Great Big Beautiful Podcast: Episode 26 – Floyd Norman

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Episode 26: Floyd Norman

You can listen on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and YouTube; you can follow the RSS feed; or you can listen right here!


This week, we are beyond thrilled to be joined by an actual Disney Legend: capital D, capital L. Floyd Norman’s career with Disney stretches back to 1956 when he was still a teenager and joined the company as an in-betweener on Sleeping Beauty.

He worked with Walt Disney himself on a number of projects — most notably The Jungle Book — and was involved in various feature films (The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, Mary Poppins, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc.) up until his “retirement” in 2001. In 2007, he was named a Disney Legend.

Over the years, he also worked extensively with Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears on various shows that pretty much define the childhoods of anyone alive in the 80s. Floyd continues to work for Disney on a freelance basis (as he prefers it) and can still be found Floydering around the Disney Animation campus.

MrToad
A piece of art I commissioned from Floyd, based on the best Disney attraction of all time

A quick peek at Floyd’s blog reveals a master still very much attached to his craft. It’s a reliably fascinating read that reveals invaluable insights into the creative process, Disney history, and his own personal life.

On this episode, we chat about Floyd’s career with Disney, working for Walt, 2D vs 3D animation, transitioning from film to television (and back again), the pressure to create “instant classics,” and whether there was a concerted effort (a master plan?) at Disney in the early 2000s to kill off traditional hand-drawn animation for good.

We also chat about the forthcoming documentary film, Floyd Norman: An Animated Life:

We say it almost every week, but this one’s special. Floyd’s a rare treat who’s just as nice as they come, and we’re thrilled to share this episode with you.


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