Former Imagineer Jim Clark has shared some intriguing details that went into the design of the Storytellers statue at Disney California Adventure to honor the park's 20th Birthday:

Quote Originally Posted by Jim Clark, Former Imagineer

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Working with Disney Legend Blaine Gibson, brilliant animator Andreas Deja, and master sculptor Rick Terry, it was the experience of a lifetime helping to create the “Storytellers” statue at Disney California Adventure. Even Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, was impressed.

The real art of this masterpiece is in capturing the likeness of Walt as he was just getting started, and in realizing a perfect three-dimensional Mickey from his most two-dimensional days, but it’s also fun to notice all the little details we added.

Art Director Ray Spencer wanted Walt to be approachable, because he’s just regular guy with big dreams…like all of us. The statue was such a hit, we recreated it for Tokyo Disney Sea and Shanghai Disneyland.

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The big news at the time that Walt arrived in California was that Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th President of the U.S…so that’s the headline on Walt’s newspaper. Mickey wasn’t with Walt in 1923; Mickey would be born on another train to Los Angeles years later.

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Blaine would talk about how hard it was to get Mickey’s “glint” right. At first I didn’t know what he was talking about, and then I realized. The “pie eyes.” The triangle shape is the glint in Mickey’s eyes.

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The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe has a long history with the Disneyland steam trains. The luggage tag numbers for Walt and Mickey are their birthdays. Walt’s graphic logo from his Kansas City business card graces the side of his trunk.

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Laugh-o-Grams was the name of Walt’s studio in Kansas City where he made the Alice Comedies. Walt’s lived and worked in Chicago and Kansas City before moving to California. It didn’t seem right to mention Chicago and Kansas City on the statue and not Marceline; Walt’s hometown can be found on the statue, but it’s a bit hidden. You could say Marceline is part of his Walt’s soul.