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José "Zé" Carioca is a Disney cartoon character drawn as an anthropomorphized parrot from Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazilmarker (thus "Carioca", a term which refers to a person born there). José was created in 1942 for the movie Saludos Amigos as a friend of Donald Duck, described by TIME magazine as "a dapper Brazilian parrot, who is as superior to Donald Duck as the Duck was to Mickey Mouse". He returned in the 1943 film The Three Caballeros along with Donald and a Mexican rooster named Panchito Pistoles. From 1942 to 1945 there was a comic strip starring José Carioca. José also appears with Donald and the Aracuan Bird in the "Blame it on the Samba" segment of the 1948 anthology feature Melody Time.

He also appeared in a 1960s TV special, and the Disney Channel series Mickey Mouse Works and House of Mouse. He also made a brief cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

José is quite popular in Brazil, appearing alongside Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in the local Disney Comics. In Brazil he's known as Zé Carioca ("Zé" being a familiar form for Portuguese name "José", as "Joe" is a familiar form for the English name "Joseph"). He currently appears at least every two weeks in his own Brazilian Comic Books, in which he is portrayed as living with the same Nestor (an anthropomorphized crow) and Pedrão (anthropomorphized dog), along with new other characters: his nephews Zico and Zeca (also parrots), his girlfriend Rosinha (an anthropomorphized bird), daughter of a very rich entrepreneur, and his rival Zé Galo (anthropomorphized rooster).

Comics featuring Joe Carioca, as he is called in The Netherlands, appear occasionally in the Dutchmarker Donald Duck magazine. Joe fills his time with assuming false identities to impress girls (who at the end of the comic always see through the fake identity and leave Joe with a broken heart) and get free dinners in expensive restaurants. This habit often gets him into trouble.

In the Brazilian comics, Zé is also part of his neighborhood soccer team (or acts as a referee) and has a superheroic secret identity, Morcego Verde (Green Bat, a Batman spoof), although he is easily and often recognized, even by his neighbours.

In recent years, Joe Carioca has been used alongside Panchito and Donald in two comics by American artist Keno Don Rosa.
Carioca as a character at Walt Disney World

The creation of a Brazilianmarker animated character during the Second World War was part of a strategy called "Good Neighbor Policy" headed by the United Statesmarker government to improve relations and gather support amongst its neighbor countries.

In April 2007, Disney re-introduced José Carioca (along with the third Caballero, Panchito), in the newly-revamped ride at Epcot's Mexico Pavilion with entirely new animation and a new storyline. It has been dubbed "The Gran Fiesta Tour". After being reunited, The Three Caballeros are set to play a show in Mexico City. But Donald goes missing. José and Panchito must search throughout Mexico for Donald as he takes in various sights around Mexico. The animation for it was apparently directed by Eric Goldberg. [11508]

José can also be seen in the Hong Kong Disneylandmarker version of It's a Small World, which opened on April 28, 2008.


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