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John H. Freeman

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John H. Freeman Obituary
John H. Freeman
Animator, Director, Writer in a 50 plus year career

Born December 14, 1916 in Spokane, WA and passed away January 1, 2010 in Burbank, California, where he resided with his wife, Lois Cameron Freeman, who survives him as well as three daughters, Catherine, Melissa and Marci. Mr. Freeman also has two grandsons, Jason and Casey.

He received a Character Animator credit on Lady and the Tramp in 1955.

Received a Golden Award in 1992 from the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Animation Guild.

Also won an award from CBS for his direction of the series, Hot Wheels, for Best Saturday Morning Animation show.

John Freeman began his animation career at Walt Disney Productions when he was 22 years old. He had been honing his skills as a cartoonist and in preparation for his interview at the studio, he made his own "reel," a demonstration of his artistic ability. He was hired within twenty minutes.

After a brief stint in the army (drafted) he returned to work at the Disney studio, where he began as an inbetweener on Fantasia and worked at Disney's for sixteen years, animating on features such as Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp and also animated some Disney 'shorts'.

He was a "story man" and often was the point or front person for promoting various Disney projects for example, some of his drawings and other artwork for Lady and the Tramp were published in the Chevrolet Friends magazine in 1955.

John also innovated the amphitheater-style of seating while teaching life drawing at Disney's wherein the artists could view and sketch the model from various vantage points.

John went on to work at TV Spots in San Francisco in 1956, where he immediately went to work laying out, animating and completing camera-ready finished drawings for four one-minute spots within one week on six hours sleep and met the deadline for all four agencies. "Everybody was happy as hell. Those people up there thought I was Paul Bunyan or something."

His animation, direction and/or writing ability shone in some notable TV Specials, such as: It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown-Seuss on the Loose (Green Eggs and Ham) and The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas. While at the Disney studio, he worked with Bing Crosby and Orson Welles on production at Marvel Studios.

Numerous other projects include Transformers, The Flintstones and several Afternoon Specials for television.

In 1981, John Freeman was also asked to travel to Madrid, Spain to animate on Katy the Caterpillar at the Moro Creativos Asociados Studio.

Other studios where he lent his talents were: Hanna Barbera Productions, Marvel Productions (Studios), Ruby and Spears, Ed Graham, Pantomime and De Patie Freleng Productions.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 10, 2010
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