The Three Caballeros
Vital Statistics
Full Name The Three Caballeros
Motto We're three caballeros, three gay caballeros...
Type Partnership
Formation 1944
Country of Origin Miniflag Mexico Mexico

The Three Caballeros is the name of the group of friends founded by Donald Duck and his friends of South America Panchito Pistoles and José Carioca.

Known MembersEdit

Main TrioEdit

  • Donald Duck,

    From left to right, José, Panchito and Donald.

  • Jose Carioca,
  • Panchito Pistoles,


  • Senor Martinez (horse),
  • Donald's Ox,
  • Jose's Llama.


Donald Duck was first introduced in 'The Wise Little Hen' in 1934, with Jose Carioca joining him with 'Saludos Amigos' in 1942 and Panchito finally completing the trio in 'The Three Caballeros' in 1944.


Donald and José in Rio, in 1942.

While Donald's whereabouts post-1930 until the mid-40s are a mystery, he is known to have travelled to Brazil in 1942, specifically Rio De Janeiro. During his stay there, he briefly meets Jose Carioca. Interestingly, the first word Jose offers to Donald is 'cavaliero'.

There, they exchange names, while the process is rather hindered by their relative ignorance to one another's languages. Jose offers to show him the city, but ends up teaching Donald some samba lessons. With the assistance of cachaça, they end up dancing the night away.

Two years later, in 1944, he meets Jose in Brazil once more, and after a visit to the state of Baia, they travel to Mexico.


In Mexico they meet a Chihuahuan vaquero named Panchito, who explains the Christmas customs of Mexico, and then proceeds to take them to a trip to Pátzcuaro, Veracruz, Acapulco and finally Mexico City.

"Here Donal'! José!"

The symbolical act of formation occured with Panchito handing two sombreros to Donald and Jose, reaching for them, and exclaiming 'Now we're three gay caballeros!'. He then starts to sing their theme song for the first time. The motto and the lyrics would afterwards change for 'The Three Caballeros Ride Again', to remove 'gay', which stopped referring to 'happiness' or 'merriness' in popular culture, a few decades afterwards.

After a friendly 'bull' fight, they part their ways, remaining a symbol of unity during war, on the night sky of Mexico City.

Senor Martinez, Panchito's horse makes his first appearance before 'The Three Caballeros', but does not meet Jose or Donald in their first trip in Mexico.

Late 1940sEdit

The three often recall risque situations with 'senoritas', and while some are alluded in 'The Three Caballeros', they are mostly mild. There is no sign that the three meet again, until the next decade.


Risque situations in Disney comics? Honh! Honh!

Donald develops a serious relationship with Daisy Duck, and becomes responsible of his nephews, Huey, Luey and Dewey. He also meets his uncle Scrooge in 1947 and experiences some of his classic adventures.

Jose Carioca sings to earn a living, and ends up having tours to foreign countries, including Mexico, which offers plenty of 'tourist money'. While there is some established canon from the daily strips in the 1940s that is used by Brazilian creators even today, it is unknown if it is disregarded or not by Rosa. Interestingly, in the 'Magnificent Seven (Minus Four) Caballeros' he makes a reference to wanting to impress women in Rio. He also flirts with a woman early into the same story. If he has developed relationships with Maria, as in the Brazilian canon, he is not magnificently loyal to her.

Panchito Pistoles continues to travel Mexico with Senor Martinez, working mostly as a vaquero. He too refers to impressing women in the 'Magnificent Seven (Minus Four) Caballeros'. However, he began looking for the Lost City of Tayopa, after he discovers an old map of it.

The Three Caballeros Ride AgainEdit

After roughly a decade from their initial meeting, Donald bumps into Jose in El Divisadero, Mexico. While on the run by Gold Hat, they are ambushed by a pistolero in Barranca Del Cobre.

The gun-wielding gentleman ends up being Panchito whose intent was to attack Gold Hat, from whom he is also on the run. He reveals to them that he had found Tayopa, but that the treasure is unattainable. Nevertheless, the three manage to secure several barrels of what seems to be silver.

The three amigos ride again, after a decade.

Upon their return to El Divisadero, they once again fall into Gold Hat, and have to perform the 'The Three Caballeros' theme in an attempt to escape. After briefly incapacitating them, Gold Hat steals their silver, but is chased and defeated by them shortly therafter.

Unfortunately, they discover that the barrels were filled with quicksilver rather than silver, which instead is worthless. Not letting their spirits down, they return to the Divisadero Hotel, and in order to prevent Jose from losing his job, perform once more, their theme song.

The Magnificent Seven (minus 4) CaballerosEdit

A few months or years after their last adventure, Huey, Luey and Dewey to set up a meeting between the three, in an effort to cheer up their depressed uncle. The three meet in Rio, where they uncover the nephews' plan.

In the brief time between the two meetings, Jose appears to have opened a nightclub in Rio, but both his and

Panchito and Donald meet in Rio, soon to be joined by José.

Panchito's work are disasters. There's not enough work or customers. In an attempt to forget their problems, they decide to become garimpeiros, diamont hunters, in the Matto Grosso. There, Donald and Jose acquire steeds, an ox and a llama respectively.

Donald is eventually abducted by an Indian tribe of illegal animal trappers, descendants of the protectors of the Mines of Fear, a legendary lost city filled with gems. Panchito and Jose rescue Donald and the trapped animals, accidentally finding the Lost City as well, which ends up to be an ancient Phoenician colony, its mines filled with fabulous gemstones of amazing proportions.

After dealing with the Chief of the Indian tribe and Cobra Grande, a giant anaconda, who they actually end up riding as a means of exiting the Lost City (how typical), they return to Rio.


While the mines are property of the Brazilian government, Panchito and Martinez turn in the necklace of the Indian Chief and receive a notable sum of money as a reward. They manage to buy a ranch in Chihuahua, where Panchito plans to sit down on the 'hacienda patio and watch his kettle grow fat and happy'.

Jose earned considerable fame from the discovery of the Mines, with his nightclub performances being sold out for a year. He continues to perform in Rio.

The story arc comes to an end.

Donald, finally dealing with his depression, returns to Duckburg and follows his uncle and nephews to more adventures.

This is how things remain since Don Rosa's previous-to-final story.

Theme Song PerformancesEdit

Their theme song is repeated a total of 4 times, mostly in condensed or altered versions.

The Three Caballeros - OriginalEdit

Upon meeting Panchito in Mexico, the trio erupts into singing the theme song.

We're three caballeros,

three gay caballeros, they say we are birds of a feather!

We're happy amigos, no matter where he goes; The one, two, and three goes, we're always together!

We're three happy chappies, with snappy serapes; You'll find us beneath our sombreros!

We're brave and we'll stay so, We're bright as a peso!

Who says so?! We say so! The three caballeros!


We have the stars to guide us... Guitars here beside us, To play as we go...

We sing and we samba! We shout ay caramba!

What means aya caramba? Oh yes, I don't know...


Through fair or stormy weather... We stand close together... Like books on the shelf!

And pals though we may be! When some Latin baby; Says yes, no, or maybe! Each man is for himself!

Ay, Jalisco no te rajes... Me sale del alma, gritar con color...

Abrir todo el pecho! Pa echar este grito! Que linddo es Jalisco...

Palabraaaaa deeee honooooooooooooor!

–The Three Caballeros


The Three Caballeros Ride Again - Cantina PerformanceEdit

In an attempt to evade Gold Hat, the three caballeros utilize various items from the cantina in order to perform the song.


We're three caballeros, yes, three caballeros, they say we are birds of a featherrrrrr!

We're happy amigos, no matter where he goes, the one-two-and three goes, we're always together!

We're three happy chappies, in snappy serapes, you'll find us beneath our sombreroooos!

We're brave and we'll stay so, we're bright as a peso-

<Gold Hat>: Who says so?

We say so-

-the three caballeroos!

Oooh, we have the stars to guide us...

Guitars here beside us, to play as we go!

We sing and we samba- we should "Ay! Caramba!"

What means "Ay! Caramba!"?

Oh, yes... I don't know!...

Oooh, through fair or stormy weather, we stand close together, like books on a shelf!

And pals though we may be, when some Latin baby says yes, no or maybe...

...each man's for himself!

–The Three Caballeros

The Three Caballeros Ride Again - Divisadera Hotel Performance Edit

In order to rescue Jose's job, Panchito and Donald assist him in one more performance.


The final moments of the concert.

We're brave and we'll stay so, we're bright as a peso!

Who says so? We say so! The three caballerooooos...

We have the staaaars to guide us--

<conversation with HDL takes place>

We say so! The three caballerooooos...

–The Three Caballeros

The Magnificent Seven (minus 4) Caballeros - Ending, Rio PerformanceEdit

This sequence occurs when the three of them sing away their final adventure.

We're three caballeros, three gay caballeros, they say we are birds of a featherrrrr!

We're happy amigos, no matter where he goes, the one-two-and-three-goes, we're always togetherrrr!

We're brave and we'll stay so, we're bright as a peso!

Who says so? We say so!

The three caballeroooos!

–The Three Caballeros


The final panel with the trio.

In Popular CultureEdit


The trio has been in one film, and multiple comic book adaptations. The film was nominated for 2 Oscars, and is

The Gran Fiesta tour, starring the Three Caballeros.

notable for being the first to combine, to that extent, cartoon with live action.

Jose and Panchito each had their own daily strips, with the former ones' evolving to a comic magazine, with a great following in Brazil. They appear in a few Disney-themed resorts.

The three caballeros theme song was later performed by Bing Crosby , and even made it to a Chipmunk album .



The Three Caballeros used to be a frequent device of satire, political or not.

In Greece, the 'Three Caballeros' and the melody of 'Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes' were used to base Tonis Maroudas' song (popular in the 1950s), 'Οι Τρείς Καμπαλλέρος '.

The same term was used in the 50s and 60s to humoristically describe trios, groups of three, though the use of the term decreased notably in recent years.

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