Saludos Amigos is a 1942 film that utilizes animation and live-action scenes. It features Pedro, Papa Plane, Mama Plane, the Mt. Aconcagua, Goofy, Donald Duck, and José Carioca. Pancha also may make an appearance.
Employees at Walt Disney Studios tour South America, drawing along the way as they soak up South American culture, and telling us four stories: Lake Titicaca, Pedro, El Gaucho Goofy, and Aquarela do Brasil.
- Donald Duck and José Carioca first met in Brazil.
- During the events of Aquarela do Brasil, Donald carried a card with a black spade on one side and his information on the other side. The card indicated he lived in Hollywood. José carried a similar card which gave his home as Rio de Jainero, Brasil.
- The Pedro segment would be adapted into comic form twice, once in 1943 as Pedro and once in 1952 as, yet again, Pedro.
- In the 1943 version, the story of Pedro is shown to be a storybook that Donald Duck reads to Huey, Dewey, and Louie, implying that Pedro's adventures did not really occur in the Prime Universe and are simply the inventions of some storybook author. This version also has significant differences from the original segment in Saludos Amigos. Instead of making it safely and successfully to Mendoza, the 1943 story has Pedro struggling to make it Mendoza and, upon arrival, learns that he had forgotten to even bring the mail with him to begin with.
- The 1952 version is much closer to the original Saludos Amigos segment. The most significant difference between the two is the comic's inclusion of a character called Pancho, a buzzard and friend of Pedro's presumably based on the unnamed buzzard who appears briefly in the short film. While Pancho's design is clearly meant to call back to the buzzard in the original Saludos Amigos segment, the two play very different roles. The original buzzard just teases Pedro, leading him to Aconcagua. Pancho, on the other hand, is a close friend and mentor of Pedro's who actually helps him make his way home from the mail route.
- The canonicity of the Aquarela do Brasil segment is questionable, as it depicts Donald Duck and José Carioca as being painted into existence as opposed to being flesh-and-blood beings. Of course, it is worthy to note that this concept does fit with the concept of toons and Toon versions of both Donald and José appear in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Thus, the argument could be made that Aquarela do Brasil depicts the births of Toon Donald and Toon José, not the flesh-and-blood versions of them who descended from others birds, not just a paintbrush. It's also possible that the events of the short did happen to the flesh-and-blood Donald and José, but that the sequences involving the painter are non-canonical and are a storytelling method rather than a concrete fact.
- The Three Caballeros (1944) is something of a sequel to this film. It is also a film that honors Latin American culture and uses Donald Duck as something of a symbol for the American viewer: eagerly learning and experiencing the wonders of Latin America. José Carioca also reappears in The Three Caballeros, and he already knows Donald, confirming that the film takes place chronologically after Saludos Amigos or, at least, the Aquarela do Brasil segment of Saludos Amigos, where Donald and José are shown meeting each other for the first time.
- Donald references the events of Aquarela do Brasil in Two Happy Amigos (1960), saying to José, "Hey, remember when you taught me the samba?"
- Legend of the Three Caballeros (2018) plays itself as something of a sequel to this film, seemingly taking place in between Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. This can be deduced as Donald and José do not feel the introduce themselves to each other during the events of Dope-a-Cabana, yet Panchito Pistoles does introduce himself to both, indicating that the show depicts Panchito's first meeting of Donald and José but may or may not depict Donald and José's first meeting of each other. It would make sense that Donald and José met prior to Dope-a-Cabana as Saludos Amigos clearly shows them as meeting during the events of Aquarela do Brasil.
Behind the scenes
Saludos Amigos is based on the real-life tour Walt Disney and roughly twenty of his studio members took through South America. It consists of footage, narration, and some animation explaining the tour. In addition, four short animated stories or segments are used to portray various aspects of South American culture: Lake Titicaca, Pedro, Gaucho Goofy, and Aquarela do Brasil.