Saludos Amigos was the sixth full-length animated feature film in the Disney Animated Canon, released on this day in 1942. It is the first of the six Disney "Package films" made during the 1940s, when many members of the production staff were drafted into World War II. Due to this decrease in resources, the company could not afford to make feature-length stories during this time and instead produced films composed of multiple shorter segments. Set in Latin America, it is made up of four different segments; Donald Duck stars in two of them and Goofy stars in one. It also features the first appearance of José Carioca. At a running-time of 42 minutes, Saludos Amigos is the shortest Disney animated feature.
The film itself was given federal loan guarantees, because the Disney studio had over-expanded just before European markets were closed to them by the war, and because Disney was struggling with labor unrest at the time (including a strike that was underway at the time the goodwill journey began).
Saludos Amigos was popular enough that Walt Disney decided to make The Three Caballeros two years later. The film was made partially because several Latin American governments had close ties with Nazi Germany, and the US government wanted to counteract those ties. Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters were popular in Latin America, and Walt Disney acted as ambassador.
Source: Disney Wikia
Banner Photo Credit: Disney