Search form

Iwao Takamoto Tells His Story

Press Release from University Press of Mississippi

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. Among the characters he designed are Scooby-Doo, Atom Ant, THE JETSON'S Astro, THE FLINTSTONES' Great Gazoo, and THE WACKY RACES' Penelope Pittstop and Muttley. IWAO TAKAMOTO: MY LIFE WITH A THOUSAND CHARACTERS (now out from University Press of Mississippi) is the story of this legendary and influential American artist, told in his own words.

Michael Mallory assisted Takamoto in telling his story and saw this project through to completion after the animator's death. The result is a deeply personal and detailed account of a key figure in the history of animation.

The book chronicles Takamoto's 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 influence. Also recorded here are 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.

MY LIFE WITH A THOUSAND CHARACTERS offers insightful, informative, and hilarious stories of working in the trenches of two of Hollywood's most notable animation studios. The book is also filled with photographs and artwork, much of which has never before been published.

Iwao Takamoto was a celebrated animation artist and character designer for Walt Disney Company and Hanna-Barbera Productions. Michael Mallory, a freelance writer and animation historian, is the author of HANNA-BARBERA CARTOONS and X-MEN: THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR UNIVERSE, among other books. Willie Ito retired from Disney Studios after a forty-five-year career in the industry.