David H. DePatie, the animation producer who, along with his partner Friz Freleng, created one of the most enduring and recognizable cartoon characters of the last century in Pink Panther, died September 23 of natural causes in Gig Harbor, Washington. . Hey 91.
His death was announced in an obituary for the Seattle Times.
As well as Pink Panther, which began as part of the title credits of the main title of the 1963 Blake Edwards heist comedy starring Peter Sellars before becoming his own cartoon shorts throughout the 60s and 70s, DePatie -Freleng Enterprises generated such identifiable character snapshots as Charlie Tuna from StarKist Tuna, the cartoon versions of Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman for the opening credits of I dream of jeannieand basic products for children like The ant and the anteater; Roland and Rattfink and Tijuana Toads, Here Comes the Grump, What’s New Mr. Magoo, Return to the Planet of the Apes, The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas, several new Looney tunes other Merrie Melodies shorts and Dr. Seuss Specials including The cat in the hat and Halloween is the night of the Grinch.
DePatie-Freleng also contributed to many ABC after-school specials, including the 1977 Emmy-winning hybrid animated and live-action installment. My mom is going to have a baby.
Born in Los Angeles, DePatie, according to Animation Magazine, was a self-described “Warner Brat” whose father Edmond DePatie was a former WB executive who eventually became vice president and general manager of the studio under the direction of Jack Warner. The young DePatie began working for the studio in 1961 as a production executive for Warner Bros. Cartoon.
According to the magazine, DePatie “oversaw the final days of this iteration of WB animation, bringing the final theatrical cartoons of Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn and Tweety Bird to the screens.” Would also produce television shows The Bugs Bunny Show, The Adventures of the Road Runner and other projects that include animated commercials.
In 1963, DePatie and Freleng formed their own company, and they soon landed a contract that would make them famous: the comedy feature film. The Pink Panther starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau. The animated opening credit sequence with the panther quickly led to a commission from United Artists for a separate cartoon short, which became the Oscar winner. The Pink Phink, Launch of the long-running franchise of short films and television series.
For decades, the DePatie-Freleng logo was a familiar sight for any child who watched Saturday morning cartoons or primetime shows like 1969. My world and welcome to it and the Seuss specials. The company also maintained a fairly stable presence in feature films, contributing animated credit sequences for films like the 1966 one. The problem with angels and 1968 With Six you get Eggroll.
The company is also credited with developing the lightsaber effect for the first time. Star Wars movie in 1977. Specifically, Korean animator Nelson Shin, employed at the time by DePatie – Freleng Enterprises at the time, was assigned to animate the shiny gun for the movie.
DePatie and Freleng sold their company in 1981 to Marvel Comics, and DePatie continued until 1984 as executive producer. He briefly met Freleng at Hanna-Barbera on Pink Panther and Sons Television series before retirement.
Information on the survivors was not immediately available.