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Wes Takahashi

Wes Takahashi

The basics
Quick Facts
Gender male
The details

Wes Ford Takahashi is an American visual effects animator and animation supervisor who has worked for motion picture visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic. He is known for his special effects work on numerous films; his efforts include animating the time travel sequences for all three films in the Back to the Future trilogy, as well as animating the "boy on the moon" in the DreamWorks logo. He is the former head of ILM's animation department.

Education and career

Takahashi attended Hampshire College in Massachusetts, as well as the University of California, Los Angeles, both of which enabled him to study computer graphics and animation. He began working at Industrial Light & Magic in the early 1980s and subsequently rose to become the head of its animation department. After essentially ceasing work with ILM in the 1990s, he helped to establish the New Zealand-based effects studio Weta Digital with filmmaker Peter Jackson. He has been with International Technological University since 2011 and currently works as the Department Chair of its Digital Arts Faculty.

Along with Charlie McClellan and Richard Taylor, Takahashi received a nomination for Best Special Effects at the 23rd Saturn Awards in 1997 for their work on the 1996 film The Frighteners. Takahashi has acted in minor roles in several Rob Schneider comedy films and served as an external art director for the 2006 video game Eragon.

Selected filmography

As animation supervisor

  • The Goonies (1985)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • Top Gun (1986)
  • Willow (1988)
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
  • The Abyss (1989)
  • Back to the Future Part II (1989)
  • Back to the Future Part III (1990)
  • The Rocketeer (1991)
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
  • Hook (1991)

As visual effects supervisor / producer

  • The Frighteners (1996)
  • Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief (2008)
  • Tropic Thunder (2008)
  • What Women Want (2011)
  • Black November (2012)

As actor

  • The Animal (2001)
  • The Hot Chick (2002)
  • Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)
  • Big Stan (2007)

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