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Dick Huemer, Disney Legend

This just in from Richard P. Huemer:

Letter from Bob Iger at Walt Disney Co., rec’d today: “…I am pleased to inform you that Dick Huemer has been chosen as a recipient of The Disney Legend Award. …On Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 4 pm, we invite you and your family to participate in the Awards Ceremony here at the Studio. A special dinner will be held… Dick will be honored as part of a distinguished group comprised of Roone Arledge (ABC TV Sports pioneer), Art Babbitt, Carl Bongirno (Imagineer), Marge Champion, Michael Eisner, [etc.]”


UPDATE: Mark Evanier writes: “I believe the “etc.” includes Floyd Norman.”

And our sincere congratulations to the Huemer family, Marge Champion, Floyd Norman and… Art Babbitt! Cool.

  • Art Babbitt???? WOW – I thought I’d never live to see him being honored! Congrats to the corp!

  • Jorge Garrido


  • I worked with Art at FilmFair back when Fantasia was first released to video. Roy Disney sent him a copy with a personal note thanking him for his contribution to the Disney films, and in particular his work on the Mushroom Dance. Art was genuinely touched and told me that he considered that to be a resolution to the years of bad blood between him and Disney.

    By the way, Art was married to Marge Champion at one point. Interesting tha they would both get legend status at the same time. Dick Huemer has one of the best names in animation. (…along with Ugo D’Orsi and Orestes Calpini.)

  • Cartoonist Floyd Norman may be reluctant to embrace the label “Disney Legend”, but anyone who’s ever worked with “Mr. Fun” knows otherwise. Gag man, animator, comic strip writer, comic book artist, editorial cartoonist who comments on the animation industry, star of DVD extras…the man can do it all, do it beautifully, do it FUNNY — and without a scintilla of ego, either.

    But what’s wonderfully ironic is that Floyd is the author of tons of studio-wall gags (some of which are collected in three books of his, especially in HOW THE GRINCH STOLE DISNEY), in which he lambastes Michael Eisner in particular and Disney “suits” in general. Floyd always behaves like a gentleman, so there won’t be any flinging of cream pies, but I can’t wait to see him share the dais with Eisner in an extended, Disneyfied “Goofus and Gallant” moment!

  • Mark

    Michael Eisner?!?!?!?!

    I’m sure Roy would be happy with that! Although I wonder sometimes if he sold out, with the whole thing and all.

  • Paul

    Art Babbitt – awesome!

    Floyd Norman – awesome!

  • What exactly has Michael Eisner done to deserve a Disney Legend award, and to be honored alongside Dick Huemer, Art Babbitt, and Floyd Norman?

  • Benjamin De Schrijver

    You can dislike Michael Eisner as much as you want (I do too), but you can’t deny his contributions to the company, business wise. He took Disney from what could arguably be called a downward spiral to being one of the biggest companies in the world. He might’ve made tons of bad decisions, but he made some pretty good ones too, and since this award is not one solely based on artistic merit, I think the award is justified.

    I’m much happier for Babbit, Norman & co, though.

  • Paul

    Whatever your feelings about Eisner (and they’re probably the same as mine), he did, back in the day, take control of a company in serious danger of being bought up by corporate raiders and split up into it’s component parts, sold to the highest bidder. It’s not an exaggeration to say that there probably wouldn’t be a Disney company today if not for, in part, Eisner’s leadership back in the 80’s.

    Roone Arlidge is probably less deserving of a “Disney” legend award than Eisner is. Arlidge just happened to be a legend at a company that Disney purchased.

  • Brad Constantine

    Congrats to the Huemer and Babbit and Norman families!! A long time coming for sure!! ….okay…I’m gonna get some criticism for this but I am going to agree with the committee and personally endorse Michael Eisner for a legend award. Although I don’t agree he should stand next to real creative “legends” like Mr Norman and Mr Huemer and Mr. Babbit, He does deserve credit, along side Jeffrey Katzenburg, and Roy Disney, for his work in the 80’s as far as keeping the animation dept. going at a time when it wasn’t considered a viable business anymore.(sound familiar?) He saved Disney once with the creation of “touchstone” which payed for those 80’s animated films. He also held the writers and artists more accountable for the lack of refinement found in the films done since Walt died. I think switching to scripts was a smart way to ensure better story archs and that was something he brought from Paramount. No Eisner? no second golden age of animation.
    even if he did screw things up later I’ll give him credit for that at least.

  • But Mike Eisner is a narcistic scumbag whose vast knowledge of the company’s history went as far as to claim publicly that The Jungle Book was “the last feature Walt animated on”. I thought that was grounds fo immediate disqualification for a Legends trophy.

  • John

    Split Eisner’s work at Disney into halves and you get the man who saved the company from 1982-93, and the man who almost destroyed it again from 94-06. I assume the even will focus on those early years instead of what happened over the final dozen years.