Friday, January 8, 2010

DePatie-Freleng titles

I've been looking at some "Ant and the Aardvark" cartoons that DePatie-Freleng made in the early '70s. One thing that struck to me is that it had a unique title sequence.

Most theatrical studios had a standard credit format that they used on all their cartoons for years. The looks of the credits were pretty much the same on an average "Tom and Jerry" and a Tex Avery MGM cartoon, for example. Paramount cartoons' credits remained the same throughout its existance with minor differences here and there (they never gave voice actors credit, even when all other studios started crediting them). Warner Bros, too, although they would change them every few years.

It depended, however, with DePatie-Freleng. On "Pink Panther", "Roland and Rattfink", and "Tijuana Toads", they all had a similar format. The credits were typed in a font called "AdLib" and were shown in a background that's relevant to the cartoon about to play (with the Toads, the title card art differed, but the credits were always shown in the same BG, with a Mexican guitar over a yellow and green background).

However, in their other series (like "The Inspector") their screen credits were custom designed to only run on cartoons starring them. In the case of "The Ant and the Aardvark", the credits were designed with torn construction papers, made to make it look like an ant's tunnel. Even the font's custom designed, courtesy of Art Leonardi.

Art Leonardi was the studio's go-to guy for anything that's needed for their cartoons, whether it's the title sequence, design work, animation and direction. He even received credit for designing the titles in "Hoot Kloot" and "Dogfather".

One thing I noticed is that the director's credit is in larger font. In every other DFE cartoons, the director's name is the same size as to the other crew members. I swear that Friz felt being a director was no big deal.

Another thing I noticed are the credits for "Graphics" and "Color". That's actually Layouts and Backgrounds respectively, and this series is the only one where they are credited as that (except in one Roland and Rattfink cartoon "Hawks and Doves").

1 comment:

Chris Sig said...

The Ant and Aardvark will always remains to be one of my fave DFE series, and these title cards are no exception. Credit, too, for Dick Ung's lovely graphic settings for most of DFE's cartoons, too.