Floyd Norman is a legendary animator and cartoonist. His first big job was on Sleeping Beauty, and he’s gone on to work on any number of Disney movies since then, including a stint at Pixar and cartooning jobs everywhere. He’s also a pioneer as one of the first prominent African-American animators. He’s also one of the wisest, smartest people I’ve ever met—every couple of years I’ll run into him at Comic-Con and we’ll sit down and talk for 20 minutes or whatever we can spare…and it’ll be the best 20 minutes of the con.
He’s also one of the sharpest wits about the animation business itself, with a few cartoon books to his credit—Faster! Cheaper!: The Flip Side to the Art of Animation, Son of Faster, Cheaper!: A Sharp Look Inside the Animation Business, How the Grinch Stole Disney, Disk Drive: Animated Humor in the Digital Age; Suspended Animation: The Art Form That Refuses To Die—all of which show a keen grasp of the economic forces that run animation and run counter to creativity too much of the time. He’s especially sharp at detecting the foibles of Disney itself—and despite this he still works for Disney in an advisory capacity.
Over on his FB page Norman has been drawing some cartoons based on George Luca’s seller’s remorse at Star Wars moving on without him—after he sold Lucasfilm for $4 billion—and his rather awkward comments about Disney being a “white slaver.” With Norman’s permission I’ve reposted them here….but check his FB page if you want more of this, as there never seems to be an end of the humor where Disney, George Lucas and Star Wars are concerned.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.