¡Hola Internet Friends!
Welcome once again to Adventuring Through Disney! We have now exited “Beginning Disney” and are now entering “Lost Disney.” This titling of sections is entirely arbitrary and completely unofficial, but I like them anyways. Beginning Disney would be considered Snow White through Bambi, and Lost Disney would be considered Saludos Amigos through The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Welcome to the most obscure and little-known movies on this list.
I had never seen Saludos Amigos until today, but in doing so I really enjoyed it. I think it was a beautiful film, with lots of fun music. Being half Cuban (but very white) myself, I try to soak up as much Latin American culture as I can, so I was looking forward to watching this one and the next one (The Three Caballeros). I was not disappointed.
Something I noticed throughout the film was how different the times were. They showed spurs in the Gaucho Goofy segment (a big no-no from PETA). Goofy also smokes a cigarette. Later, Donald drinks a spicy alcohol and the flames from his mouth light his friends cigar. Also, the animators weren’t allowed to bring cameras on the plane trip that inspired the Pedro segment, but they were allowed to smoke on the plane. How times have changed….
Something interesting about this movie and the next is that they were basically propaganda films. World War II was going on and Disney and his team were hired as an ambassador to make countries in South America be better friends with America. Characters from Disney’s cartoons were already popular, and so to have the characters set in the countries of Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and other Latin American countries (who were a little too buddy-buddy with Nazi Germany) helped to spread good feelings.
This film reminded me a lot of my post about Fantasia. To me, this movie was about art, not politics. It was sort of a testimony to inspiration and art. Walt took the opportunity and went down below the equator and learned about other countries. He was inspired by their culture, music, and llamas. He took his team down and let the inspiration take hold and create four little cartoons showcasing the talent of his team. Walt took the initial political motives and created something fun and colorful and bright. It makes me sad that it isn’t as well-known today.
Join me next time not uno, not dos, but tres characters who will steal your heart.
Thanks for coming along 🙂