Animator Floyd Norman to be Honored at the TCM Film Festival
Written by Jim Auchmutey, Wren’s Nest Board Member
We are happy to see that Floyd Norman, our favorite animator, is being honored by Turner Classic Movies at the TCM Film Festival in Hollywood. If it weren’t for the pandemic, Norman would be at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre this weekend to receive a standing ovation from festival-goers. Instead, at 8 p.m. Sunday, TCM is showing a 2016 documentary about his remarkable career, Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.
Norman is a good friend of the Wren’s Nest. The California native was the first African-American illustrator on staff at the Disney studios. In 2013, the Wren’s Nest brought him to Atlanta for a talk at the Auburn Avenue Research Library. He drew a couple of illustrations inspired by the Uncle Remus stories (which he loves, incidentally), including this one (pictured right) showing Brer Fox and Brer Bear preparing to “bobby-cue” Brer Rabbit.
We reproduced it (with Norman’s permission, of course) on a limited number of bottles of Wren’s Nest Barbeque Sauce (pictured left).
Norman, almost 85, started to work for Disney during the 1950s, a few years after the studio released Song of the South, its animated-live action version of the Uncle Remus stories. He has often asked about that movie, even though he didn’t work on it, and usually defends it as a groundbreaking piece of animation and a product of its times.
He went on to work with Hanna-Barbera, Pixar and other animation studios, contributing to movies such as One Hundred and One Dalmations, The Jungle Book, Toy Story 2, and TV shows such as Josie and the Pussycats and The Smurfs.
Bravo, Floyd Norman. We join the virtual standing ovation.