Oral Histories

Interview of Friz Freleng

Animator for Warner Bros. Known for development of Looney Tunes characters and the Pink Panther.
Recollections of Friz Freleng
Oral History of the Motion Picture in America
Film and Television
Biographical Note:
Animator for Warner Bros. Known for development of Looney Tunes characters and the Pink Panther.
Adamson, Joe
Freleng, Friz
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Joe Adamson; B.A., Theater Arts, UCLA; M.A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Recipient of an American Film Institute Fellowship in 1969, and a University Film Foundation Fellowship in 1970. Author of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo, and Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Sometimes Zeppo and Tex Avery, King of Cartoons. Head of the film study program at Pennsylvania State University.
Interviewee Retained Copyright
Series Statement:
These interviews with prominent individuals in the motion picture industry were completed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Film Institute to the UCLA Department of Theater Arts. The project was directed by Howard Suber, UCLA Department of Theater Arts. The UCLA Oral History Program provided technical advice but was not involved in respondent selection, research participation, research preparation, interviewing, editing, or transcript preparation.
Limited art education: short term at Otis Art Institute and correspondence course during high school; first prize in student cartoon contest run by Kansas City Post; self-taught animation for United Film Ad Service; animator for Walt Disney, 1926; initiation of "Looney Tunes" with Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising in animation unit under Leon Schlesinger at Warner Brothers, 1930; Mel Blanc and Porky Pig; Disney's exclusive use of three-strip Technicolor; directing cartoons; move to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1939; Katzenjammer Kids cartoons; return to Warners and Leon Schlesinger; Bosco films and early animation with sound; Ub Iwerks's animation skills; relationship with Disney; importance of personality development for cartoon characters; Fleischer and Popeye cartoons; Disney's debt to Paul Terry; World War II military service making educational cartoons; Tex Avery's version of Little Red Riding Hood; creation of Bugs Bunny; Blanc's vocal talents; use of sped voices for cartoon characters; audience reaction to cartoons; experiences directing at Warners, 1932-64; creation of Pink Panther character; animated commercials; Frank Tashlin; United Artists and The Pink Panther; television's use of limited animation; changes in audiences.