Title: The Three Caballeros
Year: 1944 (Mexico), 1945 (US)
Length: 71 minutes
Director: Norman Ferguson
Writers: Homer Brightman, Ernest Terrazas, Ted Sears, Bill Peet, Ralph Wright, Elmer Plummer, Roy Williams, William Cottrell, Del Connell & James Bodrero
Starring: Aurora Miranda, Carmen Molina, Dora Luz, Sterling Holloway, Clarence Nash, Joaquin Garay, José Oliveira, Frank Graham, Fred Shields
Music: Edward H. Plumb, Paul J. Smith, Charles Wolcott (directors)
Distinctions: Oscar nominations for Best Score (musical) and Best Sound Recording
Synopsis: Donald Duck learns about Mexico and South America, and suffers a libido-induced psychotic breakdown
How I saw it: on video (have on VHS), yesterday
Story: Bad. The synopsis above is not snarky or sarcastic. That is literally what this movie is about. And there is no resolution. I say it’s “bad” instead of “terrible” because before Donald completely snaps, there are some little side stories that are perfectly nice. Needless to say, by the time Donald loses all grip on reality, I found myself missing the quiet storytelling of “Professor Holloway” quite a bit.
Dialog: Indifferent. Between the three main characters (the only characters with substantial dialog apart from narrators), two have thick accents, and one is Donald Duck, so I can’t really say I heard all the dialog. But I’m sure I’m not missing much.
Pacing: Bad. Exhausting.
Special effects/design: Indifferent. The quality of the art and animation is very uneven; sometimes it’s really cool, other times it just barely has what it needs to get by. With some exceptions, the seams between live-action footage and animated footage are clearly showing.
Acting: Indifferent. The voice acting is fine. I feel like some good acting in the character animation might have gone a long way to explaining (or at least acknowledging) the confusing mess that the second half of the movie devolves into.
Subjective Rating: 4/10 (Eh). What were the folks at Disney smoking? Did they even bother storyboarding this? And didn’t someone sober have to approve it?
Objective Rating: 1.7/4 (Eh).
note: You’ll notice that under my “distinctions” field, I’m now including nominations as well as wins. While my wife has been watching the Olympics, I’ve gone back through all my past posts to add and tag that info. Not that that’s of interest to anyone other than myself, but myself finds it interesting. I’ve also recently updated past posts with an estimated “objective rating” using my current grading system (also not interesting to you unless you’re me, but you might be me – I’m pretty sure me will be reading this).