Richard Martin Huemer, better known as Dick Huemer was born January 2, 1898 in New York. After graduating high school in Brooklyn he decided to go to art school at the National Academy of Design, along with the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design, and finally the Art Students League in New York. In 1916 he found his first job as an animator entering Animation industry which was at the Raoul Barre Cartoon Studio where he worked on a series of shorts called “Mutt and Jeff”. After that he moved on to seek more opportunity at the Max Fleischer Studio in 1923 where he became an animation director and worked on shorts such as “Ko-Ko the Clown- Out of the Inkwell”. In 1930 he moved over to the Charles Mintz studio to become an animation director.
In 1933 he moved to the Disney Animation Studios where he animated silly symphonies, Mickey Mouse shorts, and later directed additional animation shorts throughout the 1930s. In 1935 he moved to Hollywood, CA where he built his own home and painted Disney murals on his walls. As a huge contributor to the Disney company those murals are now protected pieces of artwork. After his coursework on animated shorts at the Disney Animation studios he began working on animated features such as 1940 Fantasia, 1941 Dumbo, 1942 Saludos Amigos, and 1951’s Alice in Wonderland. After his animated shorts, he began to gain recognition in the Animation industry for doing an outstanding job directing and then received the Disney Studios Oscar in 1973, which was a Mousecar. Dick Huemer definitely set a new standard in the animation industry allowing for open-mindedness and longevity since he first started in the industry. He started as an animator, then advanced to director, and after became an all-time story man for Disney during the golden years.
In 1948 Dick Huemer left Disney to do some freelance workin on a comic strip called “Buck O’Rue” until 1951 when he went back to working on animated shorts. Along with animated shorts in 1955 he did television series programs talking about Disney animation and techniques involved in it. After that he went back to the comic strip business and worked on “True-Life Adventures” until he retired in 1973.
The personality of Dick Huemer was a unique one, he didn’t like getting out of the house much. Work was his life, he was involved in every aspect of animation. There was a rumor that went around about him that he had no elbows, because he never swung his arms when he walked. The man was also a great conversationalist, he was very well rounded and can talk about any subject, from art to history to medicine, Ward Kimball said that Dick Huemer even told him about cholesterol. Some say he even introduced Walt Disney to the world’s classics in music and movies. All in all he had a great sense of humor and definitely showed it in his films.
In 1978, ASIFA granted Dick Huemer an “Annie” award for all his hard work, accomplishments, and contribution. A year later he passed away at the age of 81 on November 30, 1979 due to heart failure. He had three sons and six grandchildren who are all very talented, the Huemer family is very well rounded and succeeds in animation, philosophy, and medicine. Dick Huemer was an outstanding, hardworking man, always made people laugh and made sure everyone was feeling welcome.
In addition to this research, I emailed the family site but no response was ever made. I also called the numbers listed on the “Save the Dick Huemer Mural” site, but the numbers led to people who did not know him personally, but as im on the same page, Dick Huemer’s Disney mural ended up being saved and his currently protected.
Contributors To This Listing: Sabrina Alejandre
Animators Hall of Fame