The Three Caballeros is a 1944 animated feature film, produced by Walt Disney and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The seventh animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, that 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 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 (1943) 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.
The film's segments include:
* The Cold-Blooded Penguin involved a penguin named Pablo, reproducing images of the penguins of Punta Tombo in Argentina along the coast of Patagonia, "Pablo the penguin" is so fed up with the freezing conditions of the South Pole that he decides to leave for warmer climates.
* The Flying Gauchito involved the adventures of a little boy from Uruguay and his winged donkey, Burrito.
* Baia involved a pop-up book trip through Baia the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, as Donald Duck and José Carioca meet up with some of the locals who dance an interesting samba and Donald starts pining for one of the females in the group.
* Las Posadas was the story of a group of Mexican children who celebrated Christmas by re-enacting the journey of Mary, the mother of Jesus and Saint Joseph searching for room at the inn. "Posada" means "inn", and they are told "no posada" at each house until they come to one where they are offered shelter in a stable. This leads to festivities including the breaking of the piñata, which in turn leads to Donald Duck trying to break the piñata as well.
* Mexico: Pátzcuaro, Veracruz and Acapulco Panchito gives Donald and Jose a tour of Mexico on a flying serape. Several Mexican dances and songs are learned here. A key point to what happens later is that Donald seems to be a "wolf" to the ladies again, hounds down every single one he sees, and tries to gain return affections, but fails.
* You Belong To My Heart The skies of Mexico result in Donald falling in love with a singing woman, and leads to scenarios that resemble acid trips or being high of the sort, literally. It is believe the woman singer is Dora Luz. The lyrics in the song itself play parts in the scenarios as to what is happening as well.
* Donald's Surreal Reverie A kiss, or several to be exact, lead to Donald going into the phrase "Love is a drug." This scene is similar to "Pink Elephants on Parade," for being a major "drunk" scene. Donald constantly invisions sugar rush colors, flowers, and Panchito and Jose popping in at the worst moments. The scene changes after Donald manages to dance with a girl from the state of Oaxaca, from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The two dance to the song "La Sandunga." The girl begins by singing the song, with Donald "quacking" out the rest of the chorus. The "drunkness" slows down for a moment, but speeds up again when a Mexican girl uses a conductor's stick to make cacti do just about anything while dancing "Jesusita en Chihuahua", a Mexican Revolution trademark song. This is a notable scene for live action and cartoon animation mixing, and well animation among the cacti. The scene is interrupted when Panchito and Jose spice things up, and Donald ends up battling a toy bull with wheels on its legs. The catch is that it's loaded with firecrackers and other explosives.