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Disney Legends 2017 Announced; to be Inducted at D23 Expo

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D23 Expo 2017 may still be three months away, but news is beginning to trickle in about what is always the ultimate Disney fan event.

On Friday, July 14, Disney CEO Bob Iger will host the kind-of annual Disney Legends ceremony. This year’s inductees include:

  • Mark Hamill || Luke Skywalker in Star Wars
  • Carrie Fisher* || Princess Leia in Star Wars
  • Stan Lee || Marvel Publisher
  • Wayne Jackson || Walt Disney Imagineer (Audio-Animatronics and construction)
  • Clyde “Gerry ” Geronimi* || Animator, 1931-1959; Supervising Director of Sleeping Beauty
  • Manuel Gonzales* || Animator and Comics Artist, 1936-1981
  • Garry Marshall* || Film Director (Pretty WomanThe Princess Diaries)
  • Julie Taymor || The Lion King Broadway Director
  • Oprah Winfrey || Because why not?

*awarded posthumously

Ok, so Oprah voiced Tiana’s mother in The Princess and the Frog and will star in 2018’s Disney take on A Wrinkle In Time…but it should be said that her signature television program was not produced by Disney, and her Disney connections are rather thin regardless of her illustrious non-Disney career.

Noticeably absent is Harrison Ford, of course famous for not only Han Solo in Star Wars, but also Indiana Jones. It’s worth noting that D23 Expo 2015 saw a surprise induction for Johnny Depp, so Ford’s exclusion might just be a fake-out. It’s certainly odd given the inclusion of his Star Wars co-stars Hamill and Fisher. George Lucas was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2015.

2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Disney Legends program, honoring prestigious contributions to The Walt Disney Company across its many disciplines, from film and music to theme parks and business.

The Disney Legends ceremony will serve as the kick-off of the three-day D23 Expo taking place July 14-16, 2017, in Anaheim. 2017 will be the fifth D23 Expo, the first being in 2009. The event is known for its major announcements, behind-the-scenes insight, celebrity appearances, and celebration of the fandom of all things Disney.

What do you think of this year’s Disney Legends inductees? Who would you like to see at D23?

Edited by: MJ Edwards

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About Blake Taylor

Blake is a scriptwriter at Elevation Church, the fastest-growing church in American history, where he develops documentary shorts and creative elements with the film team. He graduated Appalachian State University studying Electronic Media Production and is an alumni of the Disney College Program. Blake’s favorite films are Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and Toy Story 3. You can find him on Twitter (@blake_242) and visit his blog at blakeonline.com.
  • Manuel Orozco

    Excellent choices for the award! May Gary Marshall and Carrie Fisher rest peacefully

  • aquapyro

    Well, to be fair, they also reference Carrie’s other Disney Works like Scream 3 and Jay and Bob Silent Strike Back (under Dimension Films). Mark also does voice work for shows like Miles from Tomorrowland and Milo Murphy’s Law.

    And while Oprah does seem far fetch to earn a Disney Legend, she did produce all of those TV films for ABC like Before Women Had Wings and the short series, The Women of Brewster Place.

    Im just typing these case some people are wondering why some of the choices are these specific ones.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Don’t forget when Mark Hamill voiced Skeleton King on Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go for Jetix!

  • Rachel Wagner

    I dont understand the Oprah pick? She was Tiana’s Mom but what else has she done for Disney?

    • Yeah, I don’t understand the choice to induct Oprah as well. However, she will also be in A Wrinkle in Time which comes out next year.

      • Rachel Wagner

        That’s true

        • Manuel Orozco

          I don’t have much of a problem with Oprah

          • Rachel Wagner

            But what has she done for Disney to be a legend?

          • Manuel Orozco

            Well most of her work was for ABC

          • aquapyro

            Most of the TV films of ABC were produced by her

          • Rachel Wagner

            I’m sure there are lots of other producers who have done much more for Disney than her

  • Ahhh these picks look amazing!! Such amazing talent! ^.^

  • Nicolas Medina

    You forgot to mention that garry marshall is another posthumous award

  • I thought Garry Marshall was dead.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Yes that’s why it will be a posthumous honor along with Carrie Fisher

      • It didn’t say so on the list with no * at the end of his name so that confused me.

        • Manuel Orozco

          Oh that makes sense

    • Guy

      Yes it does.

      Garry Marshall* || Film Director (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries)

      *awarded posthumously

      • Well, now it does. It wasn’t when I first read it so somebody fixed it. Yay!

        • Guy

          Yay =)

  • Harry Martin

    So I have an entire blog on people I would like to see, eventually going to have 250 names on my list. Only tow of these guys were on my list – Gerry Gernomi and Stan Lee. Wayne Jackson and Manuel Gonzales are also nice picks. I would have loved to see George McGinnis who just passed away this week be included. Oprah, not so much. there are literally thousand of people who have contributed more to movies and them parks and than she has. My blog is http://disneylegends.blogspot.com/

  • Jeremiah

    That’s a good choice, another good choice, good choice, good-Oprah? Um. Well, she deserves whatever award she gets I suppose.