Original theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Norman Ferguson
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Written by||Homer Brightman
|Narrated by||Fred Shields|
|Studio||Walt Disney Productions|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Running time||42 minutes|
Saludos Amigos (Hello, Friends in English) is a 1942 animated feature package film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. It is the sixth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. It is the first of six package films made by the Disney studio in the 1940s. 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, the Brazilian parrot. Saludos Amigos was popular enough that Walt Disney decided to make another film about Latin America, The Three Caballeros, to be produced two years later. Saludos Amigos premiered in Rio de Janeiro on August 24, 1942. It was released in the United States on February 6, 1943. 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.
In early 1941, before U.S. entry into World War II, the United States Department of State commissioned a Disney goodwill tour of South America, intended to lead to a movie to be shown in the US, Central, and South America as part of the Good Neighbor Policy. Disney was chosen for this because several Latin American governments had close ties with Nazi Germany, and the US government wanted to counteract those ties. Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters were popular in Latin America, and Walt Disney acted as ambassador. The tour, facilitated by Nelson Rockefeller, who had recently been appointed as Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA), took Disney and a group of roughly twenty composers, artists, technicians, etc. from his studio to South America, mainly to Brazil and Argentina, but also to Chile and Peru.
The film itself was given federal loan guarantees, because the Disney studio had over-expanded just before European markets were closed to them by the war, and because Disney was struggling with labor unrest at the time (including a strike that was underway at the time the goodwill journey began).
The film included live-action documentary sequences featuring footage of modern Latin American cities with skyscrapers and fashionably dressed residents. This surprised many contemporary US viewers, who associated such images only with US and European cities, and contributed to a changing impression of Latin America. Film historian Alfred Charles Richard Jr. has commented that Saludo Amigos "did more to cement a community of interest between peoples of the Americas in a few months than the State Department had in fifty years".
The film also inspired Chilean cartoonist René Ríos Boettiger to create Condorito, one of Latin America's most ubiquitous cartoon characters. Ríos perceived that the character Pedro, a small, incapable airplane, was a slight to Chileans and created a comic that could supposedly rival Disney's comic characters.
This film features four different segments, each of which begin with various clips of the Disney artists roaming the country, drawing cartoons of some of the local cultures and scenery.
Pedro involves the title character, a small airplane from Chile, engaging in his very first flight to pick up air mail from Mendoza, with near disastrous results. This segment was later released theatrically as an independent short, on May 13, 1955 by RKO Pictures. Disappointed with Pedro as the image that the outside world had of Chile, cartoonist René Ríos Boettiger (Pepo) started one of the most famous Latin American comic magazines: Condorito.
El Gaucho Goofy
In this segment, American cowboy Goofy gets taken mysteriously to the Argentine pampas to learn the ways of the native gaucho. This segment was later edited for the film's Gold Classic Collection VHS/DVD release to remove one scene in which Goofy is smoking a cigarette. This edit appears again on the Classic Caballeros Collection DVD. This sequence has since been restored as many fans have asked for the uncut version. The complete uncut film is available as a bonus feature on the Walt & El Grupo DVD release.
Aquarela do Brasil
Aquarela do Brasil (or "Watercolor of Brazil"), the finale of the film, involves a brand-new character, José Carioca, showing Donald Duck around South America and introducing him to the samba (to the tunes of "Brazil" and "Tico-Tico no Fubá").
Cast and characters
- Lee Blair - Himself
- Mary Blair - Herself
- Pinto Colvig - Goofy
- Walt Disney - Himself
- Norman Ferguson - Himself
- Frank Graham - Himself
- Clarence Nash - Donald Duck (also dubbed the Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian versions)
- José Oliveira - José Carioca (also dubbed the Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian versions; also narrated the Italian version)
- Fred Shields - Narrator
- Frank Thomas - Himself
The film's original score was composed by Edward H. Plumb, Paul J. Smith, and Charles Wolcott. The title song, "Saludos Amigos", was written for the film by Charles Wolcott and Ned Washington. The film also featured the song "Aquarela do Brasil", written by the popular Brazilian songwriter Ary Barroso and performed by Aloysio De Oliveira and an instrumental version of "Tico-Tico no Fubá", written by Zequinha de Abreu. "Aquarela do Brasil" was written and first performed in 1939, but did not achieve much initial success. However after appearing in this film it became an international hit, becoming the first Brazilian song to be played over a million times on American radio.
The film's soundtrack was first released by Decca Records in 1944 as a collection of three 78rpm singles.
- Side 1: "Saludos Amigos" b/w Side 2: "Inca Suite"
- Side 3: "Brazil ("Aquarela do Brazil")" b/w Side 4: "Argentine Country Dances"
- Side 5: "Tico-Tico" b/w Side 6: "Pedro from Chile"
|Best Musical Score||Nominated|
|Best Original Song
Song: Saludos Amigos
|Best Sound Recording
(C. O. Slyfield)
Home video release history
- 1995 (Laserdisc - Exclusive Archive Collection)
- May 2, 2000 (VHS and DVD - Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection)
- April 29, 2008 (DVD - Classic Caballeros Collection)
- November 30, 2010 (Bonus Feature on Walt & El Grupo DVD)
- Walt & El Grupo (documentary film, 2008).
- Adams, Dale (2007), "Saludos Amigos: Hollywood and FDR's Good Neighbor Policy", Quarterly Review of Film & Video 24 (3): 289–295, doi:10.1080/10509200500486395, ISSN 1050-9208
- Richard, Alfred Charles Jr. Censorship and Hollywood's Hispanic Image: An Interpretive Filmography, 1936-1955. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1993, p274, cited in Adams, Dale (2007), "Saludos Amigos: Hollywood and FDR's Good Neighbor Policy", Quarterly Review of Film & Video 24 (3): 289–295, doi:10.1080/10509200500486395, ISSN 1050-9208
- "Pedro" (in French). Retrieved 2010-12-03.
- Gerald Wurm (2008-05-15). "Mehr als 4000 detaillierte Zensurberichte zu Filmen, Spielen, Comics, Serien und Musikvideos". Schnittberichte.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Saludos Amigos & The Three Caballeros: Classic Caballeros Collection DVD Review". Ultimatedisney.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Walt & El Grupo DVD Review". Dvdizzy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "The 16th Academy Awards (1944) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-14.
- "Allmovie entry". Allmovie.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
- "Allmovie entry". Allmovie.com. Retrieved 2012-11-26.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saludos Amigos.|
- Saludos Amigos at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Saludos Amigos at the Internet Movie Database
- Saludos Amigos at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Saludos Amigos at Rotten Tomatoes