In an illustrious career that has spanned 63
years, Friz Freleng was involved in nearly all aspects of animation.
As a creator, director, and producer, he created or contributed
to many of the most memorable and award-winning cartoons ever
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Freleng moved to Hollywood as Head Animator of
Warner Bros.' "Looney Tunes" and "Merrie Melodies" cartoons.
He animated the first Warner Bros. cartoon ever release, "Sinkin' In the
Bathtub" (1930) and directed his first cartoon, "Bosko in Dutch" (1933).
Freleng remained at Warner Bros. for 33 years. During this time, he was a major
developer of Warner Bros. characters, producing and directing over 300 cartoons
featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and
others. In addition he created
Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam, and Sylvester. Clearly
evident in all of Freleng's cartoons was a unique talent for synchronizing the
visual gag and the accompanying background
music. While at Warner Bros., Freleng was honored with Academy Awards for the
four shorts: "Tweetie Pie" (1947),
"Speedy Gonzales" (1955),
"Birds Anonymous" (1957) and "Knighty Knight Bugs" (1958);
as being nominated for seven others.
In 1963, Freleng teamed up with David DePatie to form DePatie-Freleng Enterprises,
which produced shorts for Warner Bros. and became the leading independent production
company in the areas of animated film production, television specials and commercials.
In 1980, Freleng became a Senior Executive Producer where he produced three feature-
length films incorporating his "classic" animated shorts along with
new animated sequences: "The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie" (1981), "Bugs
Bunny's 1001 Rabbit Tale?" (1982), and "Daffy Duck's Movie: Fantastic
Freleng was the recipient of many prestigious awards: in 1981, both The American
Film Institute and the British Film Institute, with major retrospectives of his
work honored him. Also that year, the Chicago International Film Festival presented
him with their Hugo Award for his lifetime contribution to the animation/film
industry. In 1982, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences paid tribute
to him at a gala event that featured nine of his most famous cartoons. In 1985,
the New York Museum of Modern Art honored Freleng as part of their Golden Anniversary
Salute to Warner Bros. Animation. In August 1992, Freleng was honored with his
own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Friz continued to be a major contributor to the art of animation until his passing
in May of 1995. Cities worldwide continue to honor Freleng with film festivals,
museum exhibitions and retrospectives. Pioneering animation director Isadore
(Friz) Freleng died May 26, 1995, at the age of 89.