Disney Legend Floyd Norman is the focus of Floyd Norman: An Animated Documentary. The film made it’s Chicago premiere over the weekend during the Black Harvest Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
Co-directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, the documentary profiles Norman, who was forced into retirement when he turned 65. Not wanting to retire and stop working, Norman did whatever he could to get his job back with Disney even if it meant having to stir up some “trouble.”
On the writing side of things, Norman was there during the Disney Renaissance period having provided the story for both Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Disney also had him take charge with 101 Dalmatians: The Further Adventures of Thunderbolt when they needed someone who could tell the Thunderbolt story. After all, Norman learned from Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men and got his start with Disney when he worked on Sleeping Beauty as a clean-up artist. He was an uncredited assistant animator or story artist for animated Disney films such as 101 Dalmations, The Sword & The Stone, The Jungle Book, and Robin Hood.
Norman has gotten into the Pixar game, helping to provide the storyboards on films such as, Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc.
Overall, it’s a fun documentary to watch when you have the time. Having been extremely busy with Wizard World Chicago over the weekend, I missed out on the chance to meet the legend in person.
Floyd Norman: An Animated Life is available on Blu-Ray and streaming on Netflix.