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Friday, March 24, 2017

Emile Kuri - my 124th pick as a Disney Legend

Emile Kuri, an Oscar-winning set decorator who also contributed designs to Disneyland and Walt Disney World is my 124th choice to be named a Disney Legend. He won his second Oscar for Disney's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' in 1954. He was hired by Walt Disney in 1952 as chief decorator for Disney Studios, Mr. Kuri designed Captain Nemo's submarine headquarters for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

He received Oscar nominations for several other Disney films, including Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Absent-Minded Professor and Mary Poppins. Working with Carroll Clark and the art department, Emile and his staff built a great primitive idol for Lt. Robin Crusoe, a huge steam sailor for Bullwhip Griffin (the later housed in the big tank on Stage 3 where much of 20,000 Leagues was shot), an entire town called "Hickory" was built for Follow Me Boys, a healthy slice of Redwood forests for The Gnomobile and a sizable realistic olive farm for Monkeys Go Home.

Kuri also designed settings for Disney's first theme park, Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and served as a consultant at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

He won an Emmy for his designs for the television show Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.


He has a window with his name on Main Street in Disneyland and WDW. Kuri's window on Main Street at Walt Disney World is on the second floor of the Emporium and he is listed as managing "Exterior Decorators." His window at Disneyland's Main Street is above the Market House where he is listed as an "Interior Decorator." 

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