It was destiny after all that the curious, unfinished 1946 animated collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali be completed. Long considered a lost cause, DESTINO was recently produced by the Disney Co. and given a surprise world premiere June 2, 2003 at the opening of this year's Annecy International Animation Film Festival. The five-minute short will also screen June 3 on the lake at 10:00 pm, with free access to all Annecians.
The surrealist short, originally commissioned by Disney to accompany the Mexican ballad sung by Dora Luz, was to be part of a compilation film along the lines of THE THREE CABALLEROS. However, it was abandoned after eight months of sketches and storyboarding by Dali and Disney animator John Hench (FANTASIA and THE THREE CABALLEROS). There was only a 15-second animated reel to show for their efforts, and it is believed that both the project and format were deemed commercially unviable after World War II.
The new animation a seamless blending of 80% 2D and 20% 3D animation. It was spearheaded by Disney vice chairman Roy Disney, serving as executive producer and largely produced at Disney Studio France, with animator Dominique Monfery (HERCULES) handling directing chores for the first time. Baker Bloodworth (DINOSAUR) supervised the project as producer.
Disney said he is "enormously proud that we've done this because it is about who we are as artists, how long our history is and how long we respect it."
Meanwhile, Serge Bromberg, Annecy's artistic director, added that the premiere is a great coup for the festival. "Annecy is proud to welcome this world première for what will become a masterpiece of animation, because Annecy is the place for discovery of new genres, new techniques and new ways of doing animation."
Bill Desowitz talks to Roy Disney about his personal quest to finish the artistic collaboration, Destino, between Walt Disney and Salvador Dali.