These are the sources and citations used to research Floyd Norman and Walt Disney. This bibliography was generated on Cite This For Me on

  • Website

    Floyd E. Norman (1935– )

    2021

    "Floyd E. Norman is an animator, comic book artist, and script writer who made history in 1956 by becoming the first African American cartoon animator at the Disney studios, where he worked directly with Walt Disney.​ Norman was born on June 22, 1935, in Santa Barbara, California. His parents, James Norman and Evelyn Davis Norman, were originally from Natchez, Mississippi. Norman’s interest in art and cartooning began in childhood after his mother took him to see the classic animated Disney film Dumbo in 1941. The next year, Norman saw Disney’s Bambi, by which time he had pretty much decided he wanted to be a cartoonist working for Disney when he grew up.​ After graduating from high school in Santa Barbara, Norman took his portfolio to the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, whereupon he was advised to go to an art school. Early in his career, Norman worked as an assistant for Bill Woggon, who also lived in Santa Barbara and who created the popular Katy Keene comics.​ Norman registered at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, majoring in illustration. In 1956, during his third year there, Norman was invited to work at Walt Disney Productions as an animator on the film, Sleeping Beauty, so he dropped out of school in order to accept the offer for his dream job.​ Work on Sleeping Beauty wrapped up in 1958, at which time Norman got drafted and served in the military for a couple of years during a lull in the Korean conflict. In 1960 Norman returned to the Disney studio to work on One Hundred and One Dalmatians, followed by The Sword in the Stone, and then The Jungle Book. After Walt Disney died in 1966, Norman and three partners founded Vignette Films, Inc., which became one of the first studios to make animated films on black history.​ In the early 1970s, Norman returned to the Disney studios to work on the animated film Robin Hood. During the course of his career, Norman worked on various animation films and series at other top animation companies: Hanna-Barbera, Film Roman, Ruby-Spears Productions, and Pixar. In the 1980s, Norman again worked at Disney as a writer and scripter in the comic strip department. Norman contributed to The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Mulan (1998), and Dinosaur (2000) for the Walt Disney Animation Studios. He worked on Toy Story 2 (1999), the same year he and his business partner and fellow animator, Leo Sullivan, created Afrokids®.com, an Internet site that promotes multicultural and African American images to children. After finishing work in 2001 on Pixar Animation Studios’ computer-animated feature, Monsters, Inc., Norman officially retired. However, to this day he likes to keep involved in the business by doing occasional work as a freelance consultant and storyboard artist on various projects.Norman is married to Adrienne Brown, who as an artist also worked for Disney Publishing. Among the accolades Norman received over the span of his nearly sixty years in the animation profession have been the Winsor McCay Award from the International Animated Film Society in 2008, the Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International in 2008, and the Sergio Award from the Comic Art Professional Society (CAPS) in 2013. Norman’s lifelong association with Disney was reflected during ceremonies on October 10, 2007, when he received that year’s Disney Legend Award.​"

    In-text: (Floyd E. Norman (1935– ), 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Black Past. 2021. Floyd E. Norman (1935– ). [online] Available at: <https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/norman-floyd-e-1935/​> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

  • Website

    Mickey's Man Friday

    2021

    "Mickey's man Friday", 1935​

    In-text: (Mickey's Man Friday, 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Disney Wiki. 2021. Mickey's Man Friday. [online] Available at: <https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Mickey%27s_Man_Friday> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

  • Website

    The Crows

    2021

    Should Disney edit their older films to adapt to our current culture? Former Disney animator Floyd Norman doesn’t think so and shares why on his personal blog.​ "My good friend, Disney Legend, Ward Kimball animated these jazzy crows back in the forties. If you find Walt Disney’s “Dumbo,” racist, that’s your problem." – Floyd Norman​ What’s happening:​ Last week, a rumor surfaced saying that Disney is reportedly removing a controversial scene from their 1941 animated film Dumbo before it hits Disney+. ​ While Disney has yet to confirm this, fans of the community are already split on whether or not this would be a good decision. ​ Interestingly enough, this week former Walt Disney Studios animator and Disney Legend Floyd Norman commented on the scene in question on his personal blog. ​ In his blog, Norman doesn’t reference the rumors but rather shares some of insights from a discussion he had years ago with Ward Kimball—also a Disney Legend—about Dumbo and why he thinks Disney should leave things as they are. ​ ​ What he’s saying:​ Norman on Dumbo as a whole: “Of course, it showcases a brand of humor you could never get away today. Drunken clowns, an acid trip of a dream and a host of black crows singing scat. It’s every marvelous thing we can’t do today and we’re all the poorer for it.” ​ Norman on the “When I Seen an Elephant Fly” sequence: “If you remember the story, a group of cool crows nesting in a field decide to have some fun at the elephant’s expense. After Timothy Mouse scolds the feathered group, they soon have a change of heart and decide to encourage the little elephant. The song they sing is pure fun and entertainment and the animation is inspired. It’s the turnaround song for Dumbo and his life will never be the same.”​ Norman on pulling inspiration from the scene for another film: “If you’ll recall, I did the same thing many years later in another Walt Disney movie called, The Jungle Book….there was no controversy over these singing birds who just happen to sound like another famous musical group from Liverpool.”​ Norman on entertainment of the times: “I knew Walt Disney and I’m convince [sic] the Old Maestro would not be keen on his animated classics being revised by the PC Police. Walt Disney was not a racist nor were his animators. Walt Disney was an entertainer and his animated motion pictures reflected and emulated the popular show business performers of his day.”​ Norman on altering history: “The world has changed and the culture has changed. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that. However, it is totally wrong to revise history simply because it makes you uncomfortable."​ Norman on “Jim Crow” as sarcasm: “The reason the head crow is named, ‘Jim,’ is Disney taking a cartoony jab at the oppressive South. Walt Disney’s animated classic is not racist, nor were the people who made the movie.”​ Norman responding to reader’s comment: “I can't speak for the media rumors, but my discussions were inside the Walt Disney Studios.” ​

    In-text: (The Crows, 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Disney Wiki. 2021. The Crows. [online] Available at: <https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/The_Crows> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

  • Website

    EXCLUSIVE: ‘Song of the South’ and Jim Crow scene in ‘Dumbo’ will not be on Disney+

    2021

    Jim Crow, Dumbo refrence ​ ​

    In-text: (EXCLUSIVE: ‘Song of the South’ and Jim Crow scene in ‘Dumbo’ will not be on Disney+, 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Medium. 2021. EXCLUSIVE: ‘Song of the South’ and Jim Crow scene in ‘Dumbo’ will not be on Disney+. [online] Available at: <https://boardwalktimes.net/song-of-the-south-and-jim-crow-scene-in-dumbo-will-not-be-on-disney-ca2c1eae2a50> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

  • Website

    NPR Cookie Consent and Choices

    2021

    If you've seen Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book or the Toy Story movies, you've seen the work of animator Floyd Norman; for decades, he has helped bring Disney and Pixar classics to life. Now 81, Norman still works for Disney, where he has plied his trade, on and off, since he became the studio's first African-American animator in the 1950s. Norman's love of art began long before his Disney job, as he reveals in a new documentary, An Animated Life. "Any empty surface was a blank canvas for me," he says. His mother was constantly scrubbing scribbles off the walls. "I was drawing on everything," he recalls. Norman grew up in Santa Barbara, Calif., a place that, he says, sheltered him from much of the racial tension and segregation of the time. He tells NPR's David Greene he experienced no racism — "none whatsoever."​ ​ "We lived in a Pacific paradise," he says. "I didn't know it at the time, but my experience as a child was probably a good deal different from many, many people. We had access to everything — good schools, concert, theater."​ Thanks to that upbringing, it never occurred to Norman that he couldn't apply for a job as a Disney animator.​ "I think the thought just never occurred to a lot of young black talent to apply for a job in the film industry," he says. "And it wasn't just Walt Disney. I'm sure the same thing happened at other film studios as well. There was a perception that opportunities were not available for people of color."​ ​ So he applied, and in the mid-1950s he became Disney's first black animator. Many saw that as a big deal — but not Norman. "There were about half dozen of us came to work at Disney that same week," he says. "We came from different parts of the country. We were all from different backgrounds. ... We were Asian, we were Latino, we were black, we were white. Nobody thought about that because that was not the issue at hand. Nobody thought of themselves as being a trailblazer for their race or their group. We were just a bunch of young kids looking for a job." Still, many have accused Walt Disney and his studio of making racist films, often lampooning minority groups, including African-Americans. Norman downplays that view.​ "There just wasn't the same sensitivity there as we have today," he says. "A lot of this happened, it's unfortunate, but that was just the times in which we lived. I don't think we should go back and try to erase the past. This was part of our history, this is part of what happened, and so we should be able to deal with that." Norman also worked on the animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, which aired in the 1970s and '80s. It was based around Bill Cosby's memories of growing up in Philadelphia and featured a cast of African-American characters. "Keep in mind that Bill Cosby, who created Fat Albert, was simply reflecting on his childhood ..." Norman says. "It was just making fun of ourselves and there's nothing wrong with that ... I think when others do it, it might be viewed as insensitive, but I see nothing wrong with poking fun at yourself, and as a cartoonist that's what I do every day.​ ​ And so he did — given the opportunity to contribute as a freelancer, Norman found his way back into the studio. Most freelancers work at home and only come into the office once the job is complete, but not Norman. "I decided I didn't want to work at home," he says. "I missed the camaraderie of the big studio. I missed talking to people. I miss being around the action. And so ... I found an empty office and I moved in. I was probably in violation of some rule or law or whatever, but there I was." He continued to work in the office, and his colleagues affectionately coined the term "Floydering" — it rhymes with loitering — in his honor. Norman — who has met and worked with Tom Hanks — has been compared to Hanks' famous character, Forrest Gump. Norman says it's not so far off: "Forrest was the guy who just sort of showed up everywhere," he says. "So a lot of people have looked at me when it came to the animation business where I was the guy ... just popping up all over the place. That's because I love this business, and I never wanted to be apart from it."​

    In-text: (NPR Cookie Consent and Choices, 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Npr.org. 2021. NPR Cookie Consent and Choices. [online] Available at: <https://www.npr.org/2016/08/26/491370725/at-81-disneys-first-african-american-animator-is-still-in-the-studio> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

  • Website

    NPR Cookie Consent and Choices

    2021

    Floyd Norman was Disney's first African-American animator. He's shown above in 1956, working as an "apprentice inbetweener" on Sleeping Beauty.​

    In-text: (NPR Cookie Consent and Choices, 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Npr.org. 2021. NPR Cookie Consent and Choices. [online] Available at: <https://www.npr.org/2016/08/26/491370725/at-81-disneys-first-african-american-animator-is-still-in-the-studio> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

  • Website

    Floyd Norman Doc Clip: Race Was 'A Barrier' For First Black Disney Animator

    2021

    “Disney wasn’t the most progressive place and people that did get in there got there by tooth and claw,” explains Beauty and the Beast co director Gary Trousdale. “And Floyd got in there at his age at that time by raw talent.”​ However, very few people wanted to work with Norman because of the color of his skin. By now he’s already working on a number of projects including: Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book. Still, the young and talented animator realizes that in achieving one of his biggest dreams he’s also having to endure the realities of racism and inequality in America. However, Norman does acknowledge one person at Disney that always had his back: Ward Kimball, a fellow animator. “When Ward heard about this he was not happy about it,” Norman says of his former co worker. “And he was quite incensed that there were some hard heads at Disney who let race become a barrier.” “There’s always rumors of black people at Disney,” Whoopi Goldberg says as the scene transitions from Norman to her. “It’s always like ‘No I think there is one.’ But no one ever saw [Norman].” Fortunately, Norman’s story is finally being told in this film. From exiting Disney when Walt died in 1966 (resulting in Norman creating AfroKids Animation SStudio, where he made the first Fat Albert television special) to returning to Disney (as well as working with its subsidiary Pixar) and serving as a story artist for Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the now 80-year-old Norman has lived quite the life."

    In-text: (Floyd Norman Doc Clip: Race Was 'A Barrier' For First Black Disney Animator, 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Okayplayer. 2021. Floyd Norman Doc Clip: Race Was 'A Barrier' For First Black Disney Animator. [online] Available at: <https://www.okayplayer.com/news/floyd-norman-doc-clip-race-was-a-barrier-for-first-black-disney-animator.html> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

  • Website

    Dumbo's friends the crows | Vintage cartoon, Disney dumbo, Cartoon

    2021

    "Dumbo's friends, The Crows", 1941

    In-text: (Dumbo's friends the crows | Vintage cartoon, Disney dumbo, Cartoon, 2021)

    Your Bibliography: Pinterest. 2021. Dumbo's friends the crows | Vintage cartoon, Disney dumbo, Cartoon. [online] Available at: <https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/174866398001190941/> [Accessed 24 May 2021].

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