Friday, July 3, 2009
In 1946 legendary surrealist Salvador Dali formed an unlikely friendship with Walt Disney, and they spent some time collaborating on a short film called Destino. Dali and Disney artist John Hench worked on a lot of storyboards, but only 18 seconds of test footage were shot before the project was abandoned.
In 1999, Disney's nephew Roy Edward Disney was working on Fantasia 2000 and he decided to complete the Destino project, over 50 years after production began. 25 Disney artists worked from the original storyboards (with some input from Hench himself, and notes from the journals of Dali's widow) and finally completed Destino using a mix of hand-drawn and computer animation. The 18 seconds of test footage were included, in the shots of the two weird, turtle-like creatures seen above.
Destino didn't end up as part of Fantasia 2000 and hasn't been widely screened. It was seen in theaters with the films Calendar Girls and Triplets of Belleville, but so far it hasn't been released on DVD. It's amazing to look at, but I have the feeling that the imagery in Dali's own version would have been a bit more disturbing. (Notice how those turtle monsters kind of stand out from everything around them?) It's also a little funny how the Disney artists just can't resist making the dancing girl into a Disney princess. There are a few shots in here that look a bit like Belle in Dali Land.
I'm kind of amazed Disney's lawyers haven't yanked this clip down already, so see it while you can.
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