Triplets and Dali

I went to see the Triplets of Belleville this weekend, which is a phenomenal animated film, not only for the wonderful visual artistry, but the fabulous music, both of which were so expressive that I didn’t even notice there was no dialog until half way through the film (please, no comments about my lack of observation–I was just enthralled by other input). Perhaps just as compelling was the showing before the film of the short piece Destino , a creative collaboration between (of all people) Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. This Wired article from September tells a little about the odd friendship, but equally interesing are the contemporary politics that brought the project to light. A recent article in the Washington Post about Roy Disney (the creator’s nephew) by Frank Ahrens quotes Disney who implies that unearthing the project was, in part at least, a poke at Eisner. So, it goes from the collaboration between a Spaniard who proclaimed that he “believed only in the supreme reality of tradition” with an American the Spaniard called a Communist to the conflict between two American capitalists, one the largest individual stockholder in a multi-billion dollar company, the other its CEO. Hmmm. . .

Even if Roy Disney does not win the day at the March 3 shareholders meeting, he may receive some very public vindication in this year’s Academy Awards, broadcast three days before the meeting. One of the Oscar nominees for Best Animated Short film is “Destino,” a 1940s collaboration between company founder Walt Disney and surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Left unfinished for years, Roy Disney dug into the Disney archives and spent more than $1 million to finish the film last year — without telling Eisner, angering the chief executive.
“He was sore at me for that,” Disney said. “I didn’t tell him about it because he either would have told me I couldn’t do it or he’d want to be a part of it and micromanage it like he does everything else.”

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