Latin Baby ~ Disney’s Latin America Films

The Latin America films in other languages

I enjoy looking at titles (and clips) of films I like in other languages (namely the two I’ve studied, Japanese and Spanish). So naturally, this line of inquiry led to an investigation of the Latin America films and issues in their titling, marketing, and translation. (And besides, I haven’t written a good, long article in ages). For example, how does a film called “Saludos Amigos” work out in countries where no one is familiar with Spanish? And what was the film called in Portugal? What about the songs and character names? Well, this is what the article covers, so keep reading.


The title of the 1943 film “Saludos Amigos” means “greetings friends” in Spanish for those of you that don’t know, by the way. Still, the film covers a lot of Brazil (as does The Three Caballeros), which is a Portuguese-speaking country. So in Brazil, the film was titled Alô Amigos (which means about the same thing) and in Portugal it was called Olá Amigos.

In Japan (where the film was not released until 1957) the title was 「ラテンアメリカの旅」which means “journey through Latin America.”

In Germany (where the film was also not seen until after World War II, with a West German premiere of March 17th 1953) the film was linked to The Three Caballeros with the title Drei Caballeros im Sambafieber, despite the fact that there are only 2 “caballeros” in the film and that the film was shown BEFORE the premiere of its sequel….but I also came across another German title for the film which may have been used first: Grüß’ Euch, which according to reader Kenzie means “Greet You.”

As for The Three Caballeros, most countries left in the word “caballeros” as-is, just translating “The Three” part. In Japan, though, the film unfortunately received the title 「3人の騎士」which literally means “the 3 knights” or “the 3 horsemen.” I know that “caballero” often gets translated literally as “horseman,” but I feel that this title is just a little odd. The Chinese title of the film uses a similar literal translation, “三骑士.”

Interestingly, the Norwegian title is Donald møter nye venner. ***update (6/15/08): Sailor Kitty informed me that this title means “Donald meets new friends.”***

In Portugal, the film is A Caixinha de Surpresas, and in Brazil it is Você já foi à Bahia?, which probably refers to José Carioca’s “Have you been to Baía?” song. Certainly, there’s more to the film than that, but as they said back when the films were being produced, they had to be combined because “no one in Argentina would go to see a Chile film” and vice versa….so we get a title that stresses the Brazilian segment.

Character Names

Donald Duck has many names throughout the world. Often, the name is kept but “duck” is translated (i.e. in Portuguese and Spanish he is Pato Donald). Sometimes, his name is exactly the same (i.e. in Japanese he is “donaldo dakku,” a direct transliteration). In other cases, his name is totally different (in Swedish he is Kalle Anka). So, depending on the version of the film, the name may be totally different.

Interestingly, when José Carioca first meets Donald in the English version of Saludos Amigos and we hear him speaking in Portuguese, he says “O Pato Donald!?!”


Some songs (such as “The 3 Caballeros” song) are usually translated. Others (such as “Aquarela do Brasil) are usually left in their native language. You can see examples of both practices in the below video clips.

Video Clips

Even in the days of YouTube and many many multi-language video montages of Disney songs (which are really fun to watch, by the way), it’s nearly impossible to find clips of either of the Latin America films in other languages. However, I’ve discovered a few which I will post here for your enjoyment!

Here is the Bahia segment from The 3 Caballeros in Spanish (hearing Ze Carioca in Spanish is pretty odd):

Here is the Brazilian Portuguese dub of the “Aquarela do Brasil” segment from Saludos. Interestingly, they keep a lot of Donald’s dialogue in English….so it’s almost the same!

Beautiful song translation: the Portuguese dub of “Blame it on the Samba”:

The “Three Caballeros” song in Spanish: (I really like this one, Panchito’s Spanish voice actor is great!)

This is a video of part of the old “Mickey Mouse Revue” from Disney World currently in Tokyo Disneyland (all the songs have been dubbed into Japanese). You can catch a piece of the “Three Caballeros” song in Japanese (which is horrible for the most part): (always reminds me how much I hate Donald’s Japanese voice actor – he’s too intelligible!).

After much much searching I found the “Aquarela do Brasil” segment from the Japanese dub (which thankfully has a better Donald voice) but the switching between voice actors that is done is a bit awkward especially with Ze, whose Japanese voice actor sounds really sleazy and effeminate. Unfortunately you have to sign up at the site to view the video, but here is the URL:

I really wish someone would put together a comparison video of the different languages just for a dialogue clip for these films!

If you know any more interesting titles and/or translation stories, or you have more video clips of different dubs of the film, comment away!

I am in possession of a Chinese dub of The 3 Caballeros. Unfortunately I don’t speak Chinese. I may try to upload some videos later though just so you can see what it sounds like.

***UPDATE: the video can be found here: A word of warning – it’s kind of a large file (about 70 Mb).****


11 Comments so far
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Very interesting! I love studying other languages. By the way, I know GermanGrüß’ Euch means: Greet you. Drei Caballeros! I’ll have to watch those videos soon!

Comment by Kenzie

Donald møter nye venner=Donald meets new freinds.
I’m half-Norwigen, så I know this. In Swedish, you might want to know that the title was “dom tre Kavaljererna” or “The three Chevaliers” in egnlish. Kavaljer is a hard word to translate, so I’ll leave it at that.

Comment by Sailor Kitty

Portuguese is such a beautiful language. I am an Animaniacs fan, so I have the Volume 1 DVD set. You can listen to it in English, and for some odd reason Portuguese (There’s French and Spanish Subtitles, but not spoken. Portuguese is so beautiful, it sounds more Italian than Spanish to me, and it has a lot of French characteristics.

By the way, the odd “ß” letter in German, is sharfest S, it sounds like two s’. So “Grüß’ Euch” is prounounced “Groo-ss Yoook”. If you ask me, Instead of “Grüß’ Euch”, “Begrüßungsfreunde” would be more appropriate a title. Yes it is one word, meaning Salutations Friends. It’s prounounced “Beh-grooss-ung-se-fruend-eh”

I don’t know what the titles are in France. But a literal translation, from “The Three Gentlemen” would be “Les Trois Messieurs”, however if the film would be shown, it is more likely to be “Les Trois Caballeros”

Another interesting note: In the US, posters for Saludos Amigos were often told somehow or another that “Saludos Amigos” means “Hello Friends”. A more accurite translation would be “Salutations Friends”

Comment by Kenzie

[…] video I happen to be in possession of a Chinese dub of The 3 Caballeros.  As a follow-up to my earlier post on foreign-language versions of the Latin America films, I decided to upload some clips to showcase Donald, Panchito, and José […]

Pingback by The 3 Caballeros in Chinese! « Latin Baby ~ Disney’s Latin America Features

Can anyone tell me what language the song “Os Quindins de Yaya” is sung in? This is the song that Aurora Miranda sings when Donald and Jose visit Bahia. It starts around the 3 minute mark in the first video. IMDB lists it as having been sung in Spanish, but I would think that it is in Portuguese as the segment takes place in Brazil and Ary Barosso, who wrote the song is Brazilian. The lyrics sound the same in the Spanish dubbed video as they do in the actual movie, so I don’t know if that means the song actually was sung in Spanish or if it means that it is in Portuguese and the Spanish dub just didn’t bother to translate it.

Comment by Jeremiah

It’s in Brazilian Portuguese

Comment by reccaphoenix

Thanks a lot!

Comment by Jeremiah

I actually have another question about two of the other songs featured in “The Three Caballeros”. The title song from the film took its melody from a pre-existing Mexican song called “Ay, Jalisco, no te rajes!” and recieved new English lyrics written by Ray Gilbert. These lyrics were not a translation of the original Spanish lyrics, but were instead a completely new and unrelated set of lyrics written to the same melody.

The songs “Baia” and “You Belong to My Heart” were also pre-existing Latin American songs that Ray Gilbert wrote English lyrics to when Disney decided to use them in their film. “Baia” (originally titled “Na Baixa do Sapateiro”) was originally written in Portuguese and “You Belong to My Heart” (originally titled “Solamente una vez”) was originally written in Spanish.

My question is whether Ray Gilbert’s English lyrics for these songs are –

1. Direct translations of the original lyrics

2. Translations of the general meanings of the songs, but not of the exact words


3. Completely different and unrelated lyrics that were simply written to the same tunes of the songs (Like the lyrics he wrote for Ay, Jalisco, no te rajes!”/”The Three Caballeros”)

Comment by Jeremiah

3 Caballeros: totally unrelated lyrics (and for the record, Jorge Negrete’s version of Jalisco No Te Rajes is awesome~~)

Baia: I’m not sure, but I think they are probably unrelated (Na Baixa do Sapateiro is just a standard love song from what I understand).

You Belong to My Heart: unrelated lyrics.

Comment by reccaphoenix

I don’t know if you are at all interested, but I did find a translation of “Na Baixa do Sapateiro”‘s original lyrics. There are a few similarities between them, but all in all they are very different.

Here’s a link – you can find the lyrics on pg. 265.

Comment by Jeremiah

Thanks for replying so fast. What leads you to believe that “Na Baixa do Sapateiro” is “just a standard love song”? Is there anything specific that you can share with me to support that conclusion?

Comment by Jeremiah

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