Grace Hazelwood

Written by Grace Hazelwood

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Floyd Norman is a name synonymous with creativity and talent in the world of animation. As a legendary animator, writer, and storyboard artist, Norman has had an incredible impact on the industry. His career spans over six decades, and during that time, he has worked with some of the biggest names in animation, including Disney and Pixar. Norman’s contributions to films like “The Jungle Book” and “Toy Story 2″ have enchanted audiences worldwide. But there’s so much more to know about this remarkable individual. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 15 astounding facts about Floyd Norman that will not only showcase his talent but also shed light on his remarkable life and achievements. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of Floyd Norman.

Key Takeaways:

  • Floyd Norman, the first African-American Disney animator, worked on classics like “Mary Poppins” and “The Jungle Book,” and continues to inspire young artists with his storytelling and advocacy for diversity in animation.
  • Floyd Norman, a Disney Legend, co-founded AfroKids Animation Studio, received two Disney Legend Awards, and remains an active and influential figure in the animation industry, even in his 80s.
Table of Contents

Floyd Norman started his career at Disney in 1956.

At the young age of 21, Floyd Norman became the first African-American animator to work at Walt Disney Studios. He was hired as an in-between animator on the film “Sleeping Beauty” and went on to work on various Disney classics like “The Jungle Book” and “The Sword in the Stone.”

He worked on the animation for “Mary Poppins.”

Floyd Norman had the incredible opportunity to work on the beloved Disney film “Mary Poppins.” He contributed to the animation sequences, bringing to life memorable characters such as Bert and the penguins in the iconic “Jolly Holiday” scene.

Floyd Norman was involved in the creation of Disneyland.

Norman played a role in the conceptualization and design of the Disneyland theme park. He worked alongside legendary artists and imagineers to bring Walt Disney’s vision to life and create the magical experiences that millions of visitors enjoy to this day.

He left Disney but later returned as a freelance artist.

After Walt Disney’s passing, Norman left the company to pursue other opportunities. However, he couldn’t stay away from the magic for long and eventually returned to Disney as a freelance artist, working on projects such as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Mulan.”

Floyd Norman is known for his warm and engaging personality.

Not only is Norman an immensely talented artist, but he is also admired for his infectious passion and friendly demeanor. He has a way of connecting with people, whether it’s through his work or his interactions at conventions and events.

He co-founded the AfroKids Animation Studio.

Norman co-founded the AfroKids Animation Studio, a company dedicated to promoting diversity and representing people of color in animation. Through this initiative, he has contributed to creating characters and stories that resonate with audiences from all backgrounds.

Floyd Norman has worked on numerous beloved Disney films.

In addition to his work on classic Disney films, Norman has lent his artistic talents to modern Disney favorites such as “Toy Story 2,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” His contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of animation.

He was honored with a Disney Legend Award.

In 2007, Floyd Norman received the prestigious Disney Legend Award, recognizing his significant contributions to the Walt Disney Company. This honor solidified his legacy as an influential figure in the world of animation.

Norman is a published author.

In addition to his artistic talents, Floyd Norman is also a gifted writer. He has authored several books, including “Animated Life: A Lifetime of Tips, Tricks, Techniques, and Stories from a Disney Legend,” where he shares his experiences and insights from his remarkable career.

He continues to inspire young artists.

Even in his later years, Floyd Norman remains dedicated to nurturing the next generation of artists. He regularly participates in workshops, seminars, and mentoring programs, passing on his knowledge and encouraging aspiring animators to pursue their dreams.

Floyd Norman is a trailblazer for diversity in the animation industry.

As an African-American animator who broke barriers in a predominantly white industry, Norman has paved the way for greater inclusivity and representation. He has been a strong advocate for diversifying animation and ensuring that everyone’s stories are told.

He served as a consultant on the hit animated film “Zootopia.”

Norman brought his invaluable expertise to the critically acclaimed Disney film “Zootopia.” Serving as a consultant, he provided feedback and guidance to the creative team, contributing to the film’s success and positive impact.

Floyd Norman is an outspoken advocate for the importance of storytelling.

Throughout his career, Norman has emphasized the power of storytelling as a means of connecting and understanding one another. He believes in the transformative potential of animation and strives to create work that resonates with audiences on a deep and emotional level.

He was named a Disney Legend a second time.

In 2013, Floyd Norman received another Disney Legend Award, becoming one of the few individuals to be honored with this prestigious title more than once. This recognition reaffirmed his enduring impact on the Disney legacy.

Floyd Norman continues to actively contribute to the animation industry.

Even in his 80s, Norman shows no signs of slowing down. He remains an active participant in the animation community, attending events, sharing his wisdom, and embracing new technologies and mediums to bring his creativity to life.


In conclusion, Floyd Norman is truly an astounding individual. His contributions to the world of animation are unparalleled, and his dedication and passion for his craft are evident in every project he has been a part of. From being the first African-American artist at Disney to his work on iconic films like “The Jungle Book” and “Toy Story 2,” Norman has left an indelible mark on the industry.

Not only is Norman a trailblazer in animation, but he is also an inspiration to aspiring artists and creators across the globe. His unwavering determination, creativity, and positive attitude serve as a reminder that anyone can achieve their dreams with hard work and perseverance.

With a career spanning over six decades, Floyd Norman continues to be actively involved in the animation world, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm through various projects and speaking engagements. His impact on the industry is immeasurable, and his legacy as a true animation pioneer will live on for generations to come.


1. When did Floyd Norman start working for Disney?

Floyd Norman started working for Disney in 1956, making him the first African-American artist to be employed by the company.

2. What are some notable films Floyd Norman has worked on?

Floyd Norman has worked on several notable films, including “The Jungle Book,” “Toy Story 2,” “Mulan,” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” among others.

3. Is Floyd Norman still active in the animation industry?

Yes, Floyd Norman is still actively involved in the animation industry. He continues to work on various projects and shares his expertise through speaking engagements and mentorship.

4. What impact has Floyd Norman had on the industry?

Floyd Norman’s impact on the animation industry is significant. As a pioneer and trailblazer, he has broken barriers for artists of color and has inspired countless individuals pursuing careers in animation.

5. Where can I learn more about Floyd Norman and his work?

To learn more about Floyd Norman and his work, you can visit his official website or explore books and documentaries that delve into his remarkable career.

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