Disney producer and animator Don Hahn was the guest of honor at a special ceremony inducting him as a Disney Legend on April 4, 2023.
Hahn was unable to attend the 2022 Disney Legends ceremony at D23 Expo in Anaheim, so Disney held the event just for him on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.
According to D23, they honored him with a Lion King-themed lunch, before he etched his name and handprints in Legends Plaza. Corn dogs, popcorn, and cupcakes were also on the menu.
Honorees also receive a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity, and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney CEO Bob Iger was on hand to give Hahn his sculpture.
His Disney History
Don Hahn joined Walt Disney Studios in 1976, first for a summer job delivering coffee and art to Disney animators. Mentored by several future Disney Legends such as Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and Wolfgang “Woolie” Reitherman, he took on his first animation assignment, serving as an inbetweener on Pete’s Dragon (1977).
He then was given work as an assistant director or production manager on a host of other animated projects, including The Fox and the Hound (1981), Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), The Black Cauldron (1985), and The Great Mouse Detective (1986).
A move to London was followed by a role as associate producer on Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), and the Roger Rabbit short Tummy Trouble (1989).
Then came producing 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, which was the very first animated film ever nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. This was followed by producing the Oscar-winning animated smash The Lion King (1994).
More recent films he’s executive produced include Maleficent (2014), and the live-action reimagining of Beauty and the Beast (2017).
Hahn produced and directed several documentaries, including the Annie Award-winning film Howard (2018), which chronicles the life of Disney Legend Howard Ashman, and he’s hosted the documentary Adventure Thru the Walt Disney Archives (2020).
He has also executive produced several films for DisneyNature, such as African Cats (2011), and Chimpanzee (2012), which he co-wrote.
Hahn has even authored several books including 2008’s The Alchemy of Animation.
Congratulations to Don Hahn, Disney Legend, Class of 2022!