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December 19

December 19, 1914 – Animator, Story Man, and Disney Legend Mel Shaw is Born

Mel Shaw

“Mel was on a short list of vanguard artists who would jump into a new film when it was still a blank piece of paper and with his stunning work he’d show us all the visual possibilities.” – Don Hahn

On December 19, 1914, Melvin Schwartzman (who would change his last name to Shaw) was born in Brooklyn, New York, to an opera singer mother and a lawyer father. He displayed great artistic talent at an early age, being selected for the Student Art League Society and winning a Procter & Gamble soap carving contest. In 1928, his family moved to Los Angeles, though he left at one point to try his hand at being a cowboy, despite winning a scholarship to an art institute. He soon returned to California, where he found a job at Pacific Titles creating title cards for silent films. Shaw’s first animation job came with the newly formed Harman-Ising Studios, where he took on several roles including animator, character designer, story man, and director. Shaw played polo in his spare time, where he met Walt Disney, who would invite him to join his studio. Shaw left Harman-Ising and joined Disney in 1937, where his first main project was the 1942 film Bambi. He left Disney during World War II, choosing to serve in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, working as a filmmaker and cartoonist. After the war, while not going back to Disney, he did work with the company through his new company, Allen-Shaw Productions (a partnership with former MGM Studios animator Bob Allen). He was asked back to Disney in 1974 to help transition animation from the old guard to the new, bringing his expertise to such films as The Great Mouse Detective and The Lion King. For his multitude of work for Disney, Shaw was honored as a Disney Legend in 2004. In 2012, at the age of 97, Shaw passed away.

March 13

March 13, 1960 – Animator, Storyboard Artists, and Disney Legend Joe Ranft is Born

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“Joe was really a major part of Pixar’s soul. He was one of the key players who made all the films what they are.” – Director Pete Doctor

On March 13, 1960, Joseph Henry Ranft was born in Pasadena, California, and grew up in Whittier. He had a strong interest in movies, magic, and performing, all things that would impact his career. In 1978, Ranft enrolled in the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied Disney-style animation alongside future collaborators John Lasseter and Brad Bird. In 1980, Ranft accepted a job offer from Disney, and earned a quick reputation as an outstanding story artist. He contributed to the story of several films, including Oliver and Company, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Fantasia 2000. In 1991, Ranft began working for Pixar, working on the story for their first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story. His knack of performing and impressions got him hired as the voice of Heimlich in the studio’s second film, A Bug’s Life; he would continue writing and performing on Toy Story 2, voicing Wheezy the penguin, and had writing credits for Monsters, Inc. and Cars. Unfortunately, Ranft was killed in a car accident on August 16, 2005, leaving behind a legacy of storytelling and a reputation as a “story giant of our generation,” as relayed by director Henry Selick. Ranft was named a Disney Legend in 2006.

May 15

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May 15, 1908 – Character Designer, Storyman, and Disney Legend Joe Grant is Born

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“I think there was always a gentle sweetness to Joe and his work. There’s a gentility in everything he touched. But there’s also a great sophistication. He was one of the truly great craftsmen of our art, but he always saw his craft as a way to communicate ideas.” – Roy E. Disney

On May 15, 1908, Joe Grant was born in New York City. After attending the Chouinard Art Institute, he joined the Walt Disney Studios in 1933 as a character designer and a story artist, and his first assignment was the Mickey Mouse short film Mickey’s Gala Premiere. He also designed the look of the Queen and the Wicked Witch for Disney’s first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Character Model Department was created around this time, with Grant as the head, working out ideas for stories and characters through model sheets and three-dimension figures known as maquettes. Grant was also known for his work with partner Dick Huemer, working on story direction for Fantasia, and screen story for Dumbo. During World War II, Grant worked on story ideas and designs for several shorts, including Reason and Emotion, and Der Fuehrer’s Face. In 1949, Grant left the studio, due to the disbandment of the Character Model Department, and opened a ceramics studio and a greeting card company.

Almost forty years after leaving Disney, Grant received a call from the Animation Department, asking him to consult on Beauty and the Beast, and was credited for visual development on the final film. Grant then rejoined the studio as a story advisor for Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Home on the Range. Grant also contributed to the Pixar film Monsters, Inc., coining the title for the film. He was named a Disney Legend in 1992, and has been awarded a special career achievement award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Grant passed away on May 6, 2005, at the age of 96.

March 27

March 27, 1901 – Cartoonist and Disney Legend Carl Barks is Born

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“I want to thank the Disney Studios for this [Disney Legends] award, not only for myself, but for all those comic book fans: the kids who used to buy those comic books for ten cents and now sell them for $2,000.”

On March 27, 1901, Carl Barks was born in Merrill, Oregon. His passion for drawing showed at an early age, and he would try to improve his style by copying the comics from the newspaper. After spending his teenage years and his twenties drifting from job to job, he decided to apply to the Disney Studios in 1935, and was hired as an inbetweener with a salary of $20 a week. He started submitting gag ideas, and was then moved over to the story department. As the Donald Duck short film series began to develop, Barks worked closely with Jack Hannah in creating several story ideas for the character, including such shorts as Donald’s Nephews and The Vanishing Private. However, the legend goes that Barks was having allergy problems from the air conditioning in the studio, and wanted to find work elsewhere within Disney that wouldn’t require him to be at the studio full time. In 1942, Barks and Hannah created a one-shot comic for Donald called “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold,” which became the first original Disney comic book. This was the start of Barks’ career with the Donald Duck comics.

Barks was able to flesh out not only Donald’s character through the comics, but also the characters of Donald’s nephews; he also created new characters Gladstone Gander, a rival for Daisy’s affections, and his most famous creation, Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge’s first appearance was in “Christmas on Bear Mountain.” Other characters came along, including the Beagle Boys and Morgana, which are seen in the animated series Ducktales, based on Barks’ work. Barks’ stories were epic adventures, and he was known for doing thorough research on the regions in which the stories were set. It was also said that the opening sequence in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark was based on Barks’ work. Barks retired from the comics in 1966, and in 1991, Barks was awarded as a Disney Legend. He passed away in 2000 at the age of 99.

January 5

January 5, 1913 – Animator, Writer, Director, and Disney Legend Jack Hannah is Born

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“He was a character, but he was like a father figure to me, because he really took care of me, not only in just showing me the tricks of the trade, and about Donald, and…Disney animation…he was a kind of rough and tumble kind of guy.” Tony Anselmo, current voice of Donald Duck

On January 5, 1913, Jack Hannah was born in Nogales, Arizona. In 1931, Hannah moved to Los Angeles, California, studying art at the Art Guild Academy; in 1933, he submitted his portfolio to the Walt Disney Studios, and was hired as an in-betweener and a clean-up artist. His first short film with an animator credit was Gulliver Mickey, and he was also a key animator for the Academy Award-winning short film The Old Mill. His introduction to Donald Duck was the short film Modern Inventions; Hannah would soon be associated with the “Gable of the [Disney] stable.” Hannah moved to the story department in 1939, writing many of the Donald Duck stories. For 27 short films, Hannah worked with Carl Barks, the Donald Duck comic book artist, to help shape the character of Donald in films, including Donald Gets Drafted and Donald’s Vacation. In 1943, he became a director of the short films, introducing new antagonists for Donald, including Chip and Dale. Hannah also introduced Donald to the new medium of television, which includes A Day in the Life of Donald Duck and At Home with Donald Duck.

Although Hannah retired in1959, he was asked in 1975 to help develop a new class at the Disney-founded California Institute of the Arts, the Character Animation programs. In 1992, Hannah was honored as a Disney Legend, credited with developing the personality of Donald Duck in the animated short subjects. He and Carl Barks are considered the “fathers” of Donald Duck. Hannah passed away at age 81 in Burbank, California in 1994.

September 11

September 11, 1892 – Voice Actor, Story Man, and Disney Legend Pinto Colvig is Born

“[Goofy is] the epitome of all the hicks in the world and the easiest to portray. I guess that’s because I’m a corn-fed hick myself.”

On September 11, 1892, Vance DeBar “Pinto” Colvig was born in Jacksonville, Oregon. The youngest of seven children and a self-professed class clown, Colvig spent his youth performing with carnivals and vaudeville acts. He enrolled in Oregon State College in 1911, taking every spring off to perform with the circus. He quit school in 1913 to join the circus full-time. In 1921, he headed to Hollywood, scoring a job with Mack Sennett, Hollywood’s king of comedy at the time.

In 1930, he came to work at the Walt Disney Studios as a story man, but is well-known and regarded for his vocal range, which was used for several characters, including the Practical Pig in The Three Little Pigs, the grasshopper in The Grasshopper and the Ants (he also wrote the song “The World Owes Me a Living,” with the song now closely tied to Goofy), and his most well-known role, Goofy. Colvig also had two roles in the feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Grumpy and Sleepy. After the release of Snow White, Colvig and Disney had a falling out, which led to Colvig heading to work at Max Fleischer’s studio in Miami. In 1941, he came back to Disney, voicing Goofy for the rest of his time there. Colvig died in 1967, and was honored as a Disney Legend in 1993.

April 4

April 4, 1956 – Where Do the Stories Come From? Premieres on Television

“Potential story ideas exist all around us.” – Walt Disney

On April 4, 1956, the Disneyland episode Where Do the Stories Come From? premiered on ABC. Directed by Jack Hannah, the episode attempts to explain the most often-asked question of the members of the Disney studios: where do they get their story ideas?

Composer Oliver Wallace studies a picture of Daisy, trying to find inspiration for a song about her

The episode opens with Walt Disney saying that the question of “Where do the stories come from?” is one that is asked a lot, and this episode will try to explain it the best he can. He tells the audience that story ideas can come from books, or are inspired by a song. The first example he gives of the latter is the song that had to be written for Daisy Duck; “she had to have a song,” since everyone else had one. The assignment for Daisy’s song was given to studio composer, Oliver Wallace. He thinks of words that rhyme with Daisy, and comes up with “crazy,” which gives him the title, “Crazy Over Daisy.” Soon, Wallace is composing an entire melody, and not long after, two men are seen listening to a record of the completed song. It then became the inspiration for a short film called Crazy Over Daisy, set in the early 1900s, which is shown next.

For the next example Disney brings up a short that was based on the True-Life Adventure series, where any interesting footage of animals could inspire the story artists to come up with a short film. “In viewing the thousands of feet of true-life adventure film that comes into the studio, we sometimes come across an animal that is a natural foil for one of our cartoon characters,” Disney explains, as he introduces the short R’Coon Dog.  Thinking a raccoon would be a match for Mickey Mouse and Pluto, the animators consult Pluto about his part in the film. Pluto is seen in the projection room, watching the footage of raccoons, and then is seen in the story room, where the animators are seen drawing the raccoon character.  Pluto takes the drawing a bit too seriously and tears it up with his teeth. The audience then sees R’Coon Dog.

The next example Disney presents draws on the experiences of the artists during World War II, when they had to get their physicals. The animators thought “it would be fun to put Donald Duck in the same ordeal,” and they show a compilation of some of the Donald Duck wartime shorts, including Donald Gets Drafted, and Fall Out Fall In.

Walt Disney presents the hobby of many at the Disney Studio: model railroads

Disney then presents his own hobby of model railroads, as well as two animators who “haven’t escaped the bug” of the hobby, as Disney puts it: Ollie Johnston and Ward Kimball of the Nine Old Men. The audience sees home movies of Ollie and Ward with their model railroads.  Every detail is built to scale on Ollie’s model, and Ward has a full-size model in his own backyard. Not to be outdone by his two animators, Disney shows off his own model railroad, named the Lilly Belle, and some of the home movies of creating the track in Disney’s backyard. “The hardest part of the job was convincing my wife that the flower beds had to go,” Disney jokes. The hobby shared by these three men led to the creation of a Donald Duck short, Out of Scale.

February 1

February 1, 1956 – A Day in the Life of Donald Duck Premieres on Disneyland.

“You know something Donald? You’re a big international favorite.”

On February 1, 1956, Disneyland audiences spent A Day in the Life of Donald Duck. As Walt Disney explains in the introduction, there have been so many fan letters to Donald, that he thought the audience might want to spend a day with Donald at the studio. Directed by Jack Hannah, with story by Albert Bertino and Dave Detiege, we see how Donald begins his day, as well as his interactions with Jimmie Dodd, Roy Williams, the Mouseketeers, and the most important person in Donald’s life: his voice, Clarence Nash.

“Donald, like any other average cartoon character, lives a simple, unassuming life in a quiet residential section of Beverly Hills,” Disney tells the audience, showing pictures of the neighborhood. “He resides in a modest little cartoon house. He drives to work in a modest little cartoon car. And if he seems a bit reckless, you must remember that Mr. Duck drives with a cartoon license.” As we see Donald pull into a spot marked “No Parking,” he is immediately confronted by a police officer. Donald, however, folds the car into a tiny packet, tucks it under his hat, and walks to his office.

Donald's "modest" house in Beverly Hills

When he arrives at his office, the intercom sounds, and his secretary greets him respectfully as Mr. Duck. Donald responds with, “Just call me Donald, toots. What’s first on my schedule, tootsie?” in keeping with Donald’s personality as a bit of a wolf. She responds that he has fan mail, which he opens eagerly. The letters, however, are not pleasing in Donald’s opinion. One letter openly says, “Dear Donald, I can’t understand a word you say.” This is the last straw in Donald’s opinion, and he demands to speak with his voice, Clarence Nash. Nash comes in with a cheery attitude, which doesn’t change Donald’s mood in the slightest, no matter what Nash does to cheer him up. They end up arguing, with Nash reverting to his Donald Duck voice, even as he pulls out a coonskin cap and starts signing the Davy Crockett theme song. Donald tells him he’s a horrible singer. Nash leaves, with the two still taunting each other, and Donald vows that he’s got to get himself a new voice.

Donald and his voice, Clarence Nash, as Nash shows him a new trick

The next guest to enter is Jimmie Dodd (host of the Mickey Mouse Club), who has written a new song about Donald, inspired by fan art from children all over the world. “They’re so great, they had to have a song written about them,” Jimmie explains, and begins the song, which Donald immediately loves. There are versions of the song sung in different languages with accompanying pictures, including Spanish, French, Italian, and German. The images and tunes are stereotypical for the fifties, but somewhat sweet and fun all the same.

Donald then leaves for an 11 o’clock appointment at the Story Room, and when the storymen hear Donald coming down the hall, they begin to panic, as they fear his temper more than anything. They try to make Donald comfortable, and when they try to show him storyboards for a short entitled Peaceful Day, Donald asks for more birds and butterflies. The storymen overeagerly agree to his requests, to the point that Donald gets annoyed, and demands that there be a short with just him in it. This gets them to thinking, and the audience is then shown the brainstorm: the short, Drip Dippy Donald (originally released March 5, 1948).

The bewildered story team, trying to acquiesce to Donald's requests

Back in his office, Donald receives a call from Walt, who asks him to show the Mousketeers around the studio, as Mickey has remembered that they had never seen it before. Donald eagerly agrees, and runs to meet the Mouseketeers, who surprise Donald by making him an honorary Mouseketeer and giving him his own set of Mickey Mouse ears. As they run around the studio, the kids slip into the Sound Effects Department, closing the door just as Donald is about to get inside, leaving him on the outside as the kids see how sound effects were added to the Donald Duck short, Fire Chief (originally released December 13, 1940). One example they show is when a building is set on fire, the special effects team uses sparklers and crumpled plastic to create the sound of the burning ceiling.

When the short ends, the door opens, and Donald is ready to step inside, until an effects man empties a bucket of water over him, which causes half of Donald’s paint to run. This necessitates a trip to the Ink & Paint Studio, where the painter quickly re-paints Donald and hangs him up to dry, an experience Donald finds quite humiliating. The painter explains that twenty gallons of paint are usually used for a Donald Duck picture, which surprises the kids and causes Donald to remark that he is “very expensive.” She also explains that in one picture, they used just one pint of paint for Donald; the audience is then shown the short The Vanishing Private (originally released September 25, 1942).

Donald and the Painter, with Donald pointing out how humiliating this is for him

After the short, we see the kids with Jimmie Dodd again, singing the new Donald Duck song he wrote. As Donald tries to sing the last line of quacks, he is cut off by Roy Williams, the other host of the Mickey Mouse Club. The kids are excited to see him, and he tells them that he’s practicing drawing the characters. To prove that anyone can draw, Roy asks one of the Mouseketeers to make a scribble on the easel. From her scribble, Roy is able to draw an ostrich. Donald, jealous of the stolen attention, challenges Roy and scribbles on the easel. Roy accepts, and ends up turning Donald’s scribble into a humorous image of Donald Duck. As Donald throws a tantrum and jumps up and down on the teasing picture, the kids flee the room and head into the projection room. “And now, in Donald’s honor – he really is a good scout,” Roy welcomes the kids, “I’d like to dedicate this picture to all you Mouseketeers.” Donald is touched by the tribute, and the audience is then shown the short, Good Scouts (originally released July 8, 1938).

This episode is a must-see for fans of Donald Duck. There are many wonderful gags, and the interaction of Donald with Clarence Nash is enough of a reason to watch. It’s a perfect example of all the temperaments of Donald, with the added bonus of it being set in the real, rather than the cartoon, world.

January 29

January 29, 1915 – Birth of Disney Legend and Storyman Bill Peet

“As Bill Peet himself once said, ‘There were 40 people who were assigned to these jobs in the golden age of Disney animation. Now they were all being performed by one man…me, Bill Peet.’” – Neal Gabler, author of Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination.

Bill Peet was born on January 29, 1915, in Grandview, Indiana. He showed promise as an artist at an early age, never imagining he could make a living out of bringing fanciful stories to life. “My favorite room in the house was the attic,” Peet wrote in his autobiography, “where I enjoyed filling fat five-cent tablets with a hodgepodge of drawings. Drawing became my number one hobby as soon as I could manipulate a crayon or pencil well enough to put my favorite things on paper…I must have drawn fairly well or I couldn’t have enjoyed it so much.” His drawing hobby, however, got him in trouble at school—he recalled that his margins were so full of drawings, he obviously didn’t pay a lot of attention to his teachers. During high school, he won a scholarship to the Herron Art Institute, now part of Indiana University.

In 1937, Peet moved out West to find work. Jobs were scarce as this was the middle of the Great Depression, but he heard that Disney was looking for artists, so he tried his luck. Peet was hired to be an in-betweener artist, which meant he assisted with the final drawings of characters for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Being an in-betweener meant one was at the bottom rung of the animating ladder, and Peet was very frustrated. He was driven, and he knew that his place was in the story department. He was given his chance about a year later, and the chances he got were highly regarded. One of his scenes was in Dumbo, where the baby elephant is bathed by his mother, and it is regarded as one the best early examples of Peet’s work. From that time, he was one of Disney’s main storymen. As animator Will Finn put it, “[Peet’s] fingerprints are all over the Disney classics as a storyman, from pretty much Pinocchio on.”

Peet working on a scene in the film Dumbo

Whenever there was a story problem in the feature films, Walt Disney would bring it to Peet to fix. Peet’s ability to handle the story department helped free Disney’s interests when he began to diversify between the new medium of television, the parks, and the live action films. While Peet worked on story for films, starting on Fantasia and Sleeping Beauty, his best work was on the film One Hundred and One Dalmatians, where he was the sole developer of the story. Compared to the newer films, like Beauty and the Beast, where there were fifteen people working on the story and storyboards, Peet did all the work by himself. Disney Historian Brian Sibley noted that “Peet was a master storyteller, and he structured [One Hundred and One Dalmatians] to make it a story that is so focused, so controlled…that you follow the story with an effortlessness…so much so, in fact, that Dodie Smith wrote to Bill Peet and said that he had, in fact, improved on her book. Which is quite a complement when you think about it.”

There was always a contentious relationship between Disney and Peet. Peet brought in the 1938 novel The Sword in the Stone to Disney’s attention, and Disney asked Peet to write the screenplay. After Peet complied, Disney approved the film for production. The film, however, did not do very well, which caused Disney to become more critical of Peet’s methods. When Peet began to work on The Jungle Book, which he also had proposed to Disney, he read and reread the book, coming up with the story sketches. The version of the film Peet came up with, however, was not the kind of film Disney wanted to see. The two men, both highly imaginative and stubborn, could not reach an agreement on the film, and after twenty-seven years together, Peet left the studio and never returned.

Peet with the storyboards for the last film he worked on, The Jungle Book

After leaving Disney, Peet began a successful career as a children’s book author. “When it came time for the used book sales,” Peet wrote in his autobiography, “my illustrated [schoolbooks] were best sellers. The kids loved my drawings and I suppose those books could be considered the very first ones I ever illustrated for children.” He wrote over thirty-five stories, which were translated into several languages. In 1989, he released his autobiography, which won several awards, including being named a Caldecott Honor Book. Peet was inducted into the Disney Legends at the October 16, 1996 ceremony. Bill Peet died in 2002 at the age of 87.

A young Peet working with a maquette of the main character Dumbo

Peet had an amazing ability to structure a story. While researching the sketches for One Hundred and One Dalmatians, animator Andreas Deja remarked that he “follow[ed] the sketches and you go, ‘Well, I’ll be…this is impossible. They didn’t change a thing.’ [The scenes] are exactly the way Bill Peet had envisioned it.” Coming from humble beginnings and rising through the ranks at a brisk pace, it’s interesting to see not only the talent that Peet had been born with, but how innate his instincts were when it came to story. Without Peet’s skills to carry on while Walt Disney’s interests diversified, there probably wouldn’t have been Disney animation in the ’60s, which led to the Disney Renaissance. Based on all of the influence Bill Peet had, one could argue that he helped keep the story of Disney animation alive for decades to come.

January 2

January 2, 1898 – Birth of Disney Legend Dick Huemer

Disney Legends Joe Grant and Dick Huemer

“Meet Dick Huemer. He goes to operas.”

Dick Huemer, animator in the Golden Age of Animation, was a “jack-of-all-trades” within the Disney Company, but is best known for his work with Disney Legend Joe Grant on Fantasia and Dumbo. In 1916, as a student at the Art Students League and living in the Bronx, Huemer saw a help wanted sign on a door for the Barre Studio, one of the first film studios dedicated to animation. Huemer’s response:

“I had done a lot of illustrating, in yearbooks and things like that. One day, out of curiosity, I just walked upstairs and there was this plump little guy sitting there – a very genial character with a French accent. I told him I’d seen his sign and would like to be a cartoonist. He said, ‘All right – go into the next room, they’ll put you to work.’ And that’s how I got into the business. Because in those days, who knew about animated cartoons? I don’t believe the name had even been coined yet.”

Huemer then moved on to become the animation director at the Max Fleischer Studio and the Charles Mintz Studio, before joining the Walt Disney Studio in 1933 as an animator. He contributed to twenty-five cartoons as an animator before directing two classic shorts – The Whalers and Goofy and Wilbur – and then progressed to working on feature films.

Disney assigned Huemer and Joe Grant to be the story directors on Fantasia because Huemer was an opera fan, and Grant had a lot of experience in character design. Ward Kimball recalled, “We owe it mostly to Dick Huemer for the fact that Walt Disney was weaned away from John Philip Sousa and introduced to the classics. Walt learned all about Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky through Dick Huemer’s tutelage.” Huemer and Grant also adapted the screenplay for Dumbo, and Huemer continued his work on the story for the feature films Saludos Amigos, Make Mine Music, and Alice in Wonderland.

Huemer left the Disney Studios in 1948 to freelance on his own comic strip called Buck O’Rue, but returned to the studio in 1951 to work in early television shows and the story department until 1955. From 1955 to his retirement in 1973, Huemer wrote the True-Life Adventures comic strip. In 1978, in recognition of his contributions to the art of animation and his continued excellence, he received an Annie Award from the International Animated Film Society. Huemer passed away on November 30, 1979, and was inducted as a Disney Legend on October 10, 2007.

Writing about Dick Huemer is a pleasure, as he is one of the idols of the Golden Age of Animation. I grew up with and still enjoy watching Fantasia — it’s a treat to see how someone who appreciated opera and classical music used his love to create a wonderful film. It was interesting to read his thoughts on the film, especially when it wasn’t a huge hit with audiences upon its release. “Actually, we blamed the public,” Huemer said in an interview, explaining the shock the Studio felt when Fantasia didn’t do well. “What the hell’s the matter with them! This is a fine thing that will never be done again. It never was. It never will. It can’t be. You can’t afford to do that…I think somehow if we were to do it today that it would be an entirely different thing pictorially.” Through his words, you can tell that it was a labor of love for Huemer, and it’s a shame he isn’t around to see the following the film has today.

The most admirable trait I find in Huemer is how much he loved what he did, and how he transferred that love so smoothly into his work. He compared those involved in the Golden Age of Animation to the artist Rubens: “Rubens had a staff of about fifteen guys who were working on his paintings and they were dedicated people. They were artists, they loved doing it, and that’s why they were there. And they knew that they were doing the right thing.” Huemer, too, is a prime example of an artist who loved what he did and knew he was doing the right thing.