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ISADORE "FRIZ" FRELENG (August 21, 1906 – May 26, 1995), often credited as I. FRELENG, was an American animator , cartoonist , director , producer , and composer known for his work on the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
and Merrie Melodies
Merrie Melodies
series of cartoons .

He introduced and/or developed several of the studio's biggest stars, including Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
, Porky Pig
Porky Pig
, Tweety Bird , Sylvester the Cat
Sylvester the Cat
, Yosemite Sam
Yosemite Sam
(to whom he was said to bear more than a passing resemblance), and Speedy Gonzales . The senior director at Warners' Termite Terrace studio, Freleng directed more cartoons than any other director in the studio (a total of 266), and is also the most honored of the Warner directors, having won five Academy Awards and three Emmy Awards . After Warners shut down the animation studio in 1963, Freleng and business partner David H. DePatie founded DePatie–Freleng Enterprises , which produced cartoons (notably those for The Pink Panther Show ), feature film title sequences, and Saturday-morning cartoons through the early 1980s.

The nickname "Friz" came from his friend, Hugh Harman , who initially nicknamed him "Congressman Frizby" after a fictional senator who appeared in satirical pieces in the Los Angeles Examiner
Los Angeles Examiner
. Over time, this shortened to "Friz".

CONTENTS

* 1 Early career

* 2 Freleng as director

* 2.1 Early Schlesinger cartoons * 2.2 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer * 2.3 Back with Schlesinger and Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
* 2.4 Directorial achievements * 2.5 Musical knowledge and technique * 2.6 DePatie-Freleng Enterprises

* 3 Later career and death * 4 Notes * 5 Sources * 6 External links

EARLY CAREER

Freleng was born to a Jewish family in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
, where he began his career in animation at United Film Ad Service. There, he made the acquaintance of fellow animators Hugh Harman and Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks
. In 1923, Iwerks' friend, Walt Disney
Walt Disney
, moved to Hollywood
Hollywood
and put out a call for his Kansas City colleagues to join him. Freleng, however, held out until 1927, when he finally moved to California and joined the Walt Disney
Walt Disney
studio . He worked alongside other former Kansas City animators, including Iwerks, Harman, Carmen Maxwell , and Rudolph Ising . While at Disney, Freleng worked on the Alice Comedies
Alice Comedies
and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
cartoons for producers Margaret Winkler and Charles Mintz .

Freleng soon teamed up with Harman and Ising to try to create their own studio. The trio produced a pilot film starring a new Mickey Mouse -like character named Bosko
Bosko
. Looking at unemployment if the cartoon failed to generate interest, Freleng moved to New York City
New York City
to work on Mintz' Krazy Kat
Krazy Kat
cartoons, all the while still trying to sell the Harman-Ising Bosko
Bosko
picture. Freleng was very unhappy living in New York and made the best of it until another opportunity opened for him. Bosko
Bosko
was finally sold to Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
, who would produce the series for Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
At first Freleng was reluctant to return to California when Harman-Ising asked him to work on the series. At the insistence of his sister Jean, Freleng soon moved back to California to work on Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
.

FRELENG AS DIRECTOR

EARLY SCHLESINGER CARTOONS

Harman and Ising left Schlesinger's studio over disputes about budgets in 1933. Schlesinger was left with no experienced directors, and therefore lured Freleng away from Harman-Ising to successfully fix cartoons directed by Tom Palmer which Warner Bros rejected. The young animator became Schlesinger's top director, and he introduced the studio's first true post- Bosko
Bosko
star, Porky Pig
Porky Pig
, in the film, I Haven\'t Got a Hat (1935). Porky was a distinctive character, unlike Bosko
Bosko
or his replacement, Buddy .

As a director, Freleng gained the reputation of a tough taskmaster. His unit, however, consistently produced high-quality animated shorts under his direction.

METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER

In 1937, Freleng left Schlesinger's after accepting an increase in salary to direct for the new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio headed by Fred Quimby
Fred Quimby
. To Freleng's chagrin, he found he would be working on The Captain and the Kids , adapted from the popular comic strip , The Katzenjammer Kids . The series failed to achieve much success, much as Freleng had predicted. Though skillfully animated, the characters could not compete with the "funny animals " that prevailed at the time.

BACK WITH SCHLESINGER AND WARNER BROS.

Freleng happily returned to Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
when his contract ended in late 1939. One of the first Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
cartoon shorts directed by Freleng during his second tenure at the studio was You Ought to Be in Pictures , a cartoon short which blended animation with live-action footage of the Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
studio (and of Schlesinger veterans such as story man Michael Maltese and even "Leon" himself). The plot, which centers around Porky Pig
Porky Pig
being tricked by Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck
into terminating his contract with Schlesinger to attempt a career in features, echoes Freleng's experience in moving to MGM.

DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Play media 'Target Snafu', Private Snafu
Private Snafu
cartoon directed by Freleng in 1944

Schlesinger's hands-off attitude toward his animators allowed Freleng and his fellow directors almost complete creative control and room to experiment with cartoon comedy styles, which allowed the studio to keep pace with the Disney studio's technical superiority. Freleng's style quickly matured, and he became a master of comic timing . Often working alongside layout artist Hawley Pratt , he also introduced or redesigned a number of famous Warner characters, including Yosemite Sam in 1945, the cat-and-bird duo, Sylvester and Tweety
Tweety
in 1947, and Speedy Gonzales in 1955.

Freleng and Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
would dominate the Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
studio in the years after World War II
World War II
, Freleng largely concentrating on the above-mentioned characters and Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
. Freleng continued also to produce modernized versions of the musical comedies he animated in his early career, such as The Three Little Bops (1957) and Pizzicato Pussycat (1955). Freleng won four Oscars during his time at Warner Bros., for the films, Tweetie Pie (1947), Speedy Gonzales (1955), Knighty Knight Bugs (1958), and Birds Anonymous (1957). And other Freleng cartoons such as Sandy Claws (1955), Mexicali Shmoes (1959), Mouse and Garden (1960), and The Pied Piper of Guadalupe (1961) were Oscar nominees.

Freleng's cartoon, Show Biz Bugs (1957), with Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck
vying with Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
for theatre audience appreciation, was arguably a template for the enormously successful format to The Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Show that premiered on television in the autumn of 1960. Further, Freleng directed the cartoons with the erudite and ever so polite Goofy Gophers encountering the relentless wheels of human industry, them being I Gopher You (1954) and Lumber Jerks (1955), and he also directed three cartoons (sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ) extolling the virtues of free-market capitalism, said cartoons being By Word of Mouse (1954), Heir-Conditioned (1955), and Yankee Dood It (1956), all three of which involved Sylvester. Freleng directed all three of the vintage Warner Brothers cartoons in which a drinking of Dr. Jekyll's potion (of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ) induces a series of monstrous transformations, Dr. Jerkyl\'s Hide (1954), Hyde and Hare (1955), and Hyde and Go Tweet (1960) being those three cartoons. Other Freleng fancies were man at war with the insect world (as in Of Thee I Sting (1946) and Ant Pasted (1953)), an inebriated stork delivering the wrong baby (in A Mouse Divided (1952), Stork Naked (1955), and Apes of Wrath (1959)), and characters marrying for money and finding themselves with a shrewish wife and a troublesome step-son ( His Bitter Half (1949) and Honey\'s Money (1962)).

Freleng was occasionally the subject of in-jokes in Warner cartoons, with billboards in the background of scenes advertising various products called "Friz" in Canary Row (1950), the "Hotel Friz " in Racketeer Rabbit (1946), and "Frizby the Magician" in High Diving Hare (1949) as one of the acts Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
is pitching.

MUSICAL KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNIQUE

Freleng was somewhat of a musical composer and a classically trained violinist who timed his cartoons on musical bar sheets. Freleng would time the gags the best utilized Carl Stalling
Carl Stalling
's, Milt Franklyn 's, or William Lava 's music. He was one of a very few directors at Warner Bros. to have musical knowledge for making cartoons. Every cartoon Freleng directed from the late 1930s to 1963 was made with his creative musical technique. Freleng's directorial style differed from Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
and Robert McKimson
Robert McKimson
.

DEPATIE-FRELENG ENTERPRISES

Freleng once again left Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Cartoons in November 1962, seven months before the studio closed, to take a job at Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera
as story supervisor on their feature Hey There, It\'s Yogi Bear! After the Warner studio closed in May 1963, Freleng rented the same space from Warners to create cartoons with his now-former boss, producer David DePatie (the final producer hired by Warners to oversee the cartoon division), forming DePatie-Freleng Enterprises . When Warner Bros decided to reopen their cartoon studio in 1964, they did so in name only; DePatie-Freleng produced the cartoons into 1966.

The DePatie-Freleng studio's signature achievement was The Pink Panther . DePatie-Freleng was commissioned to create the opening titles for the feature film The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther
(1963), for which layout artist and director Hawley Pratt and Freleng created a suave, cool cat character. The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther
cartoon character became so popular that United Artists
United Artists
, distributors of The Pink Panther, had Freleng produce a short cartoon starring the character, The Pink Phink (1964).

After The Pink Phink won the 1965 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons) , Freleng and DePatie responded by producing a whole series of Pink Panther cartoons. Other original cartoon series, among them The Inspector
The Inspector
, The Ant and the Aardvark
The Ant and the Aardvark
, The Dogfather , Roland and Rattfink , and Crazylegs Crane , soon followed. In 1969, The Pink Panther Show
The Pink Panther Show
, a Saturday morning anthology program featuring DePatie-Freleng cartoons, debuted on NBC
NBC
. The Pink Panther
The Pink Panther
and the other original DePatie-Freleng series would remain in production through 1980, with new cartoons produced for simultaneous Saturday morning broadcast and United Artists
United Artists
theatrical release.

DePatie-Freleng is credited with the creation of Frito-Lay
Frito-Lay
's Chester Cheetah , on the Food Network show "Deep Fried Treats Unwrapped"; as well as creating the colored opening title sequence to I Dream of Jeannie . DePatie-Freleng also contributed special effects to the original version of Star Wars (1977), particularly the animation of the lightsaber blades.

By 1967, DePatie and Freleng had moved their operations to the San Fernando Valley . Their studio was located on Hayvenhurst Avenue in Van Nuys
Van Nuys
. One of their projects featured Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
and his family called, Goldilocks , and had songs by the Sherman Brothers
Sherman Brothers
. At their new facilities they continued to produce new cartoons until 1980, when they sold DePatie-Freleng to Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics
, which renamed it Marvel Productions .

LATER CAREER AND DEATH

Freleng later served as an executive producer on three 1980s Looney Tunes compilation features, which linked together several of the classic shorts with new animated sequences. The Freleng-produced compilation features were The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Movie (1981), Bugs Bunny\'s 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales (1982), and Daffy Duck\'s Fantastic Island (1983).

In 1986, Freleng stepped down and gave his position at Warner Bros. to his secretary at the time, Kathleen Helppie-Shipley, who ended up being the second-longest producer of the Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
and Merrie Melodies franchise, only behind Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
. Crypt of Friz Freleng at Hillside Memorial Park, featuring many of the beloved characters he helped create.

In 1994 the International Family Film Festival presented its first Lifetime Achievement of Excellence in Animation award to Freleng, and the award has since been referred to as the "Friz Award" in his honor.

On May 26, 1995, Friz Freleng
Friz Freleng
died of natural causes in Los Angeles, aged 88. The WB animated TV series, The Sylvester ">

Freleng is portrayed by Taylor Gray in the film Walt Before Mickey (2015).

NOTES

* ^ A B http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xk0sxw_irreverent-imagination-the-golden-age-of-looney-tunes_shortfilms * ^ "Friz Freleng". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 6, 2014. * ^ Silbiger, Steve (May 25, 2000). The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People. Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 166. * ^ Sigall (2005), p. 64 * ^ Barrier, Michael (2003). Hollywood
Hollywood
Cartoons American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press. pp. 562–563. ISBN 978-0-19-516729-0 . * ^ http://www.iffilmfest.org/index.php/about-us/history

SOURCES

* Sigall, Martha (2005). "The Boys of Termite Terrace". Living Life Inside the Lines Tales from the Golden Age of Animation. University Press of Mississippi . ISBN 9781578067497 .

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