Two years ago, in light of the D23 Expo 2015, I named six individuals paramount to the success of The Walt Disney Company who should be named Disney Legends, the highest honor that can be bestowed. I think it is inevitable that Joe Rodhe, for instance, renowned Imagineer with those awesome earrings, who I contended should become a Disney Legend, will one day attain that honor. This prompted me to reflect on individuals within The Walt Disney Company, whether they have more recently joined the corporation or have been directly or indirectly part of its framework, who have a high chance of being recognized as Disney Legends at some point.
I had planned on publishing a column about the next set of individuals who would likely be recognized as Disney Legends, but The Walt Disney Company beat me to the punch by recently issuing a press release of its nine forthcoming Disney Legends. You’ll have to take my word that I predicted Stan Lee, Garry Marshall, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill would be named as Disney Legends this year. That said, I am excited to share my thoughts on these four, as well as five others, who will obtain this major honor at the D23 Expo.
In Memoriam 2016: Film, Television, Music, Sports, Literature, the Arts”¦
With 2017 upon us, let’s take one final look back at the luminaries and personalities of the entertainment world who left us in 2016, during a year that seemed more turbulent and taxing than any other in recent memory.
Challenges in the past and challenges ahead, it’s a tough time to live in the world right now with so many changes like a whirling dervish to the senses. While there is much sadness in recognizing and accepting the passing of so many great figures in 2016, it’s the endearing, endless, never-ending fanbase and legacy that will keep each and every one of these names mentioned here (and some are of only cult status, but still enjoy a rabid passionate following as equal as any global figure) alive and well in the consciousness and beyond. In no particular order and apologies in advance if some of your favorites were left off. This was a huge list to go through and what was more painful than compiling this list was the fact that these incredibly talented people are all no longer with us.
Regrettably, there was the news this week of Marshall’s death. Having directed seven films for The Walt Disney Company and being responsible for creating a slew of hit shows for ABC during its comedy heyday in the 1970s, Marshall played a substantial role in developing popular content. His passing at age 81 comes across as almost too soon for a man still hard at work, always wanting to produce laughter and happiness.
Garry Marshall, who brought some of the most remembered and successful sitcoms of the 1970s to American television and directed some notable films such as Pretty Woman, died on Tuesday in Burbank, CA, of complications from pneumonia following a stroke, according to Variety. He was 81.
Marshall’s programs, which pretty much dominated ABC-TV for the entire decade of the 1970s, consisted of The Odd Couple and Happy Days and its spinoffs, Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy. With each of them came a kind of innocuous hilarity that had healthy doses of mild slapstick, easily resolved narratives, and always an emphasis on a slight surreal aspect of fun. Unlike say the socially conscious programs of the time that were being churned out by the stable of TV pioneer Norman Lear (like All in the Family and Maude), Marshall’s sitcoms, although they were rather perfunctory and innocuous by way of social redemption or awareness, held almost equal footing in terms of ratings success. And indeed, like many of the characters on Lear’s programs (Archie Bunker, Maude, Fred Sanford), Garry Marshall also helped create and was instrumental in bringing characters that were and have remained almost as iconic, such as The Fonz, Mork from Ork, Laverne, and Shirley.
Fifteen years have passed since the debut of Disney’s based-on-a-book comedy featuring two of Hollywood’s brightest stars (Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway). The Princess Diaries premiered back in 2001, and would eventually earn a solid $165 million worldwide. “Shut up,” as Princess Mia would say.
To commemorate the 15th anniversary, Disney In Depth recognizes 15 quirky reasons to love The Princess Diaries. Why quirky reasons? Because the Garry Marshall film is full of peculiarities and oddities that are by turns charming and crazy good fun.