Polly want a cookie? Actually, we should ask if José wants one, as today’s collectible is that famous anthropomorphized parrot from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And he’s looking as dapper as ever:
Leeds circa 1940-1970
José was created in 1942 for the movie Saludos Amigos as a friend of Donald Duck, described by Time as “a dapper Brazilian parrot”. He returned in the 1944 film The Three Caballeros along with Donald and a Mexican rooster named Panchito Pistoles.
This cookie jar is typical of the work produced by Leeds with the minimal cold paint trim. Many examples you find have much of the paints rubbed off, especially the smaller salt and pepper shakers, as they would be handled more often than the bigger cookie jars.
Minimal detailing is especially evident from behind
Don’t try this at home!
The more common José Carioca cookie jar is a double-sided version with Donald Duck. You can find many of these on eBay and other selling sites. Prices fluctuate wildly from $50.00 to $250.00 or more, depending on condition. Missing paint is the most common problem that lowers the price.
Fewer examples of the stand-alone José Carioca cookie jar are available, even online, which makes its price higher and more stable. Still, you should be able to find a nice one for around $100.00 or slightly higher. Luckily, I found mine on a local selling site for just $20.00 CAN.
‘Joe Carioca from The Three Caballeros Walt Disney USA’
Notice it identifies the character as ‘Joe’. This is appropriate as ‘José is the Spanish and Portuguese form of Joseph. It is pronounced jo-SE in case you were wondering. And the feminine form is Josefa. The popularity of the name peaked in the year 2000 and is still slightly more popular now than it was in the 1940’s.
Fun Fact: “Carioca” is a term which refers to a person born in Brazil. So basically his name means ‘Joe of Brazil’.