Since 1987, Walt Disney Enterprises has granted the Disney Legends Award: the Disney Legends program recognizes people who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to the Walt Disney Company. The honor is awarded annually during a special ceremony.

Since Disney has been on a buying spree, acquiring 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Jim Henson Productions, some of this year’s Legends did their legendary work before coming to Disney.

Disney announced:

“This year’s class of Disney Legends honorees include costume designer Colleen Atwood, Angela Bassett, trailblazing Disney employee Martha Blanding, James L. Brooks, James Cameron, Jamie Lee Curtis, Miley Cyrus, comic book creator Steve Ditko, Harrison Ford, Walt Disney Animation Studios animator Mark Henn, Frank Oz, Kelly Ripa, Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde and John Williams. The ceremony will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest.”

Who Are the 2024 Disney Legends?

Costume designer Colleen Atwood has been nominated for the Oscar for Best Costume Design twelve times. She’s won four Oscars, so far, for Chicago (2002), Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), director Tim Burton’s live-action Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). In addition to Alice in Wonderland, her costume work for Disney includes Into the Woods (2014) Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016), Lady and the Tramp (2019), and The Little Mermaid (2023).

Actress Angela Bassett has won two Golden Globe Awards and been nominated for two Oscars and eight Emmies. She played Queen Ramonda in the Black Panther movies of the MCU. She plays Officer Athena Grant on the TV show 911.

Martha Blanding {image via Disney}

Disneyland Cast member Martha Blanding started at Disneyland in 1971. She was the first Black woman to be a full-time VIP tour guide. She is currently  Senior Manager, Disneyland Resort Merchandise Special Events. She was the first female African-American manager at Disneyland. Martha Co-founded PULSE, a Business Employee Resource Group (BERG) for Black cast members and employees

Emmy-winner James L. Brooks is a director and producer. He co-produced and wrote The Simpsons Movie (2007). He was executive creative consultant for The Simpsons TV show, which was not a Disney production at the time it was made, but is now owned by Disney.

Filmmaker James Cameron, CC, is a three-time Oscar winner. He directed The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986) Titanic (1997) ,and the popular Avatar franchise.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is best known for starring in movies like Halloween (1978) and True Lies (1994), but she is receiving Disney Legend status for her work in ?Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) an the remake of The Haunted Mansion (2023).

Singer/actress Miley Cyrus starred in the Disney show Hannah Montana from 2006 to 2011. She also voiced Penny in Bolt (2008), starred in Hannah Montana: the Movie (2009), and had a brief role in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017). She produced Endless Summer Vacation (Backyard Sessions) for Disney +.

Artist Steve Ditko (1927-2018) co-created Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. Mr. Ditko was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2024 he will posthumously be granted Disney Legend status.

Actor Harrison Ford is famous for playing two movie heroes who inspired Disney attractions: archaeologist Indiana Jones and smuggler turned Rebellion general Han Solo. He also played Matt Deckard in Bladerunner (1982).

Animator Mark Henn “is one of the most influential and important Disney animators of the modern era and a man who Jeffrey Katzenberg described as the “Julia Roberts of Disney Animation” due to his knack for animating princesses.” He drew Mulan in Mulan (1998), Ariel in The Little Mermaid (1989), Belle in Beauty and the Beast (1991), Jasmine in Aladdin (1992), and Tiana in the Princess and the Frog (2009). He worked for Walt Disney Animation Studios 43 years before retiring in 2023.

Puppeteer Frank Oz is best known as the hand and voice behind Miss Piggie and Yoda. He is also a director, having co-directed The Dark Crystal (1982) with Jim Henson and directed Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and Death at a Funeral (2007).

Actress and talk show host Kelly Ripa appeared on the soap opera All My Children between 1990 and 2010 and in the sitcom Hope & Faith. She is co-host of Live! With Kelly and Mark, a syndicated talk show. Disney owns ABC which broadcast her TV shows and produces her talk show.

Architect Joe Rohde spent many years as a Disney imagineer before going to work for Virgin Galactic as an Experience Architect. “Rohde is a man whose oversized influence and ambition has made him one of the greatest Imagineers of all time. If you’ve ever been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, you’ve basically been inside Rohde’s brain.” He was lead designer of Animal Kingdom, one of the four kingdoms at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. He was lead designer of Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii, and is largely responsible for Expedition Everest, the principal thrill ride in Animal Kingdom. He worked on the Captain Eo 3-D film. Until 2021, he was Executive Designer and Vice President, Creative for Disney. A month after leaving Disney, his creative genius was snapped up by Virgin Galactic.

Composer John Williams wrote the iconic music for Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975). He also composed the theme songs for E.T. (1982), Superman (1978), the Indiana Jones franchise and the first three Harry Potter movies. With 54 Academy Award nominations, Mr. Williams is the second most nominated7 person in Oscar history, after Walt Disney himself. At last count, John Williams has 5 Oscars, 26 Grammy Awards, 7 BAFTA Awards, 4 Golden Globes and three Emmies. He received the National Medal of the Arts in 2009 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. Queen Elizabeth appointed him an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2022 for services to film music. As a nativeborn U.S. citizen, it had to be an honorary knighthood. He could not legally accept a real knighthood. At 92, he claims he’s going to retire from composing film scores, and that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) will be his last one, but this reporter will believe it when she sees it. Creative people keep creating, they can’t help it.

Congratulations to the 2024 Disney Legends.

disneyland mickey and minny mouse
{image via Disney}

The actual award ceremony will be August 11, 2024 in Anaheim, California. Ryan Seacrest will host the awards ceremony.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.