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Creator / Friz Freleng

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Isadore "Friz" Freleng (August 21, 1906 – May 26, 1995) was a prominent animator and director of Warner Bros.' classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies animated shorts during The Golden Age of Animation and The Dark Age of Animation. Friz got his start during the twilight years of The Silent Age of Animation, working for Walt Disney alongside Ub Iwerks and Harman and Ising on the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit comedy shorts. After Disney left, he stuck around with Hugh and Rudy at the Charles Mintz studio, even getting the chance to direct on one Mintz Oswald, "Fiery Fireman", before they were fired.

However, he would later leave the studio to go to the then new Leon Schlesinger cartoon studio alongside Harman and Ising when they requested his help in making their Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid short subjects. He worked as an animator on the early Looney Tunes, with an early work of his being the opening scene of Bosko and Honey playing the piano and tap dancing in "Bosko In Person". Even after Harman and Ising left the studio in '33, Friz came back to Leon to help him touch up some rejected "Buddy" comedies. Friz would continue to be a prominent director in the '30s, cranking out many classic cartoons such as 1935's "I Haven't Got A Hat" (the debut of Porky Pig). However, toward the end of that decade Freleng became enticed by MGM's more big-budget animation department and quit Leon's studio to work there – only to be put onto the less-than-positive "Captain and the Kids" series, with little to none of the creative freedom that he'd enjoyed under Schlesinger. Friz despised working on those cartoons, and as soon as his contract expired, he fled the studio and went straight back to Termite Terrace, where he would work until its demise in the early 60's.

Freleng is sometimes (and unfairly and nonsensically) taken for granted by critics because his sense of humor and visual style were more reserved than those of the other WB directors. However, Friz is legendary among animation fans for his strong emphasis on literal, mechanical musical timing – while all of the staff at the WB studio were capable of this, nobody used it in quite the way Friz did. Having directed more cartoons than any other director at the studio, Freleng directed many, many worthy classics, such as the groundbreaking Roger Rabbit Effect short "You Ought to Be in Pictures", "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper", "Rhapsody in Rivets", "The Three Little Bops", and the Academy Award-winning "Knighty Knight Bugs", among others. He also directed the majority of the Sylvester and Tweety cartoons, including the critically-acclaimed "Birds Anonymous", which was one of four Freleng cartoons to win Warner Bros. an Academy Award for Best Animated Short, more than any other director.

After the original Warner Bros. animation studio shut down in 1963, Friz teamed up with its last chief executive, David DePatie, to form a new studio: DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, based at the former WB facilities in Burbank. With this studio, they not only attempted to revive Warner Bros. cartoons but also created the smash hit Pink Panther theatrical and TV cartoons. (Freleng's first Pink Panther short, The Pink Phink, won him another Oscar.) He also assumed creative duties from Chuck Jones on TV adaptations of Dr. Seuss books after Jones's studio closed down. Friz also directed animation for the bridging segments of The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show and even made a few compilation movies like The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie and Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales.

Friz passed on in 1995; Chuck Jones dedicated his last cartoon short, made the following year, to his passing.

Some claim that he was the inspiration for his own creations Yosemite Sam from Looney Tunes and the Little Man from the Pink Panther cartoons, as both characters were (like Freleng himself) short-statured, hot-tempered, and mustachioed.


     Warner Bros. Theatrical Cartoon Filmography 



  • Homeless Homer
  • Hen Fruit
  • The Wicked West
  • Weary Willies

1933: All shorts are probably co-directed with Harman and Ising.

  • Bosko in Dutch
  • Bosko in Person
  • Beau Bosko
  • Bosko's Picture Show


  • Buddy the Gob
  • Buddy and Towser
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Buddy's Trolley Troubles
  • Goin' to Heaven on a Mule
  • How Do I Know It's Sunday
  • Why Do I Dream Those Dreams
  • The Girl at the Ironing Board
  • The Miller's Daughter
  • Shake Your Power Puff
  • Those Beautiful Dames
  • Pop Goes Your Heart


  • Mr. and Mrs. Is the Name
  • Country Boy
  • I Haven't Got A Hat
  • Along Flirtation Walk
  • My Green Fedora
  • Into Your Dance
  • The Country Mouse
  • The Merry Old Soul
  • The Lady In Red
  • Little Dutch Plate
  • Billboard Frolics
  • Flowers for Madame


  • I Wanna Play House
  • The Cat Came Back
  • I'm a Big Shot Now
  • Let It Be Me
  • Bingo Crosbyana
  • When I Yoo Hoo
  • Sunday Go to Meetin' Time
  • At Your Service Madame
  • Toy Town Hall
  • Boulevardier from the Bronx
  • The Coo Coo Nut Grove


  • He was Her Man
  • Pigs Is Pigs
  • The Fella With the Fiddle
  • She was an Acrobat's Daughter
  • Clean Pastures
  • Streamlined Greta Green
  • Sweet Sioux
  • Plenty of Money and You
  • Dog Daze
  • The Lyin' Mouse
  • September in the Rain


  • My Little Buckeroo
  • Jungle Jitters
  • A Star is Hatched
  • Poultry Pirates
  • A Day at the Beach: First MGM cartoon.
  • The Pygmy Hunt
  • The Captain's Christmas


  • Petunia Natural Park
  • Seal Skinners
  • Mama's New Hat
  • The Bookworm
  • The Mad Maestro


  • Confederate Honey
  • The Hardship of Miles Standish
  • You Ought to Be in Pictures
  • Little Blabbermouse
  • Porky's Baseball Broadcast
  • Malibu Beach Party
  • Calling Dr. Porky
  • Porky's Hired Hand
  • Shop Look & Listen



  • Hop, Skip and a Chump
  • Porky's Pastry Pirates
  • The Wabbit Who Came to Supper
  • Saps in Chaps
  • Lights Fantastic
  • Double Chaser
  • Foney Fables
  • Fresh Hare
  • The Sheepish Wolf
  • The Hare-Brained Hypnotist
  • Ding Dog Daddy








  • Wise Quackers
  • Hare Do
  • High Diving Hare
  • Curtain Razor
  • Mouse Mazurka
  • Knights Must Fall
  • Bad Ol' Putty Tat
  • Dough for the Do-Do: Remake of Porky in Wackyland.
  • Each Dawn I Crow
  • Which is Witch


  • Home Tweet Home
  • Mutiny on the Bunny
  • The Lion's Busy
  • Big House Bunny
  • His Bitter Half
  • All a Bir-r-r-rd
  • Golden Yeggs
  • Bunker Hill Bunny
  • Canary Row
  • Stooge for a Mouse



  • Gift Wrapped
  • 14 Carrot Rabbit
  • Foxy By Proxy
  • Little Red Rodent Hood
  • Ain't She Tweet
  • Cracked Quack
  • A Bird In a Guilty Cage
  • Tree for Two
  • Hare Lift


  • Snow Business
  • A Mouse Divided
  • Fowl Weather
  • Southern Fried Rabbit
  • Ant Pasted
  • Hare Trimmed
  • Tom Tom Tomcat
  • A Street Cat Named Sylvester
  • Catty Cornered
  • Robot Rabbit




  • Tweet and Sour
  • Rabbitson Crusoe
  • Tree Cornered Tweety
  • Napoleon Bunny-Part
  • Tugboat Granny
  • A Star is Bored
  • Yankee Dood It
  • Two Crows from Tacos








  • Devil's Feud Cake
  • Mexican Cat Dance
  • Chili Weather
  • The Unmentionables


  • Nuts and Volts
  • Pancho's Hideaway
  • Road to Andalay


  • It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the House
  • Cats and Bruises
  • The Wild Chase

     Other Freleng-directed theatrical shorts 



  • Dial 'P' for Pink
  • The Great DeGaulle Stone Operation
  • Pinkfinger
  • The Pink Ice
  • The Pink Tail Fly
  • Shocking Pink
  • We Give Pink Stamps


  • The Ant and the Aardvark

Tropes that apply to Freleng and his work:

  • Amusing Injuries: Like most cartoons of that era.
  • Art Evolution: As with all of the Looney Tunes directors. Of particular note is his cartoons after 1944, when not only did Hawley Pratt start doing layouts for him (and has been noted by Phil Monroe that Pratt was a better illustrator than Friz was), but he shed some of his former staff (Gil Turner, Jack Bradbury, Dick Bickenbach).
  • Butt-Monkey: Before inflicting this on his own crew, Friz himself claimed he was a victim of this. When he first got a job animating on Oswald the Lucky Rabbit for Walt Disney, Walt and Friz did not get along, mainly because Walt proved to be a harsh taskmaker, constantly forcing Friz to rework scenes. His fellow animators, including Harman and Ising, loved playing pranks on him, including setting stacks of paper on fire under his chair, and poking fun at his short height by dragging him along off the ground.
  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • Detailed backgrounds that often show an implied Funny Background Event (such as the sinking ship after it exploded on "Buccaneer Bunny" or the mangled Army surplus rabbit finder on "Hare Do") or the names of fictional products and companies named after Friz Freleng himself or any member of his animation unit (usually Hawley Pratt, whose name was shown as "Hadley Pert").
    • Characters going to Heaven or Hell (mostly Hell) is featured.
    • The American Civil War is often referenced or used for laughs, specifically the Confederate side (as seen on "The Rebel Without Claws", "Southern Fried Rabbit", and "Confederate Honey"), though "Hare Trimmed" implied that Emma (the old widow who looks like Granny from the Sylvester and Tweety shorts) was once courted by Union soldiers (her line about how the last time she was chased by a man was when "...the boys got back from Gettysburg").
    • Did a handful of cartoons that showed insects going after humans. Mostly, it was the cliched scenario of ants at a picnic (as seen with "Ant Pasted"note , "The Gay Anties", "The Fighting 69 1/2th", and even "Ballot Box Bunny" had a sequence showing Bugs setting up a picnic and Yosemite Sam using ants to ruin it), but "Of Thee I Sting" centered on mosquitos trying to sting a man with a screened-off porch.
    • Food and hunger also feature heavily in his cartoons (this isn't to say that Jones or McKimson didn't have this theme in their cartoons. It just crops up a lot in the Freleng shorts as a character motivation and source of humor), specifically the Sylvester and Tweety ones, the Sylvester short "Canned Feud" where Sylvester is left behind when his owners go on vacation, finds that the milk supply has been cut off for two weeks, and fights with a mouse over a can opener after discovering that the only food in the house is all in cans; and the Yosemite Sam ones where Sam tries to capture and cook Bugs ("Rabbit Every Monday", "Shiskabugs," and "Rabbitson Crusoe").
    • Music is often featured in his cartoons, whether it's the early cartoons that were used as a flimsy excuse to exploit Warner Bros. music library or something like "The Three Little Bops", which has a more fleshed-out story. Though, unlike most cartoons that have music in them, Freleng's shorts have a stronger sense of musical literacy and timing. Also: the piano is often used as the centerpiece of a gag in Freleng's shorts, whether it's a character getting trapped in a piano and hit by the hammers that hit the strings to make the notes (as seen in "Stage Door Cartoon" where it happens to Elmer or "A Hop, Skip, and a Chump" where it happens to two crows who look like Laurel and Hardy) or the gag where someone booby-traps a piano to explode when someone plays the first notes of "Those Endearing Young Charms" (though "Showbiz Bugs" substituted a piano for a xylophone).
    • References to Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" featured in three or four of his cartoons for Warner Bros, specifically "Hyde and Hare" (with Bugs Bunny), "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide" (with Sylvester), and "Hyde and Go Tweet" (Sylvester and Tweety). Over at Depatie-Freleng, there was "The Inspector" episode "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!" where Sgt. Deux-Deux drinks the classic potion and becomes a monster, the Pink Panther short "Pink Lightening" had the same thing happen to The Pink Panther's car and "Watch The Birdie" is pretty much a remake of "Hyde and Go Tweet" with "The Dogfather" characters instead.
    • A lot of Noodle Incidents and implied humor are seen in his shorts, such as the beginning of "Bad Ol' Puddy Tat" where the cartoon opens on Tweety's birdhouse being perched on a pole with some barbed wire wrapped around it as we pan down to a scratched-up Sylvester staring up at it (implying that he tried to climb it and got hurt) or Granny's line on "Hare Trimmed" about how she hasn't had any male attention since "...the boys got back from Gettysburg."
  • Deranged Animation: Most of it coming from Art Davis and John Carey (who was briefly in his unit in the early '50s).
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Arguably more-so than the other directors; he didn't direct any dedicated Porky cartoons before his return to the studio in 1940 (pretty much every other director had done so), and most of his cartoons from the '34-38 period were one-shot musicals/blackout sketch cartoons. It's a far cry from his far more oft-remembered work with Bugs, Yosemite Sam, Sylvester and Tweety, and Daffy.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Was a big fan of this. Shorts taking place here include "Sunday Go to Meetin' Time," "Devil's Feud Cake," "Satan's Waiting" and "The Three Little Bops."
    • "Back Alley Oproar" (the 1948 Sylvester cartoon that was more-or-less a remake of the Porky cartoon "Notes to You") is an interesting twist on how Friz Freleng showed Hell in his cartoons. While "Back Alley Oproar" does end with Elmer going to Heaven after his attempt at blowing up Sylvester failed, it turns out to be Hell for him because Sylvester also died and Elmer has to put up with Sylvester and his nine lives singing the sextet from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor for all eternity (which causes Elmer to jump off his cloud after his halo gets taken).
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Freleng was particularly fond of this trope, seeing the many cartoon installments he produced with this theme. And to different animation studios, to boot — Warner Bros. and De Patie Freleng Enterprises.. Some of the episodes feature The Fool being a Mr. Hyde-like character while his partner is unaware of it.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Freleng can be seen as one of the Gremlins From The Kremlin in Russian Rhapsody (along with a lot of other animators and members of the Warner Bros. Animation Department, such as Chuck Jones, Henry Binder, Ray Katz, Leon Schlesinger, etc) and as astronomist I. Frisby in Chuck Jones' Bugs Bunny cartoon The Hasty Hare.
  • Inspired by…: You Ought to Be in Pictures was based on Friz's experiences of leaving WB for MGM.
  • Mickey Mousing: Freleng learned how to play the Violin before becoming an animator, and used his musical literacy to expertly time his cartoons to the tempo of music.
  • Prima Donna Director: Friz was this, apparently (which explains why people have claimed that Yosemite Sam was Freleng's Author Avatar). He often forced his animators to redo scenes over and over again. One of those animators, Manuel "Manny" Perez (who was given the title "Friz's Whipping Boy"), later said in an interview that he grew to hate the guy.
  • Recycled Animation: Moreso than the other directors at Warner Bros. By the 1960s, Friz have always seemed to reuse pieces of animation from past cartoons onto the ones produced at the time in one of the most extensive uses of budget saving for his final cartoons at Warner Bros. It'd be easier to identify where the original animation came from than finding a post-1962 cartoon that didn't had recycled animation.
  • Recycled Script: Would often reuse gags (“Those Endearing Young Charms” and an exploding musical instrument in Ballot Box Bunny and Show Biz Bugs) and general plots (Racketeer Rabbit and Bugs and Thugs). The material used was always fairly strong, however, and occurrences would happen years apart, unlikely to be noticed by a general theatrical audience.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: You Ought to Be in Pictures.