For half a century, Blaine Gibson has been Disney’s Great Sculptor. But in the early days Blaine was somewhat ambivalent about being diverted from his goal of establishing himself as one of the Studio’s foremost animators.

Born February 11, 1918, in Rocky Ford, Colorado, Blaine attended Colorado University, but left school to join The Walt Disney Studios in 1939. While working as an inbetweener and assistant animator, he took evening classes in sculpture at Pasadena City College and studied with a private instructor. Among his animation credits are Fantasia, Bambi, Song of the South, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians.

After animating all day at Disney, Blaine Gibson would go home at night and sculpt, which had been a favorite hobby of his since childhood. Then, in 1954, Walt Disney happened to see one of Blaine’s art exhibits, which featured several animal sculptures, and recruited him to work on special projects for his new theme park, Disneyland. […]

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