On this day in 2003, the Disney animated short Destino had its world premiere at the Annecy International Film Festival (a yearly event since 1960 in Annecy, France). What made this short unique was that its production had originally started back in 1945!
Destino was first storyboarded by Disney artist (& later Imagineer) John Hench and world renown artist Salvador Dalí for 8 months in late 1945 early 1946. Dalí, a surrealist painter and skilled draftsmen, was known for his striking and bizarre images. Walt admired his work and it seemed a perfect collaboration. But after 22 paintings and 135 story sketches, the Disney Studios (plagued with financial problems at the time) ceased production on it. Hench, hoping to rekindle interest, compiled an 18-second animation test - but Destino was no longer deemed financially viable.
In 1999 Roy E. Disney unearthed the dormant project (while working on Fantasia 2000) and decided to bring it back to life. Disney Studios France was placed in charge of completing Destino along with producer Blake Bloodsworth and French animator Dominique Monfrey. A team of about 25 animators deciphered Dalí and Hench's notes and illustrations and finished what the two had first started in 1945. The short - mostly traditional animation with some computer animation - also included Hench's 18-second test!
The six-minute Destino tells the love story of Chronos and the ill-fated love he has for a mortal female. What makes it unique is the lack of dialogue - featuring just a soundtrack by Mexican composer Armando Dominguez.
Destino was well-received at Annecy and went on to be nominated for an Academy Award.
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