Saludos Amigos was first released in American theatres on 6 February 1943. With Europe in the throes of war during the 1940s, America established a 'good neighbour policy' with South America. The Latin American influence took America by storm and Disney, like many others, was inspired. Walt Disney charted a plane to visit several countries on the South American continent with some of his staff to produce a series of cartoons inspired by the sights and sounds of these nations. The result was called Saludos Amigos, a hybrid featuring four separate animated stories, each made up of live-action footage shot by Walt and his crew during the trip, and animated characters.
Saludos Amigos stars Donald Duck, Joe Carioca and Goofy. It includes travel footage with Disney artists and features Donald Duck as the typical American tourist at Lake Taticaca. It also includes the story of a little aeroplane called Pedro who bravely negotiates the treacherous mountains to deliver mail from Chile to Mendoza.
The following segment, El Gaucho Goofy, was inspired by the crew's visit to the Pampas region and features Goofy as he attempts to demonstrate the equipment used by a Gaucho. The final sequence takes place at the Carnival in Rio. Here a tropical bird called Joe Carioca takes Donald Duck on a tour of South America, with the aid of a paintbrush that fills in the background as they progress.
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