Documentary On Disney's First Black Animator Now On Netflix
Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, the critically acclaimed documentary on the first African American animator at Disney, is now streaming on Netflix.
After having a theatrical run in theaters across the United States, the film has finally hit the streaming service just in time for the holidays.
We first wrote about Floyd Norman: An Animated Life several months ago, when news of the documentary was announced. The movie tells the story of a now 81 year old Floyd Norman, who ultimately became Disney's first African American animator.
"People have often asked me 'How did I feel being the first African American in Disney?' Well, I wasn't even aware that I was an African American," Norman offered jokingly in a trailer for the film. The joke contrasts some of the actual mistreatment Norman encountered as a black man at Disney, especially in regards to other animators not wanting to work with him.
"Disney wasn't the most progressive place and people that did get in there got there by tooth and claw," explained Beauty and the Beast co director Gary Trousdale in another trailer. "And Floyd got in there at his age at that time by raw talent."
From there the movie unfolds even more. From Norman exiting Disney when Walt Disney died in 1966 (resulting in Norman creating AfroKids Animation Studio, 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, there is so much to learn about the iconic animator through this documentary.
"There's always rumors of black people at Disney," Whoopi Goldberg stated in another trailer for the film. "It's always like 'No I think there is one.' But no one ever saw [Norman]."
Well, Norman is definitely being seen now. If you have Netflix (or you have that friend that kindly allows you to use theirs) make sure you add this one to your queue.