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José Carioca (also known as Zé Carioca) is an anthropomorphic Brazilian parrot that first appeared in Disney's 1943 animated feature film Saludos Amigos. A slick and debonair Template:WikipediaLink from Rio de Janeiro, José befriended Donald Duck during the latter's trip to South America. In later years, José joined Donald and the rambunctious rooster Panchito Pistoles as a member of the Three Caballeros.



José is based on a parrot spotted by Walt Disney during his Brazilian trip. He 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 stereotype. He is smart, friendly and always in a good mood. His clothes represent the Brazilian "Malandros" (someone who is a "rascal" or has a "bad boy" life style in Brazil) 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.


José is practically Donald's opposite, in that he is suave, cool and good under pressure. He is extremely benevolent, charming, kind hearted and debonair besides being very extroverted and talkactive, tending to make friends fairly easily, and rarely suffering the same comical misfortunes as his classic Disney co-stars (at least in animation).

He is portrayed as a ladies' man, enjoys parties, and acts as a typical "brazilian rascal", called "malandro" in portuguese. He carries around an umbrella wherever he goes, using it as a cane; he can also use it as a musical instrument, such as a flute, guitar or trombone. He is very passionate about the Brazilian culture, the food and drinking, the places, the music, and is often seeing singing and dancing Template:WikipediaLink, a typical music genre from Brazil. He is also eager to share the culture and costumes of his country with others, as when he meets Donald and wants to show him everything about Template:WikipediaLink and Template:WikipediaLink, the capital of the state of Template:WikipediaLink.

José is unique in that he is one of the few Disney characters to actually admire Donald Duck and his work, as José himself revealed in Saludos Amigos. Being a fan, he was more than happy to introduce Donald to Rio, and a friendly bond grew rather quickly afterward. Since, both José and Donald express great joy whenever they have the chance to reunite. José is also the best friend of Panchito Pistoles who, despite being the most rambunctious and unpredictable of the three, shares José's charisma and prosperity.

For all his elegance, José is rather naive when it comes to America and its customs. In "Two Happy Amigos", he toured some American states and mistook wild animals (mostly predators looking to eat him) as friendly natives. He also has some trouble with the English language despite being bilingual. When told he'll see a moose during his tour, José assumed he was prepping to see his friend Mickey Mouse. Nevertheless, José is jovial and always excited to learn new things, having had an enjoyable trip despite the misunderstandings.


Saludos Amigos[]

Template:Quote 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 paintbrush. 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 Template:WikipediaLink at a restaurant. He also teaches Donald how to dance the Samba, a music genre from 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.

The Three Caballeros[]

Template:Quote José reappears in this sequel film to Saludos Amigos. In the second segment of the film, José presents Donald with a book about Template:WikipediaLink (called "Baía" in the film) the capital city of 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. In the end, José lights up some fireworks with his cigar.

Walt Disney anthology series[]


José with Donald.

José appears in the episodes "Two Happy Amigos", "Carnival Time" and "Music for Everybody". In "Two Happy Amigos" (which acts as a spiritual sequel to both Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros), José travels to the United States to both visit Donald, and tour through a few American states. He teaches Donald the latest dance craze in Brazil called the "Cha-Cha", then, by using Donald's postcards, magically warps to various states to take in the western culture. In during which, he nearly meets a gruesome demise at the jaws of the local wild animals he encounters, but a jovial José fails to comprehend the danger, simply taking in the exotic wonder. Though he enjoys his trip, José becomes homesick by the end, and happily returns home on Burrito. In "Carnival Time", José is stationed as a correspondent at the annual festival celebration of Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, for The Von Drake Report, hosted by Ludwig Von Drake. In "Music for Everybody," José and Donald appear in a segment where Von Drake demonstrates the effect of music on a person's mood, then they appear in the Blame it on the Samba segment (which is identical to its Melody Time rendition).

Melody Time[]

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.

The Three Musketeers[]

In 1984, Disney was developing an animated adaptation of The Three Musketeers. Storyboard artists Steve Hulett and Pete Young developed the project with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and José Carioca as the Musketeers, but the film was never made.[1][2]

Mickey Mouse Works[]

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 supermarket. Mickey tries to become more sophisticated with his cooking, but his efforts backfire. Minnie then set 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.

House of Mouse[]


José with Donald and Panchito in House of Mouse.

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 solves the problem by humiliating Donald and making him popular on stage.

He also has a large role in "Not So Goofy", where he is hired to teach Goofy to become "Un-Goofy" and later performs "My Name is Panchito" with Panchito and Donald.

Mickey Mouse[]


José in Mickey Mouse.

José first appeared in "O Futebol Clássico" as the commentator of the World Cup games.

He also appeared alongside Panchito Pistoles and Donald Duck in "¡Feliz Cumpleaños!".

In "Carnaval", José took part in the titular celebration in Rio de Janeiro, as a singer. Towards the end, he and other attendants assisted Mickey in saving Minnie.

Mickey and the Roadster Racers[]

José appeared in the episode "Mickey's Perfecto Day", where Donald and the others visited Madrid to watch the Three Caballeros perform. Both José and Panchito are formally introduced to Daisy and are excited to be reunited, but Donald takes a bite of spicy food and loses his voice. José and Panchito enlist Daisy as Donald's replacement, but the trio is reunited after Donald regains his voice from a temper tantrum. They sing at Goofy and El Horace's dance-off and are accompanied by Daisy nevertheless, creating a quartet.

Legend of the Three Caballeros[]

File:Jose LOTTC.jpeg

José in Legend of the Three Caballeros.

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.


File:DuckTales 2017 Jose Carioca-0.png

José in DuckTales.

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. He at first claims to be a jet setter (a person whose job entails that they travel constantly) before revealing that he is just a mere flight attendant. He renews his friendship with Donald and Panchito to defeat the Drosera occidendum. He appears in two more episodes: "Louie's Eleven!" and "The Last Adventure!".

Other appearances[]

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.

In The Pirate (1949), a comic book story published in Four Color, where Yellow Beak meets the The Seven Dwarfs, the artist Tony Strobl makes Yellow Beak look like José.

On Brazilian television in the 1990s, José was the host of the Club Disney segment of the children's programming block TV Colosso, where a puppet version of the character would interview Brazilian celebrities and introduce Disney cartoons.

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".

Printed media[]


File:Zé Carioca 2316.jpg

José Carioca wearing a T-shirt, baseball cap, jeans, and tennis shoes, the design introduced for him in the Brazilian comics in 1992. The comic book is called "Zé Carioca", the name by which José is known in Brazil.

José had his own comic book strips in Brazil, from 1961 to 2018. 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.

In the oldest José Carioca comics, he appeared to live in Duckburg. He often met characters like Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose, etc. Later, it was established that José Carioca lives in Xurupita Village, a simple neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. José Carioca's friends include Nestor, Pedrão, and Afonsinho. Maria Vaz is his girlfriend. Zé Galo is José Carioca's rival for Maria Vaz's affections.

Since 1983, the character also has stories produced in the Netherlands, published in the comic book Donald Duck, where he is more like his version of the newspapers, the color of his suit is grey.

In the comics, José Carioca is a normal guy and does not have any of the minor magical powers he displays in the animated movies.

See Green Bat for José Carioca's superhero alter ego who appears in the comics. In some stories, José Carioca and Nestor also formed the Ease Detective Agency (in Portuguese: Agência de Detetives Moleza), where they work as detectives, wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora.

Design changes[]

  • Initially, in the Brazilian comics, José Carioca had the same design as in the animated movies Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros, including his jacket with bowtie, his flat hat, umbrella, and cigar.
  • Starting in the 1960s, José's design changed: he started to wear only a T-shirt and pants, with bare feet. The T-shirt is consistent with the hot climate of Rio de Janeiro.
  • In the 1983 story "A Requited Love" (Um Amor Correspondido), Zé Carioca started to appear in his old design again, only without the cigar.
  • In 1992, José Carioca had his design changed once more: he started to wear a T-shirt again, with a baseball cap, jeans, and tennis shoes.
  • In "The Three Caballeros Ride Again" (2000) and "The Magnificent Seven (Minus 4) Caballeros" (2005), two stories written by American author Don Rosa, José Carioca has his old design, minus his cigar.
  • In 2020, Editora Culturama resumed the production of comics where Editora Abril stopped, in which José wears a Panama hat, t-shirt and pants.

Disney Parks[]

File:Jose Carioca Character Central.jpeg

José, posing for a photo at Tokyo Disney Resort.

José appears as an extremely rare meet-and-greet character in the United States but appears regularly at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. He has recently had somewhat of a resurgence, appearing during special events throughout the year at several parks around the world.

Disneyland Resort[]

José appeared in Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland park. He and Panchito joined Donald as they danced along the parade with female dancers. He carried a long stick for breaking piñatas.

José also appears alongside Panchito and Donald in World of Color: Season of Light, in which the trio perform "Feliz Navidad".

He also appears in the ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party, which occurs during the holiday season in Disney California Adventure.

Walt Disney World[]

In the former attraction Mickey Mouse Revue at Magic Kingdom, José appeared in animatronic form along with Panchito and Donald performing "The Three Caballeros". The same animatronic was later placed in the finale sequence of Gran Fiesta Tour, replacing the last animation sequence in 2015.

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 Resort and 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. In 2018, he and Panchito made appearances during Discovery Island Carnivale at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Disneyland Paris[]

In 2017, José appeared in the Disneyland park Halloween attraction Goofy's Skeletoons Street Party.

In 2018, José and Panchito were amongst Max Goof's invited musical guests as the Three Callbereos (minus Donald) in the FanDaze show, Max Live!.

It's a Small World[]

José can be spotted in Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland versions of the attraction, along with Donald and Panchito in the Mexico area in the South America section.




  • In Brazil, he is known as "Zé Carioca", since Zé is the Brazilian diminutive of José.
  • His surname "Carioca" is how brazilians call the people that were born in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
  • José's eyes are red, but the eye color varies in the Disney franchise. In some comics and occasionally merchandise, his eyes are brown or green. In other comics, his eyes are blue (especially in Zé Carioca comics) and even orange.
  • José's signature cigar has not been featured in his later appearances, due to Disney's smoking ban.


  1. Hulett, Steve (December 4, 2014). Mouse In Transition: An Insider's Look at Disney Feature Animation. Theme Park Press. pp. 17–21, 60. ISBN 978-1941500248
  2. Harmetz, Aljean (August 27, 1984). "Animation Again a Priority". The New York Times

External links[]

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