Revisiting ‘The Three Caballeros’, One of the Strangest Films Classic Disney Animation Ever Produced
Posted on Thursday, December 26th, 2019 by Josh Spiegel
(Welcome to Out of the Disney Vault, where we explore the unsung gems and forgotten disasters currently streaming on Disney+.)
The early 1940s were a rocky period for Walt Disney Studios. Though the fledgling animation company had proven that a feature film in the hand-drawn medium was viable for both technical and creative reasons, Disney struggled to recapture the sense of success evinced by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Though we now think of follow-up films such as Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi as some of the most beloved and well-known classics from the Disney canon, they were far from box-office smashes upon their initial releases.
Couple that fact with two other dark elements of the year 1941. On a studio level, Disney had to weather a serious, contentious strike among his studio’s animators; and on a national level, the country was pulled forcefully into World War II after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. America’s entry into World War II led to the government ordering Disney to make propaganda that would help fix international relations with other countries in the world’s darkest hours. And one of the results of that order is a cult classic that recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.