What would you give to spend an evening with a Disney Legend – an animator, a story artist who was hand-picked by Walt Disney himself, a creative mastermind and self-dubbed ‘troublemaker’? Floyd Norman is all of these. He was also the first African-American artist to work at Walt Disney Productions.
We gathered at nine in the evening during Comic-Con to celebrate the amazing story of Floyd Norman’s career. His many adventures are featured in the new documentary Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, co-directed by Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey (opens August 26, 2016). Fiore and Sharkey were the acclaimed team behind the Drew Struzan documentary (Drew: The Man Behind the Poster,2013).
(This article was originally published on August 18, 2016 after San Diego Comic-Con, on LaughingPlace.com. )
Distinguished Panel Members – Contributors in the Documentary
The panel member list read like a list of “Who’s Who” in entertainment.
Front Row: Adrienne Norman, Leo Sullivan, Leonard Maltin, Gary Trousdale, Don Hahn, Jane Baer
Back Row: Floyd Norman, Nirali Somaia, Ryan Shore, Erik Sharkey, Michael Fiore, Ken Mitchroney
Floyd Norman – as himself.
Adrienne Norman – Art director at Disney. Senior artist, digital paint for Disney Publishing group. Photographer. Disney consumer products. Married to Floyd Norman.
Leo Sullivan – Layout artist, collaborator and partner with Floyd Norman in their independent production studio, Vignette Films, in addition to other animation credits (Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert, Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures).
Leonard Maltin – legendary film critic and historian, reviewed films for 30 years on Entertainment Tonight, creative force behind the Walt Disney Treasures series. Teaches in the School of Cinema at the University of Southern California.