Profile: Floyd E. Norman (1935-)

Floyd E. Norman is an American animator, writer, and comic book artist.

Life and career

Norman’s love for animated pictures started when he watched the Disney feature films Dumbo and Bambi. Norman attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where he majored in illustration. 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. 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). After Walt Disneysaw 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 Clemons on the story for The Jungle Book.

After Walt Disney’s death 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.

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.

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