D23 is indeed, for many, “the ultimate Disney fan event.” As we reported earlier this week, the event returns to Anaheim, California later this summer and is certain to contain a little something for all fans of Disney and its offshoots. (For more details, see HERE.) Among them will be a presentation ceremony honoring various “Disney Legends.” Taking their rightful place among them are the likes of Frank Oz, Harrison Ford, costume designer Colleen Atwood, and others. Disney has opted to include one, perplexing choice of honoree at this years’ D23, however: talk-show host Kelly Ripa.

Disney; D23
D23 The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – Disney Legends – 2024 Honorees. KELLY RIPA (Image: Disney)

Look, don’t get me wrong. Kelly Ripa is a recognizable and respected celebrity, worthy of praise for her contributions to the entertainment industry, certainly. But… a D23 Disney Legend? Now, Harrison Ford? Unquestionably. With Lucasfilm under the Disney banner, this choice is a no-brainer. Ford is the life-force behind two characters that are arguably among the most iconic of all time – Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Frank Oz? Again, not even a question. While you may not readily know the name Colleen Atwood, Disney will, at D23 rightfully honor her for her contributions to the wonderful world of Disney. She’s provided costumes for over fifty films and television series, literally dressing a wide swath of the Disney live-action universe. But Ripa?

Disney to honor an interesting choice of “Legend” at D23

A quick google search to define the word “legend” tells us that a legend may be “an extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.” The Disney D23 announcement would have us believe her to be Disney Legend, or at least among the talk sow industry. However, by many accounts, she doesn’t even crack the top-ten in terms of “legendary” talk show hosts. On this list from Ranker, for example, she doesn’t even make the top thirty. Her show isn’t even the top show on her own network. That honor goes to The View.

Disney; D23
D23 The Ultimate Disney Fan Event – Disney Legends – 2024 Honorees. HARRISON FORD (image: Disney)

Again, I don’t want to take anything away from Ripa’s accomplishments. A career spanning over thirty years in the entertainment industry is nothing to scoff at. But when compared to the likes of Harrison Ford and fellow 2024 honorees Angela Bassett and John Williams, or past honorees Robin Williams, Dame Angela Lansbury, and George Lucas, one wonders how Disney came to include a talk-show host among such true Disney-related legends. To showcase Ripa at D23 as one of them?

That’s a bit of stretch.