Disney Animated Marathon: The Three Caballeros (1944)


It’s time for film #7 in the Disney Animated Marathon!

Story By: James Bodrero, Homer Brightman, Del Connell, William Cottrell, Bill peet, Elmer Plummer, Ted Sears, Ernest Terrazas, Roy Williams & Ralph Wright
Directed By: Norman Ferguson

I was close to lumping The Three Caballeros into the same category as I did Saludos Amigos, but I was held back from doing so by a few different factors. The Three Caballeros is at its core the same as Saludos Amigos, the same concept and the same base execution. However, in a few areas The Three Caballeros is a much better overall experience than Saludos Amigos.

I love Donald Duck, so in that respect his being the main driving force behind The Three Caballeros was a definite plus. I understand that he grates on some people after a while, but I have never had that problem. I find his actions, manner of speaking and mannerisms constantly funny. Unlike in Saludos Amigos the constant interactions with Donald helped to draw me further into what I was seeing on my screen.

The best part of The Three Caballeros was easily its animation. It’s not that it was the most detailed animation ever seen, but it was varied and provided a look at different technical styles of animation. Two sequences in particular highlight this fact, the charcoal train sequence and the abstract Donald as a guitar sequence. Neither are original, but they are different and do help to give the animation a varied feel that I mush appreciated.

The point of contention, outside of one’s tolerance for Donald, in The Three Caballeros is the mixing of animation with live action. I found this aspect of The Three Caballeros to be both a hit and a miss. At times it looked very good and wasn’t distracting at all, it was another visual variation that added extra depth to the film. But, at other times the animation was rough and you could clearly tell that you are watching two different worlds fighting to interact with one another.

Just like Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros is essentially a travelogue. However, it has more varied animation and is engrossing fun as opposed to the background fun found in Saludos Amigos. The Three Caballeros isn’t a great film, but it’s not a terrible one either. Some parts fall flat while others are very good. In every essence of the phrase, The Three Caballeros is a good movie, no more, no less.





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