Action-Adventure, adventure, classic disney, Comedy, daisy duck, Disney, disney animated, disney animation, disney review, Donald Duck, felldrake, jose carioca, jose carrioca, legend of the three caballeros, myth, panchito, shellgoose, television review, three caballeros, xandra
If you’re as die-hard a Disney fan as I am, then you’ve already heard the news about a certain new avian-centric animated series produced by the mouse house; One that hasn’t been officially announced yet but has fellow Disneyphiles riled up nearly as much as when the Ducktales reboot was launched.
Confession time: The Three Caballeros is in my Top 10 favorite animated Disney films. Sometimes it’s switched out for another depending on my mood but even then it’s always in somewhere in my top 13. There’s little to discuss in terms of story or character but it’s a decent introduction to Mexican and South American culture and the art and musical numbers just leap off the screen. It’s a short fun film to get lost in for 70 minutes. I’m in the camp that finds it vastly underrated and love whatever recognition it gets from the company that made it in the first place. So seeing Donald, Panchito and Jose finally getting to go on the mythical globetrotting adventure they deserve complete with subtle references to Carl Barks’ Donald comics and obscure Disney characters sprinkled throughout? Well, it felt like Cinco De Mayo came twice this year.
What? My birthday’s on May 5th, I can celebrate it too.
Even though I was going to patiently wait until the series officially premiered in the US, I admit I caved and watched the first five episodes that were leaked and brother, they did not disappoint. In such a short amount a time you get a vast wealth of lore and world building AND comedy that is hilariously on-point with classic Donald Duck cartoons. The animation has a touch of that stiffness you get from Adobe Flash but the models and colorful backgrounds bring you back to the days of classic Disney animation. The new characters were introduced to are great as well; as much as I love our heroic triumvirate, they kind of steal the show. Our villains comprise of Felldrake, an evil power-hungry sorcerer trapped in a staff looking to continue his conquest of the universe, and his greedy descendant Baron Von Shellgoose (voiced by Wayne Knight). These two play off each other spectacularly, with Felldrake’s constant impatience over Shellgoose’s ineptitude and cowardice always pitting each other against themselves almost as much as they do the Three Caballeros.
And then…there’s Xandra.
Is this what it’s like to have a crush on a cartoon character? To be overcome with a sudden inexplicable longing to be with the most badass and beautiful things ever envisioned despite the fact that you’re cis-hetero and she’s a series of digitally painted lines that doesn’t even exist? Xandra is an amazing fighter, keeps the group together, is usually the first to have a plan at the ready, and literally lives in a book containing the hidden secrets of the cosmos. And she’s voiced by Grey DeLisle. Put them all together and you get what Azula from Avatar the Last Airbender would be if she was a good guy, and considering how evil Azula is that is no mean feat. For all her level-headed Amazonian warriorness, Xandra’s no stick in the mud either. She parties hard with Roman gods for goodness sake (or rather she used to before she got trapped in said book by Felldrake). Xandra’s inclusion in this series doesn’t feel like a last-minute solution to having a great big book of everything to help the heroes or mollifying those who decry the lack of proactive women in animated media; if anything it’s a nod to The Three Caballeros’ movie where they would have run-ins with many a beautiful high-spirited live-action lady while on their travels, albeit this time it’s one SUPER lady (in all meanings of the word) who maintains the best of both qualities. She’s kind of unofficially the Fourth Caballero in that regard, and I welcome her with open arms into the pantheon of awesome Disney women.
It’s a shame we’re going to have to wait AN ENTIRE FREAKING YEAR for the official premiere of this series, especially since it’s already out there for three other countries to enjoy and it appeals to virtually everybody Disney could hope for – boys, girls, parents, and hardcore old-school Disney lovers alike can enjoy this. Since I got my Patreon restarted one of my goals is that I’ll return to doing tv series reviews once I reach $100. I don’t think it will come as a surprise that should that day ever come, Legend of the Three Caballeros will be one of the shows up for serious consideration. So even though I await the day I can see it for real on my big screen, well, give it a watch should the opportunity arise. And spread the word so I can hopefully get to talk about it in depth some more! See you August 1st for the next movie review!