This year at Disney’s D23 Expo on August 23, in Anaheim California, The Walt Disney Company will uphold it’s 32 year tradition with new inductees into the Disney Legends Awards Program. The first Legend to be inducted was Fred MacMurray, whom you may know from the Shaggy Dog, The Absent Minded Professor and the Happiest Millionaire. MacMurray was honored in 1987.
The Disney Legend Award Ceremony is just one of a multitude of events that fans can experience during the duration of the 3 day Disney D23 Expo.
This years inductees for 2019 are going to be as follows.
Wing Chao. Wing’s career at Disney spans 37 years. Wing served as vice chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for Asia Pacific Development as well as executive Vice President of Walt Disney imagineering. Wing rounded up some of the most talented people, architects, engineers and designers. Working on hotels, cruise ships, restaurants. He worked on multiple projects for the Walt Disney Company world wide.
Robert Downey Jr. He has appeared in more than 80 films, is a 2 time Academy Award® nominee and a Golden Globe® Winner. Downey has an amazing career, last of which he became best known as the Marvel Character, Iron Man.
Jon Favreau. Jon has a very unique career before his decent to becoming one of the most successful producers and directors in Hollywood. Jon began with roles on shows such as Seinfield and Friends. Yet his big break out role was in Swingers (1996). This was a turning point for him as he not only starred in it, he wrote the screen play and co-produced it. Many of us know him as “Happy” from the Ironman films. However we haven’t seen the last of him, he’s set to executive produce the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian, which will premier is Novemeber.
James Earl Jones. James began his career in television as well with roles on As the World Turns (1996) and Dr. Strange Love, to name a few. However this iconic actor is well known for his voice acting abilities. Beginning with Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). While this is just a snap shot of his amazing work, he truly is a Disney Legend.
Bette Midler. Bette is best known to most Disney fans as Winifred in Hocus Pocus (1993), a timeless film. Bette has also starred in The Lottery, a short Disney film that can be heard by guests in the Back Stage Studio Tour at Disney MGM studios theme park, now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Bette has had an extensive career than I have written here, but she is absolutely worthy of becoming a Disney Legend.
Kenny Ortega. Kenny is a multi awarded director, choreographer and producer. One of his first Disney projects was the choreographing of Disney’s Totally Minnie (1988) and then Mickeys 60th Birthday that very same year. One thing to note, his first directed feature film was Newsies (1993). He also directed Hocus Pocus that very same year. A few other works to note are High School Musical 2 and 3 as well as High School Musical: the Concert tour. His most recent Disney directing was the amazing Descendants 1 and 2 and 3. The Descants 3 will be released this summer.
Barnette Ricci. Beginning her career as a choreographer at Disneyland, in the late 60’s Barnette created and directed Kings of the Kingdom before going on to choreograph and direct some of the most beloved Disney parades. A note worthy parade is she did choreograph and direct the amazing Main Street Electric Parade. Aside from parades she went on to work on grand openings of Walt Disney World, EPOCT, and Tokyo Disneyland.
Robin Roberts. In 1990 Robin joined ESPN as a frequent contributor. Spending 15 years with ESPN, she then began making appearances on Good Morning America, eventually becoming a full time co-anchor.
Diane Sawyer. We all know Diane as one of the most respected news journalists, she was also a well known news anchor. Winning many awards from duPonts, Emmys and Peabodys. Diane has also been inducted to the Television hall of fame.
Ming-Na Wen. Many of Disney fans know Ming-Na as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. We can’t forget her 7 year run on the show ER playing Juin-Mei Chen. Ming-Na also appeared in the infamous Joy Luck Club. She received an Annie award for her work on the Disney Classic Mulan. As a versatile performer she has also voiced in the highly popular video game Kingdom Hearts II which features many Disney Characters and has a huge following.
Hans Zimmer. With more than 160 million projects under his belt with a gross of $28 billion world wide, Hans has been awarded two Golden Globes®, three well deserved Grammys, and American Music Award and a Tony Award. Now he will become a Disney Legend. Well deserved. Hans has scored music for Disney’s White Fang (1991), and groundbreaking music for the instrumental score for The Lion King. He went on to score Muppet Treasure Island (1996), and Iron Man (2008). Hans was also behind the music of Pirates of the Carribbean franchise. This year we will hear his composition of the music for this summers The Lion King.
Honorees will receive two foot tall bronze Disney legend sculpture to signify all the creativity, imagination and magic they have Brough to the company. The joy they have brought to all Disney fans, big and small. There will also be a hand print ceremony at the end of the event, where their prints will be displayed at the Disney Legends Plaza at the company’s Burbank headquarters. This is a must see for any Disney fan. It is nothing short of amazing
Past nominees include Tim Allen, Beatrice Arther, Steve Martin, George Lucas, Halley Mills and Dick Van Dyke to name a few. There are going to be a total of 289 Disney legends. As you can tell, I couldn’t write all the names.
D23 2019 is in Anaheim, California this year. For more information visit D23Expo.com. Hope to see you there!