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Disney assembles ‘Avengers: Endgame’ stars for charity — and Lego time with kids

Disney assembles ‘Avengers: Endgame’ stars for charity — and Lego time with kids
Paul Rudd, from far left, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Brie Larson, Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner at the charity event Avengers Universe Unites at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. (Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for Disney)

The heroes of “Avengers: Endgame” assembled in Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim on Friday to help celebrate their latest mission: Avengers Universe Unites.

“As you know, we’re counting down the days until ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ” said Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger from the stage in front of the Hyperion Theater with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” attraction as the backdrop. “But a few Avengers have taken a break from saving the world to help us with a special mission.”

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Young fans dressed as their favorite Marvel superheroes cheered as actors Brie Larson, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Paul Rudd and Jeremy Renner were introduced to help commemorate the announcement of a $5-million donation in cash and toys to nonprofits that support children with critical illnesses.

“It was nice of you to give your costume to all these kids,” said Iger to Larson after noticing the many children dressed up as Captain Marvel.

But plenty of adults in the crowd also donned clothing inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female superhero to headline her own solo movie.

The donations included $1 million from Disney to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides “moments of joy and comfort” to chronically and terminally ill children and their families.

Additionally, the Lego Group, Hasbro, Funko and Amazon provided $4 million combined in “Avengers: Endgame” toys to be sent to children’s hospitals across the country and to Give Kids the World, a nonprofit resort in central Florida.

“These kids are the true heroes,” said Hemsworth. “It’s a true privilege to be inspired by them.”

His costars echoed that sentiment, but Rudd also delivered a very specific warning for the parents accompanying their children.

“The Ant-Man toys are particularly small, so be careful,” said Rudd. “It’s like stepping on Legos.”

After the announcement, Hemsworth, Johansson, Rudd and Renner stopped by to surprise some kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim and Garden Grove who were building Lego sets in Downtown Disney.

"Avengers: Endgame" actors Chris Hemsworth, left, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner visit kids building Lego sets.
"Avengers: Endgame" actors Chris Hemsworth, left, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner visit kids building Lego sets. (Tracy Brown / Los Angeles Times)

The visit was especially fitting for Johansson, who told The Times that she believes the first Black Widow toy she ever saw was from a Lego set.

“I’m pretty sure it was a Lego from the first ‘Avengers,’ ” said Johansson.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in any other film where there could have been a Lego version of me,” she added. “This is basically the first time that I played a character that all the kids were allowed to see, so it was awesome. You definitely feel like you made it. It’s pretty surreal.”

Hemsworth, on the other hand, was pretty excited to see a life-sized Thor statue built from Lego bricks on display in the venue.

“I’ve never seen a life-sized Lego figure like that. It’s pretty cool,” said Hemsworth.

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The Thor actor also admitted it’s harder to answer kids who want to know what is going to happen in “Avengers: Endgame” without giving away any spoilers.

“I just tell them it’s going to be incredible,” said Hemsworth. “It’s all the things that they’re hoping for and that unfortunately I can’t give away any secrets because I don’t want to spoil it for them.”

“Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters April 26.

Chris Hemsworth poses with a life-sized Thor statue made of Lego bricks.
Chris Hemsworth poses with a life-sized Thor statue made of Lego bricks. (Tracy Brown / Los Angeles Times)
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