Disneyland paid a touching tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman, who succumbed to Colon Cancer at the age of 43.
Immortalised for playing the iconic T’Challa aka Black Panther in MCU’s Black Panther, the late actor’s death has been grieved by millions of fans across the globe. More so, when it was revealed that he filmed the record-breaking films while battling Cancer.
On Thursday, a mural featuring Boseman was unveiled at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Painted by Nikkolas Smith, the mural shows Boseman in the ‘Wakanda Forever’ pose alongside a young child wearing a hospital gown and a Black Panther mask. Smith is an artist and former Disney Imagineer (the company’s term for its theme park designers and engineers), who also shared the artwork on his Instagram page.
“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 am grateful to the Disney family for being so supportive of my journey as an artist. I’m so thankful to be able to honour Chadwick’s life and purpose in this way,” Smith wrote on Instagram.
The post also includes a video of the mural being unveiled, and Smith doing the Wakanda salute in front of the artwork accompanied by his infant son. Smith added that this was “a full-circle moment,” as his final projects as an Imagineer were an interactive art experience at Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital and the upcoming Avengers Campus attraction for Disney’s California Adventure Park.
The artwork is not just an ode to Boseman’s role as Black Panther but his interaction with children fighting cancer battling the illness himself. He visited the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2018 and the photos resurfaced after his death. An emotional video went viral in which he discussed trading letters with terminally ill kids who died before getting to watch Black Panther.
“It’s a humbling experience, because you’re like, ‘This can’t mean that much to them.’ But seeing how the world has taken this on, how it’s taken on a life of its own, I realise that they anticipated something great,” Boseman found saying in the video.