These columns usually didn’t acknowledge when a person left the studio – or any dramatic changes of company status – but it was undeniable at this point. David DePatie notes here that this is “our final holiday season together as a division of this company” – and the columnist acknowledges the November 30th (1962) resignation of Friz Freleng after “29 years” (Actually, not counting his one year away at MGM, Friz was with the studio for over 30 years!)
This month marked the passing of Robert McKimson’s wife and Art Leonardi’s father… of Chuck Jones’ Now Hear This being nominated for an Oscar… but more fascinating are these recently uncovered memos from David DePatie to his father Edward discussing details of continuing the cartoon studio as an independent, privately owned company, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. Kinda like the company Leon Schlesinger Productions was – before Warners bought ’em.
This is the final employee column emanating from the Warner Bros. Cartoon Division for the Warner Club News. Nothing special. Rather dull… the staff is finishing up post production of the 1963-1964 season of cartoon shorts… completing ink-and paint work on The Incredible Mr. Limpet (curiously never mentioned in these columns). In a few months DePatie Freleng would move in, but for now…
In June 1963, Warner Bros. released a Robert Preston, Tony Randall comedy called Island Of Love. In it, Tony Randall plays a ghost writer who, after being liquored up by con-man Robert Preston, will write any old junk… including (as indicated in the clip below) a “Bugs Bunny” cartoon.
It’s almost as if the studio was saying that the worst thing a writer could do, the lowest wrung on the creative totem pole, was to pen a cartoon… a Bugs Bunny cartoon. What a sad way to commemorate the closing of the greatest short cartoon studio of all time.
Released JANUARY 1964
“That’s All, Folks!”
(Thanks, Ned Comstock)