Norman Drew was born in Kenora, Ontario. He is a graduate of both the fine and applied arts courses of the University of Alberta. He began his art and film career in 1963, when he joined Crawley Films in Ottawa to work on the NBC feature cartoon 'Return to Oz'. He freelanced for a Toronto daily as an artist for the internationally syndicated feature 'The Giants' from 1964 to 1967. This series of comic strip biographies of world-famous figures of science, sports, the arts, and politics was written by Walt McDayter and subsequently drawn by Bill Payne and Bob McCormick.
Drew moved on and joined T.VC. in London, England, where he worked on The Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine' film. Other well-known features he worked on are 'The Jackson Five' and 'The Osmond Brothers' for ABC TV. Drew returned to Canada in 1972, where he was creative director of a Toronto animation studio. In 1974 he opened his own studio, Norm Drew Productions, and since then has done films for 'Sesame Street', TV commercials and the animated titles for 'The Irish Rovers'.