John Hench

Born: Monday, June 29, 1908
Died: Thursday, February 5, 2004

Occupation:

  • Master Planner
  • Show / Concept Designer
  • Official Mickey Mouse Portrait Artist

Legacy:

  • Helped master plan the Walt Disney World Resort and the Tokyo Disney Resort.
  • Decided on the look and feel of the original Tomorrowland in Disneyland Park (California).
  • Designed many iconic buildings for Disney’s theme parks across the globe, including Cinderella Castle (at the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland) and Space Mountain.

Important projects:

  • Worked on the attractions for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.
  • Developed ideas for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s California Adventure, Tokyo DisneySea and Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Was Disney’s “official portrait artist” of Mickey Mouse at the occasion of Mickey’s 25th, 50th, 60th, 70th and 75th birthday.
  • Designed the Olympic Torch for the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, USA.

Other projects:

  • Teamed with Salvador Dali on the animated short “Destino”.
  • Developed the hydraulic giant squid for Disney’s “20.000 Leagues Under the Sea”.
  • Worked variously as background painter, layout artist, story editor, art editor, colorist and stylist on many of Disney’s animated films.

Meet other legendary Imagineers in our "WDI Hall of Fame".