One of my Disney Legend heroes is Blaine Gibson, the acclaimed sculptor responsible for creating untold numbers of pirates, presidents and other magical Disney figures. Beginning as a Disney Studios animator in 1939, and working on many classic Disney films, Blaine had a passion for sculpting that he carried from childhood, and after finishing with his “day job,” he would take sculpting lessons at night.
In 1954, Walt tapped Blaine as one of the very first Imagineers who would put so many faces on the Walt Disney Company over the years. Two of Blaine’s most recent works were delivered long after he retired in 1983, with the “Partners” statue depicting Walt and Mickey standing together first created for Disneyland Resort in 1993, then Walt Disney World in 1995. In 1999, at the age of 81, Blaine delivered “Sharing the Magic” to Walt Disney World.
The iconic park bench occupied by co-founding father Roy O. Disney seated next to Minnie Mouse greets millions of guests each year and is one of the most prized photo locations ever. Although it was originally placed inside the fence in Town Square at Magic Kingdom Park, guests routinely climbed over it to sit next to Minnie. Within a year, it was relocated just outside the fence. Guests may feel that the empty space to the right of Minnie was made for them, but Blaine’s intent was to show Minnie’s conscious decision to sit right next to Roy as a way to make him more “approachable,” as he was rarely in the limelight as was Walt.
Blaine also purposefully had Roy support Minnie’s hand from underneath, a creative acknowledgment of how Roy supported his brother in their new business venture. Amazing…I hope the next few photos reveal a bit of the magic that Blaine so masterfully created from the heart.
Gene thanks for sharing. You always do a Magical job. Keep showing us your great photography.
I didn’t know Disneyland’s Partners statue has only been there since ’93. I’ve been going since I was a kid (in the 80s), and I still thought it had always been there. Ya learn something new every day! = )
Very nice Roy/Minnie statue. I like hearing the stories of why artists sculpt/paint/etc. the way they do…the meanings behind everything. Thanks for sharing!
This is a beautiful statue! I don’t remember seeing it when I was at WDW. Oh well, guess i’ll just have to go back :).
Oh I love these blog entries that pay tribute to the history of Disney. 🙂
I LOVE this statue of Roy and Minnie. I have a photo of it from my first trip to Walt Disney World in 2003. This was a great article and I love the photos =). Thank you for sharing.
I love these photos and this article. Thanks for sharing!
Amazing stories behind this sculpture. Thanks so much for sharing! And definitely no offense intended, Lindsey, but its WDW… 🙂 (Just my version of a shout-out to Walt.)
I have a picture of my son sitting with them on our last DW trip!!!
Mr. Duncan, thanks for sharing these details about the wonderful statue we all love!
I agree with Jud, Stephany, and Dawn! Roy deserved the credit…and Walt’s dream of WDW may never have become reality with out Roy. I would LOVE to see a movie about the Disney brothers… it would be fascinating!
No matter how many times I visit Disney I always have to stop and look at this and take a picture. It truly is very special and a great tribute to Roy. Without him we wouldn’t enjoy Disney World and all the happy times it brings.
There should be a movie of Walt’s and Roy’s life, It would be so motivating of what families can do when sharing their dreams and that way also many people would understand why many of us are inspired on our daily lives by their teachings.
Have a magical day!!!
I love this ‘statue’. Roy deserves so much credit. Walt may have dreamed it, but Roy made it happen!