Garner L. Holt founded the company that bears his name in July 1977, at age 16, in his hometown of San Bernardino, California, where the company’s headquarters remain today. Two years earlier, a visit to Disneyland’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show, featuring an animatronic version of the 16th president, sparked Garner’s lifelong fascination with the art and technology of animatronics. Following his early teenage years of creating simple animated figures and moving props for backyard haunted houses and school projects, Garner started his own company while still in high school, a fledgling business originally housed in his parent’s garage. Garner Holt Productions, Inc. (GHP) has since grown to over 60,000 square feet of design and manufacturing space spread throughout a three building, multi-acre creative campus and employs dozens of engineers, artists and technicians. Garner is the world’s leading authority on animatronics history, technology, and emerging techniques.
After four decades of business, GHP is the internationally recognized leader in the design and manufacture of animatronic figures, show and ride systems, show action equipment, special effects, and sets and scenery. Under Garner’s creative direction, the company has built nearly 5,000 animatronic characters, from songbirds to dragons, giant horses to jellyfish, and pirates to presidents for parks and attractions in 43 countries on six continents. Almost 500 of these figures were created for Disney theme parks around the world. GHP has created over 475 animatronic shows for Chuck E. Cheese restaurants. GHP is the only company to create animatronics for military training purposes, currently in use at the Infantry Immersion Trainer at Camp Pendleton. Through years of creative and technological developments, the company Garner founded as a teenager now stands at the forefront of entertainment, educational, and scientific advances in its unique field. Clients include leading organizations such as The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, MGM, Knott’s Berry Farm, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Chuck E. Cheese, Coca-Cola, Mutual of Omaha, Nike, Mattel, Hershey, and McDonald’s restaurants, among hundreds of others.