2024 Disney Legends Announced

2024 Disney Legends Announced

The 2024 Class of Disney Legends has been announced. These 14 honorees will be celebrated at the D23 Fan Event later this summer. We all have our favorites, but as a child of the 80s, a musician, and a huge fan of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can probably guess mine.

Disney Legends 2024 Honorees. Copyright Disney.
Copyright Disney

Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood is an acclaimed costume designer who has styled many of your favorite characters. The list includes Alice in Wonderland (2010), Into the Woods, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Lady and the Tramp (2019), and The Little Mermaid (2023). She’s a favorite of director Tim Burton and has collaborated with him on thirteen movies, including the upcoming Beetlejuice sequel.

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett’s portrayal of Tina Turner What’s Love Got to Do with It is stellar. She’s been one of my favorite actors ever since that movie premiered. Younger Disney fans might know her more as Queen Ramonda from the Black Panther movies and as the voice of Dorothea Williams in Pixar’s Soul.

Martha Blanding

Martha Blanding, 2024 Disney Legend. Copyright Disney.
Martha Blanding, 2024 Disney Legend. Copyright Disney.

Martha is Disneyland’s first full-time Black Tour Guide. After being hired, she quickly climbed the ranks to become a VIP Hostess, where she hosted Diana Ross, Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, Cary Grant, Cherm, and many others. She co-founded PULSE, a Black Cast Member employee resource.

Adding to her many “firsts” during her groundbreaking career before retiring in 2022, Martha also became the first Black employee to commemorate 50 years with The Walt Disney Company—and now she becomes the first Black Disney Parks employee designated a Disney Legend.

James L. Brooks

I first saw James L. Brooks’ name at the end of a Simpsons broadcast way back in 1989. I’m still seeing his name, as the show is still going strong 35 years later. And thanks to Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, every episode is on Disney+. I never thought I’d type that sentence.

James Cameron

I don’t think of James Cameron as a Disney filmmaker, but thanks to that Fox purchase, many of his films are now in the Disney library. His credits include several iconic films, including Aliens, Terminator, True Lies, and Titanic.

Although I didn’t understand the direction at the time, Animal Kingdom Imagineers teamed up with Cameron to create Pandora over a decade ago. I admit it. I was completely wrong to question that collaboration.

Jamie Lee Curtis

It’s tough to upstage Arnold Schwarzenneger, but Jamie Lee Curtis did just that in True Lies. In addition to that memorable role, Curtis has starred in Halloween, Haunted Mansion (as Madame Leota), and Freaky Friday (2023). She received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Deirdre Beaubeirdre in Everything Everywhere All at Once in 2023.

Curtis is the CEO of My Hand In Yours, an organization that offers celebration gifts. 100% of every sale is donated to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is the youngest person ever to be named a Disney Legend. That makes sense when you consider she was starring as Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel when she was 13. That show still holds records for cable viewership. Since her days as a child phenom, Cyrus has been focused on her musical career. She won multiple Grammy Awards in 2024.

Steve Ditko

Steve Ditko is well-known to comic book fans. Along with Stan Lee, he created Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15. If you have that comic, hang on to it. A mint condition version could get you seven figures. In addition to Spider-Man, Ditko is responsible for many other characters we’ve all enjoyed watching in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Doctor Strange.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford is being honored for his work as a carpenter on the Star Wars set. Hold on, I’m being told there’s more to his story…

Ford has wowed us as Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Rick Deckard, Jack Ryan, Richard Kimble, and so many other iconic characters. But rather than go on and on about his acting chops and accolades, just watch this video of Mark Hamill talking about his co-star.

Mark Henn

Mark Henn has been a Walt Disney Animation Studios animator since 1980. He started out working on The Fox and the Hound and Mickey’s Christmas Carol before serving as the supervising animator on The Little Mermaid (with Glen Keane), Beauty and the Beast (with James Baxter), Aladdin, Mulan, and The Princess and the Frog. He also animated Simba and Pocahontas and has collaborated on many other Disney films. His list of credits is as long as this entire article.

Frank Oz

The Muppets aren’t the Muppets without Frank Oz. But the famed filmmaker has done much more than just bringing those characters to life. He’s also co-directed many great movies, including The Dark Crystal, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and What About Bob? I was first introduced to Oz when I watched Sesame Street in the 1970s. He originated and voiced the characters of Grover, Bert, and Cookie Monster and had a hand in many others. Pun intended.

Frank Oz performed as Yoda in many Star Wars films. I remember watching Empire Strikes Back and thinking, “wow, Yoda sounds a lot like Grover.”

Kelly Ripa

I don’t watch soaps, so I never knew Kelly Ripa when she was an actor. My first memory of her is when she hosted Live! with Regis on ABC. In addition to owning the morning talk show airwaves for years, she also runs a production company with her husband, hosts a podcast, and is a New York Times best-selling author.

Joe Rohde

Joe Rohde’s career as an Imagineer spanned 40 years. His contributions to Disney Parks are almost too hard to comprehend. As the creative executive and supervising designer for Animal Kingdom, he created a world that goes way beyond a theme park. I still discover something new in Animal Kingdom every time I visit. He also helped develop the Aulani resort on Oahu and Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure.

Joe Rohde was instrumental in creating the Disney Conservation Fund, which is “focused on saving wildlife for future generations through grants.” The Fund has disbursed over $125 million to wildlife projects around the world.

Joe Rohde on his Disney Legends selection:

John Williams

I love John Williams. You can use every superlative to describe his compositions and they still wouldn’t do his music justice. So let’s just watch and listen.

The 2024 Disney Legends will be honored at D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event on Sunday, August 11, at 5 p.m. at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.