There’s So Much of Walt Disney in Mickey Mouse: Floyd Norman on Mickey: The Story of a Mouse | Interviews

There's So Much of Walt Disney in Mickey Mouse: Floyd Norman on Mickey: The Story of a Mouse |  Interviews

Walt Disney loved to say, “Always remember that it all started with a mouse.” What was your first exposure to Mickey Mouse?

My first introduction to Mickey Mouse was probably in the movie theater. I’m an old codger. We didn’t have television back in the old days so we went to the movies. And when my parents took me to the movie theater and I saw the big splash screen of Mickey on the screen, and it said “Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Cartoon,” that was my first introduction to Mickey Mouse. And then, of course, after that, I suddenly found that Mickey Mouse was available everywhere. He was in storybooks, he was in comic books, he was in the newspaper. He was everywhere. And so, I realized that Mickey, like it or not, was going to be a big part of my life.

Mickey was created by Walt Disney, who not only gave him his look but literally provided Mickey’s voice. What aspects of Walt Disney do we see in the character?

You get to see Walt’s personality. You get to see Walt Disney’s amazing optimism. Walt was an optimist you know, almost to a fault. Mickey Mouse is a total optimist. Walt Disney was incredibly resourceful. And boy, Mickey is resourceful. And Mickey is also somewhat cheeky. There’s a mischievous side to Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney as well. Walt’s family has often spoken to me about what a prankster Walt could be, and Mickey is a prankster, too. So, there’s so much of Walt Disney in Mickey Mouse, and so much Mickey Mouse in Walt Disney.

My favorite Mickey is Sorcerer Mickey in “Fantasia,” followed by “The Band Concert” and “Mickey and the Beanstalk.” We saw so many different sides of Mickey in this movie. What is your favorite?

There are so many! “The Band Concert” is one and “The Brave Little Tailor” is another. But I think for me, the ultimate Mickey Mouse was the Sorcerer’s Apprentice sequence from “Fantasia.” You get a chance to see every aspect of Mickey’s personality. The mischievous Mickey, the sad sorry Mickey, the repentant Mickey, the cheeky little guy who probably sticks his fingers where they shouldn’t be. It is probably Mickey’s greatest performance and worthy of such an elegant venue as that film.

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