If you’re not familiar with it, Saludos Amigos features four shorts, as well as some live action shots of cities in South America. It was created and filmed in a number of Latin American cities. It was created in the early 1940’s when the government commissioned Disney to work on the project as part of the Good Neighbor Policy.
Highlights: I hate to say it, but there’s not a lot that I loved about this movie. It’s nice to see a glimpse into other cultures (at the time contemporary cultures, but now it’s like a historic look at Latin America in the 1940’s). If I had to pick a favorite segment, it would be the one about Pedro, a plane who tries to deliver the mail but is caught up in a number of problems on the way. It was cute, though I didn’t feel like it had a ton to do with South America.
Low points: This is the sixth animated feature in the “Walt Disney animated classics series,” but I have a bit of a hard time calling it a “feature.” It’s short – only 42 minutes long. None of the 4 segments really stood out to me as being anything special. I watched this movie a week ago and have a hard time really remembering any of it. It’s just not very memorable for me.
Music: There are a couple of nice Latin American style songs in the film that add to the feel and culture of it all, plus a background track.
Villain Rating: There is no real villain in this film, since it’s a series of shorts (none of which have a particular villain either).
Fun Fact: In one of the shorts, featuring Goofy learning the ways of the Gaucho, there was a scene in which he was smoking a cigarette. When it was released on VHS/DVD this scene was cut, but has since been readded due to the demand of fans. Jose Carioca, on the other hand, is shown smoking a cigar in most of his appearances, which has not been cut.
Where in the World: This film introduces Jose Carioca, who later makes more of an appearance in the Three Cabarellos. That movie is now featured in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, in the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride.
My personal rating: I have to give Saludos Amigos a 3 out of 10. I’m sure it was important for its time, but as a watcher now I really don’t feel like I get anything out of it. Unlike The Three Cabarellos, where I enjoy a lot of the shorts, there were none that stood out to me. I just found the whole movie very forgettable.