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Saludos Amigos

Saludos Amigos(1943)

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  • Disney's Saludos Amigos

    • Will Fox
    • 3/16/15

    Just before World War 2 the US State Department gave the Walt Disney Corporation a large grant of money to conduct the politically pivotal, 1941 goodwill mission for 10-weeks with 18 Disney VIPs, (including the charming and disarming Mr. & Mrs. Walt Disney and several other couples), traveling as a group to Latin America, to win South American hearts and minds in the ABCs, (Brazil, Argentina & Chile in that sequence), away from warring Nazi Germany's colonizing, to flip, and to build alliances in the Americas with the United States, preparing for involvement in the anticipated world war. The U. S. Government's policy in the 1940s was successful as the Good Neighbor Policy. It resulted virtually in universally popular, unity-building films by Disney in 1942, "Saludos Amigos" & "The Three Caballeros." Culture-respecting, South American themes, characteristic music and dances, such as the Brazilian samba, were winsome in family-friendly films, featuring Disney wizardry in colorful cartoons with infectious music. It worked. The pre-Disney, goodwill-tour maps in the ABCs featured Nazi swastikas at strategic locations, wrapping around the South American coasts in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After Disney's very popular, high-volume, international media coverage in the ABCs, Germany's influence in Latin America faded and delegations were asked to leave. For much clearer understanding of Disney's common-culture campaign successes, see TCM's well integrated 2008 documentary, "Walt & El Grupo."

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