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Pinocchio Comes to Life Near Ferndell Park

The fourth installation in the Golden Oak community sculpture series is coming to life this summer. Pinocchio and his friends, Jiminy Cricket and Figaro, will join Snow White, Bambi, and Ariel in our series commemorating Disney friends in nature.


"With the nature preserve as its backdrop," says Kim Argus, Project Manager for Golden Oak, "this sculpture is a delightful representation of the classic relationship between Disney characters and nature."


Slated for a permanent home near the entrance of Ferndell Park in Kingswell, the life-sized bronze characters were created by Walt Disney Imagineering sculptors, Erma Yazzie and Steve Cotroneo, in Glendale, California. Along with Disney character artist, John Quinn, who created the drawings for this vignette, the sculptors worked for several weeks using timeless techniques and cast bronze.


The sculptors first built armatures in basic poses of the characters depicted in the vignette. Using layers of Roma Plastilina clay, they then formed their shapes on top of the structure. As the figures began to take shape and Yazzie and Cotroneo worked to reveal their unique personalities, "Disney magic" permeated the studio.


Once the clay figures were complete, they moved to their next destination: Decker Studios, a local foundry responsible for many Disney projects over the years. Here, the characters went through the casting process, becoming wax figures, and then, molten bronze (poured at approximately 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit). Ultimately, the result was a beautiful rendition of the beloved characters from one of the greatest animated films ever made, Pinocchio.


The Imagineering team is immersing the characters in their natural surroundings by fabricating a small footbridge and adding a finishing touch with a "babbling brook" made of glass pebbles. The statue should be ready for families to enjoy by late summer 2017.


"Jiminy Cricket told Pinocchio the story of a wish come true," Argus says. "Our hope is that Golden Oak families will treasure the magic of their friendship for generations to come."

 
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