D23 Legends 2017 Announced

Good Day to all the Geek Enthusiasts and Nerd Aficionados!

The semi-annual D23 expo is happening in July this year. Every time this event comes around they induct a select number of people into their Legends. The Legends are basically the Hall of Fame for Disney.

Who have we seen so far

There has been a whos who of Disney Legends that have come in the past. The list includes such names as:

  • Robert and Richard Sherman – Composer’s of many of your favorite childhood Disney song’s
  • Julie Andrews – Mary Poppins herself
  • Angela Lansbury – Star of Disney films Bed knobs and Broom sticks and Beauty and the Beast, as well as years of Murder She Wrote
  • Kurt Russell – After all he got his start young in Disney films.
  • Dick Van Dyke – Despite his cockney accent he is absolutely a legend
  • Tim Allen – To infinity and beyond
  • Alan Menkin – Composer of the great 90’s Disney Cartoons
  • Phil Collins – Front man of Genesis and composer for Tarzan
  • Sir Tim Rice – Partner of Alan Menkin for all those 90’s Cartoons
  • Sir Elton John- One of the greatest musician of all time
  • Barbara Walters – Acclaimed Journalist
  • Betty White – Our Golden Girl
  • Robin Williams- Gone too soon
  • Regis Philbin – Kept us going in the mornings
  • Jim Henson – Will always live on in our favorite felt covered puppets the Muppets
  • Dick Clark- American Bandstand and ushered us into the new year every year
  • Billy Crystal – Historic Comedian and Actor
  • John Goodman- In my opinion one of the most underrated actors of all time
  • Steve Jobs- Without him there would have been no Pixar
  • Johnny Depp – One of the most iconic Disney characters in Jack Sparrow
  • Danny Elfman – Amazing Composer, front man of Oingo Boingo and voice of Jack Skellington
  • George Lucas – Creator of Star Wars and the man that made many of us nerds and geeks

This is a very small sampling of Disney Legends. There are well over 200 amazing names to get this honor. That is no small feat, but for the amount of people that have been working with Disney to help make our wishes and dreams come true. This is a very select few.

The 2017 Inductees

This year will be the 26th set of inductees since it’s inception in 1987. (The below excerpts are taken from the announcement article at D23 Expo Website.) They are:

Oprah Winfrey

” A renowned award-winning producer, actress, talk show host, and philanthropist. For 25 years, she was the host of the award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 seasons in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world. In 1998, she produced and starred in Beloved for Disney’s Touchstone Pictures. Oprah also produced and starred in ABC’s 1989 limited series The Women of Brewster Place, and would go on to produce many films for ABC, including Tuesdays with Morrie, Before Women Had Wings, and Their Eyes Were Watching God under the “Oprah Winfrey Presents” banner. She voiced Eudora in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog in 2009 and will co-star as Mrs. Which in Disney’s 2018 film A Wrinkle in Time.”

Carrie Fisher

“Known best by Disney fans as Princess Leia, a role she originated in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. In addition to reprising the role in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Carrie’s Disney appearances also include Scream 3 (2000) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) for Dimension Films. Outside of her notable acting career, Carrie was also an accomplished author, playwright, screenwriter, and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.”

Mark Hamill

“Best known as Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy, but Mark’s Disney roots can be traced back to a recurring role on ABC’s General Hospital and a starring role in MTM’s The Texas Wheelers. A prolific voice actor, he has performed on Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law, and has also provided the voice of The Joker in the Batman animated series, a role that recently earned him a BAFTA Award. He returned as Luke in The Force Awakens and will reprise the role in the upcoming The Last Jedi.”

Stan (The Man) Lee

“An office assistant at a comic publisher in 1939 called Timely Comics—forerunner of the powerhouse we all know as Marvel. Stan made his debut with a Captain America story in 1941, and by the next year, at the age of just 18, he was promoted to editor. In 1961, Stan teamed up with Jack “King” Kirby to create the Fantastic Four and ushered in a spectacular new age of comics. Stan co-created an enormous roster of Marvel characters, including Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Falcon. He became Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and eventually was named chairman emeritus.”

Wayne Jackson

 Began his career as a Walt Disney Imagineer in October 1965, and he put his technical skills to great use in the development and installation of Disney attractions around the world. Originally trained in aircraft tooling, he began as a technician and machinist assigned to rebuild the shows from the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair that were slated for installation at Disneyland. Instrumental in the early development of Audio-Animatronics® technology, Wayne would go on to help create Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Wayne would eventually work on the construction and installation of attractions and show systems at Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort, and Disneyland Paris.”

Gary Marshall

“Began his career in Los Angeles writing for a number of hit shows, including The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show. But his big break came in 1970, when he produced The Odd Couple for ABC, the first of many big hits he created for the network. Beginning with Happy Days in 1974, he developed a shared universe of spinoffs including Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, and Joanie Loves Chachi. He also produced Angie, The New Odd Couple, and Blansky’s Beauties for ABC. In addition to his television work, Garry directed 18 films, including multiple films for Disney, like Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts, and The Princess Diaries with Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway. Garry was known for his acting, as well, and he appeared in Disney’s Race to Witch Mountain and Hocus Pocus.”

Julie Taymor

“A Tony®-, Emmy®-, and Grammy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated filmmaker who has changed the face of Broadway with her innovative direction. Her adaptation of The Lion King debuted in 1997, and became the most successful stage musical of all time; 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. The show has played in more than 100 cities in 19 countries. It received 11 Tony Award nominations, earning Julie Best Director, Costume Designer, and Best Musical. She is currently directing M. Butterfly on Broadway, opening Fall 2017.”

Manuel Gonzales

“One of 33 artists selected from thousands of applicants to join Disney in 1936. In 1938, he took over penciling duties on the Sunday Mickey Mouse comic strip from Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson. He brought Mickey Mouse to newspapers nationwide for nearly 40 years. His Mickey-starring comic strip appeared in 120 newspapers around the world with a collective circulation of more than 20 million readers each week. Manuel is one of a few to receive a “Mousecar” award from Walt Disney himself in 1966.

Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi

“Joined the Disney Studio in 1931 and animated several memorable Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphony, and Pluto cartoons. Throughout his career, Gerry contributed to more than 50 of the Studio’s shorts. Gerry made the leap to sequence director with 1943’s Victory Through Air Power, and he subsequently contributed to The Three Caballeros, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Peter Pan, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He also directed segments for television’s Mickey Mouse Club and contributed to episodes of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Gerry also had the honor of serving as supervising director for the 1959 animated classic Sleeping Beauty.”

The Ceremony

Since the inception of the D23 Expo in 2009, the ceremony has taken place with a live audience at the event. The ceremony is one of the major panels at the event. The opportunity to see the people that get the award in person is very rare making it all the more exciting. Combine that with the factor that Disney is all about the quality of the panels they bring to these conventions.

If your going to the D23 Expo, you definitely want to make this a priority. The opportunity to see Hamill and Fisher get the award is enough of a geekasm in itself. ( Before you bash me saying that Carrie won’t be there because she passed. I am well aware. ) To combine this with Stan Lee getting the award is beyond epic, especially since hehas been planning to stop attending convention due to his age and the toll it takes on him.

The Award

Each Legend receives an award made of bronze depicting Mickey Mouse’s arm holding up a star tipped wand. Along with a plaque that features the inductees signature and hand print if inducted while alive, if not the plaque bares an image of the statuette award. These awards are displayed at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank at the Legends Plaza. Along with the Disney Golden Pass, a lifetime pass to all Disney parks.

The ceremony will take place at 10 am on Friday July 14, 2017 in the main hall of the convention, Hall D23. Disney President and CEO Bob Igor will present the awards. If you are going to D23 Expo and are planning to get into this panel. I can not stress this enough Line Up Early! You can not get in line an hour early and hope to get in.

If your not going to the Expo but would like to. You can buy your tickets at the D23 Expo website.


Please let us know if you plan to see this panel. Also, what other things your looking forward to for the D23 Expo? Respond in the comments below. If you like what you see here. Share it with your friends, family, pets, etc.. Make sure to follow us on our other platforms. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube




MEST5150 – Contributer


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