Friz Freleng

Producer, Director, Animator
The career of animation giant Friz Freleng encompassed much of the history of his chosen medium. He entered the industry in 1927 during the silent era as an animator on the popular Oswald the Rabbit series produced by ... Read more »
Born: 08/21/1906 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Producer (32)

Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island 1983 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Producer

Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie 1980 (Movie)

(Producer)

Spider-Woman 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Fantastic Four 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Producer

The Pink Panther 1969 - 1979 (TV Show)

Producer

Baggy Pants and the Nitwits 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Tiny Tree 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

What's New, Mr. Magoo? 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Producer

The Oddball Couple 1975 - 1977 (TV Show)

Producer

Return to the Planet of the Apes 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Producer

Bailey's Comets 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Producer

The Barkleys 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Producer

The Houndcats 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Producer

Doctor Dolittle 1970 - 1972 (TV Show)

Producer

Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Producer

Dr. Seuss' "The Cat in the Hat" 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Pink Blueprint 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Pink Phink 1963 (Movie)

(Producer)

Pied Piper of Guadalupe 1960 (Movie)

(Producer)

Dr. Seuss on the Loose (TV Show)

Producer

Halloween Is Grinch Night (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Michel's Mixed-Up Musical Bird (TV Show)

Producer

My Mom's Having a Baby (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Where Do Teenagers Come From? (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Director (32)

Baseball Bugs 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

High Diving Hare 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Snow Business 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

The Last Hungry Cat 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Tweetie Pie 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Sylvester and Tweety 1967 - 1972, 1975 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Director

The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show 1967 - 1972, 1975 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Director

Knightly Knight Bugs 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Wild Hare 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Daffy Duck's Quackbusters 1988 (Movie)

sequences director (Segment Director)

Porky Pig in Hollywood 1986 (Movie)

(Director)

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show 1967 - 1972, 1975 - 1985 (Tv Show)

Director

Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island 1983 (Movie)

(Director)

The Road Runner Show 1967 - 1972, 1975 - 1982 (Tv Show)

Director

Daffy Duck's Easter Show 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Director

Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Uncensored Cartoons 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

Bugs Bunny's Valentine 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Director

Bugs Bunny in Space 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Director

The Bugs Bunny Easter Special 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Director

Wise Quackers 1949 (Movie)

(Director)

Back Alley Oproar 1948 (Movie)

(Director)

Stage Door Cartoon 1944 (Movie)

(Director)

Bugs Bunny's Howl-oween Special (TV Show)

Director

Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales (TV Show)

Segment Director

Bugs Bunny: All American Hero (TV Show)

Director

Happy Birthday, Bugs: 50 Looney Years (TV Show)

Segment Director

He Was Her Man (Movie)

(Director)

The Bugs Bunny Mystery Special (TV Show)

Director
Visual Effects & Animation (9)

Knightly Knight Bugs 1999 (Movie)

(Animator)

My World... and Welcome to It 1969 - 1971 (TV Show)

Animator

The Pink Blueprint 1965 (Movie)

(Animator)

The Pink Panther 1964 (Movie)

title design (Titles)

The Pink Phink 1963 (Movie)

(Animator)

Pied Piper of Guadalupe 1960 (Movie)

(Animator)

Bugs Bunny: Overtures to Disaster (TV Show)

Animation Director

The Bugs Bunny Thanksgiving Diet (TV Show)

Animation Director

Two Guys from Texas (Movie)

(Animator)
Writer (4)

Curse of the Pink Panther 1983 (Movie)

(Characters as Source Material)

Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island 1983 (Movie)

story classic cartoons (Story By)

Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island 1983 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Trail of the Pink Panther 1982 (Movie)

Animated Characters as Source Material(Title Animation) (Characters as Source Material)
Actor (4)

What's Up, Doc?: A Salute to Bugs Bunny 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Roger Rabbit & the Secrets of Toontown 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor
Other (1)

The Pink Panther 1993 - 1995 (TV Show)

Consultant

Biography

The career of animation giant Friz Freleng encompassed much of the history of his chosen medium. He entered the industry in 1927 during the silent era as an animator on the popular Oswald the Rabbit series produced by the young visionary Walt Disney. Freleng also helped usher in the sound era in cartoons--notably with the three-minute pilot film "Bosko the Talk Ink Kid" (1929)--as the chief animator during the early days of the Harman-Ising studio (which soon evolved into producer Leon Schlesinger's animation unit at Warner Brothers). After a brief but transformative stint as a director at Fred Quimby's cartoon unit at MGM from late 1937 through early 1939, Freleng entered his multi-Oscar-winning glory days at Termite Terrace (the bungalow on the Warner lot where the animation department was housed) in the 1940s and 50s. Even during the artistically diminished era of 60s and 70s Saturday morning TV cartoons, he emerged as a major player in a very different field. Freleng truly saw it all and played a substantial role in making it happen.

Relationships

Lily Freleng

Wife
survived him

Alan Freleng

Brother
died 1943

Milestones

1993

Final feature credit, "animated 'Pink Panther' character creator" on "Blake Edwards' Son of the Pink Panther"

1993

Final TV credit, consultant on "The Pink Panther", a syndicated revival of the children's cartoon series featuring Matt Frewer as the voice of the colorful feline

1992

Awarded the 1,962nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on August 20th, the day before his 87th birthday

1991

Exhibit of Freleng's animation cels opened at the Circle Gallery in New York

1983

Produced the compilation feature "Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic Island"

1982

Produced the compilation feature "Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales"

1981

Feature producing and directing debut, "Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie", a compilation film

1966

Produced (with Theodor Geisel [Dr. Seuss], Chuck Jones and DePatie) "Dr. Seuss' 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'", a classic CBS holiday special

1964

Hired by director Blake Edwards to create animated opening titles for "The Pink Panther"

1964

Contracted to produce additional theatrical shorts starring Warners cartoon characters on about half the previous budget (dates approximate)

1964

Produced (with DePatie) and directed (with Hawley Pratt) "The Pink Phink", the first Pink Panther cartoon

1963

Left Warners after the cartoon unit closed; founded DePatie-Freleng Enterprises with Warners executive David H DePatie and leased the animation plant

1960

TV debut, worked with Chuck Jones for the first time on ABC's "Bugs Bunny Show" assembling classic six-minute cartoons into unified half-hour programs using new animation and other linking devices

1958

Directed the Oscar winning cartoon "Knighty Knight Bugs"

1957

Directed the Oscar winning cartoon "Birds Anonymous"

1955

Redisigned Robert McKimson's Speedy Gonzales and directed him in the Oscar-winning cartoon "Speedy Gonzales"

1950

Introduced the recurring supporting characters Rocky and Mugsy, a tiny but tough gangster and his large oafish sidekick, in "Golden Yeggs", a Bugs Bunny cartoon

1949

Directed an animated dream sequence featuring Bugs Bunny in the Warner Brothers musical comedy "My Dream Is Yours"

1948

Directed a cartoon sequence for "Two Guys from Texas", a live-action musical feature starring Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan; Bugs Bunny appears with caricatures of Carson and Morgan

1947

Revised Bob Clampett's design of Tweety (the tiny androgynous canary) and paired him with Sylvester the Cat for "Tweety Pie"

1947

Became the exclusive director of Tweety

1947

"Tweety Pie" became the first Warner Bros. cartoon to win an Oscar for Best Short Subject (Cartoons)

1944

Directed the first appearance of red moustachioed bandit Yosemite Sam (whose personality writer Michael Maltese patterned after Freleng's) in "Hare Trigger", a Bugs Bunny cartoon

1940

Directed "Rhapsody in Rivets", a cartoon without dialogue set to Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody"; the first of a series of musical cartoons directed by Freleng

1940

Directed "You Ought To Be in Pictures" featuring Porky Pig and Daffy Duck at the Leon Schlesinger studio, one of the few Warner Brothers cartoons to make extensive use of live-action film

1939

Returned to Warner Bros. (date approximate)

1937

Left Warner Bros. to work as an animation director for Fred Quimby's unit at MGM

1935

Directed the first appearance of Porky Pig in "I Haven't Got a Hat"

1934

Broke with Harman-Ising and worked directly for Schlesinger after the duo departed following financial/artistic disputes with the producer (date approximate)

1933

Directing debut on "Bosko in Dutch"

1930

With Schlesinger producing and Warner Bros. distributing, began working on the first series of "Looney Tunes" created by Harman-Ising

1930

Credited as animator on "Sinkin' in the Bathtub", the first "Looney Tunes", starring Bosko

1929

Worked as an animator on "Bosko the Talk Ink Kid", a three-minute "pilot" cartoon that was one of the first "talkies"; attracted the interest of Leon Schlesinger, head of Pacific Art and Title

1928

Joined other Disney deserters including Harman and Rudolf Ising to make a cheaper version of Oswald the Rabbit for the Charles Mintz animation unit in NYC under producer George Winkler

1928

Formed cartoon production company with Harman and Ising; became their chief animator

1927

Joined Walt Disney's studio in California to work on the Oswald the Rabbit series; left after disagreements and returned to United Film Ad Service

1924

Joined United Film Ad Service in Kansas City, MO (colleagues included future luminaries Ub Iwerks and Hugh Harman)

Produced (with DePatie) "The Pink Panther" TV series on NBC

Animated the James Thurber-styled drawings for the fantasy sitcom "My World. . . and Welcome to It"

TV series producing debut (with DePatie), "The Super Six", a Saturday morning children's cartoon

DePatie-Freleng became a leading supplier of Saturday morning children's programming

Contracted by United Artists to produce a series of theatrical shorts starring the Pink Panther

Produced animated commercials for TV

Bonus Trivia

.

"The key to cartoons is creating characters people like and are comfortable with, characters with their own personalities. That's why Sylvester and Tweety were so popular and why Porky Pig was so beloved. I always tell people that Bugs Bunny is not a cartoon. He is a tall rabbit who lives somewhere in California whom I sometimes draw pictures of. He is as real a person as a real person."--Friz Freleng (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, December 17, 1991)

.

Honored by the American Film Institute with a major retrospective of his work in 1981.

.

Honored by the British Film Institute with a major retrospective of his work in 1981.

.

Honored with a gala tribute by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1982

.

Honored by the Museum of Modern Art as part of their Golden Anniversary Salute to Warner Bros. Animation in 1985.

.

"Live-action directors find it difficult to believe what directors at Warner Bros. cartoon division were called upon to do: pre-time and pre-edit a picture to within eight frames (one-third of a second) of its ultimate length BEFORE going to the camera or the animator. That's what we had to do, and the master of this arcane art was Friz Freleng."--From "Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist" by Chuck Jones (NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1989).

.

"...Actually, shooting motion pictures, including animation, and performing music are very similar indeed--one, impinging a successive series of varied sounds on the ear; the other, impinging a successive series of varied sights on the eyes. It is no coincidence then, it is just plain good sense, that Friz Freleng set down the timing of his films on musical bar sheets.""Friz is a musician as well as an excellent draftsman, and it is not surprising that many of his films are a disarming and intricate web of music (a flurry of sounds) and animation ( a flurry of drawings). No student of animation can safely ignore the wizardry of these cartoons--if he can stop laughing long enough to seriously study their beauty."--From "Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist" by Chuck Jones (NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1989).

SIMILAR ARTICLES