With the exciting news about the upcoming show Legend of The Three Caballeros, I thought it would be a great time to reminisce about the history of Donald, José “Zé” Carioca and Panchito.
In 1944 Walt Disney produced, through RKO Radio Pictures, The Three Caballeros. This live-action animated musical film first premiered in Mexico City on December 21, 1944. It was later released on February 3, 1945 in the US and UK. This being Disney’s seventh animated feature film, The Three Caballeros featured Donald, Aurora Miranda and Dora Luz.
The film included seven segments, which surrounded the main theme of Donald’s Birthday. Donald receives three presents from friends in Latin America. The first present is a film projector. The projector comes with a documentary about birds in which he learns about the Aracuan Bird as “one of the most eccentric birds you have ever seen”. The Aracuan walks right out of the screen and begins to drive Donald crazy throughout the rest of the film.
The second present is a book sent by José. The book is about one of Brazil’s 26 states Bahia. José shrinks them both into the book and the two meet up with several locals who dance samba. After their journey to Bahia, Donald and José leave the book.
On returning from his adventure with José, Donald opens his third present and meets Panchito. The three take the name The Three Caballeros. Panchito presents Donald a piñata, and gives Donald the tradition of the piñata. Donald is then blindfolded and he attempts to break open the piñata. The celebration ends when firecrackers fire Donald away on a toy bull full of fireworks lit from José’s cigar.
If you have never seen this film be sure to check it out!