Floyd Norman: The Animator Is The Performer

Floyd Norman: The Animator Is The Performer

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Animator Floyd Norman vividly recalls the first time he encountered Walt Disney.

In early 1956, Norman was one of a few young animators hired for a one-month tryout at the Disney studio in Burbank. A few weeks into its training, the group was told to report to a screening room on the third floor of the Animation Building. Because the room was occupied, they had to wait in the hallway.

"We saw this figure step out into the hallway moving toward us," Floyd told the L.A. Times. "As the figure moved closer, we suddenly realized — oh, my God — it was Walt Disney. We all just backed up against the wall as Walt walked by. Noticing our odd behavior, he kind of chuckled because he saw us as a bunch of geeky kids reacting to his presence. It truly was like Moses descending from the mountain."

Floyd Norman joins Steve Edwards and Lisa Breckenridge on Good Day L.A.

Fun facts about Floyd Norman (Source: Wikipedia)

1.) Floyd is an American animator who worked on the Walt Disney animated features Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book, along with various animated short projects at Disney in the late '50s and early '60s.

2.) Norman had his start as an assistant to comic book artist Bill Woggon, who lived in the Santa Barbara, California, area that Norman grew up in.

3.) After Walt Disney's death in 1966 Floyd Norman left Disney Studios to co-found the AfroKids animation studio with business partner animator/director Leo Sullivan. Norman and Sullivan worked together on various projects such as the original Hey! Hey! Hey! It's Fat Albert television special which aired in 1969 on NBC (not to be confused with the later Fat Albert series made by Filmation Associates).

4.) Norman returned to Disney at one point in the early 1970s to work on the Disney animated feature Robin Hood, and worked on several animated television programs at Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears. In the 1980s he worked as a writer in the comic strip department at Disney and was the last scripter for the Mickey Mouse comic strip before it was discontinued.[1]

5.) More recently he has worked on motion pictures for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, having contributed creatively as a story artist on films such as Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. for Pixar and Mulan, Dinosaur and The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Walt Disney Animation, among others. He continues to work for the Walt Disney Co. as a freelance consultant on various projects.

6.) Norman has also published several books of cartoons inspired by his lifetime of experiences in the animation industry, Faster! Cheaper!, Son of Faster, Cheaper!, and How the Grinch Stole Disney.

7.) He is currently a columnist for the websites JimHillMedia.com and AfroKids.com.

‘The Jungle Book Diamond Edition' is now on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Follow Floyd Norman on Twitter: @floydnorman

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