The late Carrie Fisher, Stan Lee and Whoopi Goldberg were officially named Disney Legends at the 2017 D23 Expo in California on Friday (14Jul17).
Goldberg, who was a surprise guest, wore a pair of Minnie Mouse shoes as she accepted her honour, revealing she was born the same year the nearby Disneyland theme park opened.
In her acceptance speech she said, “My mother always said, ‘One day I’m going to take you kids (to Disneyland). Instead, I got to take her. Disney made you feel that no matter where you came from, you were welcome.”
Meanwhile, Stan Lee’s appearance onstage to collect his Legends Award was his first since the recent death of his wife, Joan.
The 94-year-old Marvel comic book icon was the only award recipient who actually got to meet Walt Disney.
Calling him “more than a man”, Stan told fans, “He was an inspiration. To think that today I’m standing here in the home that Disney built… it is so thrilling.”
Carrie Fisher’s Star Wars castmate Mark Hamill was on hand to pay tribute to the actress, who died in December (17).
“I would love to give my deepest respects for the super cool space sis I have in Carrie Frances Fisher,” he told the crowd. “I loved her. We were like siblings. The good and the bad! We’d have huge fights and not speak to one another. But we loved each other, and what a great thrill it was to come back in The Force Awakens at that time in our lives.
“There was a comfort level with each other. We could rely on each other. And there was a deep respect. I know if she was here this morning, she would have flipped me the bird at least twice already.”
Disney boss Bob Iger then read a letter written by Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd, who was unable to attend the ceremony.
“She secretly always wanted to be a Disney princess,” Lourd wrote, “so getting to be a Disney princess and a Disney Legend would have been her ultimate dream.”
Other honourees included Oprah Winfrey and Julie Taymor, who directed Disney’s The Lion King musical.
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