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To a song of love lost and rediscovered, a woman sees and undergoes surreal transformations. Her lover's face melts off, she dons a dress from the shadow of a bell and becomes a dandelion, ants crawl out of a hand and become Frenchmen riding bicycles. Not to mention the turtles with faces on their backs that collide to form a ballerina, or the bizarre baseball game. From the melting clocks and hourglass sand, to the figure rendered in strips, to the character covered in eyeballs, the style and themes of Dalí are clearly recognizable throughout. Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
Sparked by the friendship between Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí, the film was commissioned to be part of a compilation film. Work started in 1946, and fifteen seconds of footage were created before the project was abandoned. See more »
near perfect recreation of Dali's aesthetic mixed with Disney bravura animation
At one time Disney and Dali wanted to collaborate for one of the former's compilation animated films (one could image this with Donald Duck, right?) and it kind of fell apart for reasons unknown. Thankfully Roy Disney picked up the mantle in the 21st century - after Fantasia 2000 the spark was reignited - and the results are rather extraordinary: it's like going into Dali's art gallery and seeing characters walk around.
One might almost be taken aback, if one knows Dali's art, how close a lot of this is to paintings he made. He is co-writer on the script, however, so I have to think this was how he intended it (a script was written for the short, it's hard to dismiss that at least). Par for the course for the co-creator of Un chien Andalou, the film has only the closest thing to a 'story' insofar as as there's a man, and a woman, and they want to be together, and passion ignites... except they're in a world full of uninhibited things, like ants which turn into men, eye-balls in tuxedo suits, and, at one (very clever) point in the background, a moon walking on spider legs.
It's not very long, only about seven minutes long, but the film never stops to amaze with how it presents its unique creature-creations and sights down long, distorted hallways with squared designs, and the distortions that can be provided by modern-day technology. The only thing holding it back from top-10-OMG-masterpiece terrain is that some, not all though, of the CGI animation isn't convincing. The characters themselves look great, as do several of the amalgamation-beings (eyeballs, insects, 'things', statues), but here and there a touch of the smooth look of CGI doesn't totally flow with the rest of the film. But this is a nitpick only for me.
What also carries this, and I have to think this was one of those elements in place when the film had its inception, is the song: Destino is passionately sung and performed, and it carries the viewer along with the images, just as the tango did in 'Andalou' - you can't really have what's on the screen without the melody, only here it's not as ironic or whimsical. It's a gorgeous experience, and I'm glad Disney decided to finish what it started, especially for a creator like Dali who had so few film projects realized in his time.
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