In 1963, Warner Bros. closed down their long-running cartoon facility that had produced such memorable merrymakers as the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. Director/producer Friz Freleng and executive David H. DePatie were able to lease the former Warner cartoons studio on California Street in Burbank, complete with equipment and supplies. They struggled to keep their small animation studio running against odds and obstacles such as rising costs, never anticipating how they would soon style a series of cartoon characters that would paint memorable colors over movie animation history. When director Blake Edwards produced The Pink Panther, he envisioned a cartoon character of the same name to illustrate the opening credits sequence. Edwards hired Freleng and DePatie, together with artists at their DePatie-Freleng Enterprises studio, to design the animated sequence. The crafty magenta furry feline minced his way into moviegoer's hearts. The inspiration behind the ink was the people that worked at the DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (DFE) animation studio. Their hilarious cartoons caused a generation of moviegoers to rock theaters with laughter.