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Meet The First Black Cartoonist Hired By Walt Disney Animation Studios


Floyd E. Norman was an cartoonist, writer, comic book artist, who worked for several companies including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Pixar, and a few others.



Norman was born on June 22, 1935, in Santa Barbara, California. In 1956, Norman was employed as an inbetweener on Sleeping Beauty which was released in 1959.


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 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. Floyd and Sullivan worked together on various projects, including the original Fat Albert television special, the show aired in 1969 on NBC.


In the 1970s, Norman wrote and produced animated segments for Sesame StreetVilla Alegre and dozens of other educational films. Norman later 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. Norman has also published several books of cartoons inspired by his lifetime of experiences.


Written by PH

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