Floyd Norman

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Floyd Norman
Born Floyd E. Norman
(1935-06-22) June 22, 1935 (age 80)
Santa Barbara, California
Nationality American
Notable work Sleeping Beauty
The Sword in the Stone
The Jungle Book
Mary Poppins
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Mickey Mouse comic strip
Toy Story 2
Monsters, Inc.
Awards Winsor McCay Award, 2002 Disney Legend, 2007
Inkpot Award, 2008
Friz Freleng Award, 2015

Floyd E. Norman (born June 22, 1935) is an American animator, writer, and comic book artist. Over the course of his career, Norman has worked for a number of animation companies, among them Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Ruby-Spears, Film Roman and Pixar.


Norman had his start as an assistant to Katy Keene comic book artist Bill Woggon, who lived in the Santa Barbara, California area Norman grew up in. In 1956, Norman was employed as an inbetweener on Sleeping Beauty (released in 1959) at Walt Disney Productions, becoming the first African-American artist to remain at the studio on a long-term basis.[1] Following his work on Sleeping Beauty, Norman was drafted, and returned to the studio after his service in 1960 to work on One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) and The Sword in the Stone (1963).[1] After Walt Disney saw some of the inter-office sketches Norman made to entertain his co-workers, he was reassigned to the story department, where he worked with Larry Clemons on the story for The Jungle Book.[1]

After Walt Disney's death in 1966, Floyd Norman left the Disney studio to co-found Vignette Films, Inc. with business partner animator/director Leo Sullivan. Vignette Films, Inc. produced six animated films and was one of the first companies to produce films on the subject of black history.[2][3] Norman and Sullivan worked together on various projects, including segments for Sesame Street and the original Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert television special conceived by Bill Cosby, which aired in 1969 on NBC.[1][4] In 1972, a different Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Saturday morning cartoon series was produced for CBS by Filmation Associates. In 1999, Norman and Sullivan created a multicultural internet site, afrokids.com, designed to present a variety of African-American images to children.

Norman returned to Disney at one point in the early 1970s to work on the Disney animated feature Robin Hood, and worked on several animated television programs at Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears. In the 1980s he worked as a writer in the comic strip department at Disney and was the last scripter for the Mickey Mouse comic strip before it was discontinued.[5]

More recently, he has worked on motion pictures for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, having contributed creatively as a story artist on films such as Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. for Pixar and Mulan, Dinosaur and The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Walt Disney Animation Studios, among others, including recently Reel FX's Free Birds. He continues to work for The Walt Disney Company as a freelance consultant on various projects.

Norman has also published several books of cartoons inspired by his lifetime of experiences in the animation industry, Faster! Cheaper!: The Flip Side to the Art of Animation ISBN 9780942909029; Son of Faster, Cheaper!: A Sharp Look Inside the Animation Business ISBN 9781881368373; How the Grinch Stole Disney ISBN 9781881368380; Disk Drive: Animated Humor in the Digital Age; and Suspended Animation: The Art Form That Refuses To Die. [6]

Norman has also authored a semi-biographical animation primer, titled: Animated Life: A Lifetime of tips, tricks, techniques and stories from an animation Legend (Animation Masters) ISBN 0240818059, that was published by Focal Press in 2013.

He is currently a columnist for the websites JimHillMedia.com and AfroKids.com.


Norman was a recipient of the Winsor McCay Award for Recognition of lifetime or career contributions to the art of animation at the 2002 Annie Awards.[7] Norman was named a Disney Legend in 2007.[8] In 2008, he appeared as Guest of Honor at Anthrocon 2008[9] and at Comic-Con International, where he was given an Inkpot Award.[10] In 2013 Norman was honored with the "Sergio Award" from The Comic Art Professional Society (CAPS). In 2015 Norman received the Friz Freleng Award for Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Animation from the International Family Film Festival.[11][12]



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