Imagineer Tony Baxter was one of eight new Disney Legends honored today at the D23 Expo 2013, produced by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, at the Anaheim Convention Center. A 26-year tradition, the Disney Legends Award is the highest honor one can receive from the Walt Disney Company, reserved for the visionaries and artists behind the Disney magic.
Baxter was chosen to receive this award due to his years of developing now-classic Disney Parks attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Journey Into Imagination, Splash Mountain and experiences like the 1983 New Fantasyland project at Disneyland park. In the course of his 43-year career with Walt Disney Imagineering, he also served as overall creative executive for the opening of Disneyland Paris, Indiana Jones Adventure and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
The other 2013 Disney Legends recognized today were:
- Collin Campbell – Collin’s work with Walt Disney Imagineering includes the development of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as concept illustrations of Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot.
- Dick Clark – Legendary television personality best known for “American Bandstand” and ABC’s annual “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
- Billy Crystal – Award-winning actor known as the voice of Mike Wazowski from “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University” and from roles in “When Harry Met Sally…,” “The Princess Bride” and “City Slickers.”
- John Goodman – Actor of stage and screen, and the voice behind James P. Sullivan, better known as Sulley, from “Monsters, Inc.” and “Monsters University,” also known for notable film appearances in “The Big Lebowski,” “The Flintstones,” “Argo” and “Flight.”
- Steve Jobs – Visionary who changed the world of consumer electronics as the founder of Apple. He was an early investor and chief executive of Pixar, and became the Walt Disney Company’s largest shareholder in 2006. That same year, he joined the Disney board of directors, and remained an advisor to the company until his passing in 2011.
- Glen Keane – 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 10 years.
- Ed Wynn – 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 voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.