It is nearly time for the biennial D23 Exposition in Anaheim, California; a time for Disney fans from around the globe to gather at the Disney sponsored event to celebrate the parks, movies and merchandise as well as learn about upcoming releases and surprise announcements from the House of Mouse. One of the highlights of the three day event is the Disney Legends award ceremony, taking place this year on Friday, August 14 at 10 am PST.
The Disney Legend Award, first given in 1987, is presented to individuals who have made an impact on the Disney company with their talents, whether artistic, leadership, or acting. Each recipient, or their estates, receive a bronze plaque and a hand crafted bronze statue, as seen above. Each living Legend has his or her hand prints and signature placed on the plaque, which is on display in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Legends are nominated in one of twelve categories: administration, animation, attractions, consumer products, family, film, Imagineering, music, parks and resorts, publishing, television, & voice.
According to the official Disney Legends website: “The Disney Legends award has three distinct elements that characterize the contributions made by each talented recipient.
The Spiral … stands for imagination, the power of an idea.
The Hand … holds the gifts of skill, discipline and craftsmanship.
The Wand and the Star … represent magic: the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.”
There are eight honorees in the Disney Legends class of 2015. In this post and the next, four of the eight will be highlighted, looking at their careers, both Disney and outside the Mouse House. This salute will be done in alphabetical order, starting with:
George Bodenheimer – Television
Bodenheimer worked at the Disney-owned ESPN for 33 years, starting in the sport network’s mailroom in 1981 and working his way to the fifth president of the company, where he served from 1998 until 2012, when he was named Executive Chairman of ESPN. During his tenure three new ESPN channels were launched, along with ESPN The Magazine and ESPN online content. For being on the leading edge of sports broadcasting, this is a well deserved honor.
Andreas Deja – Animation
Deja is best known for his work in villainy animation. His best known creations include Jafar from Aladdin, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and Scar from The Lion King. He also helped to create heroes, including the titular Hercules, Mama Odie from Princess and the Frog and King Triton from The Little Mermaid. In 2007 he was awarded the Winson McCay Award for contributions to the art of animation. His character list alone is worthy of induction as a Disney Legend.
Eyvind Earle – Animation
While his Disney career only lasted from 1951-58, Earle won the Academy Award in 1954 for Best Short Subject – Cartoon for Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom. However, Earle is better known for his styling and backgrounds that were visible in Sleeping Beauty, both the animated film and in several murals created for Disneyland park.
Dany Elfman – Music
The list of Elfman’s musical compositions is quite extensive: The Nightmare Before Christmas (Elfman is also Jack Skellington’s singing voice), Dick Tracy, Alice in Wonderland, Avenger’s: Age of Ultron, Frankenweenie, Oz The Great and Powerful, and the theme for Desperate Housewives (as well as the theme for the non-Disney The Simpsons). His musical work is also heard inside Disney parks, at Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland and Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland.
Part two of Meet the Disney Legends – 2015 Style will be released soon, looking at the final four Legends to be inducted later this month. I thank you for taking the time to read this today. I ask you would please leave comments. You may contact me directly on Twitter @, and you may also subscribe to be alerted by email when new postings are published. Quest for Vault Disney is now on Facebook. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/questforvaultdisney. Have a great rest of your day. See ya real soon…