His mentor, Iwao Takamoto

Parents First Exposure to Animation December 7th, 1941 Father’s Optimism Tanforan Assembly Center Dusty Weather at Topaz, Utah Mother in Camp Father making shell brooches at Topaz Father’s Postwar Barber Career First Encounter with Walt Disney Disney Drawing Tests His mentor, Iwao Takamoto The Dopey bank that survived the war

Transcripts available in the following languages:

At the time, I was in Los Angeles, serving my apprenticeship at Walt Disney Studio. My mentor, Iwao Takamoto, he virtually was responsible for me being hired at Disney Studio. And then when I went to work as an apprentice animator, Iwao was my Sensei, my mentor. But he was strict. He had that, every little line, everything had to be perfect. So I would stand in front of him as he would correct my drawings. And sometimes I would just think, you know, my dad. Maybe I should have taken him up on getting a license so I could become a barber. Because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to cut the mustard with him.

We used to call him Iwo at the studio, because all the Hakujins, the Caucasians, “Ee-wah-wo” was a little hard to say, so they sort of said “Iwo.” “Iwo, Iwo.” So he became known affectionately in the industry as Iwo Takamoto.

Date: August 26, 2015
Location: California, US
Interviewer: John Esaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Animation animator Disney Studio Iwao Takamoto

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