At this point in our Disney Summer Movie Event, both Loo Hoo and I are convinced that, if Disney had continued to make movies like the next four we are reviewing here, neither of us would be Disney fans today! Maybe we should have suspected these would not be great movies since we had to watch the first two on YouTube as they were not available anywhere else.
The first is Saludos Amigos which was released in 1943. This one actually isn’t too bad. It starts with the Disney animators getting on a plane to Buenos Aires and then follows them around South America where they create three cartoon shorts about life in that part of the world. My favorite was Pedro; consider it to be the original Planes (which is being released by Disney this year). The story is of a little mail plane whose father carries the mail across the Andes mountains. One day he is too sick to carry the mail so Pedro has to do it for him. In the process, he gets distracted and ends up flying into a storm where he nearly dies! Loo Hoo liked El Gaucho Goofy where American cowboy Goofy gets transformed into a South American gaucho (cowboy). She liked that it was “classic” Goofy where the narrator talks about what should be happening while Goofy does something very different. We did learn a lot about South American culture; although I’m not sure how much of the culture we learned about is reality.
The next movie Disney released was in 1944, and to be honest, Loo Hoo and I think this might be the worst Disney movie we’ve ever seen. The Three Caballeros is about birds; I think. It is best described as Fantasia gone wrong with a lot of Latin American music and dancing and somewhat frightening animated images to go along with these. Had we not been committed to watching the full movies, we definitely would have stopped this one early!
From here, it was two years until the next Disney movie came out – Make Mine Music. We were able to get this one from NetFlix. It is another series of cartoon shorts and includes a few of them that we’ve seen clips from in various Disney specials over the years. I liked the one about the whale who wanted to sing at the Met right up until the end when he gets harpooned! Loo Hoo liked Casey Jr. but only because she likes that restaurant on Main Street in Magic Kingdom. These shorts were okay, but again very music based, a la Fantasia.
At this point in our adventure, we learned that we will not be able to watch Song of the South. This movie was also released in 1946, but it is highly controversial because of the way that the characters are portrayed. While I understand the reasons that Disney has not released this movie on DVD and why they make sure it is removed from YouTube, it is still sad that we can’t watch this one. I really like the Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah song and would like to see the Brer Rabbit story that makes up Splash Mountain. Also, it is hard to say we’ve watched every Disney movie when this one is not available.
Moving on from that disappointment, we watched Fun & Fancy Free. This is another series of shorts. The only one I really remember from this is the story of Bongo the Bear. We did get to laughing really hard at the song about how bears say I love you by slapping each other… that was really the only good part that I remember. Again, the rest felt very much like Fantasia to me – I’m hoping we are done with the shorts now!
We are now up to 1948, and our next few movies are all Disney live action! Looking forward to watching something without animation set to music!