The Three Caballeros

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The Three Caballeros is a 1944 Disney animated feature film, produced by Walt Disney and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The film premiered in Mexico City on December 21, 1944. It was released in the United States on February 3, 1945. The seventh animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, the film plots an adventure through parts of Latin America, combining live-action and animation. This is the second of the Disney package films of the 1940s.

The film is plotted as a series of self-contained segments, strung together by the device of Donald Duck opening birthday gifts from his Latin American friends. Several Latin American stars of the period appear, including singers Aurora Miranda (sister of Carmen Miranda) and Dora Luz, as well as dancer Carmen Molina.

The film was produced as part of the studio's good will message for South America, but is less obviously propagandistic than others. The film again starred Donald Duck, who in the course of the film is joined by old friend José Carioca, the cigar-smoking parrot from Saludos Amigos (1942) representing Brazil, and later makes a new friend in the persona of pistol-packing rooster Panchito Pistoles, representing Mexico.

The music of the Mexican part was written by Mexican composer Manuel Esperon, who wrote the score for over 540 Mexican movies in the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. Walt Disney, after having seen his success in the Mexican movie industry, called him personally to ask him to participate in the movie. The main song for the Mexican part is "Ay Jalisco, No Te Rajes!", one of Esperon's most famous songs.

It was severely edited and re-released in featurette form on April 15, 1977 to accompany a re-issue of Never a Dull Moment.


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