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Tag Archives: Imagineer

November 30

November 30, 1995 – Nine New Disney Legends are Inducted

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“Since its inception, the [Disney Legends] program has honored many gifted animators, Imagineers, songwriters, actors, and business leaders as having made a significant impact on the Disney legacy.”

On November 30, the ninth group of Disney Legends was honored and inducted in a special ceremony held in the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Among those honored were Golden Horseshoe Revue performers Wally Boag, Fulton Burley, and Betty Taylor, actor Dean Jones, actress Angela Lansbury, Disneyland publicist Edward Meck, animator Fred Moore, voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft, and Audio-Animatronic Imagineer Wathel Rogers.

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October 16

October 16, 1996 – Ten New Inductees Are Named Disney Legends

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“The Disney Legends award has three distinct elements that characterize the contributions made by each talented recipient.”

On October 16, 1996, ten new members of the Disney legacy were honored as Disney Legends in a special ceremony at the Walt Disney Studios in the Legends Plaza. Among those honored were former vice president of Walt Disney World, actor and narrator of Disney nature documentaries Rex Allen, animator and Imagineer X Atencio, voice actress for Cruella de Vil Betty Lou Gerson, animator and Imagineer Bill Justice, former executive vice president for Walt Disney World Bob Matheison, Imagineer Sam McKim, animator Bob Moore, story man Bill Peet, and one of the key designers of Walt Disney World, Joe Potter. Of those honored, Allen and Potter were honored posthumously.

October 12

October 12, 2000 – Ten New Disney Legends are Inducted

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“…the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.”

On October 12, 2000, ten new Disney Legends were honored and inducted in a ceremony at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Among those honored were animator Grace Bailey, Imagineer Harriet Burns, animator and Imagineer Joyce Carlson, former Vice-President of Walt Disney Attractions Ron Dominguez, Jiminy Cricket voice actor Cliff Edwards, animator Becky Falberg, Pinocchio voice actor Dick Jones, animator Dodie Roberts, animator Retta Scott, and animator Ruthie Tompson. Of those honored, Bailey, Edwards, and Scott were honored posthumously.

September 17

September 17, 2004 – Eleven New Inductees are Named Disney Legends

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“We owe so much to this group that represents the best of Disney – their work is the arc that connects Disney’s history with our success today.”

On September 17, 2004, the newest group of Disney Legends were honored at a special ceremony at the Disney Legends Plaza at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The ceremonies were presided over by then CEO Michael Eisner, who originally created the honor in 1987. The honorees that were present participated in the handprint ceremony, with their handprints then hung in the plaza for all to see. Among those honored were film and television producer Bill Anderson, actor Tim Conway, Imagineer Rolly Crump, Imagineer Alice Davis, actress Karen Dotrice, actor Matthew Garber, ABC Chairman of the Board Leonard Goldenson, Imagineer Bob Gurr, conductor and orchestrator Irwin Kostal, Imagineer Ralph Kent, and animator and story man Mel Shaw.

August 10

August 10, 2013 – Eight New Disney Legends are Inducted at the D23 Expo

Photo courtesy of D23

                   Photo courtesy of D23

“…today we are celebrating some of the remarkable people behind the Disney Magic.” – Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger

On August 10, 2013, at the D23 Expo, Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and host Tom Bergeron presented the next eight inductees into the Disney Legends line, joining 249 others that have been recognized for their contributions to the Disney legacy. The 2013 inductees included Imagineers Tony Baxter and Collin Campbell, television personality Dick Clark, actors Billy Crystal and John Goodman, Apple founder Steve Jobs, animator Glen Keane, and comedian Ed Wynn. For those still living, the honorees were brought to the stage to be given a special trophy and to say a few words about their career or time with Disney. A special presentation was held for those that had passed away prior to the awards.

July 17

July 17, 2009 – Imagineer and Disney Legend Marty Sklar is Honored with a Window on Main Street

(July 17, 2009) Marty Sklar, Executive Vice President and Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador holds his tribute window at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Friday, the 54th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland.   In a tradition begun by Walt Disney, second-story windows along Main Street USA pay tribute to the men and women who were instrumental in the creation and operation of Disneyland.  Sklar's window, unveiled this morning, can be seen above City Hall at Town Square in Disneyland.  Sklar, who began his Disney career in June 1955 as editor of "The Disneyland News," went on to work personally with Walt Disney on the creation of landmark Disney attractions for the 1964 World's Fair and leading the design of Walt Disney's final vision, Epcot.  (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

“Id Somniate. Id Facite.”

On July 17, 2009, coinciding with his retirement, as well as honoring the 54th anniversary of Disneyland, Marty Sklar was honored with a window on Main Street, USA. Sklar, who worked on The Disneyland News newsletter in 1955, officially began with WED Enterprises in 1961, and primarily worked in publicity work, becoming the creative leader for Imagineering for over 30 years. Sklar’s window is located at City Hall, which was seen as a symbol of his leadership, philosophy, and creative talent. Sklar has also been honored with a window in Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disney, and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park.

June 15

June 15, 1917 – Imagineer and Disney Legend Bill Martin is Born

Walt and Bill Martin

On June 15, 1917, Bill Martin was born in Marshalltown, Iowa. He and his family would move to Los Angeles, and in 1937, he graduated from Los Angeles Junior College after studying architecture. He continued his studies at the Chouinard Art Institute and the Art Center School of Design before landing a job at 20th Century Fox as a set designer. Like many men of the time, Martin left Hollywood to serve during World War II, servicing as a captain in the Air Force. He returned after the war to work at Panoramic Productions before rejoining Fox as an assistant art director. In 1953, Martin received a phone call from the Disney Studios, as Walt was looking for the best to help him create what would become Disneyland. He eagerly joined WED Enterprises, and would go on to develop the designs for some of the most beloved attractions, including Peter Pan’s Flight and Sleeping Beauty Castle. Eventually, Martin would be named the art director of Fantasyland, and not only developed many of the layouts of each Fantasyland attraction, but added design elements to other attractions across the park. In 1971, he was named the vice president of design at WED, and contributed his design expertise to the layout of the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. He retired in 1977, after 24 years with the company; like many others, however, Martin continued to consult on many projects for various parks. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1994. In 2010, Martin passed away.

April 24

April 24, 2009 – Imagineer and Disney Legend Marty Sklar Announces Retirement

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“I’ll still be looking over your shoulders, cheerleading, and filling new blank pages. It’s the most important Imagineering tradition.”

On April 24, 2009, Imagineer and Disney Legend Marty Sklar announced his retirement after over fifty years working with the Walt Disney Company. Sklar, who announced he would be officially retiring on July 17, had a long illustrious career with Disney, starting with creating a tabloid newspaper to be sold on Main Street during Disneyland’s first year, to joining the Imagineering department in 1961, to being the vice president of concepts and planning for Imagineering in 1974. Sklar was also instrumental in the creation of Epcot in Walt Disney World, as well as the creation of the other Disney parks around the world. The same day he retired, Sklar was honored with a window on Main Street.

March 16

March 16, 1911 – Artist, Imagineer, and Disney Legend Harper Goff is Born

Harper Goff

“Walt liked the story-board well enough to have me give an [Audience Reaction Inquiry] to a group of exhibitors who were in town. They were enthusiastic and the rest is history.”

On March 16, 1911, Ralph Harper Goff was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. His family moved to Santa Ana, California, where he would later attend the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Afterwards, he moved to New York where he worked as a magazine illustrator. During World War II, Goff was asked to help design camouflage paint at a research facility at Fort Belvoir. After the war, Goff returned to California to work as a set designer for Warner Brothers, with his work being used in such classics as Casablanca, Sergeant York, and Captain Blood. He moved up the ranks to work as an associate producer and art director. After a chance meeting in London in 1951, Goff was invited by Walt Disney to work at the studio to sketch storyboards for a project, which would later evolve into the live-action feature film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The film would go on to win two Academy Awards: one for art director, and one for special effects. Goff was also instrumental in designing concepts for several pavilions for Epcot’s World Showcase in 1975, including Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom. He was also known for playing the banjo in the Disney Dixieland jazz band Firehouse Five Plus Two. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1993; the same year, Goff passed away at the age of 81.

March 12

March 12, 2011 – Imagineer and Disneyland Art Director Kim Irvine is Awarded the Themed Entertainment Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Kim Irvine

“The greatest thing about [this award] is it honors the entire on-site group of Imagineers – not just Disneyland by Walt Disney World and Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong too.”

On March 12, 2011, the Themed Entertainment Association awarded their lifetime achievement award, also known as the Buzz Price Thea Award, to Imagineer and Disneyland Art Director Kim Irvine. Irvine, who started at Disney in 1970, has had several prominent projects in the park, including the design of the Disneyland Dream Suite, the updated version of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and the refurbishment of it’s a small world. Irvine also founded the Disneyland Imagineering office in the early 1980s.