As the theatrical cartoon market dried up, Mr. DePatie and Mr. Freleng focused on television.
They’ve made more cartoons featuring the Pink Panther, as well as characters from Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck and Marvel Comics characters like the Fantastic Four. The studio also directed “Here Comes the Grump”, a series about a moody wizard, voiced by Rip Taylor.
At the time, DePatie-Freleng’s main rivals on television were Hanna-Barbera and Filmation.
“Friz and David were near the top because they had been doing theatrical cartoons for so long,” Mark Arnold, author of “Think Pink! The Story of DePatie-Freleng ”(2016) said in an interview. “They tried to make their cartoons slightly higher in quality.”
In addition, they produced several episodes of the series “ABC Afterschool Specials”. One of them, “My Mother Has a Baby,” which mixes live action and animation, won Mr. DePatie and Mr. Freleng a Daytime Emmy. They also won Emmys for Outstanding Animation for their collaborations with Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) on two short films: “Halloween Is Grinch Night” (1977) and “The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat” (1982).
After Mr. DePatie and Mr. Freleng ended their partnership in 1980, Mr. DePatie joined Marvel Productions as founding president. He worked with Stan Lee, the writer and publisher synonymous with Marvel’s Comic Book Heroes, on animated series and films until his retirement in 1984. He and Mr. Freleng reunited briefly that year- there to bring the “Pink Panther and Sons” television series to Hanna. -Barbera. Mr. Freleng died in 1995.
Besides his son David Jr., Mr. DePatie is survived by his wife, Marcia (MacPherson) DePatie, and two other sons, Steve and Mike. Her marriages to Ann Stevens and Beverly McKay ended in divorce.
Mr DePatie recalled that after making a deal with United Artists and the Mirisch Company to make the cartoon shorts that included the Pink Panther series, he claimed 25% of the copyright to the cartoons, which which would prove essential to the success of his business. Mr. DePatie approached Harold Mirisch, one of the three brothers who own the Mirisch company.
“He jumped up and down and screamed and said, ‘Get out of here,’” Mr. DePatie said in 2010.
But a week later, Mr. Mirisch relented. The Pink Panther factory was open.