Floyd Norman

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Floyd Norman
Norman, 2016
Floyd E. Norman

(1935-06-22) June 22, 1935 (age 88)
Notable workSleeping Beauty
The Sword in the Stone
The Jungle Book
Mary Poppins
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Toy Story 2
Monsters, Inc.
Mickey Mouse comic strip
TitleAnimator, writer, artist
AwardsBlack Filmmakers Hall of Fame, 1979
Winsor McCay Award, 2002
Disney Legend, 2007
Inkpot Award, 2008
Sergio Award, 2013
Friz Freleng Award, 2015
AAFCA Special Achievement Award, 2016
Milton Caniff Award, 2019
Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame, 2021

Floyd E. Norman (born June 22, 1935)[1] is an American animator, writer, and cartoonist. Over the course of his career, Norman has worked for various animation companies, among them Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Ruby-Spears, Film Roman and Pixar.

Life and career[edit]

Norman's love for animated pictures started when he watched the Disney feature films Dumbo and Bambi.[2] Norman attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he majored in illustration.[3] He 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 1957, Norman was employed as an inbetweener on Sleeping Beauty (released in 1959) at The Walt Disney Company, becoming the first African-American artist to remain at the studio on a long-term basis.[4] 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).[4] 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 Clemmons on the story for The Jungle Book.[4]

After Walt Disney died 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.[5][6] 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.[4][7] In 1972, a different Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Saturday morning cartoon series was produced for CBS by Filmation Associates.

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.[8]

He has worked on motion pictures for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, 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 Reel FX's Free Birds.

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.[9]

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 the subject of the 2016 documentary Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.[10]

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

In 2016 Norman was appointed to the education and outreach committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.[11][12]

Debuting at the 2017 D23 Expo, Disney Editions published the picture book A Kiss Goodnight ISBN 9781484782286 written by Richard M. Sherman and illustrated by Norman.[13]

Norman was also part of a Members Only Preview for the behind-the-scenes exhibition titled Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book: Making a Masterpiece during a special talk alongside Andreas Deja, Darleen Carr and Bruce Reitherman which took place on June 22, 2022.[14] The exhibition took place at The Walt Disney Family Museum from June 23, 2022, to January 8, 2023.[15]

Awards and honors[edit]

Norman was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1979.[16] 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.[17] Norman was named a Disney Legend in 2007.[1] In 2008, he appeared as Guest of Honor at Comic-Con International, where he was given an Inkpot Award.[18] In 2013 Norman was honored with the "Sergio Award" from The Comic Art Professional Society (CAPS).[19] in 2014, Norman was the recipient of the DFC Disney Legend award given by the Disneyana Fan Club.[20] In 2015 Norman received the Friz Freleng Award for Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Animation from the International Family Film Festival.[21][22] In 2016, Norman was the recipient of the Special Achievement Award (Legendary Animator) from the African-American Film Critics Association.[23][24] In June 2018, Norman received an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy degree from Cogswell Polytechnical College.[25] In May 2019, Norman was honored with the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society.[26][27] In 2021, Norman was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame [28]



Year Title Notes
1959 Sleeping Beauty clean-up artist/in between artist (uncredited)
1961 One Hundred and One Dalmatians animator of Kanine Krunchies commercial (uncredited)
1963 The Sword in the Stone assistant animator (uncredited)
1967 The Jungle Book story artist (uncredited)
1973 Robin Hood assistant animator (uncredited)
1979 Scooby Goes Hollywood layout artist
1994 Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights storyboard artist
A Flintstones Christmas Carol storyboard artist
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame story
1998 Mulan story
1999 Toy Story 2 additional story artist
2000 The Tigger Movie additional story artist
Dinosaur story artist
2001 Monsters, Inc. additional story artist
2002 Cinderella II: Dreams Come True additional story artist
2005 Kronk's New Groove additional story artist
2013 Free Birds additional story artist


Year Title Notes
1969 Skyhawks Animator
1969 Hot Wheels animator
1970 Josie and the Pussycats Layout Artist
1972 Sealab 2020 Layout Artist
1973 Goober and the Ghost Chasers Layout Artist
1974 Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch Layout Artist
1976 Jabberjaw animator
1977 I Am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali Layout Artist
1977 Laff-A-Lympics Layout Artist
1978 Yogi's Space Race Layout Artst
1978–1979 Godzilla key layout artist
1981 The Kwicky Koala Show story director
1981–1989 The Smurfs layout artist/story director/storyboard artist
1981 Super Friends Key Layout Artist
1982 Pac-Man layout artist
1984 Alvin and the Chipmunks story director/layout artist
1984–1987 Snorks story director
1987 Beverly Hills Teens storyboard artist
1988–1994 Garfield and Friends storyboard artist
2002 Courage the Cowardly Dog storyboard artist
2008 Click and Clack's As the Wrench Turns storyboard artist
2013 The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange storyboard artist
2015 Robot Chicken storyboard artist
2020 Pawn Stars appeared as himself, episode: "I Don't Give a Dime"


  1. ^ a b "Disney Legends: Floyd Norman". D23.com (Disney). Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Sergio (October 9, 2013). "Disney's first African-American animator: Walt never cared about my color". Salon. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "Floyd Norman's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Shostak, Stu (03-28-2012). "Interview with Floyd Norman". Stu's Show. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  5. ^ "Floyd Norman". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  6. ^ AfroKids official website Archived August 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Norman, Floyd. "The Real Fat Albert".
  8. ^ Norman, Floyd. "One Mouse, two Floyds," Jim Hill Media (July 20, 2004).
  9. ^ "Member Profile: Floyd Norman - Blurb Books".
  10. ^ "Floyd Norman: An Animated Life". floydnormanmovie.com.
  12. ^ Keegan, Rebecca (March 15, 2016). "Film academy appoints three diverse new governors, others to leadership positions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "D23 Expo - Book Review: A Kiss Goodnight". July 15, 2017.
  14. ^ "Members Only Preview: Walt Disney's The Jungle Book: Making a Masterpiece Member Preview Night". The Walt Disney Family Museum. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  15. ^ "Walt Disney's The Jungle Book: Making a Masterpiece". The Walt Disney Family Museum. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  16. ^ "Inductees". www.blackfilmmakershalloffamearchives.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016.
  17. ^ "30th Annie Awards".
  18. ^ "Inkpot Award". December 6, 2012. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016.
  19. ^ "Comic Art Professional Society". July 28, 2014. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014.
  21. ^ "International Family Film Festival".
  22. ^ "The International Family Film Festival". October 26, 2015. Archived from the original on July 26, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  23. ^ "Legendary Disney animator Floyd Norman to receive African American Film Critics award". Los Angeles Daily News. October 25, 2016.
  24. ^ Caslin, Yvette. "2017 AAFCA Special Achievement Honors highlights film and TV influencers".
  25. ^ "Floyd Norman Shines Through Inspiration Uniqueness And Consistency". cogswell.edu.
  26. ^ "Floyd Norman to Receive Milton Caniff Award". The Daily Cartoonist. April 30, 2019.
  27. ^ "Floyd Norman to receive the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award!".
  28. ^ "Floyd Norman".

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