the end there?  That was really weird.  Grade: C

- Interesting choice to tell this Christmas story using still images.  Not sure what to make of that.  Supposed to be like a picture book, I guess?

- I'm ready for this movie to end.

- This song of Mexico doesn't have much going for it.

- Mexican hoedowns are boring.

- The dancing in Vera Cruz is much more interesting.  First entertaining sequence in a while.

- This "hot stuff" bit on the beach has some interesting things to say about the male gaze.  Or not.

- Some better animation/live action interplay here.  They seemed to avoid that in the earlier sequences.  Donald fallling into the towel and then the puddle were the first really impressive bits.

- Ooh, Donald just got it on with Joe for a couple seconds.  And here I thought gay caballeros was just generic joke of the week material.  Heh, the sequence then ends with the Mexican bird asking, "So you like pretty girls, eh?" as if there were a need to reinforce Donald's rabid heterosexuality.

- This Mexico City nightlife song is putting me to sleep.  Or it might just be that I'm naturally tired, regardless of the film.



- Creepy.



- Whoa, all sorts of weird sexual stuff going on here.  Quick, someone write a paper.

- And now a voice whispers, "Pretty girls, pretty girls, pretty girls, pretty girls."  Donald: "Oh boy!"  Yeah, this is uncomfortable viewing.

Overall Grade: C+.  Really hard to decide whether to rank this ahead or behind Saludos Amigos.  The best parts of The Three Caballeros all seemed to be very short, but the first half as a whole was still definitely better than the previous film.  Things really bog down in the Mexico section (among other problems, the host bird has no personality).  So.... yeah, I dunno.  It's a tossup.  I think I'm gonna say that The Three Caballeros has a slight edge.  Some of those little moments were just cool enough.

1. Bambi (A)
2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (B+)
3. Fantasia (B) — mainly on account of Night on Bald Mountain
4. Pinocchio (B)
5. Dumbo (B-)
6. The Three Caballeros (C+)
7. Saludos Amigos (C+)

pixote
« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 04:25:46 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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For comparison with the Aracuan Bird, here's Woody Woodpecker's debut from four years earlier:


[noembed](If you want to skip right to Woody's entrance, click here.)[/noembed]

More than coincidence, right?

pixote
« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 04:39:30 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

FLYmeatwad

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Nice write up, pix. This film does have some really great moments.

1SO

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Great.  I liked how your broke up the film and graded the individual pieces, instead of trying to judge the film as a whole.

It actually made me want to watch both films again, (not in their entirety.)  I have a real love/hate relationship with these films, but the good parts I think are classic sequences and Jose Carioca is one of my Top 10 Disney characters.  My wife finally got me the double feature for Christmas, and I find the boring musical parts actually make for good background music when cleaning up the house.