Fresh-Up Freddie

freshupfreddy.jpg

Lest we forget: This year marks the anniversary of Disney’s biggest commercial cartoon star: Fresh-Up Freddie.

It was fifty years ago (in 1957) when the Leo Burnett Agency created the Freddy ad campaign for 7-Up and its sponsorship of Disney’s prime time Zorro TV series. The Disney studio made the commercials and designed the character (essentially a hybrid of Panchito and the Aracuan Bird from The Three Caballeros). I’ve seen very few of them myself, but luckily, like everything else, they are now showing up on the Internet. There is a nice long Freddie commercial currently featured at The Museum of Broadcast Communications website near the start of the American Bandstand episode (at the 1:50 mark). And here’s another one from YouTube:

These spots are nice, but they are nothing Walter Lantz or any other commercial cartoon studio couldn’t do just as well. Commercials were not really part of Disney agenda…perhaps he should have stopped doing them 35 years earlier, after Tommy Tucker’s Tooth.


  • http://www.optionjoe.blogspot.com Joe Apel

    Is that Paul Frees and June Foray as voices?

  • http://www.inducks.hpg.ig.com.br/ Fernando Ventura

    Let’s wait – the Japanese Disney guys may see this and soon we may get brand new Fresh-Up Freddie collecting toys! :))

  • http://jmac.org Jason McIntosh

    Whoa… which 1950s celebrity was he imitating while he was in the water, jostling his hat around? That was interesting.

  • uncle wayne

    Well, I’ll be damned!! A true “hybrid” of Panchito & the Aracuan!! In trying to figure out the voice[s]….sounds like Paul F. & June!! Yes!??

    Grrrrreat!

  • Steve Gattuso

    Jason, I think that was a Maurice Chevalier imitation. Sort of.

    Imagine Freddy transported to a more modern beach for these commercials. “YO DUDE! This is Fresh-Up Freddie, on the fresh side of some tasty waves! After catching a tube, waxing a board, and two bong loads, nothing makes The Chronic go smoother than some 7-Up!”

  • Smelof Livingston

    Inspiration for the Tiki Room.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com/gerstein David Gerstein

    Freddy looks more like a hybrid of Panchito and José Carioca to me. The Aracuan might be the third bird on the grassy knoll, but with his long beak, Woody-like hairdo and less humanized behavior, he seems to have been less of an influence here.
    Freddy’s “natural” voice at the end of the commercial sounded suspiciously similar to Daffy Duck circa 1938.

  • http://classicanimation.blogspot.com Thad Komorowski

    These are fairly pedestrian for Disney, even commercial-wise (though I hate commercials and change the channel when they’re on anyway).

  • red pill junkie

    OH MY F. GOD!!

    So the Aracuan bird was a TRANSEXUAL? My whole childhood ruined!!

  • Keith Paynter

    Definitely sounds like Paul Frees, (and most likely June Foray)!

  • Earl Kress

    That is indeed a very sped-up Paul Frees as Fresh-Up Freddie (and the other male birds as well) and June Foray as the large female.

  • http://www.ronimation.com Ron

    I like the guy who couldn’t pull the hotdog off the fork. That adds a nice touch of reality. If you hadn’t told me Disney did the animation, I’d never guess it.

  • http://members.shaw.ca/petemslie/index.htm Pete Emslie

    “These are fairly pedestrian for Disney, even commercial-wise (though I hate commercials and change the channel when they’re on anyway).”

    Perhaps so, Thad, but I personally think they’re kind of fun relics from a far more entertaining era than we live in now. I was lucky enough to grow up in the years when Leo Burnett produced animated commercials were plentiful on TV, and they were all quite entertaining. I still love those Charlie the Tuna commercials for Starkist. The reason you may not like animated commercials, Thad, is because your generation has been cheated out of all the good stuff. Instead you get primitive, minimalist efforts done cheaply and quickly like the Heinz spot that Amid just posted. (Sorry Amid, but this trend just doesn’t cut it in my book. Cartoon commercials used to be so much better…)

  • Chris Sobieniak

    I would have to agree with Pete on what he said about the way animated TV advertisements had been in recent years verses the ones produced from the very beginning. Those earlier ads seem much more fun than what I’ve seen in much of my lifetime (worst I’ve seen lately is a car ad where an animated character had to admit to being 2D itself).

  • Mr. Semaj

    They could’ve just as well used the Aracuan Bird, but then people would’ve had to get used to the bird speaking.

  • Steve Halvor

    The real treat for classic animation fans on this site it under the “Net Nights” tab. Look for Tuesday Evening Fall 1961. It contains a full episode of the Bugs Bunny show complete with Bugs et al. shilling for Post Cereals and Tang. Then after an episode of Bachelor Father we get a complete episode of Calvin & The Colonel!