Disneyland Resort paid tribute to the late great star, Chadwick Boseman, with a gorgeous new mural at the park. Unveiled Thursday at the Downtown Disney shopping district, the art installation was created by concept artist and Imagineer Nikkolas Smith.
Boseman starred in the Black Panther franchise’s titular role but was more affectionately known as “King Chadwick” to fans across the globe. The star’s unexpected passing in August sent shockwaves through the Disney and Marvel community. An outpouring of support emerged from fellow actors, directors, and creatives following the actor’s loss to a 4 year-long battle with colon cancer.
The art installation, titled “King Chad,” serves as a stunning reminder of the star’s profound impact on both Hollywood and children around the globe. The work carries an inscription from its artist, Smith:
“As a former Disney Imagineer, I had the honor of working on a major children’s hospital initiative and Avengers Campus as my final two assignments. Seeing Chadwick’s heart for people in-person, and later discovering his courageous battle with cancer, I was inspired to create this tribute to honor his life and legacy. To us, he was and will always be T’Challa. Long Live The King.”
The piece features Boseman and a small boy wearing a Black Panther mask, each exchanging the traditional Wakandan salute. Echoing back to Boseman’s 2019 trip to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the child is pictured wearing a hospital robe. It was only after his passing that fans realized the star’s trip to St. Jude occurred while Boseman privately waged his own battle with cancer.
On his Instagram account, Smith shared a photo of the work and left a touching note:
“This one is special. My King Chad tribute is now on a wall on display at Downtown Disney. It is a full circle moment for me: my final two projects as a Disney Imagineer last summer were working on the Children’s Hospital project and the Avengers Campus. To millions of kids, T’Challa was a legend larger than life, and there was no one more worthy to fill those shoes than Chadwick Boseman. I’m so thankful to be able to honor Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way.”
There’s no word from Disney on how long the installation will remain at Downtown Disney. We’re hopeful the piece becomes a permanent addition to the district. While Disneyland Resort remains closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, guests can still view “King Chad” via a trip to the resort’s shopping district