DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (also known as DFE Films) was an American television and film production company founded by Friz Freleng and David DePatie. Their work was all animated, and included theatrically released shorts as well as TV shows and specials. Their most famous work was the Pink Panther cartoons, made for the United Artists studio for theatrical and television release.
DFE was formed in 1963 after Warner Bros. shut down their Burbank-based animation department (the cartoon studio was originally headquartered on N. Van Ness Avenue in Los Angeles). Friz Freleng and David DePatie, two men who had worked there, then started DFE, where they and other former Warner Bros. animators continued to work. In addition to their work with United Artists, DFE was a subcontractor for Warner Bros. cartoons in the 1960s.
The company continued operations until 1981 when Freleng left to return to Warner Bros. and DePatie sold DFE to Marvel Comics, where it continued under DePatie as Marvel Productions.
The DFE library is now in the hands of several companies:
- The Walt Disney Company now owns DFE productions which were later produced by Marvel (which was acquired in 1997 by Saban Entertainment), such as The New Fantastic Four and Spider-Woman; it now also owns Return to the Planet of the Apes, which 20th Century Fox Television (now 20th Television, which Disney acquired along with its catalogue) co-produced with DFE. All Disney-owned DFE shows are now distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television
- MGM Television (through parent company MGM's purchase of United Artists) owns the distribution rights to the DFE-produced Pink Panther and related cartoons
- Warner Bros. owns the Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons and related TV specials produced by DFE
- CBS Media Ventures owns and distributes The Oddball Couple, which was co-produced by DFE and Paramount Television
- NBCUniversal Syndication Studios (as NBCUniversal Television Distribution) previously held the distribution rights to the Dr. Seuss animated specials which DFE co-produced with CBS (under licence from copyright owner Dr. Seuss Enterprises) until 2011. The exceptions to this were the specials co-produced by MGM TV, which are now distributed by Warner Bros. Television, the owner (through Turner Entertainment) of the pre-May 1986 MGM TV library. Warner Bros. has since assumed the TV and home video distribution rights to all the Dr. Seuss specials
List of shows produced by DFE
Theatrical short subjects
|The Pink Panther||1964-1978|
|The Ant And The Aardvark||1969-1971|
|The Tijuana Toads (AKA The Texas Toads)||1969-1972|
|Roland And Rattfink||1968-1971|
|The Blue Racer||1972-1974|