In 1945 Walt Disney hired Salvador Dalí to design a surreal animated short to be part of a packaged film in the vein of Fantasia. Disney chose Ray Gilbert and Armando Dominguez’s ballad Destino because of the title —the Spanish word for “destiny”.
Dalí split his time between Pebble Beach, California, and Disney Studios in Burbank, California, working side-by-side with the studios’ John Hench on the collaboration. But over time it was clear there were big differences in the two men’s approach of storytelling. Dalí described the story in an article in the Los Angeles Times on April 7, 1946,
“A magical exposition of life in the labyrinth of time…”
Disney described it as,
“A simple love story—boy meets girl.”
Character and personalities were the most important elements of Disney’s traditional stories, while Dalí saw them unfold like dreams, with characters wrapped in symbolism. Less than a year after they started, work stopped on their collaboration.
Despite its disappointing end, Disney and Dalí remained friends. The walls of Disney’s Palm Springs home were hung with Dalí’s paintings. After welcoming Dalí and his wife Gala into his home, Disney and his wife Lillian traveled to Spain to visit them in 1957.
More than fifty years after Destino‘s inception, it was completed from existing drawings and story boards. Here’s the incredible result.
Plug in your speakers or headphones, go full-screen and watch.