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DESTINO (2003) (***1/2)

Sensual is not a word often thought of when one thinks of a Disney animated film. But this Disney short flows with it. But this isn't just any Disney short, it originated as a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. A seemingly unlikely pair of artists to work together. Disney wanted to experiment with the animation form and Dali saw animation as a perfect way to explore surrealism on film. The project started in the 1940s with Dali drawing dozens of images, but the film never came to be. Following the production of FANTASIA/2000, Roy E. Disney championed its completion using original storyboards and journals.

Destino

Sensual is not a word often thought of when one thinks of a Disney animated film. But this Disney short flows with it. But this isn't just any Disney short, it originated as a collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali. A seemingly unlikely pair of artists to work together. Disney wanted to experiment with the animation form and Dali saw animation as a perfect way to explore surrealism on film. The project started in the 1940s with Dali drawing dozens of images, but the film never came to be. Following the production of FANTASIA/2000, Roy E. Disney championed its completion using original storyboards and journals.

Like a Dali painting, the film is a dance through an absurd dreamscape. The film begins with a beautiful naked woman walking across the desert. Naked woman in a Disney film?! Gasp! Trust me, the real naughty bits are unseen. The images are driven by an original 1940s recording from Mexican composer Armando Dominguez and singer Dora Luz, which gives the blend of 2D and CG animation another level of surrealism. The animation style does so as well. The strobe-like movement of the woman is like watching flashes from a dream.

While there is a loose story of Chronos’ doomed love affair with a mortal woman, the film is best described in its visuals. Classic Dali imagery abounds where shapes and figures make up larger pictures. A dancer’s body makes up the face of a bearded statue and then the mouth and space between stretched faces. That dancer’s head turns into a dried dandelion. Homage to UN CHIEN ANDALOU is paid with ants crawling from a hole in a hand. Those ants turn into men on bicycles with bread on their heads.

This experimental film will bring different meaning to each viewer like interpreting a dream or a painting. As it was referred to in FANTASIA/2000 as a FANTASIA sequel idea that never came to be, the film has "baseball as a metaphor for life" in there too.

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Rick DeMott
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