Destino

A Special Cartoon

Release Date : June 2, 2003

Synopsis

A poetic take on love and time.

Credits

Layout
Edward L. Ghertner

Awards

"Best Short" Melbourne Film Festival
"Best Short" Rhode Island International Film Festival
"Best Short Film (Animated)" Academy award nomination
Special Citation by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for the restoration and reconstruction of the Walt Disney/Salvador Dalí short Destino
Annie Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short Subject. Short Subject
Special Jury Prize, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films
Certificate of Merit for an Animated Short Film, Chicago International Film Festival

Blu-Ray

United States
Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 : 4 Disc Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack

Technical Specification

Comments

From Patrick Malone : Strange bedfellows. The most recent development in animation has John Kricfalusi of "Ren and Stimpy" fame developing an animated series for Disney Television entitled "Green Monkeys." I don't suppose you could imagine two more differing styles, but even back in the 1940's, Disney was reaching out and trying to extend his art beyond what would have been considered merely commercial.

Both the origins and the eventual abandonment of "Destino" are for most, amystery. No one seems toknow exactly where or when Walt Disney and the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali met. But because of wartime tensions in 1939, quite a few of Europe's artists found themselves finding refuge in America. It may have been Dali's flair for self-promotion and his attraction to Hollywood that led him to Disney. However it came about, they decided to attempt a combination live action - animation short based on the Spanish ballad "Destino" by Armando Dominiguez. (Disney had previously acquired the rights for the song.) This short was planned to be part of an new omnibus feature like "Fantasia." John Hench and Bob Cormack were assigned to work with Dali and turn his inspirations into workable animation. There was only a vague idea of a plot, and what ideas there were were more along the idea of a mood piece following the themes of love, hate, time and destiny.

Disney was certainly no stranger to surrealism as the "Toccata and Fugue" section of "Fantasia" proved although he admittedly had 'lowbrow' tastes and a distain for 'modern' art. And working with Dali proved to be easy; he reported to the studio every day promptly at 9:30 every morning and spent all day at his artwork almost as a regular Disney employee. Dali insisted on working with his own media, however. When presented with the standard animators paper which has the three hole punch at the bottom of the page, Dali refused to use it saying "This paper will not do. It already has a design!"

So, what happened? The closure of "Destino" seems to be shrouded in as much mystery as it's beginning. Disney and Dali, by mutual agreement, abandoned the project in 1947 after numerous storyboards and a17 second test reel was completed. Hench stated the reason was that Disney felt that the market for omnibus features had come to its end. Others privately felt that Dali's more extreme style and ideas may have been too much for Disney's midwestern sensibilities. After work on the short was shelved, much of the artwork was stolen from the studio and eventually showed up on the New York art market. Dali and Disney, however, remained good friends afterwards and continued to visit in each other's home countries.


From J. D. Weil : The reason for Destino's abandonment during the 1940's was due to Walt Disney himself. When viewed what was being done on the film, he saw it was so unlike anything that the studio had done before that he took an immediate dislike to it, and canceled the project on the spot. It would be 56 years later that work on the picture was resumed well after both Disney and Dali were no longer on the scene. Fortunately, John Hench still was so he was able to take up where he had left off and even take advantage recently developed techniques.
From Jordan Reed : Wonderful. Absolutely stunning! To see Dali's work come to life is like nothing I've ever seen before... Except perhaps in my dreams.
From Ross Blocher : Dali and Disney's [finally] completed Destino is a beautiful and sublime masterpiece. I had the honor of seeing it twice today with an introduction by Roy Disney, and plan to see it again tomorrow at the ArcLight Hollywood. Dali's paintings come to life with the same melting clocks and ballerinas we're used to seeing. Negative space is used very powerfully to create new images and transitions. The use of 3D enhancement is sometimes noticeable, and obviously could not have been achieved in Disney and Dali's time, but the end result is powerful. Roughly six minutes in length.
From Brendan Monahan : I saw Destino at Telluride and I give it a 10. Never has something captured my mindscape so vividly and to see the living mind of Dali in a moving picture was quite amazing. I'm very sure that if Dali were alive to see it he would be satisfied with the way it turned out. It had me from the first frame.
From Becki : Destino is a beautiful piece of a master's (well, two actually) artwork come to life. It is a breathtaking film. The studio did a remarkable job restoring and completing this work.
From Patty Z : Yes, positively wonderful. I could watch this over and over and over. One of the best shorts I've ever seen - maybe the best.
From John : Beautiful and sublime. It is almost ineffable. I'm hoping that the longer version will be available when it's released on DVD.
From Breck Outland : Went to a screening of the 6-minute Dali movie yesterday and I am duly impressed by its splendor. Although Destino is not receiving good billing, it can likely be found as the intro feature to the current run of The Triplets of Belleview, which was also great fun.

Destino is very much a whirlwind tour through a series of animated technicolor Dali paintings. Some reviews claimed the non-linear storyline was indecipherable, but I maintain that one needs to be familiar with the vocabulary of the dream world and of Dali's particular "paranoid-critical" method. I had long imagined from the stills what this movie might be like and played it over in my head occasionally. And although I had a vague idea of what to expect, it not only surprised me but never disappointed.

While the short film does indeed have some computer-generated elements to the scenes, in total it strikes an adequate balance between the original paintings themselves, cel animation and the plasticity of 3D computer modeling. Destino is not quite Fantasia quality work, but it is certainly leaps and bounds beyond the quality of recent Disney ventures.

If there was one shortcoming to the film, I would have to say it was the use of quick-cut editing. The pacing seemed rushed as the phantasmal flow of dreams quickly escalates to a lucidly feverish pitch. Densely rife with surreal imagery and swirling movement in six minutes, to be sure.

In short, Destino is a brief vignette of human yearnings lost in the enigmatic process which brings the lover and beloved closer together. This is set off by the lover's struggle within the melancholic elements of time and space that conspire to separate them. Truly a work of great beauty that cannot fail to touch the heart of longing for some absolute pinnacle of Love. I think Dali would be pleased that his project has received such posthumous acclaim.


From M Molyneaux : Destino is an amazing piece of work. This has often been described as a collaboration between Disney and Dali, but watching it it felt more like the work of Dali that the craft of Disney animation allowed to be expressed in a different way. There is some Disney like girl meets boy stuff that, while it works, doesn't feel 100% at home in the film. I'd give it a rating of 8, but I suspect that number might creep up on a second or third viewing.
From D L Apelt : Destino is enthralling, emotionally trying, edgy, and beautifully drawn and filmed.

Everyone should see it and skip Nemo.


From Peter Allen : At long last, one of the biggest "what-if?"s of film history is given form. Seen at the Melbourne Film Festival and definitely one of the highlights. Buena-Vista, a release on DVD is desperately needed!
From Becky : I went to see "The Triplets of Belleville" a couple of years ago and was very pleasantly stunned by the accompanying short Destino. I sat in visual awe for the entire six minutes. I give it a 10+. A masterful work of harmony by two masters.
From Gerard Howells : Whilst on a 15-Day Trans-Atlantic cruise with Royal Caribbean I had the privilege of seeing Destino thanks to Park West auctions at sea who were selling some prints from the original artwork produced by Dali for the film. My advice to any fan of Disney and/or Dali is to get this film if it is ever released generally. We have a lot to thank Roy Disney for in his completion of this long-abandoned and forgotten Disney project. The film is absolutely beautiful bringing Dali's work to life in a way that only Disney could. There is no dialog but the imagery is so powerful that the simple love story is evident to even the casual observer. The only downside is that the original music was never fully recorded so the soundtrack is of fairly low quality being the original, single track placeholder recording but, depending on your perspective, this can add to the resurrected charm of the short. Even if you are unfamiliar with Dali's work I think you will enjoy this, highly recommended if you can get to see it!
From Bryan Hensley : I'm sure this short would've been wonderful if I ever saw it, since it has Salvador Dali and Walt Disney's expertises together in it. I'd be surprised if this short made its USA home video debut on a future volume of Disney's Animation Collection, just as the 2002 short Grievance of a Starmaker did on Disney's It's A Small World of Fun Volume 1, back in 2006! Dali's work was behind Wackyland for Warner Bros., if you know what I mean. Why did Walt Disney reject this short, and how was it brought back to life in the "Double-zeroes" anyway?