2007-01-17

Dead Animators.

Kind of oxymoronic, isn't it? In the wake of the passing of Joe Barbera a few other minor icons have passed on. First up, let's mention one of the stop-action animators of Gumby and Davey & Goliath, Pete Kleinow. We used to watch D&G and Gumby before church on Sunday mornings as kids (Thank you CHCH) and Mr. Kleinow wrote the Gumby theme song. Here it is from memory:

He was once a little green slab of clay...GUMBY.
You should see what Gumby can do today...GUMBY.
He can walk into any book, with his pony pal, Pokey, too.
If you've got a heart, then Gumby's a part of you,
If you've got a heart, then Gumby's a part of you!


I just checked YouTube to see if I was correct and all they had was this sugar-coated tripe from an 80's revival. It is SO lame, I refuse to even provide a link! (That'll teach them!)

Mr. Kleinow also created the Pillsbury Doughboy &Poppin' Fresh and, along the same vein, animated the Robot Terminator in James Cameron's classic (Cameron's a Canadian, I knew there had to be a Canadian or Japanese connection to this.) Here's a charming parody of D&G done by Mountain Dew...



But more important than this guy is Iwao Takamoto. Iwao Takamoto was born in 1925 in LA to Japanese parents who had emigrated there. During WWII (the Big One), he was encouraged by some fellow internees in their Camp (not summer camp...you ninny) to take up drawing as a trade. He first got started working for Disney in 1947 and was an animator on Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp. I'm guessing he did lots of the dogs, for he went on from there in 1961 to Hanna-Barbera Productions to create the original design for Scooby-Doo, Astro and Muttley and later worked as a producer on Hong Kong Phooey (another dog.) If you really want to read some more about this guy, I'd go to Takamoto

Here is Iwao drawing Fred...

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