Emma Stone as Cruella in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA.

my Floyd norman

The animation industry of 2012 is a far cry from what we experienced in 1956 so I've wanted to share what life was like at Disney, Hanna-Barbera and the other smaller studios back then. That animation generation is pretty much in the history books today but there are a few of us left who remember and share the wonderful experience called a career in the cartoon business.

Floyd Norman Net Worth: Floyd Norman is an American animator, writer, and comic book artist with a net worth of $2 million. He is best known for working for several animation companies, such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hannah-Barbera Productions, and Pixar. java game

He was born in Santa Barbara, California, in June 1935. He worked as a cleaner in the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty. Norman also worked for several TV series, including The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Scoby Goes Hollywood, Scoby-Doo! in Arabian Nights, The Printstones Christmas Carol, The Hindback of Notre Dame, Mulan, The Tiger Movie, The Movie, The Movie, Do, Movie, Do, Do, Do, Do, Do, Do, Norman, Do, and Robot Chicken.

Computer Animation, Old school

LOkay, we've been down this road before but it's a fun ride. Let's remind ourselves how primitive things were only a few decades ago. I worked on this sequence in Walt Disney's “101 Damatians.” It seems we were making the movie pretty much in sequence. This was the final act where the evil Cruella DeVille get's hers. The movie ends on a high note when the family gathers together to sing, “We'll have a Dalmatian Plantation.”

But, let's go back to the road and the final chase sequence near the end of the movie. If you remember, Cruella is roaring around the snowy mountain highway in her roadster. We didn't have the luxury of digital technology in the old days and animating vehicles was always a daunting task. The clever guys in Woolie's layout department came up with the idea of filming scale models as guides for our animation. We painted the vehicles white with a black outline. JavaGamePlay Processing

Clearly what we were doing was pretty low tech when you consider the tools we have today. Yet, that's the cool thing about working, “Old School.” You do what you have to do with the tools you have. Computers were still amazing devices regarded for science fiction movies. We could not even imagine the way animation would be created in the years ahead. This was still 1959-1960.

Dalmatians Car Stuff

The Job! of Writing

Secondly, and this is not easy - but you've got to know people. Yeah, it's the old Hollywood thing of, “Who You Know,” but it's really true. I've gotten any number of jobs during my career because people knew me and remembered me. So, during those tough times when I couldn't find work, my phone would suddenly ring and a producer or director would begin the conversation with, “what are you doing or are you busy?” So, I told the young man to get to know people. How do you do that, one might ask? That's up to you. You'll have to do it anyway you can. The jobs won't come looking for you because nobody will know you or what you can do. It's going to be your job to get them to know you - and know your work. Orbital Defense

Of course, there are those far more qualified than myself to be providing writing advice. However, there are some things that never change. A good writer has to continue to write. Short stories, scripts, whatever. You've got to get your work into the right hands and how you do that will take some skill and imagination. As I told the young man, there's no right way or wrong way of breaking into the business. You get in anyway you can.

Revisitiong Song of the South

This new book authored by my pal, Jim Korkis details the creating of the Disney motion picture, “Song of the South.” This is a story I've wanted someone to tell, and good for Jim to step up to the plate. Naturally, I was delighted when Jim requested I write the forward for the book. I've always given this rather controversial motion picture special attention and I've even done my own research concerning the Disney film. I've no personal agenda, either with the Disney Company or Walt Disney in particular. I've always loved this delightful film and began supporting it even as a ten year old kid. Years later, I even pushed my own experiment by screening unofficial showings of Song of the South to black audiences to test Disney's assessment of the motion picture. Not surprisingly, audiences of color loved the motion picture and even requested a second viewing. Of course, there were always civil rights activists with their own personal agenda. Alien Invasion

Animation historian and author, Jerry Beck got it right when he said, “Everything the Disney Company did in its Golden Age is worth watching and discussing.” I guess it's too much to expect the Disney Company to respect its own legacy. I'm just glad we have dedicated historians like Jim Korkis who do.

the sword in the stone

The Magic Kingdom

I'm not referring to the famous theme park when I say, Magic Kingdom. That nifty idea was probably somewhere in Walt's head but it remained a long, long way from being a reality. No matter. Things were going pretty well for the "Old Maestro" (still a young man) as he ruled over his Burbank Kingdom.

I love this photograph probably taken sometime in the late thirties or early forties. The boss looks pleased and relaxed. Walt Disney Productions had finally made the move from Hyperion over in Silverlake to their swanky new digs in the San Fernando Valley. I would imagine things looked pretty promising to Walt as he made plans for the future. Of course, as we know from history there would be many things that would negatively impact the fledgling studio. A world war and a strident labor action would be one of the many challenges Walt Disney Productions would eventually face.

Putting those things aside, let's take a moment to enjoy a peaceful spring afternoon with Walt Disney as he smiles for the camera. That's the Animation Building in the background and employees often enjoyed lunch on the sprawling studio lawn. More university campus than grundgy movie studio lot, Walt Disney Productions offered its employees a good deal more than simply a challenging job. It was the premiere animation house. The cartoon studio every other studio measured itself by. Walt Disney Productions was the top of the heap and simply having worked there for a time gave your resumé a considerable boost.

Old School Storyboarding

Yes I know how much faster one can work on the Cintiq. I know about the advantage of layers, cut and paste, color and all the other bells and whistles. None of those dandy extras are available when you're working on paper. You simply sketch the ideas on paper and be sure they work. In a strange way you're making a committment to the work you're doing. There's nothing there to save you or to distract the viewer. The storyboard simply has to do its job. The board has to work.

A Real Puppet Show

I've often joked that animation has become less a drawing medium and more of a "puppet show" in the past decade or so. Before you freak out and consider this an attack on CG animators, let me remind you that I maintain the greatest respect for today's digital animators who continue to do remarkable work and the results can easily be seen up on the big screen in today's animated feature motion pictures.


Story room

Okay, not necessarily a bad idea. Some actually thought this was a very funny movie, although I found this Disney comedy barely funny. Not that they didn't try. The movie makers did their best with a serviceable screenplay.