Best Speeches From Disney Legends Awards At D23 Expo 2019
Friday kicked off the first day of D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim California. The first big panel of the day, Disney Lengends, was hosted by Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. This year their were 12 people chosen and awarded with the honor of being a “Disney Legend”, with most being in attendance to accept their award. Talent receiving the award included Wing Chao, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, James Earl Jones, Bette Midler, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer, Ming-Na Wen, Christina Aguilera and Hans Zimmer—who were honored for their remarkable contributions to the Disney legacy.
The Disney Legends panel was surprisingly one of my favorite panels while attending the D23 Expo 2019! It was all about the speeches which made me laugh, made me cry and had my full attention the entire time! Check out my top 5 speeches of the day!
JON FAVREAU started his career with appearances in film and television and has since become one of Hollywood’s most successful producers and directors. Jon’s first roles included appearances on TV shows such as Seinfeld and Friends, but his big break came with the Miramax indie film Swingers (1996), for which he wrote the screenplay, starred, and co-produced. His directing credits include Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2(2010), the live-action remake of The Jungle Book (2016), 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. As an executive producer for Marvel Studios, John holds credits on such films as Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2(2010), Iron Man 3 (2013), Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He has also voiced characters for Disney television shows and feature films, including Hercules(TV, 1999), Buzz Lightyear of Star Command (TV, 2000), G-Force (2009), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV, 2010–13), and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). Jon is writing and executive producing the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian for Disney+, which will premiere this November.
Christina Aguilera: One of the preeminent musical performers of our generation, Christina joined the Disney family as a member of Disney Channel’s The All New Mickey Mouse Club. Following her time on the fan-favorite TV series, Christina performed the hit pop version of “Reflection” from Mulan for the film’s end credits and soundtrack. Christina has appeared on dozens of Disney television shows and specials, including ABC’s Emmy®-winning Dancing with the Stars and, most recently, the 2019 telecast of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. She was also featured on the ABC Studios hit series Nashville in 2015 as singer Jade St. John.
WING CHAO For 37 years at Disney, Wing T. Chao played a vital role in designing and developing exceptional and inspirational projects, worth more than $12 billion, at Disney parks and resorts worldwide. 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, where he oversaw master planning, architecture, and design. Wing directed development teams consisting of Disney Imagineers and many of the world’s most renowned architects and designers. He also developed and built projects, including resort hotels, parks, cruise ships, entertainment venues, water attractions, convention and exhibition centers, sports stadiums, restaurants, retail spaces, recreational complexes, office spaces, and two new-town communities, at The Walt Disney Company’s properties in California, Florida, Hawai‘i, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and other locations worldwide.
BETTE MIDLER When the Disney studio set out to expand the breadth of its film production with Touchstone Pictures, it was Emmy, Grammy®, Golden Globe, and Tony winner Bette Midler who helped lead the way to box office success for the new division. She appeared in a string of hit comedies, including Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), and Big Business (1988). Touchstone’s 1988 drama Beaches not only proved to be a smash with audiences, but it also included Bette’s platinum-selling rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Other Disney films followed, including Stella (1990) and Scenes from a Mall (1991), as well as a memorable vocal performance as the spoiled poodle Georgette in Oliver & Company (1988). Bette is well known to Disney audiences for her role as the witchy Winifred in the perennial Halloween classic Hocus Pocus (1993). She also starred in The Lottery (1989), a short film produced for the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in Florida for guests of the park’s Backstage Studio Tour.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. is a two-time Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe® winner who has appeared in more than 80 films. Considered one of the industry’s most talented and respected actors, Robert has embraced both dramatic and comedic roles, including his Disney debut in the 2006 remake of The Shaggy Dog. After numerous standout performances, Robert then went on to help launch Marvel Studios with his celebrated performance as Tony Stark as Iron Man. His role has spearheaded the iconic blockbuster franchises Iron Man and Avengers, for which he’s starred in three Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk (2008), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017); and four Avengers films, including the most recent, Avengers: Endgame (2019), which shattered box office records and became the largest-ever film debut, bringing in $1.2 billion worldwide in its opening weekend. Robert will next star in the title role in 2020’s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle and is in pre-production on the third installment of the successful Sherlock Holmes franchise.