My opinion right after watching movie
M,y overall opinion is that it is a snorefest and does not make much sense. In one way, it is like it is trying to be a documentary, and another is that they are telling random shorts which has nothing to do with the animators and their journey, and the shorts themselves being boring as hell. It is 42 minutes, though it felt like an hour and a half. Not the best way to start the treacherous package era.
So, since the studio was still suffering from them being broke thanks to the flops of 3 of their movies, they had no choice but to make cheap package films. Since the war hit the US around Dumbo‘s release, they took over the studio, and many of the animators were sent to fight in the war.
Right before Dumbo was released (early 1941), Disney and some of his crew went on a tour guide in South America to find inspiration to make a film for the Good Neighbor Policy, which was to connect Latin America and the US closer politically. This film was practically created because of the military and government.
Since this is the shortest WDAS film in the canon, don’t expect much to come from this section. So we are shown Disney and his crew going on a plane to go to South America to get inspiration for a film, which ultimately leads to our 4 shorts. It is set up in the beginning to be some sort of documentary, but it is not, and makes the beginning feel kind of useless.
Lake Titicaca is about Donald Duck (Clarence Nash) traveling across the land with the same title. It is boring, as there is no coherent plot or anything, and we just see some mediocre slapstick humor. Donald is not that funny by himself. The animation is a bit choppy to look at, and he is having some issues with his llama. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
So we are at the Pedro section, and it is a bit more exciting than the previous segment, His father is too sick to do his job as a mailman, and Pedro has to do it, and is seen as an underdog. He flies, goes through trouble, and finally delivers the mail in a weird way. This is the typical story of a film with anthropomorphic planes as protagonists. Still boring, but maybe that it because the narrator never shuts up.
This is practically the same thing as the first one, but with Goofy (Pinto Colvig) and a horse. He is taken to learn the life of the native Incans, and this results in some slapstick with his horse, and this goes on for a bit before the horse kicks him back to America. I am so not amused, and this film is putting me to sleep. Oh, I should mention that in between segments, we are seeing the animators having fun in South America and one or two drawings. An animator is creating a picture, which leads to the best and final segment of the film…
So we are going through a painting being created, which end up turning into Donald, Jose, and the backgrounds. This gives us some beautiful animation and scenery. Anyways, Jose (Jose Oliveira) wants to show Donald around, but he does not want to. The duck eventually gives in, they drink a bit, and they head to a club, which shows Donald dancing with a silhouette of a human woman. And the film ends like that.
I am too lazy to post pictures of the characters here, and since I did not do it for Fantasia, why not continue that. This film has some of the same characters that reappear, and the characters here are alright. Donald and Goofy are their normal selves and still entertaining, but they seem a lot more bland than usual almost as bland as Mickey Mouse, which is never good (don’t expect any Mickey praise ANYWHERE on this blog btw). Pedro does not talk, but he is the less annoying version of that…… protagonist of…….. Planes.
There is about 70% animation in this film, and the animation in this film is…not that good. The mouthing of the characters are off a lot of the times, the animation overall is very basic and lacking in details and appropriate colors, and it is overall not interesting to look at. The final scene is a step up though. It is clear the company did not have much money-making this film.
The music is typical latin music but the songs called Saludos Amigos and Aquarella de Brazil are memorable and catchy. The score is good too.
Reception at Release
There are no recorded information as to how much money this film made. It got mixed reviews when it was released on August 24th, 2942 (Brazil), and released in the US on February 6th, 1943. It was nominated for 3 Academy Awards for Best Recordings, Best Original Song for Saludos Amigos, and Best Score.
The reception to-day is that it is forgotten and it needs to be. Point blank.
= 21/40 =53%