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Legendary Quotes from the 2022 Disney Legends Ceremony at D23 Expo

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The newest class of 14 Disney Legends were honored during the 2022 D23 Expo, with lots of laughs, tributes, and sentimental moments that you won’t want to have missed!

2022 Disney Legend Anthony Anderson taking a selfie with Bob Chapek at D23 Expo.
Credit: D23

By Theresa Mabe

D23 Expo 2022 kicked off with an Opening Ceremony and celebration honoring the 2022 Disney Legends.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek began by giving fans an early look at Disney 100 Years of Wonder—an extraordinary celebration 100 years in the making—during the incredible opening event, which featured musical performances, special guests, and surprises for the audience, including a special performance by cast members from Disney On Broadway’s productions of Aladdin and The Lion King, and the North American Tour of Frozen.

Disney Broadway stars performing t the D23 Expo Opening Ceremony.

The 2022 Disney Legends at D23 Expo

The Disney Legends Award is given to an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the Disney legacy, and this year’s honorees include Anthony Anderson, Kristen Bell, Chadwick Boseman, Rob’t Coltrin, Patrick Dempsey, Robert Price “Bob” Foster, Jonathan Groff, Don Hahn, Josh Gad, Doris Hardoon, Idina Menzel, Chris Montan, Ellen Pompeo, and Tracee Ellis Ross.

2022 Disney Legends Ceremony Quotes and Highlights

With so many legends in one room, there were bound to be some amazing moments – and we were not disappointed!

Here are our favorites from the 2022 Disney Legends Ceremony!

2022 Television Disney Legends

Two television series saw 2022 Disney Legends honorees this year: Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson for Black-ish, and Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey for Grey’s Anatomy.

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy Quotes From D23 Legend Ceremony

Patrick Dempsey accepting his 2022 Disney Legends Award at D23 Expo.
  • “To be a storyteller, and to work for the best storytellers in the world is quite a magical thing. It’s an honor to tell these stories that bring us all together and make us feel like we’re all connected because that’s when we are truly our best selves – when we’re thinking of one another.” – Ellen Pompeo
  • “Fame is not everything. It’s sometimes very empty. And what I’m learning is the most important thing is to be of service and to give back. To be able to do this work…we’re fortunate. And to have people see your work is even more fortunate. And to be able to use that for something that’s very positive, especially in the world we live in right now…you can see what happens when we come together as a community.” – Patrick Dempsey

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish Quotes From D23 Legend Ceremony

2022 Disney Legend Tracee Ellis Ross posing with Mickey Mouse. She's leaning towards him with her arms out and making a silly face.
  • “Growing up in Compton, Disney was always in the background. Disney has always been part of my life – my upbringing, my rearing, my childhood. It has informed me and allowed me to be the entertainer and man I am today. So to stand here as a legend is an honor.” – Anthony Anderson
  • “For me, a legend is someone whose work makes more space for others to be more free, more safe, and hopefully for the world to be more just.“- Tracee Ellis Ross
  • “I can’t forget to thank my agents. One has a broken neck, I don’t even know why he’s here right now. But that’s the power of imagination and dreaming – Disney brings everybody out!” – Anthony Anderson
  • “I still have to say, after all these years, I was at Disneyland recently; Space Mountain is still THE ride. Star Wars [Rise of the Resistance] blew me away, but then I went to Space Mountain, and I was like, ‘It’s still THE ONE!”.” – Tracee Ellis Ross

2022 Walt Disney Imagineering Legends Quotes From D23 Expo

2022 Disney legend Doris Hardoon standing next to Mickey Mouse.

The members of Walt Disney Imagineering who were named 2022 Disney Legends were Robert “Rob’t” Coltrin and Doris Hardoon. Both contributed their talents to Disney Parks around the world and not only inspire guests with their creativity and story-telling but inspired their fellow Imagineers as well.

  • “I’d like to thank Bob Iger and Bob Chapek; all the Bobs and the non-Bobs.” – Rob’t Coltrin
  • “43 years ago, this same week in September, I met and had an interview with Marty Sklar, John Hench, and Rolly Crump. I didn’t know who they were; I was actually looking for some freelance work, but they apparently saw something and they hired me on the spot.” – Doris Hardoon
  • “70 years ago, when Walt assembled his first Imagineers, not only were they creating Disneyland, they were creating a whole new art form. Unlike movies and music and theater, there was no place for credits; so when you step about your Jungle Cruise boats or your Doom Buggy, no one hands you a program. After you race to Radiator Springs Racers, there’s no giant screen with all of our names scrolling by. And that’s okay. We work behind the scenes and let our creations become the stars you come out to see.” – Rob’t Coltrin
  • “Bob Iger said something to us [when beginning to design Shanghai Disneyland] that was brilliant. ADDC: Authentically Disney, Distinctly Chinese. And here I thought he was talking about me because I’m authentically Disney and definitely distinctly Chinese!” – Doris Hardoon.

2022 Walt Disney Company Legend

Debby Swenson speaks at a podium with the Disney Legends 35th Anniversary logo on a screen behind her.

Robert Price Foster, a lawyer with The Walt Disney Company was tasked as being the lead to covertly purchase land for Walt’s Florida Project which eventually became Walt Disney World. Having passed away in early 2022, his daughter Debby Swenson spoke at the Disney Legends Ceremony on his behalf.

This year, at the age of 97, my father learned that he was to be recognized for his significant contributions to the Disney Company. He was greatly touched and grateful for this happy news. One week later, he passed away with the proud knowledge that he would be honored as a Disney Legend.

Debby Swenson at the 2022 Disney Legends Ceremony during D23 Expo.

2022 Film Disney Legends

D23 Legend Ceremony Quotes From The Cast of Frozen

Disney Legends Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, and Jonathan Groff standing in front of a D23 Expo sign.

Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, and Jonathan Groff were all named Disney Legends for 2022 for their work on the Frozen franchise. In addition to complimenting each other and the rest of the Frozen team in their speeches, there were a few memorable quotes along the way!

  • “As a young, gay boy growing up in the late-80s, early-90s in Lancaster, PA, Disney VHS tapes were my primary source of escape and self-expression. Disney was my complete life as a kid, and getting to voice the role of Kristoff is a complete dream come true…Thank you for creating a space where even young boys can put on their Anna and Elsa dresses and sing and express themselves and be the true Disney Legends that they are.” – Jonathan Groff
  • “Behind closed doors, I’ve always referred to myself as the Angela Lansbury of my generation, and I thank you for finally making it official. To peak at 41 is the culmination of everything I’ve worked to achieve.” – Josh Gad
  • “It’s hard being a 12-year-old blonde animated character and a 51-year-old sexy goddess in real life.” – Idina Menzel
  • “I would like to say I’m sorry to every parent that has had to listen to Frozen. I feel you, I see you, I am you; I get it.” – Kristen Bell
  • “Elsa is the embodiment of empowerment, and this young woman who gives us permission to embrace everything that makes us extraordinary in the world, and our uniqueness. And we should share it. We should rise above our fear and we should never conceal ourselves. We should always share our talents with the world.” – Idina Menzel
  • “I’m so happy to be a part of the Disney family and this year I’ll probably dress as Bob Chapek for my birthday or Christmas – I haven’t decided yet.” – Kristen Bell
  • “And finally – to the person who rejected me at Disney Casting Headquarters in Orlando, FL when I was 18 years old applying to be a Jungle Cruise skipper: please make sure to update my resume to ‘Disney Legend Josh Gad.’” – Josh Gad

Don Hahn and Chris Montan

Chris Montan posing with Mickey Mouse.

While working on Disney films in the late 80s and early 90s, Don Hahn and Chris Montan were both instrumental in the resurgence of the Disney Animation renaissance. They each continued to flourish over the years in the areas of directing and music production and have given Disney fans decades of joy, memories, and earworms that are cherished to this day.

Don Hahn, unfortunately, couldn’t attend the ceremony, but Chris Montan spoke in depth about Disney’s dedication and appreciation of the importance of music in film and life.

  • “The great thing about working at Disney was that music really mattered. To give you an example, show of hands: what are your most favorite Paramount songs?” – Chris Montan
  • “I wish you all could have been on the phone with me and experienced what it’s like to hear Phil Collins play You’ll Be in My Heart for the first time over the phone.” – Chris Montan

Chadwick Boseman

Before the 2022 Disney Legends Ceremony concluded, there was one additional and very emotional moment.

Derrick Boseman, brother of Chadwick Boseman, came to the stage to speak on behalf of his brother who passed away from cancer in 2020.

Derrick Boseman, brother of Chadwick Boseman accepting his Disney Legends award.

“Plato is credited with coining the phrase that ‘art imitates life.’ But Oscar Wilde came behind him and said, ‘Life imitates art.’ And in Chad’s case, it seems that life is imitating art. If we pay attention in this thing called storytelling, a story is being told to us all… Thank you for honoring my brother. I want to say say: Chad, we’ll always love you. And mom and dad will always love you. To me, mom and daddy are also legends. Because it takes a king and a queen to create a king.”

Derrick Boseman at the 2022 Disney Legends Ceremony during D23 Expo.

Your Favorite Moments of the 2022 Disney Legends D23 Ceremony

Whether you were in attendance, watched the live stream, or just read through these quotes – what was YOUR favorite moment of the 2022 Disney Legends D23 Ceremony?

Share in the comments below!

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