Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29

Saturday morning used to be the best time of the week, thanks to Iwao Takamoto. Takamoto worked for Hanna-Barbara Studios from the 60's on, and became an architect of the Saturday Morning TV landscape, designing some of the most beloved cartoon characters and destinations of the 70's and 80's. His most celebrated achievement has to be the naming and design of Scooby-Doo, but he had a hand in nearly all of Hanna-Barbera's greatest Saturday Morning hits, from the Banana Splits and the Superfriends to the Smurfs and the Snorks. In the interest of full disclosure, it seems like half of those shows borrowed liberally from the Scooby Doo formula:

Animation today is in its salad days, whether you prefer the Pixar/Dreamworks theatrical renaissance or the grown-up TV shows that the Simpsons and Adult Swim have wrought; meanwhile, between cable TV and DVDs, there's practically no one left in the Saturday Morning ghetto. But the breeding ground that Saturday Morning used to be made all of today's bounty possible.
Here's a singalong to Takamoto's all-star:

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