Donald Duck’s second big performance in two years, The Three Caballeros spins directly from Disney’s previous release, Saludos Amigos.
Donald wakes up on his birthday to find a giant box of presents. The presents, it turns out, are a tour of attractive South American cities and an exploration of some of their surface cultural experience. It amounts to an hour of Donald and his friends ogling women and dancing badly to local music.
The film was presented and reviewed by the New York Times early in 1945 that “the juxtaposition of humans and cartoon creatures is a cunning novelty which still leaves one feeling vaguely as though he is watching animated tattoo work.” But they hit the mark in noting that while Walt’s team had pushed the line of cinema by combining dancing humans with dancing cartoons — something that had never been seen before — “his film is flashy and exciting — and no more.”