Tuesday, October 12, 2010
When I first read about this I presumed it was a joke! But in truth, in 1946, Salvador Dali and Walt Disney started to make a cartoon together.
Choosing a Mexican love ballad as the theme, the pair created drawings, paintings and storyboards for a film which, had it been completed, would probably have been an amazing surrealist fairytale. But after a few months the infant film was shelved. Disney's studio stated financial trouble as the reason.
Dalí had already made two short films with Luis Buñuel, and was working on Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound", when he approached Disney at a Warner Brother's dinner party. He held Disney in high esteem, stating: "I have come to Hollywood and am in touch with the three great American surrealists - the Marx Brothers, Cecil B. DeMille and Walt Disney." Dalí believed he and Disney could create "the first motion picture of the Never Seen Before."
Though the collaboration might seem strange today (the current Disney empire is far from subversive), Walt Disney was actually a progressive innovator. Six years previously he had made "Fantasia" - a groundbreaking series of beautiful animations set to classical music. Like many things that are ahead of its time, it wasn't received well, and was a massive commercial failure. I suspect it was partially due to "Fantasia" that the company's execs decided to pull the plug on the Disney-Dalí collaboration, after a mere 15 seconds of footage had been created.
53 years later, when "Fantasia" had been hailed as a work of genius, and was being remastered, Walt Disney's nephew Roy Edward Disney, unearthed the dormant Disney-Dali project. He decided to bring it back to life, and a team of Disney animators finished what Dalí started. The result is "Destino": the six-minute journey of a beautiful ballerina through a strange desert land.
Researching this has opened a kettle of fish on Disney himself, but I'll leave my findings on him for another post!
Thanks to Rosa Maria at http://blogillustratus.blogspot.com/ for making me aware of "Destino".
DALÍ'S DREAM SEQUENCE IN "SPELLBOUND"