Oral Histories

Interview of Richard Huemer

Animator for Walt Disney Studios.
Recollections of Richard Huemer
Oral History of the Motion Picture in America
Film and Television
Biographical Note:
Animator for Walt Disney Studios.
Adamson, Joe
Huemer, Richard
Place Conducted:
Huemer's home in the San Fernando Valley, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Joe Adamson; B.A., Theater Arts, UCLA; M.A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Recipient of an American Film Institute Fellowship in 1969, and a University Film Foundation Fellowship in 1970. Author of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo, and Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo and Tex Avery, King of Cartoons. Head of the film study program at Pennsylvania State University.
10 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
These interviews with prominent individuals in the motion picture industry were completed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Film Institute to the UCLA Department of Theater Arts. The project was directed by Howard Suber, UCLA Department of Theater Arts. The UCLA Oral History Program provided technical advice but was not involved in respondent selection, research participation, research preparation, interviewing, editing, or transcript preparation.
Initial interest in animation at age ten; little figures drawn in notebooks animated by flipping pages; first film seen at Coney Island; animated cartoons by Wallace Carlson (Dreamy Dud) and Windsor McCay (Gertie, the Dinosaur); study at New York Art Students League; employed as cartoonist by Raoul Barre; "Mutt and Jeff" cartoons; Carl Lederer's multiplane depth animation; employed by Dave and Max Fleischer in 1923 to work on "Out of the Inkwell"; use of Rotoscope; "inbetweening"; success of early Walt Disney sound cartoons; the Fleischers' "Popeye" cartoons; influence of Charlie Chaplin on Disney; working for Charles Mintz, 1930-33; employment at Disney Studio, 1933; company union at Disney put out of business by International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; work on Fantasia, Pinocchio, and Snow White; invention with Joe Grant of limited animation; Disney's strengths and weaknesses; UPA and Gerald McBoingBoing; work on Dumbo and Sleeping Beauty; wartime restrictions on changing jobs; Fred Quimby and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; writing final story for Peter and the Wolf; fellow workers at Disney studio: Norm Ferguson, Earl Hurd, Wilfred Jackson, Freddy Moore, Ward Kimball, Bill Peet, Don DaGradi, Dave Hand, Perce Pierce, Les Clark, Albert Hurter, Winston Hibler, Fred Spencer, Peter Ellenshaw, John Meador; working for John Sutherland making commercials and anticommunist propaganda pictures; true-life adventure films; perfectionism at Disney.