This past weekend, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club hosted their latest “Magical Screening” event, this time to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Three Caballeros at multiple sites around the country, including here in Orlando, which I was excited to attend.
The event cost $20 (plus a $5 processing fee), but, like most of these events, it’s more than just a showing of the film. I got walk away with some unique experiences and swag.
After I checked in, I was immediately given a set of four buttons that represented what was to come the rest of the morning.
The largest button, of course, had Donald, Panchito and José, the eponymous Three Caballeros, on it. The first of the three smaller buttons featured Pablo the Penguin who wants to leave Antartica for the warmer climates of the Galápagos Islands. Next, is the young boy and his flying donkey Burrito from The Flying Gauchito segment. Finally, you get a button with Ari, the Aracuan Bird who appears at various times in the film, mostly to rile up Donald.
We also were given two vouchers for a bag of popcorn and soda. I mean, you can’t watch a movie without those two things, right?
After I picked up my popcorn and soda, I headed into the theater. It was open seating, so I found a spot towards the back, but in the center of the row. It wasn’t too crowded yet, but it did appear that the event was sold out and all the seats were taken.
As we waited for the presentation to start, they had some awesome behind the scenes images of Walt and team working on the production of the film along with some “Fine Feathered Trivia”.
As they got ready to start the presentation, a representative from D23 came on stage, welcomed us and gave us some details on upcoming events, including one that would bring Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy, on the road for a special presentation of A Goofy Movie. (I won’t get into all of that, but needless to say, I was already sold on the event at that point.)
Now, we were asked to not take photos or video during the rest of the time, but I can tell you a bit of what happened.
First, we got to watch a recording of a discussion panel D23 had when they showed The Three Caballeros in Los Angeles the week prior. Anchoring the panel was Matt Danner, creator and producer of Legend of The Three Caballeros; Tony Anselmo, the voice of everyone’s #1 duck; Chris Headrick, Storyboard Supervisor of Legend of the Three Caballeros; and Chris Moreno, Art Director of Legend of the Three Caballeros.
The panel was great, and I learned so many cool facts about the shows. They broke into how they borrowed from so many different parts of Disney Animation history for designs of characters the Cabs meet, why it was important for Xandra to have a spellbook and so much more. They also showed clips from the show, as well as the title sequence.
I think the best part was, when the D23 representative had initially asked who had watched Legend of the Three Caballeros on Disney+, I was only one of only a few to respond, but people were laughing and captivated by what they were seeing of the series, so hopefully the viewership got a bump and Season 2 is still on the table? (We can all hope, right?)
After that panel, we jumped right into a classic Donald short, Clown of the Jungle. In fact, it was also the first time we met Ari, which I had totally forgot, and, if you watch both, you’ll actually see some animation is shared with both the short and the film.
If you’re not familiar with Clown of the Jungle, the basic story is Donald is trying to achieve “influencer” status and get the perfect photo of some bird in the jungle when he comes across Ari, a mischievous bird who gets in his way and torments him for the rest of the short. It’s a fun Donald cartoon, which some moments that shocked audiences a bit today, mostly because it goes the way of Looney Toons with some of the antics. Unfortunately, it’s not currently on Disney+, but maybe it’ll show up there soon and everyone can watch it.
Now it was time for the main event. The film started rolling, and everyone in the theater watched, laughed and even sang along with the musical numbers. I honestly was amazed by the number of fans this film had. I know Disney Duck Fandom runs deep, and – to be honest – any Disney event in Orlando is usually a sell out, but to see people watch the film and respond to it was really awesome.
We got to see the entire film, in its original format on the big screen, which I’m always excited about. There’s just something exciting about seeing a movie back on the big screen when you’ve only ever seen it at home before. I’m not sure what it is.
As the film wrapped up, people applauded and that was the end of the event.
If you asked me to review the event, I’d give it a 3.5 or 4 out of 5. It was fun, but I thought the price point was a bit high for the overall experience. We weren’t seeing the panel live and the swag we got was cool, but actually a little simple compared to other D23 events I’ve gotten to attend.
Still, it was a fun time, and like I said, it may be the only time I ever see a full theater laugh and sing along to this Walt Disney Animation classic.
Before you go, let me know your favorite part of The Three Caballeros or if you’ve ever attended a D23 event before down below in the comments. If you did attend a previous event, what was your experience like? What classic film would you like to see back on the big screen?