Floyd Norman Was Walt Disney Studio’s First African American Animator

Floyd Norman

Walt Disney Animation Studios, one of the world's largest and most profitable film studios today, has been around for many decades. Not many know, however, that it took 25 five years before Disney Animation would hire their first black animator. In 1956, Floyd Norman was hired out of art school by Disney Animation to assist in the making of Sleeping Beauty. 

Norman blazed a trail to black artists in his time. By working for Disney Animation, Norman caught a big break that would land him a spot on future projects, including One Hundred and One Dalmations, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book.

According to TheBlackDetour.com, Norman took a short four-year hiatus to become a founding partner of Vignette Films, Inc. before returning to Disney to work on the classic cartoon film, Robin Hood. His outstanding portfolio of film projects doesn't stop there, however. Norman's history became even more notable when he later began working for Pixar and Hanna-Barbera.

Floyd Norman's history is outstanding among many other artists and animators. So much so, in fact, that Norman soon became indicted in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. The films and animations Norman worked on are ones that have truly enriched the childhoods of many.