• The Union for Contemporary Art (map)
  • 2423 North 24th Street
  • Omaha, NE, 68110
  • United States

Join us during Native Omahan Days for a special lunch hour event with renowned animator Floyd Norman. Learn more about the history of animation as seen through Mr. Norman's 62-year career spanning Disney, Hanna Barbera, Pixar, and more and learn a few drawing tricks of the trade from the master animator himself. 

Please arrive early and be seated as we will begin the class promptly at noon. Tickets are free, but are limited and required to attend. 

Following the event, a showing of Floyd Norman: An Animated Life will screen at Film Streams featuring a Q&A with the artist, 7pm.


Floyd Norman is the undisputed “Forrest Gump” of the animation world. Hired as the first African-American at Disney in 1956, he would later be hand-picked by Walt Disney to join the story team on the “Jungle Book”. After Walt’s death, Mr. Norman left Disney to start his own company (Vignette Films, Inc.) to produce Black History films for high schools. He and his partners would later work with Hanna Barbera, animate the original "Fat Albert Special”,
as well as the titles to “Soul Train”.

Mr. Norman returned to Disney in the 1980s to work in their Publishing department. And in 1998, he returned to Disney Animation to work in the story department on “Mulan”. But an
invite to the Bay area in the late 90s became a career highlight. Mr. Norman was now working with another emerging great: Pixar and Steve Jobs, on “Toy Story 2” and “Monsters Inc.”

Life as an animator is a nomadic one, but Mr. Norman spent the majority of his career at Disney. He views it as his “home”. Retired by Disney at age 65 in 2000, the documentary focuses on Mr. Norman’s difficulty with a retirement he was not planning on. Not one to quit, Mr. Norman chose to occupy an empty cubicle at Disney Publishing for the last 15 years. As he puts it, “[He] just won’t leave”. A term has been coined by Disney employees --“Floydering”. While not on staff, his proximity to other Disney personnel has led him to pick up freelance work. He continues to have an impact on animation as both an artist and mentor. As Mr. Norman says, “[He] [plans] to die at the drawing board.”