Bob Gurr, Disney Imagineer | Talks at Google

Retired Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr stopped by Google to discuss his career which spans 40 years developing more than 100 designs for attractions ranging from the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Monorails to the design of the mechanical workings of Disney’s first Audio-Animatronics® human figure, Abraham Lincoln, featured in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Film at Google HQ in Mountain View, CA
Moderated by Kevin Vlk

After graduating with a degree in Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles on a General Motors scholarship, Bob Gurr was hired by Ford Motor Company, left to start his own company, and then was hired by WED Enterprises (today known as Walt Disney Imagineering) to consult on the design of miniature cars for Autopia. Walt Disney was so impressed with Bob’s knowledge and skill that he invited him to join the Imagineering family, which then was solely dedicated to the design and construction of Disneyland.

In 1981, Bob retired early from Imagineering to launch GurrDesign, Inc., and, three years later, joined creative forces with two former Imagineers to form Sequoia Creative, Inc. The firm, which specialized in “leisure-time spectaculars” and “fantastical beasts” developed King Kong and Conan’s Serpent for Universal Studios, Hollywood.

Among his other mechanical feats, Bob was instrumental in creating the mysterious UFO that soared over the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games. He also consulted on the animated T-Rex figure featured in Steven Spielberg’s motion picture Jurassic Park.

Bob continues to consult on Disney projects, including the giant Ursula creature featured at Tokyo DisneySea. In 1999, he was honored with the Themed Entertainment Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He released his memoir, Design: Just for Fun, in 2012.



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