Tuesday, January 09, 2007

RIP, Mr. Takamoto

To be honest, I'm kind of cranky today so I don't have a whole lot to write about. I do have one item I'll share...
Y'all know I'm a cartoon fan, and thanks to Ed H., I know of another Hanna-Barbera stalwart that has passed on.

Iwao Takamoto is familiar to those who are "credit watchers" and animation fans due to his long career in the cartoon industry. While with Walt Disney's studios, he worked on "Cinderella", "Peter Pan" and "Lady and the Tramp" (one of my personal favorites). He signed on with H-B in 1961 and started work right away on "The Jetsons", among other favorites.

However, if this still doesn't spark recognition, I've got two words for you: SCOOBY DOO.

Yep - Takamoto designed Scooby Doo and other characters for many of Hanna-Barbera's 1970's era cartoons. In other words, if you're approximately my age and were glued to the TV set after school and on Saturdays, you've probably seen at least one of his designs prancing across the screen.

He also directed the '70's rendition of "Charlotte's Web", which included the voices of Debbie Reynolds, Henry Gibson, Paul Lynde and Pamelyn Ferdin ('70's child star).

His career spanned approximately six decades or so - not bad for someone without formal training (like his fellow animator Chuck Jones, a Chouinard Art school graduate). He was a resident of Manzanar (1940's internment camp for Asian-Americans) and learned his trade from fellow detainees.

Wow. I know I cribbed most of this information from the obituary, but that doesn't make his career and life any less amazing.

RIP, Mr. Takamoto - from all of us who enjoyed your creations on Saturday morning without knowing the man behind the characters.