Darrin Butters, a veteran Disney animator, spent a day meeting with bloggers and journalists in Phoenix, Ariz., on Friday, Nov. 4, to promote Moana, the new Disney animated movie set to be released this week in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Butters, who was born in Nebraska, was bitten by the performance bug at a young age, starting with puppet shows, magic shows and was active in theater as a kid.