With Iwao Takamoto’s passing, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share this interview I conducted with him in January 1999. It was originally published in ANIMATION BLAST #3. In our chat, Iwao discusses being interned in the US during World War II because of his Japanese ancestry, working with Milt Kahl at Disney, and his illustrious career at Hanna-Barbera. He was a top-notch draftsman, and in my limited dealings with him, always a friendly and affable fellow. As a sidenote, you’ll notice that Iwao mentions Tom Oreb briefly during the interview, and if I recall correctly, Iwao was the first person to truly make me aware of Tom’s work.
(click on the images for large versions)
UPDATE: More remembrances of Iwao appearing online:
Eric Homan remembers working with Iwao at Hanna-Barbera and shares one of his drawings.
Patrick Owsley shares an Iwao Takamoto pencil drawing and the inked version that he did of it at WB Consumer Products.