jeudi, janvier 18, 2007

Japanese-american who influenced American pop culture more deeply than most people know: Iwao Takamoto died

from wikipedia...

Iwao Takamoto (April 19, 1925 - January 8, 2007) was a Japanese American animator, television producer, and film director. He was most famous as being a production designer for Hanna-Barbera Productions and the artist/character designer for Scooby-Doo.

[edit] Biography

Takamoto's father emigrated from Hiroshima to the United States for his health. He returned to Japan only once, to marry his wife. Takamoto was born later in 1925 in Los Angeles, California. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Takamoto's family, like many Japanese-Americans, were sent to an internment camp. They spent the rest of World War II in the Manzanar internment camp. It was there that Takamoto received basic illustration training from a couple of friendly co-internees.

Takamoto first entered the cartoon world after the end of the war. He was hired as an assistant animator by Walt Disney Studios in 1947. Takamoto eventually became an assistant for the legendary Milt Kahl. He worked as an animator on such titles as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Lady and the Tramp.

Takamoto left Disney in 1961 and joined Hanna-Barbera Productions shortly thereafter. He worked in several positions there, but is arguably best known as a character designer. He was responsible for the original character design of such characters as Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons' dog Astro, and Penelope Pitstop. He worked as a producer at Hanna-Barbera, supervising shows such as The Addams Family, Hong Kong Phooey, and Jabberjaw. He directed several feature length animated films, including Charlotte's Web (1973) and Jetsons: The Movie (1990).

Takamoto was Vice-President of Creative Design at Hanna-Barbera, and was responsible for overseeing H-B's many product related merchandising. In 2005 he received the Golden Award from the Animation Guild, to honor his more than 50 years of service in the animation field.

He died on January 8, 2007 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from a massive coronary.[1][2]

There are some really funny stories about how when he left the internment camp he went to see if disney would hire him, they said come by with your portfolio and he said.. what's a portfolio. they said all of your drawing samples so he sat up all night and drew images of everything he could think of --enough to fill two notebooks.. on the basis of those drawings Disney hired him.

Also, he was the guy they used to call in when a boss would look at a cartoon and say, no, no that doesn't look right.. no matter who started the image, they would call in Takamoto the bosses would tell him what they wanted and he would fix the cartoon image. He was known as "the fixer." Takamoto's hand created and finalized many of the great Disney images we know and love. He will surely be missed.