Everything Floyd Norman says is worth writing down. The longtime Disney animator carries an impossibly sunny disposition, almost always speaking in complete sentences with enviable poise.

That’s not empty flattery. Norman’s colleagues seem to agree. For proof, see the new documentary “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life.”

Opening in limited release and premiering on VOD platforms this weekend, the movie traces its 81-year-old subject’s boundless devotion to Disney. In 1956, Norman became the studio’s first black animator, working alongside Walt Disney himself as a story artist on such classics as “Sleeping Beauty,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book” and “Robin Hood.”

The documentary, directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey, is a sweet take on a life devoted to merriment. That Norman broke boundaries along the way is, in his eyes, happenstance. I hopped on the phone with Norman earlier this week to gab about Disney’s history.

For the complete interview, visit


Similar Posts