‘floyd norman: an animated life’ documentary chronicles the incredible life and career of disney’s first black animator

November 28, 2016

‘Floyd Norman: An Animated Life’ is biographical documentary that chronicles the life and career of Disney Animation’s first black animator, Floyd Norman. Hired in 1956, Norman worked on many on the Disney classics created around that time, like “Sleeping Beauty“, “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book”, “101 Dalmatians” and many more. After Walt Disney’s 1966 death, Norman left the company to pursue his own business endeavors as a co-founder of Vignette Films, Inc—a production company and one of the first to produce films specifically about black history; an idea that sprang out of Norman’s experience capturing footage of the Watts Riots. In the following years, Floyd worked on about a zillion projects and animated children’s series’ including “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, “Scooby-Doo” and “Fat Albert” before eventually returning to Disney and finding a second home at Pixar.

Infectiously upbeat and energetic, Floyd walks us through his incredible career, painful (and seemingly unjust) firing, and his subsequent refusal to leave Disney at all. ‘Floyd Norman: An Animated Life’ is definitely worth a watch, check it out on Netflix now.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at