The Three Caballeros (1944)

Genres - Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Animated Musical  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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The Disney studios produced a number of "anthology" feature-length cartoons during the 1940s, of which The Three Caballeros is one of the finest. With the War closing off many overseas markets, there was a pitch toward wooing Latin American viewers, which Cabalelros certainly does, with almost all of its segments taking place "south of the border." While much of what is on view is dated and now seems stereotypical, it still has tremendous charm, thanks to the raw vitality that permeates the picture, as well as the riotous explosions of color that simply flow fort hat every opportunity. Indeed, the animation in Caballeros is above reproach, as is the combination of live action and animated figures. There is a tendency for some portions to have a "travelogue" effect, but this is a minor quibble. The music is incredibly catching and the formlessness of the piece contributes to a zany-yet-controlled feeling which is very hard to resist. The opening sequences, one concerning a penguin who longs for warmth and another about a boy with a flying donkey, are charming, if a tad placid. But the zippy numbers, the Busby Berkeley-inspired choreography and the frenetic trio of title characters quickly turn Caballeros into a fun, wild ride.