1942 Walt Disney’s propaganda animated movie

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Walt Disney was a talented animator and a great businessman. He started his own company based on enthousiasm and created a new life for the art of animation. He was an artist, but also an American, and he did everything he could for his country. Today I would like to show an important thing he actually did for United States and will tell you how did he became an ambassador.

Saludos Amigos is a 1942 American animated package film produced by Walt Disney. 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 cigar-smoking parrot. Saludos Amigos premiered in Rio de Janeiro on August 24, 1942 and was released in the United States on February 6, 1943. It garnered positive reviews and was theatrically reissued in 1949.

OCIAA-Nelson-Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller, Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs

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. This was being done 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, 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.

Saludos 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 itself was given federal loan guarantees, because the Disney studio had over-expanded just before European markets were closed to them by the war. 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 Saludos 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”.

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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.

American tourist Donald Duck visits Lake Titicaca and meets some of the locals, including an obstinate llama.

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Llamas in the segment of the documentary.

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Animated indigenous people of the Latin America.

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American cowboy Goofy gets taken mysteriously to the Argentinian pampas to learn the ways of the native gaucho.

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Indigenous people of the Latin America from the documentary segment.

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Edificio Kavanagh in Buenos Aires.

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Also, the movie is full of birds and landscapes. Actually the most important bird is the new Disney character, the Brazilian José Carioca.

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José Carioca

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The documentary segment consist of musicians, flying plane, plane passengers which are the artists of Disney and other people.

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Aquarela do Brasil (Portuguese for “Watercolor of Brazil”), the finale of the film, involves a brand-new character, José Carioca from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, showing Donald Duck around South America, having a drink of cachaça with him and introducing him to the samba.

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Text by: Claudiu C. CREȚU

Photo Source: IMDb

© The Bunget Arts & Culture 2018

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One Comment Add yours

  1. larryzb says:

    This was informative. Thanks for posting.

    Like

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