At the end of any year, there’s always reflection about whether it was a good one or not. While one might focus on those we lost, various scandals, and other setbacks they’ve endured, The Walt Disney Company is, at its core, about bringing joy to the world and making memories. With that in mind, we’ve compiled our list of the Top 10 greatest Disney moments of 2019.
“The Child” Reveal
It’s kind of amazing how quickly “Baby Yoda” became a pop-cultural phenomenon. In a bid not to spoil Disney+’s flagship series The Mandalorian, it seemed most social media users kept their love of the character to themselves. But, once Disney themselves tweeted an image of The Child, the floodgates were opened. Along the same lines, Disney is just now starting to cash in on the sensation, rolling out merchandise offerings as fast as possible (to varying results). Whether the hype holds up until the second season of Mando hits next fall remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure: none of us will forget the first time we saw that adorable, green, 50-year-old baby’s face.
Avengers: Endgame ‘Portals’ scene
Admittedly, it was hard to pick just one moment from the glory that was Avengers: Endgame. Cap wielding Mjolnir or Tony’s “And I am Iron Man” could have easily and understandably taken this spot. But there’s no denying the pure epicness — an overused word that only truly applies here — of this scene that puts 10 years of filmmaking and world-building together at last. “You wanted more?!”
Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 Announcement
When Phase 3 of the MCU closed with Spider-Man: Far From Home, fans really had no idea what was ahead. Thankfully, that changed at San Diego Comic-Con when Kevin Feige started to fill in the blanks. While the event formalized some things we really already knew about like Black Widow, it also came with some surprises, such as the return of Blade (although that isn’t likely to happen in Phase 4). On top of that, it really helped fuel the Disney+ fire by making it clear once again that the shows on the platform would tie directly into the big-screen features. So while Endgame may have been a finale, the encore looks just as enticing.
Tom Holland’s D23 Love Amidst Spidey Troubles
To say that the Marvel fandom was thrown into chaos when it was leaked that Sony and Disney had broken off talks in regards to Spider-Man would be a bit of an understatement. The anger and sadness that fans expressed online also found its way to the D23 Expo where some Spidey cosplayers even held signs saying “I belong with Marvel, not Sony” and signed petitions in hopes of making things right. In the middle of it, Tom Holland was in attendance in support of Pixar film Onward. Nevertheless, after getting a huge ovation from the crowd, Holland acknowledged it had been a crazy week but told fans, “I love you 3000.” Thankfully for all, Marvel and Sony did eventually work things out, with Holland and the D23 Expo experience each apparently playing a role in the push to get the deal done according to Bob Iger.
Emperor Reveal at Star Wars Celebration
From one convention to another, this year’s Star Wars Celebration had a lot to celebrate. Of course, as anxious as fans were to learn more about The Mandalorian and other projects, what they really came to see what the trailer for what we then only knew as Star Wars Episode IX. But, seconds before The Rise of Skywalker displayed on screen, fans heard familiar menacing cackle come over the auditorium speakers. Lest there were any doubt that the laugh belonged to Emperor Palpatine, actor Ian McDiarmid took to the stage to say, “Roll it again!” (Cheers and tears followed.)
Launch of Disney+
It may be a bit of a stretch to call the launch of Disney’s streaming service Disney+ a “moment” — but it was certainly an event. As the app started to appear on different platforms, fans couldn’t wait to log-in and explore. Unfortunately, this proved less than simple for some, but those issues started to fade throughout the day. But, now for the real question: what was the first thing you streamed on Disney+?
Mighty Ducks Reunite… Twice!
They say that fashion and pop culture often have an obsession with what came 20 years before. That would explain all of the 90s nostalgia the 2010s packed in. Riding that wave were the Mighty Ducks, who managed to stage at least a couple of reunions in 2019 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of D2. One of these events occurred in New York when the real hockey-playing Ducks played the Islanders while another reunion (seen above) was held in Southern California. Quack! Quack! Quack!
Opening Ceremony of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Make no mistake, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was one of the most ambitious projects the Disney Parks have ever embarked on — or should we say two of the most ambitious projects. However, while they did build lands on both coasts, it’s safe to say that Disneyland got the better dedication ceremony. Featuring appearances by some of the saga’s iconic stars as well as George Lucas himself, this event set the stage for what was to come (or, you know, what will finally come in a couple of weeks once Rise of the Resistance West opens).
Disney Immediately Updates Its Banner After Fox Acquisition Closes
There’s no question that Disney’s purchases of 21st Century Fox assets changed the face of the company in a big way. And although some fans may not have been ready to welcome The Simpsons or Deadpool to the Disney family so quickly, the company embraced the change from the word “go.” In fact, just after midnight when the deal closed, The Walt Disney Company banner was updated to include the aforementioned properties as well as Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, Emmy-winning Atlanta, and more. So while you may find it strange to call Deadpool a Disney movie, it’s not wrong.
Jon Favreau’s Legend Speech
Last but not least, earlier today, Jon Favreau was named the Laughing Place Disney Person of the Year. As impressive as that is, we’re not too proud to admit that the Disney Legend award he received at the D23 Expo probably held more importance. In his acceptance speech, Favreau flashed this Disney fan cred by paying homage to the legacy he has now become a part of. It was certainly a well-deserved honor we saw coming from a mile away.