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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.

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Jerry Beck

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