Regarding "The Reluctant Dragon", newspaper movie critic Edwin Schallert wrote that "by far the best of the individual cartoons [comprising it] is the one about Baby Weems, the wonder child, who, practically from birth, is able to talk with Einstein and Shaw...There is a remarkable and gentle charm to the humor of the whole thing that will long remain in the mind of a discerning public." Schallert concluded by noting that Baby Weems "was deftly authored by Joe Grant, Dick Huemer and John Miller."

Well, sure, it was a collaborative effort, like all things at Disney's. But who thought of the idea in the first place? Was it Joe Grant, who became Dick's good friend and creative partner in the 1940s?  Did Dick dream up the wunderkind? What might John Miller (from the character model department, headed by Joe) have contributed?

We found, among Dick's effects, a stack of 52 drawings labeled "ORIGINAL STORY AS SUBMITTED TO WALT BY ME---BABY WEEMS". It is interesting that all of the sketches (mostly on 4"x5" scratchpad paper) were by Dick. On that evidence, we're inclined to believe  that Baby Weems was Dick's original concept. But who knows? Whoever first thought of it, it remains a delight to behold.

You can read Dick's storyboard, if you like, by CLICKING HERE. Hopefully the nice people at Disney's won't ask us to remove it. (Heck, they oughta remake the story! Big bucks for them!)

You can buy the DVD, by the way, from; just click the link. --RPH 1/04; 5/06



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