Saludos Amigos is a 1943 animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Set in Latin America, it is made up of four different segments; Donald Duck stars in two of them and Goofy stars in one. It also features the first appearance of José Carioca. Saludos Amigos was popular enough for a sequel, The Three Caballeros, to be produced two years later. The film premiered in Rio de Janeiro on August 24, 1943. It was released in the United States on February 6, 1944. It garnered mixed reviews and was only reissued once, in 1949, when it was shown on a double bill with the first reissue of Dumbo.
According to Jack Haley Jr.'s documentary Life Goes To War, the United States Department of State commissioned this movie during World War II to be shown in Central and South America to build up relations with the Latin American populace. Several governments had close ties with Nazi Germany (e.g. Argentina) and the most popular US figure there was Mickey Mouse.
Worldwide release dates
- Brazil: August 24, 1943 (Rio de Janeiro)
- Spain: August 21, 1944 (Madrid)
- Finland: April 17, 1993
- Japan: March 20, 1997
This film features four different segments, each of which beginning with various clips of the Disney artists roaming the country drawing up cartoon drawings of some of the local cultures and scenery:
- Lake Titicaca had Donald Duck, an American tourist, visit the title location and meet with some of the local yokels, including an obstinate llama.
- Pedro involved the title character, a small airplane from Chile, engage in his very first flight and pick up air mail from Mendoza, with near disastrous results.
- El Gaucho Goofy had Goofy, an American cowboy, get taken mysteriously to the Argentine pampas to learn the ways of the native gaucho. This segment was later edited for the film's video release to remove one scene of Goofy smoking a cigarette.
- Aquarela do Brasil (or "Watercolor of Brazil"), the finale of the film, involved a brand-new character, José Carioca, showing Donald Duck around South America and introduce him to the samba (to the tunes of "Brazil" and "Tico Tico").
- It is the first Disney film to have a sequel.
- The film's title is Spanish for "Hello, Friends" (more literally, "Greetings, Friends").
- This was the first Disney Animated feature to be shown in South America before it was screened in the USA.
- At 43 minutes, this is the shortest Disney feature to date.
- The title song for this movie makes a brief appearance in its follow-up, The Three Caballeros, as underscoring.
- The title song was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1943. It became Disney's fourth to do so. (It lost to the song "You'll Never Know" from Hello, Frisco, Hello.)
- Gaucho is the denomination for cowboys in South America Pampa region.
- The DVD release has been edited to current cultural attitudes towards animated family films. There is a scene in which Goofy is sitting, dressed as a cowboy. He tips his hat then inhales from a cigarette and then exhales smoke before he is suddenly pulled away. The DVD features him tipping his hat and then sitting still with his arm extended. 
- The character Pedro was taken as an offense by various Chileans; among them was the comic book artist René Ríos (a.k.a. Pepo), who answered by creating Condorito, a current Chilean pop icon.
- Lee Blair - Himself
- Mary Blair - Herself
- Pinto Colvig - Goofy
- Clarence Nash - Donald Duck
- José Oliveira - José Carioca
- List of animated feature films
- South of the Border with Disney
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