Robert Downey Jr. and James Earl Jones highlight the list of Disney Legends to be honored at D23 Expo 2019

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies

Robert Downey Jr and James Earl Jones

Credit: D23

With the 2019 D23 Expo quickly approaching, Disney has announced the honorees who will be receiving the highly acclaimed Disney Legends awards, the highest honor bestowed by The Walt Disney Company. While The Walt Disney Company has honored almost 300 Disney Legends since 1987,  in recent years the Disney Legends ceremony has taken place at D23 Expo, the ultimate event for Disney fans occurring every two years. Disney has just shared who the eleven honorees will be and, by the looks of this list, fans won’t be disappointed in the slightest.

This year, The Walt Disney Company will be honoring the following individuals as Disney Legends (listed in alphabetical order): Wing Chao, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Ming-Na Wen, and Hans Zimmer. As D23 shared, these individuals are being recognized with this high accolade for their contributions to the Disney legacy, and as fans, we can agree that they are deserving of the honor.

You can view all of the Disney Legends being honored at D23 Expo 2019 below:

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse giving an honor to a man
Wing Chao, who served for 37 years as vice chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for Asia Pacific Development as well as executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering, where he oversaw master planning, architecture, and design for projects at Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide.


Robert Downey Jr. wearing a suit and tie
Robert Downey Jr, a two-time Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe® winner who has appeared in more than 80 films, and who is perhaps most known for his role as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Jon Favreau on the red carpet
Jon Favreau, who started his career appearing in film and television and became one of Hollywood’s most successful producers and directors. His directing credits include “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” the live-action remake of “The Jungle Book,” and this year’s reimagining of “The Lion King.” Jon also made appearances in several Marvel Cinematic Universe films as Tony Stark’s loyal bodyguard, Happy Hogan.


James Earl Jones received an Oscar
James Earl Jones, the Oscar®, Emmy®, and Tony® Award-winning actor well known for his iconic voice acting, beginning with the role of Darth Vader in “Star Wars: A New Hope.” He also voices Mufasa in both the original and reimagining of “The Lion King.”


Bette Midler standing in front of a stage
Bette Midler, Emmy, Grammy®, Golden Globe, and Tony winner known for “Hocus Pocus,” “Oliver & Company” and “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” among other hit comedies and dramas.


Kenny Ortega posing for the camera
Kenny Ortega, the multi-award-winning director, choreographer, and producer known for “Hocus Pocus,” “High School Musical,” and the “Descendants” series.


Barnette Ricci in front of the water
Barnette Ricci, who dedicated over 40 years at The Walt Disney Company as a choreographer for parades and shows at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. She is credited with the creation of Fantasmic! at Disneyland, which premiered in 1992.


Robin Roberts posing for the camera
Robin Roberts, who has been a part of ESPN and later Good Morning America since 1990. For ABC, Robin has hosted In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: All Access Nashville, as well as ABC’s red carpet coverage of the Academy Awards, and has created original broadcast and digital programming for the network through her production company, Rock’n Robin Productions.


Diane Sawyer standing in front of a stage
Diane Sawyer, ABC News anchor, and one of the most respected journalists in the world. She has traveled the globe delivering breaking news reports, and has conducted interviews with almost every major newsmaker of our time.


Ming-Na Wen, with her arms crossed
Ming-Na Wen, known for her roles in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “ER,” “The Joy Luck Club,” and the title character in “Mulan.” She has worked on several Disney Channel and ABC shows, including “Sofia the First” and “Fresh Off the Boat.”


Hans Zimmer and woman posing for the camera
Hans Zimmer, who has scored more than 160 projects which, combined, have grossed more than $28 billion worldwide. He is known by Disney fans for his work on “The Lion King” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.””

“The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor we can bestow; it’s a recognition of talent, a celebration of achievement, and an expression of profound gratitude to the remarkable men and women who have made an indelible mark on our company and our creative legacy,” said Bob Iger, Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, in the D23 press release. “This year’s honorees have earned a place in our hearts and our history for their significant contributions in film, television, and our theme parks around the world.”

D23 Disney Legends award
Credit: D23

We couldn’t agree with Iger more. From Robert Downey Jr. performance as Iron Man in “Avengers: Endgame” to the timelessness of news anchors Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer to the iconic compositions by Hans Zimmer, every honoree has definitely earned a place in our hearts. All Disney Legends receive a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to The Walt Disney Company. Honorees’ handprints are also displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Burbank headquarters of The Walt Disney Company so Disney fans can see every Disney Legend’s handprints there.

We’re so excited to see these Disney Legends receive their awards at this year’s D23 Expo, and we know many more fans will be itching to buy their tickets soon, too. Admission to the Disney Legends ceremony is included with the price of admission to D23 Expo. Remember, you have to be a D23 member to purchase tickets, although a general membership is free. For more information on D23 Expo and to purchase tickets, visit the official website here. 

Schedule Update: It was originally reported that you can see the ceremony hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, at 10:30 am on Friday, August 23, in Hall D23 of the Anaheim Convention Center. But Inside the Magic has confirmed with D23 the actual start time has been moved forward to 10:00 am on Friday, August 23.

Which honoree are you most excited to see become inducted into the Disney Legends at D23 Expo this year? Let us know in the comments!

Source: D23

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