What do Walt Disney and Salvador Dali have in common? The answer to this cryptic question is the surrealist animated short, “Destino.” While the style of this short is fascinating, its 58-year production history is even more interesting. In 1945, a collaboration began that would combine Disney’s storytelling with Dali’s artistic style. It was storyboarded over an 8-month period when the fallout of World War II took its toll on the economy and permanently shelved the project. With the eventual deaths of Disney and Dali, the project was seemingly lost forever until Roy E. Disney stumbled upon the project in 1999. The completed short only contains 17 seconds of footage from 1945 but keeps the story intact. Before you approach “Destino” with an expectation of a traditional Disney short, the animation looks nothing like Disney. It is more like a combination of cubism and Dali’s signature melting clocks. Also, the story is used mainly to tie together the interesting imagery. This film is more like a work of art than a child-friendly cartoon. There are some fascinating visual moments where a silhouetted shape suddenly becomes something else. It’s too difficult to describe and worth watching the 6-minute short to see these transformation. The surrealism is further enhanced by the antiquated musical soundtrack that contrasts the modern computer animation. Even though I find the film to be trippy and difficult to follow, I was glad to see it receive an Oscar nomination to bring acknowledgement to Disney for resurrecting this abandoned project. “Destino” probably won’t leave you wanting Disney to make another short in this style, but it is worth seeing if you have an interest in Dali’s artwork.
Watch “Destino” here: https://youtu.be/1GFkN4deuZU
[Pictured: These faces come together to reveal a ballerina in the middle]