Floyd Norman is a legend, but don't take my word for it. He was named in 2007 as one of the recipients of the esteemed Hall of Fame award, which was established back in 1987 by the Walt Disney Company to recognize individuals who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution of the company. The animator and story-writer started as his career as a comic book artist before moving over to Disney during the 1950's, becoming the first black animator at Disney where he worked on classics of the period such as "Sleeping Beauty," "101 Dalmatians," "The Sword in the Stone," and "The Jungle Book."
After Walt Disney's death in 1966, Norman moved on to work at other animation production companies including Filmation, and even created animation sequences for "Sesame Street." He retuned to Disney in the 1990's where he worked on "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Mulan," and even to Pixar where he was involved with "Toy Story 2" and "Monsters Inc."
Now the still-active, 80-years-young Norman is one of the creators of the website Afrokids.com. He's also one of the of the Disney animators featured in the PBS/American Experience two-part, four-hour documentary on the life and career of Walt Disney, which is being broadcast this week on the network. Recently, RogerEbert.com had a chance to talk to the legend about his career, working at Disney Studios during its second golden age, as well what was it like working with "The Old Man," as Norman calls Walt Disney.