The Aracuan Bird, also known as Ari is a semi-anthropomorphic bird, possibly the only one of his kind.
The Aracuan Bird is a peculiar-looking bird who can defy the basic laws of reality at will, seemingly through sheer insanity — turning his wackiest whims into reality. He is, apparently, named after his strange, fast-paced bird song. The Aracuan, who shifts at random between considering himself an animal or a person, with the world following suit, additionally has a mischievous, slapstick sense of humor and loves to use his absurd abilities to confuse passersby. (Especially if their name is Donald Duck.)
Decades before he met his favourite target, the Aracuan Bird was discovered living in the jungles of South America by Clinton Coot as he travelled the world researching the original Three Caballeros. Coot befriended the strange bird and hired him to work as the caretaker of his cabana at the New Quackmore Institute.
The Aracuan was first encountered by Donald sometime before 1944. When Donald, José Carioca, and Panchito Pistoles jointly inherited Coot's cabana, they found that the Aracuan Bird, going by the nickname Ari, was the caretaker of the estate, and could not be fired due to some legal loophole or other. Ari began to help them on their adventures as the Three Caballeros, even managing to open Xandra's book, the mystery of which had puzzled Clinton Coot for years.
In 1944, when Donald Duck received a documentary about exotic birds for his birthday, the Aracuan somehow highjacked the movie, not only being featured as one of the most interesting birds, but even climbing out of the screen and interrupting other sequences. A few minutes later, the Aracuan, now firmly in the "real world", interrupted a performance by José Carioca, performing his signature song and stealing José's cigar. Later still, while Donald and José travelled by train to Bahia, the Aracuan (still smoking José's cigar) used a piece of chalk to draw many train tracks diverging from the original one, somehow causing the train to split into a variety of pieces, each travelling a different track.
Years later, in 1947, Donald traveled to South America to photograph birds, and stumbled into the part of the jungle inhabited by the Aracuan Bird. Overjoyed at the return of his favorite pranking-target, Ari soon turned up and thwarted poor Donald's attempts to photograph anything. A year later, in 1948, still considering himself their friend through thick and thin (though they might not see it that way), the Aracuan helped to cure Donald and José of the blues by performing a samba, while using his powers to conjure surreal images.
In the 1990's, on a whim, the Aracuan decided to go to high school, and befriended Dickie Duck and her friends there. Somehow, a few years later, the Aracuan had switched back to considering himself wildlife, taking up residence in the Duckburg Zoo, where Donald Duck tried unsuccessfully to photograph him.
The Aracuan often frequented the House of Mouse, and was once invited to perform there. Donald was annoyed by the Aracuan all night (as the Bird continuously disguised himself as House patrons), finally culminating in Donald trying to dart him during his performance. He instead darted everyone else (with the exception of Aurora), leaving the Aracuan unharmed. After his performance, the Aracuan was disappointed at having to leave, until Mickey Mouse told him that he was welcome to stay (much to Donald's chagrin).
Behind the scenes
The Aracuan Bird first appeared in The Three Caballeros in 1944.
- Pinto Colvig (The Three Caballeros, Melody Time, Clown of the Jungle)
- Frank Welker (Bird-Brained Donald, House of Mouse)
- Dee Bradley Baker (Legend of the Three Caballeros)
Notes and References
- As shown in The Legend of the Three Caballeros
- As shown in The Three Caballeros
- As shown in Clown of the Jungle
- As shown in Blame it on the Samba, a segment of Melody Time.
- In the Disney Teens series
- In the Mickey Mouse Works short Bird-Brained Donald
- In the House of Mouse episode Donald and the Aracuan Bird