2024 Disney Legends: Who Will Be Honored?

The 2024 Class of Disney Legends has been announced. The Disney Legends Awards program began in 1987 and has been held annually for nearly 40 years. As the name suggests, those inducted are celebrated for their contributions to the ongoing legacy of the Disney brand. This can be through contributions to the parks, their movies or shows, and everything in between. The Disney Legends Awards will be held August 11th at D23: The Ultimate Fan Disney Fan Event. This year’s inductees include Angela Bassett, Miley Cyrus, Harrison Ford, composer John Williams, and several others. We’ll be breaking down the contributions of each inductee in this piece.

Angela Bassett

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 09: Angela Bassett accepts an honorary Oscar onstage during the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 14th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom on January 09, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Angela Bassett is an instantly recognizable name from the 2024 Disney Legends class. While many viewers know her for her roles throughout the 90s, 2000s, and beyond, she has become a large part of the Disney legacy. She portrays Queen Ramona, mother of T’Challa AKA Black Panther in both Black Panther movies. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, she had the very demanding task of portraying a mother’s grief for her son while also mourning her good friend Chadwick Boseman in real life. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2023 Oscars for this role. She also won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Black Reel Award. for it. Additionally, she voiced Dorthea Williams, a saxophonist in Disney’s 2023 animated movie Soul. Besides this Disney Legend induction, she also received an Honorary Oscar this year, cementing her legacy in Hollywood officially. 

Read More: 7 Roles Angela Bassett Should Have Won An Oscar For

Martha Blanding

Even the most dedicated Disney fans may not know about this 2024 Disney Legend. Martha Blanding was the first full-time black tour guide at Disneyland. She began her position there in 1971 and soon ascended to becoming a VIP Hostess. This meant when celebrities visited Disneyland, they’d meet her directly. Her visitors included Diana Ross, Cher, Elton John, and many more. Her position ascended again when she became senior manager of Disneyland Resort Merchandise Special Events. As her career continued to flourish, she became the first black woman in management at Disney. She was also a co-founder of PULSE, an employee resource group specifically created to support black employees. Martha retired from working at Disney in 2022, having been there for 50 years – she was the first black employee to reach this milestone too. Martha Blanding’s love for Disney makes her a clear choice for the 2024 Disney Legends class. 

Miley Cyrus


TOPSHOT – US singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus performs on stage during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. (Photo by Valerie Macon / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Miley Cyrus is a 2024 Disney Legends class inductee that has been on people’s screens since her show Hannah Montana debuted in 2006. This series and its corresponding movie remain one of Disney Channel’s most popular creations. Miley brought the character to the real world by performing concerts as her character and herself while the show was on the air. These tours were extremely successful and broke multiple records. Since then, she’s gone through several changes in her music career but has kept eyes on her the entire time. 

Some audiences may remember a particularly interesting time in her career when she was on a song with Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa called “23” that Mike Will Made-It produced. Before she successfully distanced herself from the teen image she had at Disney, she starred as a voice actress in their movie Bolt in 2008 and later appeared in 2011’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Her last album, 2023’s Endless Summer Vacation also received a documentary tour special that aired on Disney+. Pharrell produced her latest single “Doctor (Work It Out)”, marking their second collaboration. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Miley is the youngest ever Disney Legends honoree.

Read More: What Is Miley Cyrus’ Best-Selling Album?

James Cameron

AFI Awards Luncheon - Red Carpet

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 13: James Cameron attends the AFI Awards Luncheon at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

James Cameron is a 2024 Disney Legend who directed classic and universally acclaimed movies Titanic, The Terminator, and more recently the Avatar franchise. He also worked with the Disney team to bring the planet Pandora from his Avatar films to life at Walt Disney World in Florida. As a section of the Animal Kingdom park, Pandora – The World of Avatar — contains rides and other interactive visual elements that fans of the films will recognize. Disney does not “own” Avatar but owns the studio 21st Century Fox which the films release through. Additionally, Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment entered a licensing deal with Disney in 2011. Cameron plans to release Avatar 3, 4 and 5 which will continue to expand the franchise which Disney will continue to support through theme park elements.

Harrison Ford

Morning Glory - UK Film Premiere - Outside Arrivals

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 11: Actor Harrison Ford attends the ‘Morning Glory’ UK premiere at the Empire Leicester Square on January 11, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

This legacy actor has had a large connection to the Disney brand and is a well-deserved 2024 Disney Legend. Harrison Ford has portrayed the Indiana Jones character in five movies since 1981. He also played Han Solo in several films in the Star Wars franchise, another brand that Disney has acquired. His latest Disney endeavour is a role in Marvel’s upcoming Captain America: Brave New World. Ford has an equally strong career outside of Disney, playing multiple roles since 1964 including starring in another classic film, 1982’s Blade Runner and its sequel, 2017’s Blade Runner 2049. Ford’s acting career spans decades and he’s been part of two of the biggest movie franchises in history.

Jamie Lee Curtis

95th Annual Academy Awards - Governors Ball

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 12: Jamie Lee Curtis, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” attends the Governors Ball during the 95th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Many people may associate this 2024 Disney Legend with a franchise very far from Disney’s brand. Jamie Lee Curtis has played the character Laurie Strode in multiple films in the Halloween horror movie franchise. Her initial role in the first film from 1979 earned her the title “Scream Queen” and ironically she also starred in a show called Scream Queens from 2015 to 2016. In terms of her Disney connection, she starred in 2003’s Freaky Friday and 2023’s Haunted Mansion. Her most recent accolade is receiving an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for 2022’s Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Read More: Halloween Movies In Order: How To Binge-Watch The Classics

John Williams

Ambassadors For Humanity Gala Benefiting USC Shoah Foundation

HOLLYWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 08: Composer John Williams performs onstage during Ambassadors for Humanity Gala Benefiting USC Shoah Foundation at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on December 8, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

John Willams is another 2024 Disney Legend whose name you may not know but you have certainly heard his work. He’s been composing movie scores for the last 60 years, He did the scores for some movie franchises we mentioned earlier in this list – Star Wars and Indiana Jones. He also scored universally celebrated movies like Jaws, Jurassic Park, the first three Harry Potter movies and multiple others. In addition to other awards, he’s also won 26 Grammys. He’s been involved in composing scores for all kinds of movies and even has some truly unique credits like composing the music for NBC Nightly News. Williams also has received an honor that nobody else on our list has – knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.

Frank Oz

2017 SXSW Conference And Festivals - Day 3

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 12: Frank Oz attends the world premiere of “Muppet Guys Talking” at the Paramount Theater during South By Southwest Film Festival on March 12, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/FilmMagic)

Frank Oz is a Disney Legend who laid the groundwork for one of the most popular brands today, The Muppets. He has a longtime relationship with Jim Henson, the brand’s creator. Over the years, Frank Oz not only voiced characters like Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and The Animal but also iconic Sesame Street characters like Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover. He also directed two movies that utilized his and Jim Henson’s puppeteering techniques including The Muppets Take Manhattan and The Dark Crystal. Oz even used these skills in the Star Wars franchise where he voiced and puppeteered Yoda in multiple movies, games and shows, helping create the character’s signature way of talking backward. With such a long legacy, it’s safe to say Frank Oz was a seminal part of many people’s childhoods and that makes him a legend without a doubt. 

Steve Ditko

While many people think of Stan Lee when they think of Spider-Man’s creator, this 2024 Disney Legend is as much a part of the story as he is. Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man with him and created Doctor Strange. Both characters have been staples in the Marvel Comics world for years and now they are staples in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ditko also had a large hand in creating many of Spider-Man’s iconic villains. It’s safe to say the MCU would not exist without Ditko’s creations from decades ago. His well-deserved induction into the 2024 Disney Legends class feels long overdue.

James L. Brooks

Tribeca TV: The Simpsons 30th Anniversary - 2019 Tribeca Film Festival

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 28: Executive Producer James L. Brooks attends “Tribeca TV: The Simpsons 30th Anniversary” during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

James L. Brooks is a Disney Legend attached to something that people may be surprised is also owned by Disney: The Simpsons. The series began as a release from his production company Gracie Films. Creator Matt Groening got a personal co-sign from him to create the series since he had already created the original version of it in the format of animated shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show, produced by Gracie Films. Brooks continues to produce the show, which just entered its  35th season. He also co-wrote and co-produced 2007’s The Simpsons Movie.

Colleen Atwood

Premiere of The Little Mermaid in London

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 15: Colleen Atwood attends the UK premiere of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom on May 15, 2023. (Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Colleen Atwood is a Disney Legend who operates behind the camera – but her work is always on camera. She’s a costume designer with more than 50 movies and shows under her belt. Her #1 collaborator is another legend in his own right, Tim Burton. She was the costume designer for 12 of his movies including two live-action adaptations he did with Disney, 2010’s Alice In Wonderland and 2019’s Dumbo. Her additional costuming credits for Disney include 2014’s Into the Woods and 2023’s The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey. Outside of Disney, she did the costumes for another visually striking movie, 2001’s Planet Of The Apes. She’s been nominated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design 12 times and won four times.

Mark Henn

Disney Store Top 10 Holiday Gifts Event

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 03: Disney illustrator Mark Henn attends the Disney Store Top 10 Holiday Gifts event at the Times Square Disney Store on November 3, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage for Disney)

Mark Henn is a 2024 Disney Legend Award winner with perhaps the biggest accolade of everyone on this list: he animated Mickey Mouse in 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol. He was also the supervising animator for multiple characters in Disney movies like Princess Tiana and Jasmine as well as other instantly recognizable characters like Mulan and Pocahontas. However, another one of his biggest accolades is animating Simba in the original Lion King from 1994. Over the years, Henn has continued to operate in various levels of animation for Disney. After all his accomplishments, it seems very fitting that he was commissioned to paint the official portrait of Mickey for his 90th anniversary in 2018. Mark Henn is a staple in the Disney movie animation department and his work has been and will continue to be enjoyed by generations.

Joe Rhode

Orange County Register Archive

ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 17: Joe Rohde, Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, greets members of the media as they get a look at the new Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission Breakout! at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

The ride, similar to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror it replaced, gives the riders a sensation of free-falling as they site in a vehicles that drop randomly while doors open with new visual effects from the Guardians of the Galaxy universe.

(Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Joe Rhode is another 2024 Disney Legacy Award recipient whose contributions are seen throughout Disney Theme Parks. He retired in 2021, after 40 years of being on the Disney Imagineering team. Rhode’s contributions range from being the creative executive and supervising designer of Animal Kingdom to being on the team for the Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Disneyland in California. His involvement in multiple experiences at the Disney parks was driven by his commitment to tell stories through the experiences visitors would have at them.

Kelly Ripa

Celebrities Visit

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 22: Television personality Kelly Ripa enters the “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on February 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

Kelly Ripa is a Disney Legacy Award winner with a presence bigger than people may realize. Most people know her for Live With Regis And Kelly which has gone through several iterations but is now Live With Kelly and Mark. Her co-host is now her husband, Mark Consuelos. The two of them also have a production company called Milojo Productions which has several releases under its name. Ripa also was an actress earlier in her career with a lead role on the ABC series Hope & Faith and appeared on All My Children. She currently hosts the ABC game show Generation Gap