The first a few decades of the 1900's were an extraordinary era for artists; now-renowned pioneers of a variety of fields interacted with one another across the world. In a letter sent from the Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí to André Breton (the founder of Surrealism) in 1937, Dalí enthusiastically described his meetings with various "American Surrealists." The list included directors like Cecil Demille of The Ten Commandments, comedians such as Marx Brothers, and lastly Walt Disney.
Perhaps it might be odd for a man associated with cartoons to be coupled with Surrealism, which is often regarded as the strange alienation from the reality; however, we can also think of Surrealism as the journey inwards to uncover the truth beneath the dreams. Thus perhaps animation is the perfect genre for that artistic movement. In addition, the artworks of early animators tended to be against the existing art, similar to Dadasim that broke the established elite-centred art. It is the same with Surrealism in a way that the artists reformed art into the one centred around the masses.
|Dalí and Disney|
|"Excavation" by Willem de Kooning, 1950. See other examples like Otto Dix and Lee Krasner.|
Although bearing a Surrealism imagery for most of the time, the film Destino tends to be similar to those postwar paintings with the existence of disturbing movements of the figures, uncomfortable camera work, and the characteristic Freudian imagery. But what makes this film unique is that not only they expressed the agony from war in a violent fashion, but also they showed these by coupling them with the theme of love. It is a meaningful achievement, considering that the art in those times were filled with negativity, deeply immersed in the artists' own world.
|Still shots of Destino compared to Dalí's works. © 2003 Disney. Yet the picture on the top right is by another Surrealist artist René Magritte, just to show similarities to other Surrealist's works.|
|My Favourite moment of the film. © 2003 Disney.|