Walt Disney goes South American in his gayest technicolor feature!
Saludos Amigos is a 1942 live-action/animated musical anthology film directed by Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske, and Bill Roberts, written by Homer Brightman, William Cottrell, Richard Huemer, Joe Grant, Harold Reeves, Ted Sears, Webb Smith, Roy Williams, and Ralph Wright, produced by Walt Disney Productions, and distributed by RKO Radio Pictures. The film stars Clarence Nash and Fred Shields. It was nominated for Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Sound, but did not win any.
"Adios, Hollywood! And saludos, amigos!" - The Narrator
The animators at Walt Disney travel to South America to explore different cultures and ideas in an anthology like no other.
Saludos Amigos: Quick Thoughts
That plot description made it sound like this movie was good. It was not.
Saludos Amigos is the first of six Disney package films. During World War II, Disney did not have enough animators to create full feature films, so they made these package films that were basically just a bunch of shorts compiled together. They are anthologies. And they are not good.
This movie is weird. I don't have much to say, because there just isn't really anything memorable here. There are four different shorts, and only one of them reaches a point where it's almost good. The shorts don't really do anything besides show off some interesting animation, but it's nothing that will blow you out of the water.
There's also a few weird live-action segments that just kill the pacing of the movie. At forty-five minutes, it's the shortest Disney movie (thank God), yet it is still extremely clunky when it comes to pacing. Some of the shorts go by incredibly fast. Others feel really slow. And the live-action segments just ruin everything. The actual anthology doesn't really start until you are about ten minutes in, which is so strange when you take into account the fact that it's a forty-five minute movie.
I always like it when they include the classic Disney characters in these movies, so seeing Donald and Goofy is one of my very few positives about this film. They never really get the spotlight in feature films, and, while this is barely a feature film, it's still fun to see them. It's a shame that their shorts suck, but I always enjoy it when they are on screen.
The Disney Evaluation
Saludos Amigos is a Disney movie that basically no one knows. There's nothing iconic here. It's not really a musical. Donald Duck and Goofy make appearances, but besides that, this doesn't even really feel like a film that the Mouse House made. No memorable sequences. No good characters. Nothing.
I'll give it a Poison Apple.
THE DISNEY SCALE
Mickey Mouse (Top Tier Disney)
Genie's Lamp (Great Disney)
Glass Slipper (Good Disney)
Sword in the Stone (Bad Disney)
Poison Apple (Terrible Disney)
Family Factor: 3.5/10
Disney Imagery: 1/10
Final Thoughts and Score
Saludos Amigos is a bad start to the wartime era of Disney movies. Thank God audiences only have to suffer through forty-five minutes of this thing.
I will go Moldy here. Age range is 6+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
Fun Factor: 4/10
Directed by Bill Roberts, Norman Ferguson, Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney
Released on February 19, 1943
Clarence Nash as Donald Duck
Fred Shields as The Narrator
Pinto Colvig as Goofy
José do Patrocínio Oliveira as José Carioca