A couple days ago while visiting the Cartoon Brew I learned the sad news that animation great Iwao Takamoto had passed away. For anyone not familiar with his work, he's probably best known for directing the classic animated adaptaion of Charolette's Web and also for his design work at Hanna-Barbera. Outside of the impact he made on the animation community as a whole, I just wanted to share a little bit of the impact that he had on me. For several years I have been a fan of his, going all the way back to the first time I saw Charolette's Web while in the first grade. That experiance was the very first time a film, animated or otherwise, had ever moved me. That memory and feeling has always stuck with me all the way to today. It's set up what feeling I look to get from a good film experiance and is something I strive to learn to convey in my own work.
Years later, not too long after I graduated from high school, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Takamoto when he was appearing at the local Warner Brothers Store. All my life, at least as far back as I can remember, I've been a huge fan of Hanna-Barbera cartoons, my favorite being Scooby Doo; so I jumped on that chance. At a time when I quite hadn't figured out what I wanted to do with my life; listening to his stories, watching him draw, hearing his passion for the artform, and having the chance to talk to him personally had a huge impact on me. He took the time to talk with me, just some nerd that loved cartoons, and encouraged me to take my love for storytelling and drawing silly cartoons seriously. It was that night that I decided that persuing a career in cartoons wasn't just a kid's fantasy, but was in fact what I always really wanted to do, he just opened my eyes to that fact. I still haven't made it in the cartoon world yet, but it's been a blast so far and I look forward to what I have to acomplish next. I'm thankful for the impact that Iwao Takamoto has had on my life, much like the impact he's had on countless others. He will be missed.
To learn more about Iwao Takamoto, check out the very informative interview that Amid Amidi posted at the Cartoon Brew.
Here's a small taste of my Scooby Doo collection.
Here's another original Iwao Takamoto sketch that I'm lucky enough to have in my possesion. I keep it framed on my wall and it is always a source of inspiration for me.