Disney Drawing Tests

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:

They sat me at a desk, they gave me model sheets of five, six different Disney characters, ranging from Alice from Alice in Wonderland, to Donald Duck, to Goofy, you know. Different styles of characters. So I did all of this, took my lunch break. After lunch, I came back to my desk and John, I forgot. Anyway, he comes in and says, “Well, you’ve been hired. So we’re going to put you to work. You go down the D-wing to the very last room, and a fellow there will give you your first assignment.” So I go down the hall and knock on the door and come in, and open the door. There’s Iwo Takamoto sitting there. Wow.

And so he got me started. And my very first assignment was on the film Lady and the Tramp. And the particular scene happens to be the very iconic spaghetti kissing, where Lady and the Tramp eat spaghetti and they kiss. But it was a grueling, you might say, breaking in period. But then, I have to really say, because of that kind of a training, I think it was very beneficial to my future career in the industry. A lot of the other people, they would curse. Come back to the room and say, “That SOB, blah blah blah.” But in retrospect, it was the best training I could have had.

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

Animation animator Disney Studio

Nikkei Heroes: Trailblazers, Role Models, and Inspirations

Read the Nikkei Heroes stories and help select the Nima-kai community favorite >>

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation