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The Pink Panther is - paws down - the world's grooviest cartoon star. In 1964, this pink-inked feline slinked onto the opening credits of Blake Edwards' caper film by the same name and threatened to steal the entire show. Sleek, sophisticated and witty, the animation, produced by Friz Freleng and David H. DePatie, was a stylish departure from its contemporaries and an instant hit. A subsequent short film, The Pink Phink, would go on to win* an Oscar® and spawn a celebrated series of six-minute cartoons featuring the sly cat. Now, for the first time, 124 cartoons produced by Freleng and DePatie between 1964 and 1980 are collected here in a swingin' 5-disc set. With over 14 hours of "pink comedy," you can't help but lick your whiskers!
One of the unforeseen (and hugely profitable) benefits of the first Pink Panther movie was the popularity of the cartoon cat from that film's classic credits sequence. Added on a hunch by director Blake Edwards and concocted by the DePatie-Freleng animation team, the slinky pink feline immediately spawned his own series of cartoons, first for theatrical release and later for television. The saga is gathered in The Pink Panther Classic Cartoon Collection, five discs of 124 cartoons, plus extras. This would have to be considered the ultimate such collection, and more than the average fan could handle in a few sittings (or a few dozen). But they're all here.
When United Artists commissioned David DePatie and Friz Freleng (whose new company was born from the eclipse of the old Warner Bros. cartoon unit) to make freestanding Pink Panther cartoons, their first effort struck gold. Literally: The Pink Phink won the Oscar for best animated short subject, and is still a prime example of circa-1964 line drawing and visual humor. Most of the early shorts display a sure sense of timing and a cheeky feel for the era; they were directed by Freleng and Hawley Pratt (Pratt's design for the Pink Panther had been selected by Blake Edwards from dozens of offerings at the time of the first feature). In two of the first handful, Sink Pink and Pink Ice, the Pink Panther himself speaks stray lines of dialogue, a mistake that would not be repeated later. One unwelcome aural intrusion: some of the cartoons here have a laugh track from the TV series, even on the Oscar-nominated Pink Blueprint.
Animation voiceover veterans of the era chimed in with narration or voices for other characters; for instance, the indefatigable Paul Frees does the narration on Phinkfinger, a funny spoof of 007-style spy movies. But most of the cartoons are wordless, which is one reason they remained popular internationally for so many years. The main reason is the slinky character of the Panther, a mischievous hipster who could be either the instrument of chaos or the victim, depending on the cartoon. The plots tend toward the cartoon verities: the necessity of catching a mouse or silencing an alarm clock, for instance. A documentary, Behind the Feline, gives a fine account of the history of the character; it is also bundled on a previous boxed set, The Pink Panther Film Collection. Useful new extras include a portrait of Friz Freleng by his daughters, an illuminating interview with animator-director Art Leonardi, and a delightful vignette with Leonardi instructing us on how to quickly draw the Pink Panther. The opening-title sequences from five Pink Panther movies are included. Throughout the cartoons and the extras, you will be reminded of one incalculable boost to the series: Henry Mancini's lithe, foxy theme music, which surely had much to do with the character's enduring fame. Mancini gets an onscreen shout-out in Pink, Plunk, Plink, in which the Panther tries to inject his theme into an orchestral performance of Beethoven's Fifth. --Robert Horton
Great collection, many memories of growing up. Arrived on time.Published 2 months ago by Vincent L. Yankey
Love the classic cartoons & my son loves it too. Its great to see him enjoy something I liked as a child.Published 2 months ago by Roger W Foster
Its an age old show that's still get's you laughing. I bought this for my son who saw an episode on the internet and he just loved it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by The Reviewer
All the classic PP cartoons from childhood- great set. Verry funny! Highly recommended, finally found this set that was formatted to play in the US!Published 6 months ago by N. J.
These are the best! Everyone, all ages, loves these! They are also great for watching with non-English speakers as there's very little dialogue.Published 6 months ago by earthymama
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Laugh Track on the early episodes?||
Hi - all the episodes had a laugh track added to the soundtracks by NBC/ABC when the films aired on Saturday mornings between 1969-1980. That was the norm. I peorsonally like the laugh tracks, as that is how I remember the films. MGM should have kept the integrity of both the theatrical and TV... Read More
Jul 21, 2011 by A. Mandabee Reckonwidth | See all 3 posts
I was disappointed that I didn't get the Inspector, Aardvark,or the Mexican Frogs with my purchase. All the cartoons are just Pink Panther. I falsely assumed that a multi disc collection like this would have it all.
Mar 21, 2007 by L. Gutierrez | See all 4 posts
|WTF happened to the PRICE?!||
Amazon's prices are not written in stone, you see a good deal, act on it then.
Jan 17, 2011 by Eric Pregosin | See all 5 posts
Yes, there is a booklet that lists the eras the cartoons were made, the names of the episodes and which disc they are on (with the dates), and the extra features.
Feb 22, 2007 by गुरू guru Duke | See all 2 posts
There was Crazylegs Crane. He had his own cartoons within, I think, The All New Pink Panther Show (the one that used to end with the Pink Panther dancing to the closing music while the credits rolled)
Sep 21, 2008 by Stevie V | See all 2 posts
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