[R.I.P.] Scooby-Doo creator dies at 81
- Scooby-Doo creator dies at 81
By DAISY NGUYEN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jan 9, 6:24 AM ET
LOS ANGELES - In a career that spanned more than six decades, Iwao
Takamoto assisted in the designs of some of the biggest animated
features and television shows, including "Cinderella," "Peter
Pan," "Lady and the Tramp" and "The Flintstones."
But it was Takamoto's creation of Scooby-Doo, the cowardly dog with
an adventurous heart, that captivated audiences and endured for
Takamoto died Monday of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical
Center, Warner Bros. spokesman Gary Miereanu said. He was 81.
Born in Los Angeles to parents who had emigrated from Japan,
Takamoto graduated high school when World War II began. He and his
family were sent to the Manzanar internment camp in the California
desert, where he learned the art of illustration from fellow
Despite a lack of formal training, he landed an interview with Walt
Disney Studios when he returned to Los Angeles and was hired as an
Takamoto worked under the tutelage of Disney's "nine old men," the
studio's team of legendary animators responsible for its biggest
full-length films before moving to Hanna-Barbera Studios in 1961.
There he worked on cartoons for television, including "Josie and the
Pussy Cats," "The Great Grape Ape Show," "Harlem Globe Trotters"
and "The Secret Squirrel Show."
Takamoto said he created Scooby-Doo after talking with a Great Dane
breeder, and named him after Frank Sinatra's final phrase
in "Strangers in the Night."
The breeder "showed me some pictures and talked about the important
points of a Great Dane, like a straight back, straight legs, small
chin and such," Takamoto said in a recent talk at Cartoon Network
"I decided to go the opposite and gave him a hump back, bowed legs,
big chin and such. Even his color is wrong."
Takamoto also created other famous cartoon dogs such as Astro
from "The Jetsons" and Muttley, the mixed-breed that appeared in
several Hanna-Barbera animations. He also directed the 1973
feature "Charlotte's Web."
Takamoto was survived by his wife, Barbara, son Michael and
Funeral arrangements were pending.