Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Revolution Cinema: 5 Films to Put on Your "To-See" List This July 4th Holiday Weekend Revolution Cinema: 5 Films to Put on Your "To-See" List This July 4th Holiday Weekend Donald Glover's FX Project 'Atlanta' Casts its Leads as Production Gets Underway (Atlanta is *Hot* This Year) Donald Glover's FX Project 'Atlanta' Casts its Leads as Production Gets Underway (Atlanta is *Hot* This Year) ‘Little White Lie' - Engrossing Look Into One Family's Silence, Secrets & Denial of Race - Now Streaming on Netflix ‘Little White Lie' - Engrossing Look Into One Family's Silence, Secrets & Denial of Race - Now Streaming on Netflix "Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' "Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' Trailer: Hannibal Buress Asks Life's Biggest Questions in New Comedy Central Series Coming 7/8, After 'Key & Peele' Trailer: Hannibal Buress Asks Life's Biggest Questions in New Comedy Central Series Coming 7/8, After 'Key & Peele' 'Extant' Returns to CBS 7/1. Get Caught Up w/ This 1-Minute Recap + Read What Critics Are Saying 'Extant' Returns to CBS 7/1. Get Caught Up w/ This 1-Minute Recap + Read What Critics Are Saying Today, 26 Years Ago, 'Do The Right Thing' Opened in Theaters. Watch the Cast & Crew Reunite Today, 26 Years Ago, 'Do The Right Thing' Opened in Theaters. Watch the Cast & Crew Reunite Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts Seek Justice in First Trailer for 'Secret in Their Eyes' Remake Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts Seek Justice in First Trailer for 'Secret in Their Eyes' Remake Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Watch Trailer for Fascinating New Documentary About Black Men and Chess - ‘Sideline’ Watch Trailer for Fascinating New Documentary About Black Men and Chess - ‘Sideline’ The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Full List of BET AWARDS Winners (Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard Take Actor Nods) Full List of BET AWARDS Winners (Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard Take Actor Nods) Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' 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