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Creator / DePatie-Freleng Enterprises

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David Hudson DePatie and Isadore "Friz" Freleng founded this animation studio in 1963 after Warner Bros. shut down its animation department. DePatie was the executive in charge of Warner Bros. animation at the time of the shutdown; his and Freleng's new company leased the former animation studio building from Warner. Their first collaboration was the opening titles to Blake Edwards' comedy-mystery The Pink Panther (1963). The Pink Panther character later starred in a long-running series of short theatrical cartoons released by United Artists (which also released the film), most of which were No Dialogue Episodes. (The first one, The Pink Phink, won an Oscar.) Other theatrical series included The Inspector, Roland and Rattfink, The Ant and the Aardvark, Tijuana Toads, Hoot Kloot, The Dogfather and Misterjaw, all of which were also released by UA. They also produced new Looney Tunes shorts from 1963 to 1967, with the majority of them (at least not the ones outsourced to Format Films) directed by WB veteran Robert McKimson.

DePatie and Freleng also did a very long string of prime-time television animated specials in 1969, starting with an offbeat Richard and Ribert Sherman musical with Bing Crosby, Paul Winchell and Mary Frances Crosby, titled "Goldilocks", [though not first broadcast till March 1970, ironically when Freleng's fellow WB director Chuck Jones released his final Dr. Seuss special, Horton Hatches the Egg, and then Allan Sherman as The Cat in the Hat, among many others through the pre-Marvel Productions Ltd.era.DePatie and Freleng also produced several Saturday morning cartoons, including Here Comes the Grump, Bailey's Comets (created by DePatie and Freleng "in association with Joe Ruby and Ken Spears"), The Houndcats, The Super 6, Super President (an Old Shame for DePatie; he admitted he was relieved when it was cancelled after one season), What's New, Mr. Magoo?, Baggy Pants and the Nitwits, The Oddball Couple, Return to the Planet of the Apes, The Fantastic Four (1978) and the later episodes of Doctor Snuggles, taking over from Topcraft. They also took the reins for TV adaptations of Dr. Seuss books after Chuck Jones's studio closed down. They would also animate the opening theme to I Dream of Jeannie (though not its Animated Adaptation, Jeannie) and the "Time for Timer" and "The Bod Squad'' PSAs for ABC.


Their biggest success in TV, however, would come after DFE was sold to Marvel Comics, following Freleng's retirement. The company was renamed to Marvel Productions Ltd., and produced some of the most famous animated shows of The '80s, including The Transformers, the first few seasons of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and Muppet Babies (1984), as well as a small amount of Marvel superhero programs (including Spiderman And His Amazing Friends).

In 1986, as Marvel Comics entered into financial trouble, Marvel Productions was sold to New World Pictures, who renamed it to New World Animation in 1993. Several years later, New World was sold in its entirety to News Corporation, who in turn placed the Marvel/DFE catalog into Saban Entertainment. Saban merged with Fox's Children's Entertainment division that year to form Fox Family Worldwide, Inc. Finally, in 2001, Fox Family Worldwide, Inc. was sold to Disney. Currently, with some exceptions, most of the all-original DePatie-Freleng and Marvel Productions library are owned by Disney, through Marvel Animation.


One of the company's animators, Nelson Shin, was also the creator of the Star Wars Lightsaber effect for A New Hope (of which the studio received credit for) and the founder of South Korean animation studio AKOM.

Animated programs/movies made under the Marvel Productions name (entries marked with an * mean it was co-produced with Sunbow Entertainment):

Alternative Title(s): Depatie Freleng


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