Robert Downey Jr has been presented with a Disney Legend Award at 2019’s D23 Expo.
But as well as celebrating the accolade the actor used the opportunity to joke and admit that he was actually arrested the first time he visited Disneyland.
“The very first time I went to Disneyland I was transported to another place within moments of being arrested,” the Avengers: Endgame star joked to a raucous crowd in Anaheim. ”I was brought to a surprisingly friendly processing center, given a stern warning, and then sent back to my group chaperone.”
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Downey Jr didn’t just make jokes, though. He also opened up about the impact of working with Marvel and the monster success of its Cinematic Universe.
“Playing Tony over these many years, that thematic idea that technology can guide our species toward enlightenment or destruction has been really worthwhile and it is an ongoing meditation. It has been a great gift.”
Downey then left the stage by declaring, “So here’s what I get to do. I get to remain a fan of the first inclusive and evolving cinematic universe ever so far. Here’s to the future.”
But while Downey Jr obviously fits the criteria, what exactly is a Disney Legend?
Iger was good enough to provide a definition at the event, explaining that it was being held to celebrate “the greatness of the people that define Disney. The extraordinary men and women who have made an indelible mark on our company and have earned their place as an enduring part of our legacy.”
Established in 1987, Iger called the award one of the company’s “most meaningful traditions,” as well as the “highest honor our company bestows on anyone.”
“It is reserved for the artists and visionaries throughout our history who have pushed the envelope of creativity, challenged conventional wisdom, and broken the restraints of the status quo in search of new possibilities.”
“Of the hundreds of thousands of talented people that have contributed to the Walt Disney Company over the last century, fewer than 300 have become Disney Legends. The award is a celebration of talent, a recognition of achievement and great contributions to our company. But above all it is a sincere expression of our gratitude.”
Robert Downey Jr wasn’t the only member of the Marvel family to be bestowed with this honour, though. Iron Man director and Avengers: Endgame executive producer Jon Favreau was lauded by host and Disney head Bob Iger.
He introduced Favreau by not just calling him a true visionary and a great storyteller, but he even compared him to the legend that began the entire company, Walt Disney.
“Among the many things I have learnt from studying Walt over the years is the power of technology in the hands of a great storyteller,” Iger remarked. “Walt was a master at using it. So is Jon. As is evident from his use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Jungle Book, The Lion King and his upcoming series The Mandalorian.”
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When Favreau took to the stage he made sure to thank his Marvel, Disney, and Star Wars families before then turning his attention to the fans and thanking them “for creating a dialogue through storytelling and sharing our childhood memories and moving those memories to the future and creating new memories for each next generation.”
Hans Zimmer, who scored the music for Disney’s Lion King, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Iron Man, was also given the award, sending a video thanking Disney for giving his “outlandish and crazy” musical ideas a home over the last 30 years.
Other recipients of the 2019 Disney Legends Award included legendary journalists Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer, singer Christina Aguilera, designer Wing Chao, actor James Earl Jones, Parks Director and choreographer Barnette Ricci, producer, choreographer and director Kenny Ortega, and actresses Bette Midler and Ming-Na Wen.
Keep posted to Yahoo Movies UK for extensive updates from the D23 Expo over the next few days.