José Carioca is a Brazilian parrot from Rio de Janeiro who is a friend of Donald Duck.
He first appeared alongside Donald in Disney's 1943 animated feature film Saludos Amigos (during the segment Aquarela do Brasil).
José is suave, cool and good under pressure. He is portrayed as a ladies man and very fun. He enjoys parties, women and his best friends Donald and Panchito. He also carries around an umbrella wherever he goes with him and uses it like a cane, and he can also use it as a musical instrument, such as a flute, guitar or trombone.
José is a green tropical parrot based on one spotted by Walt Disney during his Brazilian trip.
José was created during World War II events via the "Good Neighbor Policy" to enforce Brazil's cooperation. He represents every aspect of the typical Brazilian. He is smart, friendly and always in a good mood. His clothes represent the Brazilian "Malandros" ("Ladies Men" in Portuguese) and his happiness resembles that of Rio de Janeiro.
From the end of the Second World War until 1949, American films were not allowed to be exported to Occupied Europe, which included Disney cartoons. To find a new market to make up for this, Walt Disney focused on the South American market and used José Carioca to help promote this.
In the film Saludos Amigos, José appears in the final segment, Aquarela do Brasil (translated as Watercolors of Brazil). José is created by a living paint brush. Donald Duck sees the painting and meets José. José introduces himself and seems to be a big fan of Donald Duck and his cartoons. José gives Donald a tour of Brazil and offers cachaça at a restaurant. He also teaches Donald how to dance the Samba, a dance native to Brazil. Later, Donald hiccups and gives a great beat for José to start a song. José and Donald party at the club as the segment ends.
José reappears in this sequel film to Saludos Amigos. In the second segment of the film, José presents Donald with a book about Bahia, one of Brazil's states, as a birthday present. José shrinks Donald and himself and the two enter the book. Jose and Donald met up with locals and dance the samba with them. After leaving the book, Donald realizes that he is too small to open his third present. Jose uses "black magic" to transform them both to normal size.
Donald opens his third present, and he and José met Panchito Pistoles, a rooster from Mexico. The three take the name of The Three Caballeros. Panchito takes both José and Donald on a tour of Mexico, telling them the tradition regarding the piñata. José then watches as Donald attempts to break open the piñata. At the end, José lights up some fireworks with his cigar.
In Melody Time, José appears in the sixth segment, Blame it on the Samba. José is seen with Donald, as the two are moping in a cafe. The Aracuan Bird sees them both, and introduces them to the Samba, which manages to cheer up both José and Donald.
José has appeared in a handful of episodes of the Walt Disney anthology series of the 1950s and '60s. One of the first is "A Present for Donald", an edited TV airing of The Three Caballeros that aired on Disneyland in 1954, which is set at Christmas rather than on Donald's birthday.
Another episode is "Two Happy Amigos", which aired on Walt Disney Presents in 1960. In this, Donald and José reunite, and Donald shows José shows him the wonders of his country, just as José had done for Donald in the Latin American movies.
José also appeared in "Carnival Time", which aired on Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color in 1962. Here, Ludwig Von Drake reports on two annual festival celebrations, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Carnivale in Rio de Janeiro, with correspondence provided by Donald and José, respectively.
José makes a notable appearance in the animated series Mickey Mouse Works in the short "Mickey Tries to Cook". Minnie tires of the mundane ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches that Mickey continuously makes on their dates. Later, Mickey mistakenly believes that José and Minnie have begun dating after seeing the two together in a super market. Mickey tries to become more sophisticated with his cooking, but his efforts backfire. Minnie then sets things straight; she had asked José to set up a dinner date for her and Mickey that featured Brazilian food. Ironically, the food turns out to be ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches, though José calls the food by its Brazilian translation.
José made several appearances in House of Mouse, mostly in crowd scenes with Panchito.
In the episode "The Three Caballeros", he is asked to perform at the club as part of the Three Caballeros. However, problems arise when Donald realizes that no one remembers that he is part of the group. To this end, Donald takes various measures meant to ensure that he isn't forgotten. Finally, Mickey calls José and Panchito to solve the problem. The duo solve the problem by humiliating Donald and making him popular on stage.
Jose appeared in "O Futebol Classico" as the commentator of the World Cup games.
In this spinoff series, José first meets Donald and Panchito when the three inherit the adventurer cabana of Clinton Coot, due to their direct kinship with the original Three Caballeros. Much of José's characterization in the series borrows from his comics incarnations as a consistently broke lady's man getting by on his charisma and quick-thinking. He initially has no desire to follow his descendants' footsteps as a hero but comes to accept his destiny down the line (though his crush on Xandra helps). José also has a talent for speaking many different languages, though he has a tendency to say the wrong thing, which only serves to get him and his friends into more trouble. In the episode "Nazca Racing", José is shown to be a naive philanthropist who is easily taken advantage of by obvious con-artists.
José, along with Panchito, made his debut in the reboot's second season episode "The Town Where Everyone Was Nice!". Here, he is a member of the DuckTales incarnation of the Three Caballeros, who in the series, was a band Donald was a part of in college.
Two José look-alikes can be seen on the jury in Alice in Wonderland, but both seem older and dress differently than how José usually dresses as well as both of them missing José's bright red and blue tail feathers.
José appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit in a very brief cameo with all the Toons during the last scene of the movie, where the toons are confirming what Judge Doom wasn't.
José makes a brief, non-speaking cameo alongside Donald in the It's a Small World: The Animated Series episode "Up and Down".
José has his own comic book strips in Brazil. In some of the comics, he's also a hustler (confidence artist) and a poor parrot. Some of his morals seem to be questioned (gleefully ready to kill a pigeon, to cook and eat, without a second thought); however, he still seems to care about his friends.
José appears as an extremely rare meet-and-greet character in the United States, but appears regularly at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.
José appears in Mickey's Soundsational Parade at the Disneylandpark. He and Panchito join Donald as they dance along the parade with female dancers. He carries a long stick for breaking pinatas.
José also appears alongside Panchito and Donald in World of Color: Season of Light, in which the trio perform "Feliz Navidad".
Walt Disney World Resort
José appears in the Epcot boat ride, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, along with Donald and Panchito. In the ride, The Three Caballeros plan to perform a concert in Mexico City, but Donald goes missing, prompting José and Panchito to go on a search for their missing friend.
José's likeness is also featured at Disney's All-Star Music Resortand Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.
In 2016, José and Panchito played prominent roles as Donald's invited guests in the holiday castle show, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration.
It's a Small World
José can be spotted in the Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland versions of the attraction, along with Donald and Panchito.
- José is one of the few characters in the Disney universe to have been a fan of Donald Duck and showed fondness of him in first meeting him.
- José's eyes are red, but the eye color varies in Disney franchise. In comics and occasionally merchandise, his eyes are brown/green. In other comics, his eyes are blue (especially in "Ze Carioca" comics) and even orange.