Disney Imagineer Blaine Gibson, who sculpted figures for Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, has died early Sunday morning, July 5.
While an assistant animator at Disney, Gibson took art classes in sculpture at Pasadena City College. Walt Disney eventually saw his work and brought him in to work on Disneyland.
Gibson didn’t want to leave animation for Imagineering. He’s quoted as saying, “I didn’t think it was that important, but then I was told Walt was expecting me to work on this projects. So I said to myself, ‘what the heck’ and went. I was never sorry after that.”
Gibson retired in 1983, but continued to work and consult for Disney, including the United States president figures for the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World up through George W. Bush in 2001.
During retirement, Blaine Gibson also worked on the “Partners” statue that stands in the hub of Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, which debuted in 1993.
According to a family friend, Gibson watched 101 Dalmatians, one of the films he had worked on for the studios, with his grandson “before he took his final nap.”
Blaine Gibson was 97.