Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 11: Birth of a Disney Legend

If you've experienced such park attractions as It's a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The American Adventure or marveled at the "Partners" statue of Walt holding Mickey's hand, then you have seen the work of Disney Legend Blaine Gibson - born this day in 1918.
First introduced to the general public by Walt himself on the 1960s television episode "Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair," (pictured left) Gibson (originally from Colorado) started his career with Disney back in May 1939 as an animator. He worked on Pinocchio, Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp and One Hundred and One Dalmatians before being asked to relocate to Walt's "new place" in Glendale, California. This new division was called WED Enterprises and Gibson and other artists were plucked from the studio to become Imagineers.
Already sculpting as a hobby since he was young, Gibson was moved to the newly-created sculpture department where he went on to create hundreds of sculptures from which Audio Animatronic figures and bronzes were produced. His earliest work was featured in the exhibits at the 1964-65 World's Fair in New York. Today one can't visit a theme park without seeing Gibson's work as his credits include the Haunted Mansion, the Enchanted Tiki Room and of course WDW's Hall of Presidents.
Although retired since 1983, he continued to consult on such projects as The Great Movie Ride and later created the iconic life-size bronze of Walt and Mickey (displayed first in Disneyland and eventually in Tokyo, Paris and Florida too).
Happy birthday Mr. Gibson!

Click HERE for much more February 11 Disney history.


Filmic Light said...

Great post. Enjoying your blog, so much so I became a follower.

Snow White sends her regards!

Tony said...

Thanks Filmic Light - just checked out your blog as well. Very cool!