Isadore “Friz” Frelang

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Full Name:

Friz Frelang

Occupation / Title:

Date of birth:

21/08/1906

Date of death:

1995

Biography


Although little is known of I. Freleng’s life outside the studio his cartoons could be seen worldwide. Freleng’s Early Career I “Friz”Freleng short for Isadore Freleng was born on August 21st in 1906.Freleng first started out his career in animation by working at Walt Disney Pictures studio. He helped Walt Disney work on the Alice Comedies cartoons while they also worked on the Oswald the Rabbit cartoon. Soon Freleng and Ising, a fellow animator, merged to form their own  studio. They created a Mickey mouse reminiscent character named Bosko, which sold to Leon Schlesinger who would later use it for a development with Warner Bros.. 

Freleng had moved to New York City to work on the Charlez Mintz “ Krazy Kat” pictures. He soon moved back to California to continue working with Ising. Freleng moved to Hollywood and became the Chief Animator at Warner Bros. Studios where he helped make “Looney Tunes” and “Merry Melodies”. Freleng actually animated Warner Bros first cartoon film entitled “ Sinkin’ In The Bathtub” in 1930. Freleng’s influence on the animation scene was substantial,having created three of the most memorable cartoons in Warner Bros history in 1935 Porky Pig who was a delightful,stuttering, swine made his debut in the film “I Haven’t Got A Hat”, Yosemite Sam who was a pint sized mean spirited gun slinging cowboy and Sylvester the cat a lispy, slobbering feline. 

In 1937 Friz joined the MGM cartoon studio which was headed by Fred Quimby. He worked on a series called The Captain and The Kids which was a take off of the much liked comic strip The Katzenjammer Kids. The series flopped which made Freleng realize that the world at the time was too into the zainy critters which ruled the cartoon scene.Freleng returned to Warner Bros when his contract was up in 1940. While the boss at Warner Bros was away Freleng created several funny cartoons one which stars Porky Pig and a fast talking Daffy Duck trying to convince Porky that he should quit his job and go to work someplace else.

While Disney’s characters were sweet and mischevious Freleng played catch up with the studio by making his cartoons crazier than anyone had ever seen before. After World War II , Freleng and Chuck Jones were on top of their game at Warner Bros. Freleng worked closely with the character which he had created and Bugs Bunny. He also attempted to make more up to date versions of his earlier musical comedies such as The Three Little Bops(1957) and Pizzacato Pussycat(1955). Freleng was honored with four Oscars during his time at Warner Bros for his films Tweety Pie( 1947), Speedy Gonzales( 1955), Knighty Knight Bugs (1958) and Birds Anonymous(1957).

When the Warner Brothers studio shut down in 1964 Freleng and his producer friend David DePatie merged together to form DePatie- Freleng Enterprises. His first cartoon was titled “Pink Phink” which he co-directed with Hawley Pratt. This began the slew of Pink Panther cartoons. Everyone remembers the short bulb nosed inspector who chased the Pink Panther but it wasn’t until the cartoon which was released on December 21st entitled “ A Shot In The Dark” that the character makes his debut. The cartoon Pink Blue Print released on May 25th 1966 was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject.

In the cartoon “Super Pink” released in October 12th. The Pink Panther was shot at by a real gun. But when it aired the gun was replaced with a water gun an the panther was just sprayed with water. In addition to the widely popular Pink Panther series Freleng also introduced several other cartoons including The Ant and The Aardvark, Tijuana Toads and Roland and Rattfink. Though humorous and clever none of these reached the success of the Pink Panther cartoons. Freleng and DePatie also dabbled in Saturday morning cartoons and produced such classics as “ Super Bwoing”, “ Granite Man”, “ Captain Zammo”, “Super Scuba”, “Elevator Man”, “ Magneto Man”, “Brothers Matzoriley”, “Super President” and “Spy Shadow”. Freleng also did the Cat In The Hat TV special. Although the cartoon began production at the MGM studio it finished at DePatie- Freleng Studios and was an instant hit with audiences. Clerow Wilson which aired on NBC on November 12th was the second cartoon to put black characters in prime time.

Freleng went on to produce many other cartoons and was honored with awards and even has a star on the walk of fame. His career last 63 long years. He died in 1995 and was buried in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California

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