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The Stan Freberg Page - Pullet Surprise
  Pullet Surprise

Freberg voices Pete Puma in Pullet Surprise
Press Release

Forwarded message: From: Date: 97-03-24 15:09:32 EST

BURBANK, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--March 24, 1997--The sixth Chuck Jones Film Productions short, "Pullet Surprise," directed by Darrell Van Citters and produced by Chuck Jones and Linda Jones Clough, will be released in conjunction with Warner Bros.' and Turner Animation's critically praised new animated feature, "Cats Don't Dance," which opens nationwide on March 26.

"Pullet Surprise" stars Foghorn Leghorn and Pete Puma, in the second appearance of his career. Pete Puma is voiced, as he was in his first appearance, by legendary voice actor Stan Freberg, and Foghorn Leghorn is voiced by acclaimed character and voice actor Frank Gorshin.

The animated short has a story by Stephen Fossati and Van Citters, with additional story by Dean Wellins.

"Pullet Surprise" follows the efforts of Pete Puma, a none-too- bright wildcat, to poach a plump hen from Foghorn Leghorn's henhouse. The pompous rooster uses a series of distractions, misdirections and ruses to keep Pete Puma away from the poultry, but at the end of the story, one of the chickens has a little surprise for the vainglorious Foghorn Leghorn himself.

Universally acknowledged as one of the foremost animation directors of any era, writer/director/producer Jones returned to Warner Bros., where he directed animation from 1938 to 1962, with the animated theatrical short "Chariots of Fur" in 1994.

During his previous illustrious and productive period with Warner Bros, Jones directed more than 250 animated cartoons and created such classic characters as Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Marvin Martian and Pepe Le Pew.

Jones is currently chief executive officer and president of Chuck Jones Enterprises, where he has directed and written such animated favorites as "The Cricket in Times Square" and "Rikki-Tikki- Tavi."

Jones is the recipient of nine Academy Award nominations, winning twice for Best Animated Cartoon and once for Best Documentary Short Subject, as well as an honorary Academy Award in 1996 for his lifetime achievement. He has been honored with countless awards and recognitions for his animation work over the past several decades.

His work has been featured in the New York Museum of Modern Art and has been staged over three floors at the Capital Children's Museum's National Center for Animation in Washington, D.C., where Jones has been named First Dean. He has written two autobiographical books, "Chuck Amuck" and "Chuck Reducks."

Jones holds a degree from the Chouinard Art Institute in addition to honorary Ph.D.s from Edinboro University and Oglethorpe University.

During his earlier career at Warner Bros., Jones' work included such classics as "What's Opera, Doc?," which was voted the all-time best animated short by an esteemed group of animators and added to the National Film Registry.

Among his other well-known and well-loved shorts are "The Rabbit of Seville," "Rabbit Seasoning," "Duck Amuck," "Zoom and Bored" and "The Scarlet Pumpernickel" -- works inarguably considered classics of the "Golden Age" of animation.

Since rejoining Warner Bros. in 1994, in association with his daughter, Clough, Chuck Jones Film Productions has been housed in the Warner animation building in Burbank, designed and erected in 1954, specifically for the cartoon units.

As the daughter of Jones, producer Clough grew up in and around the world of animation. Clough accompanied her husband during his Army years to points across the country and around the world and experienced an eclectic range of careers, from nursery-school teacher to publisher to art distributor, not to mention wife, mother and grandmother.

Clough was instrumental in promoting the rebirth of interest in the animation-art market by introducing signed limited editions and Warner Bros. production cels to the fine-art market starting in 1977.

Her company, Linda Jones Enterprises, has been a leader in publication and distribution of animation art throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and other areas around the world. Linda Jones Enterprises owns and operates three retail galleries and has a publishing arm as well.

Clough co-produced the animated segment of the 1992 Morgan Creek film "Stay Tuned" and produced the animated segment featured in "Mrs. Doubtfire." She is serving as producer for the new series of short theatrical animated films produced by Chuck Jones Film Productions for Warner Bros.

Writer/director Van Citters began his career in animation by training at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts in character animation. He was hired by the Disney studios, where he quickly worked his way up to the position of director. After eight years at Disney, Van Citters spent three ye, Dow, Frito-Lay, Pepsi, Apple Computers, NCAA/NHTSA and Carl's Jr.

In addition, Van Citters produced the highly acclaimed "Aerospace Jordan" spot for Nike.

Fossati is head of story, as well as co-director and co-producer at Chuck Jones Film Productions. His story credits there include "Chariots of Fur," "Another Froggy Evening," "From Hare to Eternity" and "Father of the Bird," this last title marking his debut as a director.

Fossati first worked with Jones on the six-minute animated segment of the feature film "Mrs. Doubtfire." In addition to his work with Jones, Fossati is currently working on two independent animated films, one in traditional 2-D animation and the other in 3-D stop-motion.

Gorshin is well known as a character actor, singer, comedian and impressionist, with such films to his credit as "Twelve Monkeys," "The Meteor Man," the original "That Darn Cat," "The George Raft Story," "The Great Imposter," "Where the Boys Are," "Studs Lonigan" and "Bells Are Ringing."

On television, he has had starring roles in the series "KopyKats," "ABC Comedy Hour" and "The Edge of Night," as well as in such telefilms as "Sky Heist," "Death on the Freeway," "Goliath Awaits" and "A Masterpiece of Murder," and as a guest star on numerous other programs.

His most famous role, however, was The Riddler in the "Batman" television series, which earned him an Emmy nomination.

In addition to his appearances on the large and small screens, Gorshin is a popular performer in Las Vegas and a successful voice artist. He has also appeared on Broadway, starring in "Jimmy," and appearing in the touring companies of "What Makes Sammy Run?," "Promises, Promises," "Peter Pan," "Prisoner of Second Avenue," "Deathtrap," "Doubles," "Ah, Wilderness," "On the Twentieth Century," "Breaking Legs" and "Guys and Dolls."

Freberg is a humorist, Grammy Award-winning recording artist, writer, actor, commercial producer/director, composer/lyricist, author and radio commentator. His affiliation with the Looney Tunes goes all the way back to 1945, when Freberg and Mel Blanc first created voices at Warners Bros. for animators Bob Clampett, Jones and Friz Freleng.

In addition to his work at Warner Bros., Freberg was the voice of the helpful beaver in Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" and of the father in Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories episode, "The Family Dog." His commercials company, Freberg Ltd., has also produced many award-winning animated commercials over the years.

In 1992, Freberg was the recipient of the Winsor McCay Award from the International Animated Film Society for his "distinguished lifetime contribution to the art of animation." His many other awards include a Grammy, 21 Clio awards, the New York Art Directors' Gold Medal, two Silver Lions at Cannes, the Venice Film Festival Grand Prize and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His satirical radio commentaries, "Stan Freberg Here," are heard daily on 90 American radio stations and are carried to 130 countries by Armed Forces Radio.

"Pullet Surprise" stars Foghorn Leghorn and is produced by Jones and Clough. The co-producer is Fossati and the story is by Fossati and Van Citters, with additional story by Wellins.

The animators are Tom Decker, Patrick Gleeson and Wellins. The voices are by Gorshin and Freberg. The original music score is by Cameron Patrick, with orchestration by J. Eric Schmidt. Van Citters is the director of the animated short, which is distributed by Warner Bros., a Time Warner entertainment company.

--30--tjm/la rcg/la CONTACT: Warner Bros., Burbank 818/954-6290