Today In Disney History ~ July 19th
The Disney Legends Awards is a hall of fame program that recognizes individuals who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to The Walt Disney Company. Established in 1987, the honor was traditionally awarded annually during a special private ceremony; since 2009, it has been awarded biennially during Disney’s D23 Expo.
Recipients are chosen by a selection committee, formerly appointed and chaired by Disney Legend Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew, former vice chairman and director emeritus of The Walt Disney Company. The committee consists of long-time Disney executives, historians and other authorities. Besides the award statuette itself, each honoree is represented by a bronze commemorative plaque; featuring the recipients’ handprints and signature if they were living when inducted, or simply an image of the statuette emblem if the induction was posthumous. The plaques are placed on display in Legends Plaza at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, across from the Michael D. Eisner Building. Legends also receive a Disney Golden Pass, a lifetime pass to all Disney theme parks.
Imagineer Andrea Favilli created the Disney Legends award, which is handcrafted from bronze each year. The award depicts the arm of Mickey Mouse holding a star-tipped wand.
Disney describes the award as follows:
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.
The first Disney Legends committee consisted of Dave Smith; Arlene Ludwig; Marty Sklar, Randy Bright; Jack Lindquist; Sharon Harwood; Art Levitt; Shelley Miles; Paula Sigman; Doris Smith; and Stacia Martin.
The Class of 2017 will be inducted at this year’s D23 Expo. This year’s class includes Carrie Fisher, Clyde Geronimi, Manuel Gonzales, Mark Hamill, Wayne Jackson, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Garry Marshall, Julie Taymor, and Oprah Winfrey.