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The Classic Caballeros Collection: Saludos Amigos/The Three Caballeros - animated DVD / children's and family DVD review
Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 stars
Actors: Clarence Nash, Joaquin Garay, Jose Oliveira, Fred Shields, Sterling Holloway
Director: Norman Ferguson   Distributor: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 29 April 2008   Feature runtime: 71 minutes
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
DVD Features: Audio tracks (Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound - English, French, Spanish), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), "South Of The Border With Disney" Featurette, Walt Disney Interview, Donald Duck Cartoon Shorts ("Don Dondald" and Contrary Condor")

Variety can be good, even in children's movies. The Three Caballeros is an animated Disney film with its own flair and character. In the new two-disc set, it is paired with a second full-length movie, Saludos Amigos. For anyone interested in "south of the border" flavor, this re-release is a great deal.

This set has a different flavor entirely than most of the Disney cartoons but still offers the expected Disney magic. It is picturesque and exciting, with vivacious music and dance to enhance the adventures in Latin America, offering an appreciation for the beauty that is a little different from what U.S. kids might know - and it is offered in the universal language that all kids understand: Cartoons! Through animation, they offer strong cultural and historical references against a backdrop of traditional Disney cartoons. From South America to Mexico, Goofy and Donald have typical misadventures narrated by Walt Disney himself. Llamas and donkeys, foods and dance, Brazil and Mexico, and a mostly-knowledgeable parrot guide. that is a lot to pack into one little DVD set.

There is a backstage bonus feature, as well as two very cute shorts called "Don Donald" and "Contrary Condor." My kids - with two years of school Spanish classes under their little belts - enjoyed the optional Spanish language track and the subtitles. It is a great way to encourage little ones who are trying to learn the language.

Interestingly enough, Saludos Amigos (1943) is the first one, and The Three Caballeros (1945) is the sequel to it. (who knew!) Saludos was reportedly made to help relations between the U.S. and South America and was initially broken into four animated shorts. Because of its dedication to instruction along with the entertainment and music that makes the kids want to get up and move, it is a great choice for the entire family. This one isn't your typical obnoxious and unintelligent cartoon. Even the adults will come away feeling like they learned something with their kids.

The Three Caballeros DVD set is great for older kids, who might really enjoy the knowledge offered with the fun. It is slower paced, with less flashy bling to hold the attention of preschoolers, though. But when so many of the newer Disneys are geared for the younger set, it is nice to see one come back into the limelight that offers to suit different needs. When it gets right down to it, the whole thing is a wee bit strange, but fascinating even allowing for that.
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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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