Monday, July 6, 2015

Inside The Mouse Castle 07-06-2015 - Remembering Blaine Gibson, Changes at Disney's Hollywood Studios and New Exhibitions at the Walt Disney Family Museum

By Tim Callaway

The "Partners" statue created by Blaine Gibson.
In this week's episode on Inside The Mouse Castle, we pay tribute to the late Blaine Gibson, the animator, sculptor and Disney Legend who passed away Sunday at the age of 97.

Blaine began his career at Disney in 1939 as an in-betweener and assistant animator. His feature animation credits include Fantasia, Bambi, Song of the South, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians.

He considered himself an animator first, but he also had a gift for sculpting. Aware of Blaine's talent, Walt Disney assigned the artist to WED Enterprises (later Walt Disney Imagineering) to create character forms that would transform into Audio-Animatronics. Blaine made significant design contributions to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Arguably, his most impressive accomplishment in Imagineering was overseeing the design of every president up to George W. Bush in the Magic Kingdom's Hall of Presidents.

Even though Blaine retired in 1983, he continued to consult on projects with Disney. The "Partners" statue that depicts Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse standing hand-in-hand at Disney theme parks remains one of Blaine's lasting creations.

All of us at The Mouse Castle send our condolences to Blaine Gibson's friends and family. Rest in peace.

Also in this week's episode:
  • Pixar's Inside Out and Universal's Jurassic World ended the July of 4th weekend box office battle in a virtual tie for first place. They were aided by poor debuts from Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL.
Inside Out.
  • Inside Out's solid performance helped Disney's stable of 2015 film releases (including Avengers: Age of Ultron and Cinderella) pass $3 billion in international box office. It's the sixth year in a row that Disney has passed the $3 billion mark.
  • Marvel's high-tech entertainment roadshow, The Marvel Experience, is closing up shop after finishing its stint in Philadelphia over the weekend. Upcoming appearances in Chicago, New York and St. Louis this summer have been cancelled and tickets are being refunded. Complaints about technical issues, overpriced tickets and poor crowd management have been rampant on Yelp and other social media sites for months.
Paul Rudd at the Ant-Man premiere.
  • Ant-Man premiered in Hollywood last week. I'm looking forward to seeing MCU's latest entry when it debuts on July 17th. Anthony has concerns after being unimpressed by the film's sneak preview at Disney California Adventure.
  • It's not just selfie sticks that have gone away at Walt Disney World. Poop candy has exited Animal Kingdom and DisneyQuest is closing at Downtown Disney to make way for the NBA Experience.
  • In business news (Anthony's least favorite kind of news), Christine McCarthy has been named the new Disney CFO, replacing the departing Jay Rasulo. Also, Disney Interactive and Disney Consumer Products, once independent divisions, will now operate under the same umbrella.
  • There are two new exhibitions getting ready to open at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination will open on July 10th and will feature an audio tour narrated by Sigourney Weaver. Tomorrowland: Walt's Vision for Today opens on July 22nd and will be curated by filmmaker Brad Bird.

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