Wednesday, January 10, 2007

R.I.P. Iwao Takamoto

Iwao Takamoto, the creator of Scooby-Doo and director of the original Charlotte's Web, died at the age of 81 in Los Angeles. Takamoto's death follows a few weeks after that of famed animator and founder of Hanna-Barbera, Joseph Barbera.

Mr. Takamoto learned the art of illustration from fellow internees at the Manzanar internment camp during WWII, and went to work at Disney after the war. He worked as an assistant to Milt Kahl (who animated Pinocchio and Tigger among others) before joining Hanna-Barbera in the early 60's.

This piece by Neely Tucker in the Washington Post hits the right note, I think:

You had to be 8 years old, really, on your third bowl of Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries (your parents were still asleep, dreaming on a Saturday morning that you and your brother were already off at college), when the sugar rush was reaching your toenails, when the theme song came on in its complete and utter brilliance:

Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?

Finally, I could find no evidence (other than having his name attached to the project as "creative producer") that Mr. Takamoto had anything to do with the abomination that was Scrappy Doo.


lulu said...

This is the second in a string of deaths of elderly Japanise men who influenced the childhood of millions of American children. The Raman Noodle inventor died this week as well.

Bubs said...

?! You're right, Momofoku Ando!

Dang, that's a bigger story than Takamoto I think. By the way, I don't know if you ever noticed that ramen noodles are loaded with fat? I always thought that was counterintuitive, I would've thought of ramen as a low-fat food. Then I read that his system for drying noodles had to do with deep-frying them in palm oil.

Have you ever been to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights? A great selection of noodles there.

Damn, now I'm hungry again.

Anonymous said...

My son used to eat those every day until I noticed that. I thought that by leaving out most of the salt packet, they were okay.

The fat is even higher than you realize. If you check the label closely, the fat content is for one portion, which is only half the package. He no longer eats those.

You know how those Japanese celebrity childhood influence deaths run-- in threes. Who'll be the third?

lulu said...

For a few years Campbells made a lowfat Ramenesque product, but it no longer exists.

Kate said...

I think it's on the cartoon network site but there is a game where you get to throw rotten food at Scrappy Doo.

Scooby Dum was always my favorite.

Tenacious S said...

There was a time in my life where I think the fat content of ramen noodles kept me alive. And, of course, I was a Scooby Doo junky as a kid. Scooby snacks anyone?

Bubs said...

Ten, Now that I think of it, that fat content explains why ramen taste so good when you're backpacking. I had a year when I first moved out that my diet consisted mainly of fried bologna, ramen, rice and tofu.

Kate, Scooby Dum? I must've moved on by then.

Lulu, lowfat noodles...hmmm. I know when we go to Mitsuwa and buy the fresh or frozen ramen, they have way less fat than the instant kind...I guess that's a reflection of not being dehydrated by deep-frying in palm oil.

Coaster Punchman said...

Scooby! My cats just watched the theme song with me and I could tell they liked it! I didn't realize you posted a whole episode, so we'll watch it later. Is this particular one your favorite?

I have a co-worker who often says things like "I would have gotten away with that if it hadn't been for your darn kids!"