A Revered Disney Legend Criticizes the Disney of Today

Floyd Norman was named a Disney Legend in 2007. He started working at the Disney Studios in 1950s when Walt Disney was still alive and creating films like Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book. After Walt’s death, Norman left Disney to found the company that worked on the original Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s Fat Albert show among others. He returned to Disney in the 70s and has worked on films from Robin Hood to Toy Story 2.

Norman also runs his own website where he recently wrote a very interesting article entitled Only The Buildings Remain. In it, he recounts a recent visit to the studios and the disappointment he found there.

As I glance at the buildings on this restful afternoon the studio seems not all that different from the grand old days when the Old Maestro, Walt Disney ruled his magical Burbank kingdom. Suddenly, I check myself and realize I’m indulging in a fantasy. While it’s true I’m walking down a pleasant, shady studio street, where exactly am I anyway?

He goes on to question Disney’s current strategy for creating content:

The studio once known and praised for its originality hasn’t had a fresh idea in decades. Should originality be needed the studio has a quick and easy solution. Top level executives flush with cash simply go on a franchise shopping spree. After all, why spend time and energy creating when you can simply purchase?

Whether you agree with Norman or not, it’s a very well thought out piece with lots more to chew on than I’ve mentioned here. It’s interesting to see what a Disney Legend that worked with Walt thinks of today’s Disney and is definitely worth checking out.

Doobie Moseley
Doobie is a co-owner of LaughingPlace.com having founded the website with his wife Rebekah in 1999. He became a "hardcore" Disney fan in 1995. His favorite Disney film is Snow White and his all-time favorite attraction is the PeopleMover. Having lived near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, he's visited them literally thousands of times. He currently lives in Nothern California with his wife and teenage son, but looks forward to living in Florida again soon. His absolutely favorite activity is going on a Disney cruise (he's done 12 as of February 2023).