Monday, December 02, 2019

"Partners" Statue Dedication, Part 2

Today I am continuing a post from about two weeks ago, featuring photos from the dedication of the "Partners" statue, courtesy of Irene, Bruce, and James (and circa November 18, 1993). There were too many for one blog post to safely contain! So I divided them into two articles. 

The sculpture was unveiled to the world just moments before these pictures were snapped - think of the thousands (millions?) of photos that have been taken of it since then! I've seen so many terrible sculptures in recent years, but Blaine Gibson captured a pretty good likeness of Uncle Walt.

It's cool that there are several very nice images of Roy E. Disney - he appears to be looking right as us! Mickey too. 

It's also kind of neat to see the sculpture close up, and at ground level. 

The empty pedestal is ready!

Mr. Gibson said, I chose to depict Walt as he was in 1954. I think that was when Walt was in his prime. It was tough trying to match the media image of Walt Disney, the one the public knows, to the real Walt, the one we knew. I think Walt is admiring the park and saying to Mickey, ‘Look what we’ve accomplished together,’ because truly they were very much a team through it all. ‘Look at all the happy people who have come to visit us today.

Among the special guests that day were Wayne Alwine and his wife, Russi Taylor. Wayne voiced Mickey Mouse from 1977 until his death in 2009. Russi voiced Minnie Mouse (and many other cartoon characters) from 1986 until her passing on July 19, 2019.

There's Wayne and Russi again, and the gentleman to the left (in the leather jacket, partly obscured) is Bill Farmer, who has voiced Goofy for decades. 

I'm unsure of the order in which these photos were taken... it appears that they are wrapping the Partner's statue up again! Or maybe this was earlier in the day and it was being prepared for the big ceremony.

Greatest thanks to Irene, Bruce, and James!


Nanook said...


Again, some lovely shots. The 'POV' shots are particularly nice.

Thanks to Irene, Bruce and James.

TokyoMagic! said...

These are some really great shots! I think the statue actually looks better down at ground level and without the huge pedestal. I believe the statue of Walt over at DCA just sits/stands on the ground.

In that second pic, there is a Skyway bucket trying to hide from us, behind the Castle and a tree.

Thank you Irene and her "Dream Team" for these!

Chuck said...

I love Wayne Alwine and Bill Farmer's leather A-2 jackets. Note that they are embroidered with "Mickey" and "Goofy" in red letters over the left chest. Plus there's all of the little details that aren't there anymore, like the swirly flower plantings and PeopleMover in front of Tomorrowland or the outdoor seating area at the Plaza Gardens.

Thanks again, Dream Team!

Andrew said...

I like how Roy is acting out the statue's position with Mickey, especially with how similar he looked to Walt. Also, if I was there, I would've jumped on that pedstal for the perfect pic when no one was looking: "That Walter thinks he's so great, but I was there FIRST!" :) Thanks for this fun series!

Stu29573 said...

I, personally, liked the version where Micky is holding an ice cream cone. It makes it look like he and Walt are actually enjoying the park. The "powers that be" thought it made Mickey look "too juvenile." However, they had no problem with the fact that he's a four foot tall talking mouse...

Melissa said...

Yeah, the mouse in short pants looks so much more mature without the ice cream cone.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I only wish there were more from this event! Greedy I guess.

TokyoMagic!, knowing people, they would touch the statue until Walt’s nose was shiny bronze - they almost have to put it up and out of reach. I have seen photos of the statue at DCA, and am curious about signs of wear on it. I had to really look for that Skyway bucket, it looks like it might be one of those weird off-white versions.

Chuck, I tried to read the embroidery on Bill Farmer’s jacket, somehow I couldn’t decipher it. Even zooming in now, I can barely read it! I guess they are going to bring back some form of swirly flower planters, though I think they’ll be a lot smaller than the old ones.

Andrew, Probably in 1993 people were too well-behaved to jump on the pedestal, but these days all kinds of jerks would do it just for the clicks.

stu29573, there was a version with Mickey holding an ice cream cone? I have to admit that I’m glad they didn’t use that concept. He should be holding a hundred-dollar bill!

Melissa, the short pants are doctor’s orders.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Major, Irene and all the contributors for these historic pictures.

The statue is a little odd, but it displays a fine sentiment, so I'm ok with that.

Good news about the swirled planters. A tiny ray of sunshine escaping there.

Cheers all.


Irene said...

I loved this photos when I first saw them in Bruce's album! I was kind of taken aback but then not surprised that he and James would have been there. They lived for this kind of stuff!

I was lucky enough to meet the Alwine's and Bill Farmer on July 14, 2005. They gave Disneyland a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame right in front of the soda shop so there was all kinds of people from Disney there. Also at the El Cap was the premiere of some Donald Duck movie and his voice actor, Tony Anselmo, was there too and I was able to meet with them all and talk to them. For the life of me I can't find which cartoon that was when I do a search! But I remember we all got free popcorn, a drink and a duck call! A duck call! I thought - who is the genius that thought of giving duck calls to a bunch of kids in a movie theater?!!! But much to my surprise, it was quiet during the movie. That day was a highlight for me for sure :)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, Walt apparently never wanted a tribute to himself in the park, so the statue seems like a bit of a backhanded compliment. Then again, some people don’t believe that Walt was a real person (they think he’s made up, like Betty Crocker), so maybe times have changed enough that it’s OK.

Irene, ha ha, I know you were especially excited for these photos! I remember you pointing them out in the album when I met you. Neat that you got to meet those voice actors in Hollywood. I met Tony Anselmo and got his autograph years and years ago, but I didn’t get a duck call! And you’re right, it is astonishing that the theater wasn’t just constant duck calls for two hours.

Anonymous said...

Major, wait, Betty Crocker isn't real?

I did not know that the Man Himself didn't want a statue. That changes things somewhat, I guess.

I still think the Hub is a natural location for a statue, but what statue is it to be? 3D images of the cartoon characters is somewhat weird, like the villain in Toontown being run over by a steam roller.


"Lou and Sue" said...

These are fantastic pictures, on so many levels! It's great to get an up-close view of this event, plus to see some of the famous people, the background scenery, the people-watching, and fun hair and clothing styles from years ago. Thank you, Irene, Bruce, James and Major!


Chuck said...

JG, last time I was at the MK (2007), there was not only a copy of the "Partners" statue in a corresponding position, but it was surrounded by smaller statues of Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Chip & Dale, Dumbo & Timothy Q. Mouse, Pinocchio & Jimmy Cricket, and Br’er Rabbit. It was a bit odd to see them not only in 3D, but smaller than I think of them being in, er, real life.

The character statues have apparently been moved to fountains added after they expanded the Plaza fireworks viewing area into landfill that had previously been part of the canal for the Swan Boats.

The MK also has another Blaine Gibson statue, "Sharing the Magic," which features Roy sitting on a bench with Minnie. It alternates between a spot between the flagpole and Main Street proper and in front of City Hall, depending on the season and decorating needs.

Just because, here's an excerpt from an interview with Blaine Gibson discussing the statues.

Melissa said...

I used to work in an art museum; it's amazing how many grown adults cannot keep their hands off the naughty bits of priceless statues.

I've always loved the statue of Roy and Minnie at WDW. The Florida resort is as much Roy's baby as Walt's, and it seems only fitting he should be paid tribute there.

There's a similar statue of Jim Henson and Kermit at Henson's alma mater that always gives me the feels when I see a picture. Would be nice to have a copy in the Muppets area of DHS.