Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dali Dally

60 years late, but Disney has made a film from artwork by Salvador Dali:

Dali, a cinema fan, was enticed to work at Disney's Burbank studios in 1945 after meeting Disney at a party. For several months he was on the payroll as he churned out more than 250 sketches, 13 full-scale paintings and several story board manuscripts for an animated love story.

But the film was never made. Some say it was too sexy for the Disney brand, others believe that Disney had been chastened by the hostile reaction to Fantasia, released in 1940, and could not face risking another commercial flop.

But, the time (and the money) is right:

Dali's art works remained in the studio archives and it was only in 2000, Roy Disney revealed at Tate Modern yesterday, that he decided to make the film that his uncle had abandoned.

The reason, he confessed, was money. Mr Disney, a vice-chairman of the Walt Disney Company, told The Daily Telegraph: "One of our attorneys rang me one day and said, 'You know, we don't actually own the art work'. He explained that in the original contract the art work would only become Disney's after the film was made.

"We reckoned Dali's work was worth $8 million to $10 million so I rang him back and asked would we own it if I made the film - which I thought I could certainly do for less than $10 million. He said yes."

The resulting animated film, just seven minutes long, has only been shown at a handful of festivals before now. With numerous Dali trademarks - melting telephones, watches, eyeballs and statues - it is a gem of surrealism.

....It tells the story of a beautiful dancer tempted by false idols before being rescued by a hunky baseball player with whom she falls in love.

Roy Disney said: "I think it's fairly close to what Dali intended though it wasn't always easy to follow his manuscripts because he kept changing them."

He insisted that the collaboration between his uncle and Dali was not as improbable as it sounded: Disney films featuring a talking mouse and a pink elephant could barely be more surrealist.

No comments: