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Disney Celebrates Animation Legend Floyd Norman’s 80th Birthday

Celebration continues in San Diego at Comic-Con International with a panel on the upcoming feature-length documentary on legendary Disney and Hanna Barbera animator and story artist Floyd Norman.

More than 150 cast members at Disney's Grand Central Creative Campus in Glendale surprised Floyd by wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a graphic of his trademark fedora and eyeglasses, with a group photo taken to commemorate the event.

On Monday, June 22nd, at Disney's Grand Central Creative Campus in Glendale, the studio hosted a grand celebration of Disney legend Floyd Norman's 80th birthday.

Over 150 cast members surprised Norman by wearing t-shirts emblazoned with a graphic of his trademark fedora and eyeglasses, and a group photo was taken to commemorate the event. The studio commissary surprised Norman by renaming the grilled cheese sandwich (Norman's usual daily lunch) in his honor.

Later in the afternoon, over 200 family, friends and colleagues gathered to surprise and toast Norman, including composer Richard M. Sherman, Tony Anselmo, the voice of Donald Duck, Imagineer Bob Gurr, live-action TinkerBell model Margaret Kerry, and Michael Leon Wooley, the voice of Louis the Alligator from Princess and the Frog.

Highlights from the party included:

  • A video of actress Scarlett Johansson singing Happy Birthday with a blown kiss to Norman (from his 79th birthday)
  • Personal birthday greetings received from every CEO of the Walt Disney Company since Walt Disney: Bob Iger, Michael Eisner and Ron Miller.
  • A personal birthday message in the form of a poem from Lion King director Roger Allers.
  • A short video segment on “Floydering,” a term first used to describe Norman and his creative process.
  • Disney legend and voice of Sleeping Beauty, Mary Costa sent a personal message and gift.
  • Disney legend 83-year-old Bob Gurr chastised the “young whippersnapper” Floyd Norman.
  • Animation legend Jane Baer presented Norman with a personal photo of when they first started at the Disney studio in 1956.
  • Legendary movie poster artist Drew Struzan surprised Norman with a portrait.
  • Norman's wife, Disney artist Adrienne Nichelle Brown-Norman, gave a touching, personal speech.

The celebration continues in San Diego at Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 9th at 9PM in Room 9 with a panel on the upcoming feature-length documentary on animation legend Floyd Norman.

Filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey (director of Drew: The Man Behind the Poster) will show clips from their original feature-length documentary and reunite legendary Disney and Hanna Barbera animator and story artist Floyd Norman with many animators and artists that he influenced and worked with over his 60-year career.

Panelists will include notables featured in the documentary including animation writer/producer Paul Dini, Gary Trousdale (co-director of Disney's Beauty and the Beast), cartoonist, humorist and historian Scott Shaw, animator, producer and publisher Leo Sullivan, writer, director and story artist Ken Mitchroney, Disney Publishing illustrator Adrienne Nichelle Brown-Norman, and animator and USC professor of animation Tom Sito.

The documentary also features interviews with such notables as actress Whoopi Goldberg, cartoonist Sergio Aragonés, Disney music composer Richard Sherman, producer Don Hahn (Maleficent), former Pixar VP of animation Ralph Guggenheim, and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin. The documentary is supported by a musical score composed by Ryan Shore (composer, Disney's Penn Zero and WB's Scooby-Doo!). The filmmakers will moderate a Q&A session and celebrate Mr. Norman's 80th birthday.

Source: Michael Fiore/Erik Sharkey

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.

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