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DePatie-Freleng Enterprises

From Academic Kids

DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (sometimes abbreviated to DFE) was a Hollywood-based animation production company, active from 1963 to 1981.

DFE was founded just after the closure of Warner Bros.' famed Termite Terrace animation department, by animation veteran Friz Freleng and partner David H. DePatie. Many of the animators who had worked at Warners in the 1950s and 1960s went with them, as well. Their first major production was the opening titles to the first Pink Panther film in 1964, which led to a series of cartoons inspired by the concurrently-running movie series. They won their first Oscar for The Pink Phink in 1965.

DePatie-Freleng created more series to be released for theaters and Saturday morning cartoons. They include The Inspector (loosely based on the main character of the live-action Pink Panther movies, Inspector Clouseau), Roland and Rattfink, The Ant and the Aardvark, The Tijuana Toads, The Blue Racer, Hoot Kloot, and The Dogfather.

DFE was one of the subcontractors for the 1960s Warner Bros. cartoons, along with Format Films. They also produced TV specials (notably a line of Dr. Seuss adaptations made for CBS), and together with Hanna-Barbera Productions and Filmation were responsible for most of the cartoons shown on Saturday morning in the US in the 1970s. One of the TV specials was 1972's The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas, with Tommy Smothers voicing the little bruin who goes out to find Christmas (in the human world) while his fellow bears head for hibernation instead.

In 1981, Freleng retired. DePatie sold the company to Marvel Comics, and it continued under his lead as Marvel Productions Ltd. Marvel sold their back catalog to Saban Entertainment in the late 1990s.

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