Jack Kirby to Be Named “Disney Legend” at D23 Expo

A month ahead of what would have been his 100th birthday, Disney and Marvel Entertainment will celebrate the career of Jack Kirby, with the announcement that he will be named a Disney Legend during July’s D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California.

The recognition is an odd one; Kirby will be one of two initial Marvel honorees for the Disney award — Stan Lee being the other; both men will receive the award during the July 14 event, led by Disney CEO Bob Iger, with other honorees recognized being Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oprah Winfrey, Julie Taylor and Garry Marshall, as well as Disney artists Manuel Gonzales and Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi — but, although he is doubtlessly a comic book legend, being responsible for the creation of much of the Marvel line, and a fair number of characters and concepts for other publishers, including DC, he’s not exactly a Disney legend.

In fact, beyond the fact that Kirby’s work for Marvel now belongs to Disney following the latter’s purchase of the comic company in 2009, Kirby’s connection to Disney amounts to little more than a comic strip adaptation of the studio’s 1979 sci-fi movie The Black Hole created for newspapers at the time of the movie’s release, facilitated by his regular collaborator Mike Royer, who at the time worked directly for Disney. His Marvel work — indeed, his entire comic book career ahead of his death in 1994 — predated any Disney connection by a number of decades.

The Disney recognition comes at a strange time for Kirby’s creative legacy within Marvel’s comic book line, as well; currently, many of the characters he created or co-created have been replaced with altered or updated versions, with some of the most iconic — the original Hulk, Iron Man and X-Men‘s Professor Xavier and Cyclops — left for dead as the result of recent storylines. His signature series at the company, Fantastic Four— the series that launched the Marvel universe as it exists today — hasn’t been published since 2015, and the character many fans most closely associate with him, Captain America, has been transformed into a fascist for the purposes of Marvel’s tentpole 2017 storyline.

It’s possible that Kirby, himself a restless innovator who preferred to come up with new ideas rather than rehash old glories, would approve of these changes. If nothing else, it should be noted that the relationship between the Kirby estate and Marvel is healthier now than it has been in some years, following the 2014 settlement of a long-running lawsuit over ownership of many Marvel characters Kirby had created or co-created for the company.

With Kirby’s 100th birthday approaching on Aug. 28, the Disney Legend award could be seen as a well-deserved tribute to the man who was instrumental in building the company that now rules the box office with movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Doctor Strange. (Neither based on Kirby characters, notably; this November’s Thor: Ragnarok sees a return to his contribution, however.) For others, though, the question of how deserved it is underscores the complicated relationship Marvel, and by extension, corporate parent Disney, have shared with Kirby.

From The Hollywood Reporter

D23 Announces the Nine Disney Legends to be Honored at D23 Expo

The Disney Legends Award ceremony is one of many highlights during D23 Expo, and D23 is excited to share this year’s class of legendary honorees! Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Disney Legends Award was first given to Fred MacMurray in 1987, and has since honored 276 Disney Legends (including this year’s honorees). “The Disney Legends Award is the highest honor our company can bestow on an individual, reserved for those few who have truly made an indelible mark on the history of The Walt Disney Company,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement, and an expression of gratitude to the men and women whose work has significantly contributed to Disney’s enduring reputation for creative excellence.”

Since the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, fans have been able to enjoy the ceremony live, and this year is no different! Hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, the Disney Legends Award ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 14, in Hall D23 during D23 Expo. Read on to see which legendary contributors to The Walt Disney Company will be honored this year.

CARRIE FISHER is 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.

CLYDE “GERRY” GERONIMI (pictured left) 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.

MANUEL GONZALES was 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.

MARK HAMILL is 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.

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.

STAN LEE got a job as 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.

GARRY 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 is 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.

OPRAH WINFREY is 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.

 

D23 Expo Announces 2015 Disney Legends

Disney Legends

For 28 years, The Walt Disney Company has proudly honored those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy by naming them Disney Legends. Today, Disney announced the talented people who will be celebrated in a special awards ceremony at D23 EXPO 2015.

Star Wars creator George Lucas, composer Danny Elfman, All My Children star Susan Lucci, and animator Andreas Deja are among the honorees for 2015. The Disney Legends Awards ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 14, in Hall D23 at the Anaheim Convention Center and will be hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. The ceremony will also include special musical performances.

“The Disney Legend Award is our highest honor, and we are incredibly proud to recognize these eight talented individuals who have contributed so much to the world of entertainment and the Disney legacy,” Bob Iger said. “Their vision and dedication to their work have brought joy to audiences around the globe and earned them a place in Disney history.”

The 2015 Disney Legend Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

George Bodenheimer

GEORGE BODENHEIMER, who retired from his role as Executive Chairman of ESPN in May 2014, enjoyed a remarkable 33-year career that began in the company’s mailroom in 1981. Working his way through the ranks, he became executive vice president of sales and marketing in 1996, before being named the network’s fifth president in 1998. He held that role until 2012, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations.

Andreas Deja

ANDREAS DEJA is a link to Disney’s past and one of the greatest animators of its modern era. Deja is known for his rich portraits of villainy, having animated Gaston for Beauty and the Beast, Jafar for Aladdin, and Scar for The Lion King. He has also brought life to heroes such as mighty Hercules, the precocious Lilo (Lilo & Stitch), regal King Triton (The Little Mermaid), wise Mama Odie (The Princess and the Frog), and loveable Tigger (Winnie the Pooh). In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Winsor McCay Award for his contributions to the art of animation.

EyvindEarle

EYVIND EARLE, one of the greatest of Disney artists, brought his unique style to a number of memorable projects but perhaps the purest realization of his vision remains the visual styling and backgrounds for the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. Earle’s career with Disney began in 1951, working on background artwork for Peter Pan. He created the look of the 1953 animated short Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which won an Academy Award® for Best Short Subject, Cartoons in 1954. His most noticeable contribution, however, remains his work on Sleeping Beauty. The film’s eye-catching look, in its design and backgrounds, are the perfect representation of his unique style.

Danny Elfman

DANNY ELFMAN provided the songs and score for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, for which he also provided the singing voice of Jack Skellington. He also scored several Disney films including Alice in Wonderland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Dick Tracy, Dead PresidentsFlubberGood Will Hunting (Oscar® Nomination: Best Score), A Civil Action, InstinctFrankenweenie, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Elfman also wrote the theme for ABC’s Desperate Housewives and penned the music for the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. His music is featured in Disneyland’s annual Haunted Mansion Holiday. His upcoming Disney projects include Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.

George Lucas

GEORGE LUCAS, whose Star Wars films made him one of the most successful filmmakers of all time, is also a longtime Disney fan who has left an indelible impression on Disney parks. His first project with Disney was Captain EO, the 1986 3-D spectacular starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Star Tours and Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, as well as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril in Disneyland Paris, and two blockbuster Indiana Jones Adventure attractions at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, round out Lucas’ timeless work in conjunction with Disney.

Susan Luci

SUSAN LUCCI portrayed Erica Kane on ABC’s fabled soap opera All My Children for 41 years, a role that TV Guide deemed unequivocally the most famous character in the history of daytime television, earning Lucci 21 Daytime Emmy® nominations to which she won the prestigious Emmy for Best Actress to an industry-wide standing ovation on her 19th nomination. Shortly thereafter, she received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, presented to her by Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. The iconic actress has also appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and Hope & Faith, as well as Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven. Lucci currently stars in the international hit Lifetime series, Devious Maids, produced by ABC Studios, as the wealthy and effervescent socialite, Genevieve Delatour.

Julie Reihm

JULIE REIHM CASALETTO, who began her Disney career as a tour guide, became Disneyland’s first Ambassador in 1965—a role created to help Walt, who found it increasingly difficult to attend all the events to which he was invited. As Disneyland’s first Ambassador, she was chosen “as a personification of Disneyland’s world-famous spirit of friendliness and happiness.” She became the template upon which decades of Ambassadors would pattern themselves.

Carson Van Osten

CARSON VAN OSTEN helped bring Disney characters to life in a variety of media, all around the world, for three decades. During Van Osten’s tenure, he oversaw creative content for motion picture tie-in advertising, many Disney publications, and also established some of the first licensing style guides for Disney Consumer Products. The talented artist designed logos for Mickey Mouse’s 50th and 60th birthdays, the Walt Disney Studios logo and water tower design, and the Disneyland Hotel clock tower “Mickey” logo in Paris.

Each honoree receives a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney Legends Award recipients will also participate in a handprint ceremony at the end of the event, and their bronze prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s Burbank headquarters.

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to D23 EXPO 2015.

The first Disney Legend was Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy DogThe Absent-Minded ProfessorThe Happiest Millionaire), who was honored in 1987. Including this year’s honorees, a total of 257 Disney Legends have been named. Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Robin Williams, Julie Andrews, Howard Ashman, Regis Philbin, Annette Funicello, Peter Jennings, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Walters. With the inaugural D23 EXPO in 2009, thousands of Disney fans were able to enjoy the Legends Awards ceremony for the first time. Honorees that year included Robin Williams, Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Betty White, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Harry Archinal, Don Iwerks, and Leota Toombs Thomas.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are $74 for a one-day adult admission and $54 for children 3–12. Tickets for members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club are $65 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $112 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.

Fan-Favorite Events to Take Center Stage at D23 EXPO 2015’s “Hall D23”

d23expo_2015

Where do all the worlds of Disney come together under one roof, taking you behind the scenes with The Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts?

The answer, of course, is D23 EXPO 2015—taking place August 14–16—and today D23 is happy to announce the lineup of the Expo’s most highly anticipated presentations. The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, will kick off the Expo on Friday, August 14. Later that same day, The Walt Disney Studios will give fans a sneak peek at all the latest from Disney Animation and Pixar. On Saturday morning, The Walt Disney Studios will preview the coming slate of live-action films from Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Then, on Saturday afternoon, fans will get a preview of what’s in store at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts during a presentation hosted by Parks Chairman Bob Chapek.

To showcase these Expo favorites, Disney is creating “Hall D23,” a new 7,500-seat venue located in Hall D of the Anaheim Convention Center, so that more guests than ever can see the presentations live and in person.

The Schedule of Hall D23 Events and Presentations includes the following (times and additional announcements forthcoming; all events subject to change):

The Disney Legends Awards Ceremony will take place Friday, August 14. The ceremony, hosted by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, will once again honor those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy. The creativity and innovation of these visionaries and artists have earned them a place among such names as Dame Julie Andrews, Howard Ashman, Annette Funicello, Sir Elton John, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Dick Van Dyke, Barbara Walters, and Robin Williams. At D23 EXPO 2013, Tony Baxter, Collin Campbell, Dick Clark, Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Jobs, Glen Keane, and Ed Wynn were inducted.

In two separate Hall D23 sessions, The Walt Disney Studios will unveil an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at its upcoming film slate. At Friday’s session, fans will go in-depth with the talented filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios to get a sneak peek at films such as Zootopia and Finding Dory. On Saturday, live-action titles such as Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Jungle Book and films from Marvel and Lucasfilm, along with some very special guests, take center stage.

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 15, join Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, for a behind-the-scenes peek at the magical experiences and entertainment coming to Disney parks and resorts around the world.

Tickets for D23 EXPO 2015 are available at a discounted price for a limited time. Until June 30, 2015, tickets are $67 for a one-day adult admission and $48 for children 3–12. Tickets for D23 Members are $58 for a one-day adult admission and $42 for children. Multi-day money-saving tickets are also available. D23 Members can save as much as $188 off the price of admission, based on the purchase of four three-day tickets at the D23 Member rate. For more information on tickets and the ticket pricing structure for D23 Members and general admission, visit D23EXPO.com.