After a theatrical run in U.S. theaters that kicked off in late August, the documentary Floyd Norman – An Animated Life – an intimate journey through the celebrated life and career of the legendary animator Floyd Norman, the first African American animator at Disney – is now streaming on Netflix.
Directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, the crowd-pleaser recently won the award for Best Documentary at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con. Born in 1935 in Santa Barbara, Norman’s love of animation first came when his mother took him to see Disney’s Bambi and Dumbo. By the time he was in high school, he knew his goal was to be an animator at Disney Studios.
After graduation, with the help of a friend, Norman received an appointment at Disney. He walked into Disney Studios, portfolio in hand, for an interview. But instead of getting a job, he was told to go to school, which Norman said later was the best advice anyone had ever given him.
He entered the Art Center College of Design. Two years later, received an offer to work for Disney. He dropped out of school and started working at the studio the following Monday.
He worked on various features, including Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, and several short subjects. He left Disney after Walt Disney died in 1966, and, along with Ron Sullivan, formed AfroKids Animation Studio. Among the other properties they created was the first Fat Albert television special, which aired in 1969 on NBC (the later, more well-known Fat Albert TV series was made by Filmation Associates, not AfroKids). However, starting in the early 1970s, Norman returned to Disney to work on projects like Robin Hood.
To read more, go to: Award-Winning New Doc on Floyd Norman, 1st Black Animator to Work for Disney, Now Streaming on Netflix – Shadow and Act
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