Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' New Daytime Talkshow 'The FAB' w/ Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee Coming to ABC New Daytime Talkshow 'The FAB' w/ Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee Coming to ABC Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Watch: Everything Else You've Wanted to Know About 'The Wire' - Cast Reunites for Hour-Long Chat Sundance Institute Announces New Artist Development Programs Coming to 8 US Cities Sundance Institute Announces New Artist Development Programs Coming to 8 US Cities TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Before Ron Husband At Disney, There Was Floyd Norman - The 1st Black Disney Animator

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act October 4, 2013 at 8:49PM

Earlier today, I wrote a piece about a new animation project that is going to be directed by former Disney animator Ron Husband, and I called him the first black animator for Walt Disney. Well… OOPS!
8
Floyd Norman

Earlier today, I wrote a piece about a new animation project that is going to be directed by former Disney animator Ron Husband, and I called him the first black animator for Walt Disney. Well… OOPS!

I didn’t say that just guessing about it. Everything I’ve ever read about Husband calls him the first AA animator who ever worked for Disney, and I’ve been hearing about him for years.

Well it turns out that Husband was the second AA animator who worked for Disney. The first was Floyd Norman.

Born in 1935 in Santa Barbara his love of animation first came when his mother took him to see Disney’s Bambi and Dumbo..

By the time he was a high schooler, Norman knew his goal was to be an animator at Disney studios.

After graduation, the story goes like this – “with the help of a friend Norman got an appointment at Disney and he walked into Disney studios, portfolio in hand, for an interview."

But instead of getting a job he was told to go to school, which Norman said later was the best advice someone had ever given him.

He entered the Art Center College of Design and two years later he got a call to come work for Disney. He dropped out of school and started working at the studio the following Monday.

He worked on various features, including Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book and several short subjects.

He left Disney after Walt died in 1966, and with Ron Sullivan formed AfroKids Animation Studio, and among the other things they created were the first Fat Albert television special, which aired in 1969 on NBC (the later more well known Fat Albert series was made by Filmation Associates and not AfroKids).

But starting in the early 1970’s, Norman returned to Disney to work on project such as Robin Hood and more recently, he has worked on motion pictures for Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios as well, working as a story artist on Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. Mulan, Dinosaur and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He continues to work for Disney as a freelance consultant on various projects.

So there you have it. Sorry to overlook you Mr. Norman. The error was mine alone and I hope you will forgive me.

And if anyone out there knows anything about other early African American animation pioneers, let us know.

Here’s a recent video with Norman talking about his experiences at Disney:

This article is related to: FYI


Shadow & ActNewsletter