When I [John Culhane] went to the Disney Studio in January 1976 to do interviews with key artists in Walt Disney’s original animation generation for my New York Times cover article in August 1976, on the new generation at Disney, I naturally went to the home of Dick Huemer, who had retired on February 28, 1973. Dick was an animator, director, and writer for the medium over 57 years whose work on Fantasia and Dumbo I particularly prized. He began his career in animation at the Raoul Barré cartoon studio in 1916, and joined the Fleischer Studio in 1923, where he developed the Koko the Clown character. He moved to Hollywood as an animator and director for the Charles Mintz studio, then went to the Disney Studio on April 16, 1933. Dick Huemer remained there for the rest of his career, except for three years from 1948 to 1951, when he was a pioneer of animated TV commercials. He also created the Buck O’Rue comic strip. I particularly wanted to talk to him about the book of narrative chapters of Dumbo that he and Joe Grant had submitted to Walt instead of a completed storyboard on Dumbo. Bill Tytla had given me his copy of that. I was also fascinated by Huemer’s view of Aldous Huxley’s work on Disney’s version of Alice in Wonderland.

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