Disney to Honor Tony Baxter and 7 Others with Legend Award

Written by Dusty Sage. Posted in Disney, Disney History

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Published on July 10, 2013 at 6:00 am with 23 Comments

We talk about Disney Legends all the time on MiceChat, but do you know how they are minted? At the Disney Legends Awards of course! You are invited to this year’s ceremony, which will take place at the D23 Expo in Anaheim on August 10th. The ceremony is always a highlight of the show and not to be missed.

The event will be hosted by TOM BERGERON and will honor:  TONY BAXTER, COLLIN CAMPBELL, DICK CLARK, BILLY CRYSTAL, JOHN GOODMAN, STEVE JOBS, GLEN KEANE and ED WYNN

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It should be a moving ceremony with awards going to beloved, but no longer living, Disney notables as well as those whose work has transformed the Disney Company who are thankfully still with us. This is also a great opportunity to give Tony Baxter a rousing standing ovation for his lifetime of work creating many of Disney’s biggest blockbuster attractions.

2013 DISNEY LEGENDS AWARD HONOREES

TO BE CELEBRATED DURING D23 EXPO IN ANAHEIM

Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Jobs, Dick Clark and Other Talented Contributors To Disney History To Be Honored At A Ceremony On Saturday, August 10

BURBANK, Calif. – July 10, 2013Monsters Inc. and Monsters University stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman, technology visionary Steve Jobs, television icon Dick Clark and other beloved contributors to the Disney legacy will be named and honored as official Disney Legends during the D23 Expo 2013 at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, in the D23 Expo Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Disney Legends Awards program is a 26-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company. The three-day D23 Expo provides a rare opportunity for the public to be a part of the always touching and memorable presentation, hosted by noted television personality Tom Bergeron (host of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos).

The Disney Legend Award is our highest and most coveted honor,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s reserved for the extraordinary visionaries and artists behind the Disney magic, the men and women who push the limits of innovation and creativity to ensure Disney remains truly special. The eight Legends we honor this year helped create some of our most beloved characters along with exciting new worlds and thrilling attractions.  They also entertained millions of people and expanded our definition of what’s possible. They are all indelible parts of our legacy, and we are proud to recognize them as true Disney Legends.”

The 2013 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

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TONY BAXTER has developed beloved Disney attractions including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Journey Into Imagination, Splash Mountain, and countless more over the course of his 43-year career with Walt Disney Imagineering. Revered by Disney fans, he is best known for his commitment to storytelling, attention to detail, and ability to develop new ideas and attractions by combining time-tested design practices with modern technology.

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Colin Campbell’s early concept for the WEDway People Mover.

COLLIN CAMPBELL touched almost every part of the Walt Disney Company, from animated classics to legendary theme park attractions, with stints in live action film and television. Collin’s work with Walt Disney Imagineering includes the development of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as concept illustrations of Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot Center.

Dick Clark in 1974

Dick Clark in 1974

DICK CLARK brought rock and roll to 40 million homes across the country with the national debut of American Bandstand on ABC in 1958. He went on to produce game shows, award shows including the Golden Globes® and the Academy of Country Music Awards, comedy specials movies, and other popular television specials. Dick might best be remembered, however, as the host of ABC’s annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve from 1973 until 2011.

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BILLY CRYSTAL is an acclaimed actor who lends his voice to Mike Wazowski, the frenetic, green cyclopean monster from Monsters Inc. and Monsters University. Best known for his memorable roles in When Harry Met Sally…, The Princess Bride, and City Slickers, Billy, who has won six Emmy Awards and one Tony Award, has also been a fixture on ABC television, where he hosted the Academy Awards® broadcast nine times and found his breakthrough role as Jodie Dallas on Soap from 1977-81.

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JOHN GOODMAN is a celebrated actor of stage and screen, and the voice behind James P. Sullivan, better known as “Sully,” from Monsters Inc. and Monsters University. Among John’s notable film appearances are The Big Lebowski, The Flintstones, and most recently Argo and Flight. John’s appearances in Disney-produced films include the Hollywood Pictures films Arachnophobia and Born Yesterday, as well as Touchstone Pictures’ Stella, Coyote Ugly, O Brother, Where Art Thou, and Confessions of a Shopaholic.

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STEVE JOBS changed the world of consumer electronics as the founder of Apple, and was known throughout the world for his visionary attitude and penchant for innovation. He was an early investor and chief executive of Pixar, and became the Walt Disney Company’s largest shareholder overnight when it acquired Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. That same year, he joined the Disney board of directors, and remained a valuable sounding board and advisor to the company until his passing in 2011.

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GLEN KEANE has brought to life many of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ most popular characters. Since becoming a Disney animator in 1974, he has animated classic Disney characters such as Penny in The Rescuers, Elliott in Pete’s Dragon, Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and the titular characters in The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Tarzan. In 2010, Glen served as Executive Producer and Animation Supervisor for Tangled, a story he developed for more than ten years.

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ED WYNN, a comedian whose career began on Broadway in the early 1900s, appeared in numerous Disney classics of the 1960s, including Mary Poppins, Babes in Toyland, That Darn Cat, The Absent-Minded Professor, and Son of Flubber. Fans of Disney animation know him as the manic and distinctive voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

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 also participate in a handprint ceremony, and their bronzed 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 the D23 Expo. In addition to the 4,000-seat D23 Expo Arena, the ceremony will be simulcast into a 2,000-seat overflow theater inside the Convention Center.

The first Disney Legend, actor Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), was named in 1987. Including this year’s honorees, a total of 237 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. At the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, the Legends Awards ceremony, which honored Robin Williams, Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McLanahan, Betty White, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Harry Archinal, Don Iwerks and Leota Toombs Thomas, was presented to thousands of Disney fans for the first time. 

You can find more information about the Expo at D23Expo.com

About Dusty Sage

Dusty is the founder and CEO of MiceChat.com. He's long been a consumer advocate for theme park travelers and a consistent voice for high standards in the industry. When he's not visiting theme parks and writing and editing articles about Disney and theme parks worldwide, Dusty is busy running a telecommunications company and speaking at various theme park and communications events. If you've got news or photos to share with the MiceChat community, or would like to book Dusty for an upcoming event, please contact [email protected]

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23 Comments

Comments for Disney to Honor Tony Baxter and 7 Others with Legend Award are now closed.

  1. I’m sorry but how does Billy Crystal and John Goodman merit being a Disney “Legend”?

    • That sounds like a Monsters Inc tie in more that actual legend stuff to me too. They did this with Anika Noni Rose (voice of Tiana) too. Talented to be sure! But not a true Disney Legend (yet) in my mind (where’s the vast body of Disney work?).

      But I’d certainly place Tony Baxter, Ed Wynn, Collin Campbell and Glen Keane on the list. And while Steve Jobs and Dick Clark are certainly legends, I’m not sure they are Disney Legends in the way Julie Andrews, the Sherman Brothers or Annette Funicello are.

      I’m curious about how the designations are made, but pleased that some very deserving folks are being recognized. I’ll be in the audience for sure.

      • Totally agree with everything you say there Dusty.

      • I think if they wanted to use this year’s ceremony as a Monster’s University tie-in, they could have also added someone from that movie who, in my humble opinion, is a little more deserving of the title of Disney Legend: John Ratzenberger. He has done voice work in every Pixar feature, as well as a playing Hamm in a couple Toy Story themed shorts, and even got to make fun of himself in Cars.

      • …and in the past, how are Barbara Walters, the cast of Golden Girls, and Peter Jennings DINSEY Legends?!?!

      • Dick Clark *WAS* probably the biggest name in the history of ABC (Just “Bandstand” alone qualifies him as a legend, ABC is Disney… he qualifies without any question. I agree with you on the rest =-). Glad to see Tony in.

  2. Good to see Disney is so quickly acknowledging Tony’s influence on their parks after his retirement. Makes me think he must have left the company on a good note.

    Maybe a Main Street window next for Tony?

  3. What about Bobby Burgess or any of the other original Mouseketeers?

  4. I too agree with Dusty – a tie-in for sure. Sort of belittles the others that really deserve it. But glad to see Steve Jobs there!

  5. The issue is that there are many business units of Disney some of which have only been under the Disney umbrella for 10 to 20 yeers (Pixar, ABC) Dick Clark had a long association with ABC though much of it before Disney owned ABC. Does that preclude recognition as a legend? Two years from now we should see some Disney legends related to Lucasfilm – Lucas, Tippett, Muren? With a new trilogy starting wouldn’t surprise me to see Fisher, Ford and Hamill get legend awards

    I understand the reaction by Disney fans but I don’t have problem with the choices this year. There is no Anika Noni Rose in this group!

    • I think George Lucas is deserving of one in 2015 (oddly, enough the same year Episode VII is expected to released). His influence in the parks and Imagineering has stretched since the 1980s.

  6. If this is a company-wide reward, there might not be someone better suited than Steve Jobs. He helped guide the company post-Eisner and his family is still Disney’s largest shareholder. That’s without even mentioning Pixar. Frankly I was amazed he hasn’t already gotten the award.

    Sent from my iPhone.

    • Steve probably qualifies for starting Pixar even without the largest shareholder thing.

      • George Lucas started Pixar (and it was called Pixar by Lucasfilm before Jobs purchased it). Steve just brought in cash (and a ton of vision as usual) and kept it afloat. He turned it from a computer SFX house to a movie studio. So I’d say he didn’t “start” it, but “shaped” it into the movie production company it now is… mostly by believing in John Lasseter and backing it with his checkbook when most people thought it was crazy.

  7. I believe Tony Baxter may be the first Disney Legend from the WED Imagineering’s 2nd string, hired after Walt’s death to carry on his vision and wisdom. Tony has most certainly always tried to do that rain or shine. I would like to think he is not retired but still inspired to continue helping the new WDI Imagineer’s. I hope to see more of the WED 2nd string nominated in the future. Collin Campbell rightly deserves to be a Disney Legend for all his involvement during his WED and WDI Imagineering years of design and field installation in so many parts of the company and theme parks. Both Collin and Tony were great inspiration for all those Imagineers who worked with them, while still being able to make their own dreams a reality.

    • Very well said!

  8. I also think that some of these people name to be a Disney legend really are stretching the whole definition. I am surprised that Ed Wynn hasn’t already been named. Certainly Walt loved the man, and he has that iconic scene in Mary Poppins which cements him in the minds of most Disney fans. His honor is well-deserved.

    I am most happy that they have not waited the same length of time to name Tony Baxter as a Disney Legend. His work in the parks certainly has been appreciate and noteworthy in the post Walt period.

  9. I’m surprised Johnny Depp hasn’t been awarded yet.

  10. So glad to see Ed Wynn finally recognized!

    Don’t let’s be silly — it’s an honor way overdue. His Mad Hatter, Uncle Albert, Toymaker, et al are lasting, memorable creations from Walt’s classic film library.

    Still waiting for:

    Bobby Driscoll
    Eyvind Earle
    James MacArthur
    Eleanor Audley
    Brian Keith

  11. Also overdue:

    James Baskett
    Clyde Geronomi
    Darlene Gillespie, Bobby Burgess, Sharon Baird, Doreen Tracy, Karen Pendleton, Cubby O’Brien, Don Grady, Sherry Alberoni, Cheryl Holdridge, Tommy Cole, Lonnie Burr, et al
    Bill Thompson
    Verna Felton
    Phil Harris
    Barbara Luddy
    Hans Conreid
    Helene Stanley
    Sebastian Cabot
    Janet Munro
    Evelyn Kennedy
    James Neilsen
    Patrick McGoohan
    Lesley Ann Warren
    Walter Brennan
    Luana Patten
    etc.

    • Thank you for your list Merlin!

  12. Seems as if ‘Disney Legend’ is going the way of the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’ star. It used to be that to get a star one had to be a true legend with an impressive body of work in the field entertainment. Now a studio just buys one for the stars of their latest movie as a PR stunt. To be a Disney Legend one should have an impressive body of work under a recognized Disney brand. Not ABC-TV (I know it’s owned by Disney, but it’s not ‘Disney-TV’), not Apple or simply for being a major shareholder, & not as part of a movie release.

  13. I dont have THAT big a problem with John Goodman as he had ties with ABC when he was on “Roseanne” all those years. Billy Crystal on the other hand…
    So awesome that they are honoring Tony Baxter! One of my biggest Disney thrills was meeting him the day before the big Disneyland 50th Anniversary kickoff. He was obviously very busy running around the park but still stopped to chat with me for a few brief seconds after I asked if I could get a picture with him.