Floyd Norman – Disney’s first African-American animator
Though he prefers to be called a “cartoonist,” few other artists working in animation today can boast a career as varied as that of Floyd Norman. From the 1950s to today, Floyd’s diverse career, insightful viewpoint, and unflinching honesty have truly made him a Disney Legend.
Floyd E. Norman was born on June 22, 1935. He once said, “I first recognized Walt Disney’s signature before I could read. I would see that famous signature on books and comics, and I asked my grandmother, ‘What is that name?’ She said, ‘That’s Walt Disney.’ I never forgot that name. I just felt like I wanted to work at the Disney Studio one day.”
When Floyd was in high school he managed to get a ride to the Disney Studio one Saturday morning. The studio was closed, but the security guard took pity on him. “I’ll never forget entering the gates of the Disney Studio and just walking down to the Animation Building,” Floyd recalled. “I didn’t know any Disney artists, but I knew the names, because I had seen these names in the screen credits – D23.com | Floyd Norman | Animation, Disney Legends.