Thursday, June 13, 2013



Now I know what some of you are thinking, shouldn't I review the film "Saludos Amigos" first since this is a sequel? Well even though I should, lets be honest, most of us saw this film first then "Saludos Amigos" and to be honest the film is more of a stand alone film then a sequel. So with that out of the way, ON WITH THE REVIEW...
It's Donald Duck's Birthday and Donald has received three presents from his friends from Latin America. The film is really a bunch of segments, so I'm going to rate each segment individually.


Donald's first present is a film called "Aves Raras" which is about birds from around the world. The film has three segments so obviously I'm going to review all three segments individually.



Our first segment is the story about a Penguin named Pablo who hates the freezing conditions of the South Pole and decides to go on an adventure to a sunny tropical island. The story is narrated by Disney voice actor Sterling Holloway who gives the story it's relaxing and comedic tone. Our main character Pablo is a very cute and funny silent character as well as lovable. The short has tons of laugh out loud moments, exotic locations in South America, it's really well animated and has a good moral on human nature. 




This segment shows all different types of birds with a comedic approach. The birds that appear are all really funny but the one who steals the show is the Aracuan Bird who's completely over the top, never stops being funny or enjoyable and causes nothing but chaos throughout the film. I might as well also note that Donald interaction with the film is really cute and funny.



The final segment is about a little boy from Uruguay named Gauchito and his flying Donkey Burrito. This story has a very cute and creative premise and that's what our main characters are, cute as well as funny. Just like the last two segments, it's just as funny as well as carrying some laugh out loud moments. I think the best thing about this short is the narrator who's actually a grown up Gauchito who provides a great narration and actually interacts with his young self. 



Donald's second present is a pop up book about Brasil (Why is Brazil spelt different?). Donald meets his friend Jose the South American green parrot and the two go inside the book and go to Baia(Again another place spelt different). This present is all just one giant segment called...


Donald's friend Jose is one of the coolest and most laid back character in all of Disney characters. Even his South American accent is cool. He and Donald defiantly make a great funny duo. Donald's all over the top and cranky, while Jose just hangs back and tries to snap Donald out of it. The best moment with him and Donald together is when they try to grow back to their normal size. Even though Jose originated in the film "Saludos Amigos", I think this film is his best introduction. Oh and his song "Have You Been To Baia?" is awesome.

The Baia segment is personally my favorite segment in the movie. We're first introduce to Baia by beautiful animation of the city as a beautiful song called "Oh Baia" plays. It's really a very beautiful sequence. Once we get to Baia, Donald and Jose meet Brazilian singer Aurora Miranda and the two join in the party with some of the locals in the city while Donald tries to hit on Miranda. With the exception of Walt's Alice Comedies made in the silent era and Mickey shaking hands with the conductor in "Fantasia", this is the first time Disney studio's really mix the cartoon characters with live action. Half of the time it looks believable and half of the time it looks like the characters aren't really there and you can swear that Miranda is looking at a screen. With that said, it's still a great and fun sequence, with great music, surreal animation, half of the time has a good mixture between live action and animation and has some really funny moments.



Donald's third gift is a Pinata from Mexico by his friend Panchito the Mexican Rooster. After Donald breaks it open, he gets more presents including a giant book about Mexico, a flying magic sarape and a toy Bull filled with fireworks. This leads to more different segments, so be ready.

First lets talk about Donald's friend Panchito. He's just as cool as Jose is, only he's a lot more fun. I guess some may consider him a Mexican stereotype with his over the top behavior in some scenes but to be honest I never really found him negative or insulting. Sure he's over the top but so is Donald, the Aracuan Bird and sometimes Jose and it's not like he's always bouncing off the walls and shooting pistols in every scene he's in. Actually, he's very smart and intelligent and is once again just as cool and laid back as Jose is. In fact, he's also voiced by a Mexican actor, just like Jose is voiced by a South American actor (Ironically with the same name).


How can I review this film without reviewing the films title song? This song is one of the best songs that Disney has ever written. It's catchy, it's funny, it's beautiful and is indeed a good song about friendship, epically between these three characters. The scene where the characters perform the song, is really funny, very enjoyable and I laugh every time I see Donald and Jose try to violently stop Panchito from hitting that high note at the end. I also love the version that plays in the opening credits and the instrumental that introduces Panchito. Indeed the best song of the film and the films highlight and whenever I hear this song and see these characters, I not only find it a song about friendship but also a song about the friendship between America and Latin America during World War 2 when this film was made.



When Donald receives his Pinata, Panchito tells Donald a story about Mexican children who celebrate Christmas by re-enacting the journey of Mary and Saint Joseph searching for a place to stay. The animation for the story is just shown by beautifully drawn pictures as we hear very pretty music and suttle narration by Panchito in the background. After the story, we then see Donald try to break the Pinata which is a very funny scene. Oh and a little fun fact for you, the idea for the ride "It's A Small World" came from this segment.



Panchito shows Donald and Jose a big book about Mexico and takes them to Mexico on a flying sarape. This part is very educational because Panchito not only shows the beauty of Mexico but also teaches them the history of Mexico, the cultural dances and shows them different parts of Mexico. The animation and the live action work really well here and really seems like the characters are with the people in Mexico. While being educational it also does provide a few laughs, funniest scene in the segment is when Donald goes after some bathing beauties.



This is the films surreal sequence. Panchito shows Donald and Jose Mexico at night, Donald sees a star of Dora Luz singing, he gets kissed by thousands of lady lips, we go to a montage of Donald going after woman while Panchito and Jose interrupt his chances and it ends with Donald dancing with Carmen Molina from a flower setting to a desert with dancing Cati. This sequence is not only a "What The Duck" scenario but man are my feelings mixed on this one. Ok, let's take it very slow. I love Dora Luz singing "You Belong To My Heart", it's a very beautiful song, I love the scenes with Donald dancing with Carmen Monlina but the problem for me is there's so much stuff in this sequence that it never ever takes a break and really over does the animation, live action and music.

As for Donald hitting on girls, well I really don't find it as disturbing as you think it is. Well first off some of you are wondering is Donald cheating on Daisy, technically no. Daisy did appear in four cartoons before the film but she was just a fairly new character and the relationship between him and Daisy wasn't as there as it is now or was at the time as iconic as Mickey and Minnie's relationship. However, I would love to see a parody or a legit cartoon of Daisy's reaction to this. As for Donald hitting on girls, well first off cartoons at the time were doing things like this so it became necessary and expected then something creepy. Finally, I don't think Donald was looking to shall we say seal the deal. He won the heart of the woman in Baia and got a kiss from her and after that he never tried to go any further. So along with the other girls he's been after, he seems to be looking to getting a long hug and dozens of kisses. Getting back to this segment, it has good moments but for the majority of it, it's just one giant mess.



The film ends with our characters having fun and ends with fireworks with the words the end in American,South American and Spanish as the title song plays. Not much to say but a great finale.



Even though it's a film that you can chop into shorts, to be perfectly honest I can't picture all this stuff being separated. It all flows with the story and the message and theme of the film. It doesn't feel like one of those Disney films where it's nothing but shorts all put together. With that said, looking at it now, it feels more like watching a TV Disney special then a film but still that doesn't stop me from enjoying it. The film has a lot of great things going for it and it all (For the most part) mixes well together. As for as Disney package movies go, this one is one of the best.


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