I recently discovered (much too late) the beautiful Destino, a six minute animated short film created from an abandoned project of Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí from 1946.

According to Open Culture magazine, “the film was storyboarded by Dalí and John Hench (a Disney studio artist) over the course of eight months. But then, rather abruptly, the project was tabled when The Walt Disney Company ran into financial problems.”

Walt Disney’s nephew, Roy E. Disney, then unearthed the project while working on Fantasia 2000, alongside 17 seconds of original animation. 25 animators working in Disney Studios France brought the film back to life and premiered it at The New York Film Festival in 2003. Produced by Baker Bloodworth and directed by French animator Dominique Monfery, Destino was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animation Short Film category.

While watching the short, I was struck by how the unmistakeable styles of the two very different cultural icons blend seamlessly. Much like a live-ballet or musical performance, Destino illustrates the capabilities of its form, that of animation, to capture a feeling that cannot be described with language. The story is not easy to follow, yet the musicality of the movement and the overlay of Armando Dominguez’s Spanish words sung by Dora Luz seem to transcend the need for a traditional narrative, instead highlighting what Dali has said himself to be “a magical display of the problem of life in the labyrinth of time.”

You can find the film below:

Imogen Reid, 27 August 2016