Monday, August 21, 2006

Happy 100th Birthday Friz

Dedicated to Friz Freleng 1907 - 1995

One of the great directors from Warner Bros' Termite Terrace, Freleng had impeccable timing and ability to fashion fully rounded, credible characters gave his cartoons a kind of classicism - a wholeness and balance through which humor and beauty became one. While his showman's sense generally favored the pratfalls and pain gags of slapstick, he often found room for moments of tenderness. As Chuck Jones has written: "No student of animation can safely ignore the wizardry of (Freleng's) cartoons - if they can stop laughing long enough to seriously study thier beauty."

I must say that Friz has been one of my favorite Looney Tunes directors. He has directed cartoons featuring the first team up of Tweety and his own creation, Sylvester the cat. He introduced a tiny, easily-annoyed cowboy named Yosemite Sam to Bugs Bunny. He has been inserted into several background paintings of several cartoons.

I have chosen to post about a 1951 cartoon directed by Friz Freleng entitled "Canned Feud".
I have watched this cartoon many times and have decided it is one of my favorite Friz cartoons due to the fact that his designs of Sylvester's many facial expressions and energized actions make this story stand out from the rest.

The story goes as such, a family leaves for a two-week vacation and forget to put out the cat. Namely Sylvester. Scared to starve to death, Syl rushes through the kitchen to find a heaping supply of canned cat food. Unfortunately, there is no can opener to be found because of a wiseguy mouse. Sylvester tries many desperate attempts to retrive the opener from the mouse and ends up recieving many a beating. Fed up, Syl blows up the mousehole, along with himself, and finally regains the opener. Delighted, the housecat rushes to eat but discovers that the pantry is now locked with the mouse holding the key.

Friz Freleng was a great asset in the field of animation and still is today.
Happy 100th Friz.


Brian said...

Thanks for this post and all the great images! I love the selection; Canned Feud is definitely one of my favorite Sylvester cartoons, maybe #1.

David Germain said...

Um, Friz' brother Allan was born in 1907 and they weren't twins. The birth year under Friz should read either 1904 or 1905 or possibly 1906. Check with Sogturtle at GAC.

Otherwise it's a great post. I love those screen captures.

J.E.Daniels said...

Thank you, thank you...
I put down the first dates I saw, I never really checked it out.
I was watching Canned Feud a few days ago and studied all of Sylvester's great expressions...