by Chris Lucas
April 19, 2020
Tonight (April 19th) at 8PM eastern time, Turner Classic Movies (TCM on your cable guide) will be running the excellent documentary by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, called “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.”
It’s about Floyd Norman, a pioneer and groundbreaker, who was the first African-American artist/animator hired - at age 22 no less - by Walt Disney, in a key role.
Photo of Floyd Norman and Christ Lucas.
Courtesy of Chris Lucas.
A certified Disney Legend, Mr. Norman worked on Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, Sword In the Stone, Robin Hood and The Jungle Book, before moving on to start his own animation company, handling projects for Sesame Street and Fat Albert, among others. He also worked with Hanna Barbera.
At age 84, Mr. Norman is still working at the Disney Studios (returning even after he was forced into early retirement) assisting in projects, consulting as a story artist, doing what he loves, being a mentor and inspiring a whole new generation of dreamers.
I highly recommend this film.
Chris Lucas is the author of Top Disney: 100 Top Ten Lists of the Best of Disney, from the Man to the Mouse and Beyond.