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Florida Guide > Disney General

DISNEYS WINDOWS part11

BLAINE GIBSON

The winner of a soap-sculpting contest as a child, Blaine Gibson was actually an animator at the Studio when Walt recruited him in 1954 to sculpt for Disneyland Park after taking note of the sculptures in Blaine’s office. During his career, Blaine created figures for “it’s a small world”, The enchanted Tiki Room, The Haunted Mansion Attraction, Country Bear Jamboree Show, and Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction. He sculpted more than half of the presidents for the Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World Resort, coming out of retirement to sculpt Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He also created Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, and Will Rogers for the American Adventure in Epcot and John Wayne and James Cagney for the Great Movie Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He later sculpted the Walt and Mickey Mouse “Partners” statue that graces each Magic Kingdom central plaza.

BOB GURR

Bob Gurr’s first brush with Disney was as Disney Legend Ub lwerks’s paperboy. Hired in 1954 to work at Roger Broggie’s Studio machine shop, Bob designed the cars for the Autopia Attraction in Disneyland Park as his first task. He would go on to develop more than 100 designs for Disney Attractions, including Matterhorn Bobsleds; the Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World resort monorails; the antique cars, double-decker buses, and fire engine of Main street, U. S. Flying Saucers and Viewliner train; the Disneyland Railroad cars; and the parking lot trams; and the Doom Buggies of the Haunted Mansion Attraction. He was also responsible for the initial drawing and plans for the Disneyland Submarine Voyage, and he played a key role in the development of the Audio-Animatronics Figure of Abraham Lincoln. The Meteor Cycle co. Heading in his Disneyland window references Bob’s love of mountain biking.

JOHN HENCH

John Hench was a sketch artist at the Studio before transferring to WED in 1954. His initial work was on Tomorrow Land Area, but he moved on to design Adventure Land buildings and walkways, New Orleans square, Snow White Crotto, and the Park’s costumed characters. John was Imagineering’s colour expert, famous for using twenty-five shades of White on the Ford Pavilion for the 1964-5 New York World’s Fair. Later, he was a key figure in the designing and planning of Walt Disney World Resort, where he adjusted the entire resort’s colour palette to work better with the direct Florida sun. Some of the most renowned facilities in the Disney parks were designed by John, including Spaceship Earth for Epcot and the iconic Space Mountain Attraction. Walt appointed John as Mickey Mouse’s official portrait artist. Johns’ first portrait, for which he was paid $150, was the Mickey’s twenty fifth birthday. He worked for the company until the age of ninety-five, once stating, “There’s no trick to it. You just have to love your work. ”

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Page added on: 13 June 2015
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