Text Box:      It’s entirely fitting that Donald Duck should escort me to the podium to receive this award for my father Dick, because in a sense he was your father too, Donald. He drew you in your very first film appearance, “The Wise Little Hen.” Do you remember? Your beak was a little longer in those days. [Donald taps his belly.] Yes, and your tummy flatter, too.
     If you read the biographical sketch about my father in your program, you saw that Grim Natwick was quoted toward the end. Mr. Natwick once surmised that Heaven was like a grand studio in the sky, "where… the pegboards are studded with precious rubies [and] artists sketch on sheets of spun silver.” He said my father was there. 
     That was 28 years ago, and I’m still learning new things about Dick’s multifaceted career in animation. Only last summer I discovered three of his “Toby” films in an archive in France. My quest has been aided by the fact that this Studio has released on DVD most of the films and TV shows he worked on.
     His name was on so many different things! After I set up huemer.com, a cartoon fan named Woggly emailed to say that, as a child in the 1950s, he was sure that Dick Huemer must be Mr. Disney's right-hand guy, the person who drew all the Disney cartoons and comic books, because, quote, "Uncle Walt was clearly too busy to do them himself anymore."
       My father always loved his work, but I believe he found his greatest fulfillment during the years he teamed with Joe Grant—Dumbo, Fantasia, and more. It's no exaggeration to say that Dick and Joe's propaganda films during World War II were a forceful weapon against the Axis powers. Germany may have had Lennie Riefenstahl, but America had Dick, Joe, and Walt. 
      An inveterate versifier and amateur poet, my father once penned for his own pleasure a tribute to Walt Disney, titled "To A Living Legend." In it, he characterized Walt as a conqueror who had "won an empire with his lance of mirth." Dick himself has won something, too--not so tangible as this empire that we see around us, but significant nonetheless: a place in history. Thank you all for acknowledging that today. On to p. 2

Text Box: Richard P. Huemer, M.D.
October 10, 2007
(from memory, not video)

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