Blaine Gibson, Disney Legend Behind ‘Pirates’ And ‘Haunted Mansion,’ Dies At 97

Legendary Disney animator and sculptor Blaine Gibson, who designed some of the most iconic images in the company’s theme parks around the world, died on Sunday, according to the Orange Country Register.

He was 97.

Gibson worked alongside Walt Disney during the development of Disneyland, and his sculptures were used to create the faces on characters in rides such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Haunted Mansion” as well as the “Enchanted Tiki Room” show.

He also sculpted “Partners,” a statue of Walt Disney holding the hand of Mickey Mouse that sits in front of the castles at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, among other places.

Family friend Carla Larissa Fallberg wrote on Facebook that Gibson had watched “101 Dalmatians” — a film he worked on as an animator — with his grandson “before he took his final nap.”

Gibson, who was born in Colorado in 1918, joined Disney in 1939. In addition to “101 Dalmatians,” he worked as an animator on “Bambi,” “Song of the South,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan” and “Sleeping Beauty,” according to IMDB.

Although an animator, Gibson’s hobby was sculpture. Walt Disney saw one of Gibson’s art exhibitions and in 1954 asked him to work on Disneyland, a year before the theme park would open.

Gibson initially wasn’t crazy about leaving animation to work in theme parks.

I didn’t think it was that important, but then I was told Walt was expecting me to work on these projects,” he said, according to the company. “So I said to myself, ‘what the heck’ and went (to Walt Disney Imagineering). I was never sorry after that.”

At first, Gibson continued to work as an animator, but switched over to Walt Disney Imagineering (then known as WED Enterprises) in 1961, where he supervised the newly created sculpture department, the company said in a 2013 blog post about Gibson.

Along with working on Disneyland, Gibson did sculpture work for some of the Disney exhibits at the 1964 World’s Fair, including a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln used to produce the audio-animatronic featured in “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln.”

Since then, he directed the sculpture of every U.S. President used in the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World up to George W. Bush.

Gibson retired in 1983 after 45 years with the company, but continued to work as a consultant and completed the “Partners” statue in 1993.

disney partners statue

Gibson is the recipient of two of the company’s biggest honors. In 1992, a window was dedicated to him on Main Street, USA in Disneyland:

The following year, Gibson was named a Disney Legend.

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‘True Detective’ Episode 3 Finally Has Us Chasing Clues

Spoiler alert for “True Detective” Season 2, Episode 3, “Maybe Tomorrow.”

Well, looky there: last week’s “True Detective” cliffhanger turned into a lot of sound and fury, as anyone could have predicted. Ray is still very much alive and swimming around in the Caspere investigation, despite his best efforts otherwise. He and Ani pursue leads on the case, while Paul’s sexual repression comes to light after reuniting with a close military buddy and hitting the streets to find Caspere’s affiliates. Paul pounds back doubles to blind himself from the nightlife scene he would rather avoid, where he also bumps into Frank, who has just threatened his former business partners out of ostensible paranoia. And we end with a electrifying chase scene that cements the third episode of “True Detective” Season 2, which zeroed in on each character’s progress (or lack thereof) in the hunt for Caspere’s killer. Are we any closer to the “True Detective” we’ve been longing for? Let’s discuss.

Erin: Here we are in week three of “True Detective” and my cons list is still overwhelming my pros. Yet I keep watching because each episode is getting a little bit better than the last and planting a few more seeds of intrigue. Similar to what we discussed in Episode 2, this week’s best scene was all about Paul and what’s really behind his angry highway cruises and Viagra usage. Beyond that, I had some issues with how Ani was being utilized. What was your impression, Matt?

Matt: From the blue mystique of the opening spotlight cast down on an Elvis impersonator singing “Mama Liked the Roses” and Ray’s Lynchian dream sequence, it’s clear we are inching toward the “True Detective” that we expect. “Maybe Tomorrow” exchanges director Justin Lin, who helmed the first two episodes, for Janus Metz Pedersen, and that trade led to a much more captivating hour of television tonight. I agree it’s still Paul who’s holding this show together — watching him grapple with his veiled homosexuality will keep this season alive, especially as it intersects with the mystery of Caspere’s death. Of course Ray isn’t dead after last week’s cliffhanger, but at least Frank’s dirty business ties overlapping with Ray’s investigation opens doors on a more intriguing cross-section of storylines. But I think the most telling moment this week came when Ray spouted off some vacant faux-philosophy about not being Colombo and Mayor Chessani hollered in response, “What the f–k does that mean? Is this your best, man?” Suddenly it turns out the show’s dialogue is speaking for the viewing audience, though it seems like a message better suited for Frank, who continues to utter turgid things like “prefiguring Caspere, in a casual sense.”

maybe tomorrow kitsch

Erin: I’m glad you pointed out the director change, Matt. There is definitely an improvement in a more cohesive tone from start to finish this episode as compared to the last two. I do still get the sense though that both Lin and Pedersen are actively striving to capture and imitate the “True Detective” essence left over from Season 1 instead of imparting their own unique vision. The close-up shot of a glass of whiskey on the bar table, the POV shot of Ray looking down at his cut-up knuckles, and, again, more freeway overhead shots to establish distance traveled — all trying to insert the audience into the character’s world, but too forcefully and obviously for my taste.

My major complaint about tonight was the conversation between Ani and the state attorney Katherine Davis (Michael Hyatt). So far, it felt like Pizzolatto had responded to last year’s cries of criticism against his depiction of women. Ani, a strong-willed, tough female character, adds color to a fictional world ripe with machismo. But then when Davis not only suggested, but strongly encouraged Ani to use her sexuality to get close to Ray — “I’m not saying f–k hime, but maybe let him think you might f–k him,” she says — all of that progress came crashing down. To reduce a female character, and one who is seemingly a more than capable detective already, to employ her sexuality to do her job and to gain a promotion is more cliché and pathetic than I thought Pizzolatto would stoop. It seems like he’s avoiding the criticism by having a woman, and a woman of color at that, make the suggestion to Ani instead of a white male, but that makes little difference. I think McAdams will challenge this diminution of her character throughout the rest of the season, though. Ani seems too stubborn to even follow the orders of a fellow female colleague, let alone hand over control of her body to a man.

Matt: That’s an unsettling, and unnecessary, moment, but you could see the distaste register on Ani’s face. I did worry momentarily when she and Ray ended up alone at the end of the episode, but I don’t think Ani will stoop to such a low. It feels like she still hasn’t had her moment as a character, and I suspect when she does in one of the next couple of episodes, it will be stamped with the anti-misogyny we want from her. In the meantime, you’re right that we should be rolling our eyes at any character suggesting she pull a sexual coup — and it doesn’t help that the other women in the episode were found on their knees (Jordan Semyon) or in subservient, booze-soaked disarray (Chessani’s wife).

The episode thrived when it felt most like an old-fashioned manhunt: Paul slinking through the seedy nightclub in search of Caspere’s ties to sex workers, the cops’ probing visit to the local movie set and the closing chase outside of Ray’s home did more to move the plot forward and hook me in that anything concerning Frank’s mob ring, even during his violent confrontation with a batch of pimps whose women may have serviced Caspere. That arc — and his inert relationship with his wife — feels like a dead-end device to accentuate Frank’s need for power when all I want is more of the investigation’s tangled web of suspects. Ray and Ani darting after the same hooded figure who shot Ray last week finally draws together the disparate ties that have left me griping over how dehumanized the season feels.

maybe tomorrow vaughn

Erin: That’s what I want more of: a good ol’ detective chase and an intricate web of suspects. I loved Ray and Ani’s chase scene and I also enjoyed Frank finally letting his villainous side seep out through his cracks. We finally got our first brutal torture scene, on par with typical HBO violence standards, and I’m perfectly fine with that. If we’re dealing with the underbelly of California’s criminal world, I’d expect to see some nasty acts like tonight’s tooth-pulling. I much prefer ruthless Frank to sob-story Frank from last week, as well.

I also really loved the moment between Paul and his war friend. We’ve already seen hints of his latent sexuality, but I thought the reveal between the two of them at the racetrack was well-done, especially in such a masculine location. It was just enough to disturb Paul’s carefully, yet painfully crafted facade. I hope to see more moments that recall Paul’s past, or at least more encounters with gay men or the local prostitutes that clearly put him in a questioning position. But again, as we’ve both said, Ani and Ray’s characters still have a lot to catch up to in regards to how much we’ve learned about Paul already. I hope we get a further look at Ani’s father and the workings behind his church. Which reminds me — whatever happened to the missing girl that supposedly led Ani and her original partner back to her father’s New Age church in the first place? I can hardly remember if that’s even a relevant plotline anymore that’s been addressed since.

Matt: Right, the show tinkered around with Ani’s family and then buried their plotline like Caspere’s acid-drenched corpse. I remember assuming during the beginning of the first episode that the missing girl would become the central mystery. But I think this episode has finally lured me in with Ray and Ani’s dynamic, despite the lapses in the latter’s characterization. Both of their bosses wanting them to betray the other seems to imply Ray and Ani will do the opposite. I feel similarly about Ray as you do about Frank — Colin Farrell’s performance is peeling back layers that elevate the character past sob-story stature. How heartbreaking was it to hear him say that he used to build model airplanes with his son but now does it alone?

Now, on to the obvious next question at this point: Who killed Caspere? Here, again, is where I find “True Detective” rather inert this year, because the suspect list is short and dull. It feels like the world of Vinci is expanding and yet the murder clues aren’t building to anything gripping. I guess my money is on Caspere’s cartoonish shrink, he of the orange skin and ominous sunglasses. But who knows? And do we have enough sinister clues to care? Maybe tomorrow. I sense increasingly better things next week.

Erin: I can easily put my money on Caspere’s shrink, but he also seems like the perfect red herring. Tony Chessani, the mayor’s son, also seems like a possible suspect, along with the mayor’s wife. But knowing Pizzolatto, and how interconnected the police and criminal worlds are, I doubt we’ve even met the real culprit yet. Here’s to five more weeks of clue-digging.

“True Detective” airs on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.

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‘Jimmy Kimmel’ Tells People The 4th Of July May Be Moved, People Buy It

America. Land of the free. Home of the gullible.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live’s” Lie Witness News, in a show just before the holiday, informed citizens that the Fourth of July might be moved to February — and they were none too happy about it.

People were told other red, white and blue nonsense that they also took at face value. But just because you can be pranked doesn’t mean you’re not a patriot.

It’s like Kimmel said: “Part of being American is not knowing anything.”

H/T Viral Viral Videos

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Doubling Down on Shark Conservation as <i>Jaws</i> Turns 40

As Shark Week arrives for 2015, movie goers have the opportunity to relive a thrilling moment in cinema history with the re-release of the first bona fide summer blockbuster and the celebration of one of the ocean’s (and this planet’s) most magnificent set of creatures.

By now, we all know the sad story of sharks and rays. Through directed fishing, by-catch, surging demand for shark and ray products, and misaligned incentives, the world’s shark and ray populations have been decimated over the past four decades and now a quarter are at risk of extinction. In the worst cases they have gone locally extinct; in many others, up to 90 percent of populations have been lost.

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I am spending the beginning of Shark Week viewing the world’s largest whale shark aggregation in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, where living sharks contribute millions of dollars annually in ecotourism dollars to the local economy. Photo by Caleb McClennen ©WCS.

Sharks and rays’ vulnerability also derives from their specific life cycle. Most shark and ray species take many years to reach sexual maturity, then produce few young — more akin to marine mammals such as whales and dolphins than fish. Thus, they are especially threatened by overfishing and slow to recover.

Fortunately, it has become increasingly unpalatable for people across the globe to watch idly as we lose one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring assemblages of marine biodiversity the world has to offer.

There is hope. The shark and ray conservation movement has made great headway in tackling this global and highly complex challenge.

For the first time ever, commercially fished sharks were listed through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2013. Thanks to over a decade of concerted effort by shark scientists, advocates and governments, CITES requirements are now beginning to increase the sustainability (and future prospects) of whale sharks, basking sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, porbeagle sharks, and three species of hammerhead sharks, all sawfishes, and manta rays.

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Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries personnel display confiscated manta ray gills at their offices in Negara, Jembrana, Bali. Photo by Paul Hilton ©WCS.

In the past year we celebrated the actions by Indonesia to crack down on the now illegal manta trade and countries are coming together to impose catch restrictions in their waters’ critical marine habitats for sharks (or in some cases their entire economic zone). In Asia we see reported signs of a reduced demand for shark fin for the traditional culinary delicacy shark fin soup.

Back home in the United States, our shark fisheries are some of the best managed in the world — successfully championing a ban of shark finning on all but one species and other critical measures.

On the East Coast, full protection measures for White Sharks in the 1990s have led to a recovering populations and are now back just off the outer beach of Cape Cod, feeding on the result another amazing conservation success story: the dramatic recovery of grey and harbor seals. Nationally, we are seeing the full protection of many species in the U.S. and the successful recovery of shark fisheries in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

2015-07-03-1435939754-9986317-KeithEllenbogen_bullsharks_Fiji.jpg

It has become increasingly unpalatable for people across the globe to watch idly as we lose one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring assemblages of marine biodiversity. Photo ©Keith Ellenbogen.

I am spending the beginning of Shark Week in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, viewing the world’s largest whale shark aggregation. Here, sharks alive are contributing millions of dollars annually in ecotourism dollars to the local economy.

In Guayaquil, Ecuador, a number of shark conservation advocates will be working at a meeting of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) in Guatemala to push for increased protections for Mobulas, Silky Sharks, and Hammerheads currently suffering huge mortality rates that can be sensibly reduced.

In New York, where I work for WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), our New York Aquarium is committing to a major new focus on sharks, with new exhibitry and education programming. A team of dedicated WCS shark conservationists will be out on the water all summer researching these animals to learn more about how to protect them and inspire New Yorkers and others around the world to conserve them.

This Shark Week 2015 — and on the 40th anniversary of Jaws — let us reflect upon our growing appreciation for (and willingness to protect) these vulnerable species. Let us then dramatically scale our commitment to reverse the decline of these magnificent species on a global scale.

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The re-release of “Jaws” this summer on its 40th anniversary is drawing attention to the critical importance of protecting vulnerable shark and ray species globally. © Universal Studios.

The good news is we know what is necessary: We must leverage our successes to fully protect the most vulnerable species, improve shark and ray fisheries management world-wide, and shift demand away from unsustainable shark and ray products.

This coming week should be about celebrating the amazing work of shark conservationists who have committed their lives to saving sharks and rays. Their combined impact is turning the tide. We owe them our most since thanks and our increased commitment to this critical challenge for the ocean and our planet.

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Katy Perry & John Mayer Got Cozy At A Grateful Dead Concert

Katy Perry and John Mayer made the crowd roar at the Grateful Dead concert in Chicago Saturday night when they cuddled up together.

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Is Khloe Kardashian Dating James Harden?

Khloe Kardashian’s dipping into the hoops pool again — she and NBA superstar James Harden hit Las Vegas for the 4th and TMZ Sports got the first pics of their date night. 

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Vanessa Williams Marries Jim Skrip on Fourth of July

Vanessa Williams and Jim Skrip tie the knot on America’s independence day.

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Caitlyn Jenner Shares Inspirational 4th Of July Message On Instagram

Caitlyn Jenner not only celebrated her country’s freedom on the Fourth of July, but also reflected on her own.

The former Olympian took to Instagram on America’s birthday to wish her followers a happy holiday and share a powerful message. Jenner posted a photo of a framed American flag and wrote in the caption, “Happy 4th of July! Proud to be an American … where at least I am free to be me.”

Happy 4th of July! Proud to be an American … where at least I am free to be me.

A photo posted by Caitlyn Jenner (@caitlynjenner) on


In case you weren’t keeping up with the other Jenner and Kardashian news, Kim Kardashian also got very patriotic over the holiday. The reality star shared a photo decked out in all red, white and blue sparkly gear. Her sister Kourtney Kardashian also shared some patriotic photos of herself with daughter Penelope over the holiday.

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