Iwao Takamoto: My Life with a Thousand Characters

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2009 - 243 pages
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Iwao Takamoto (1925?2007) spent a lifetime in the animation industry and was influential in the creation of some of the most beloved characters in the medium's history, including Scooby-Doo, Atom Ant, The Jetsons? Astro, The Flintstones? Great Gazoo, and The Wacky Races? Penelope Pittstop and Muttley, all of whom he designed. Iwao Takamoto: My Life with a Thousand Characters is the story of this legendary American artist, told in his own words. Takamoto records his experiences growing up in the heart of Los Angeles as a self-described ?street kid? and his wartime ordeal of being sent to a government internment camp for Japanese Americans. He recalls stories of how he and his teenaged friends still managed to function as normal teens despite the confinement of Manzanar. The book chronicles his career, first with the Walt Disney Studios, where he worked directly with the famous ?Nine Old Men, ? and later for Hanna-Barbera, where he was a key artistic force. Packed with memorable stories of working in the trenches of two of Hollywood's most notable animation studios and filled with photographs and artwork, much of which has never before been published, this book is essential for any fan of animation and twentieth-century popular culture
  

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Contents

Chapter 1 A Kid of the City
9
Chapter 2 A Japanese American in the Time of War
22
Chapter 3 Manzanar
29
Chapter 4 Nine Old Men and a Guy Named Walt
44
Chapter 5 Milt
57
Chapter 6 Tales from DWing and All That Jazz
66
Chapter 7 Changes
75
Chapter 8 Bill and Joe
87
Chapter 11 Reinventing the TV Toon with Jonny Quest and ScoobyDoo
123
Chapter 12 International Expansion
134
Chapter 13 Falling into Charlottes Web
144
Chapter 14 HannaBarbera Branches Out
152
Chapter 15 The Busiest Place on Earth
159
Chapter 16 A Studio in Flux and a New Role as Ambassador
167
Chapter 17 An Era Ends A Legacy Lives On
185
Index
195

Chapter 9 Hardworking Artists and Lazy Lucy
103
Chapter 10 Taking on Responsibility by Design or Otherwise
112

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About the author (2009)

Animator Iwao Takamoto was born in Los Angeles, California in 1925. His family, like many Japanese-Americans, was sent to the Manzanar internment camp after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. While there, he received basic illustration training from other internees. He was hired as an assistant animator by Walt Disney Studios in 1947 and worked on such classics as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Lady and the Tramp, and Peter Pan. He started working for Hanna-Barbera Productions shortly after leaving Walt Disney Studios in 1961. While there, he created such characters as Scooby-Doo, Astro from The Jetsons, and Penelope Pitstop. He directed numerous feature length animated films, including Charlotte's Web (1973) and Jetsons: The Movie (1990). In 2005, he received the Golden Award from the Animation Guild. He died on January 8, 2007 of heart failure.

Michael Mallory has covered aspects of popular culture ranging from animation, to cinema, to toys for such publications as "The Los Angeles Times", "The Chicago Tribune", "Newsday", "Daily Variety", "The Hollywood Reporter" & "Millimeter". He has been seen & heard as a pop/culture animation expert on the BBC & E! Entertainment Television, as well as many radio & television stations nationwide. He is the author of "Hanna-Barbera Cartoons" & is a published fiction writer.

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