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Western Animation: The Pink Panther
He's one Cool Cat.

In 1963's The Pink Panther, the Animated Credits Opening visualized the pink, panther-shaped flaw in the titular diamond as an actual pink panther in an opening sequence created by DePatie/Freling Enterprises. The credit sequence was so popular that besides becoming the Series Mascot of the live-action film series, the Pink Panther was given his own series of animated shorts.

The newly founded DePatie-Freleng studio's first short, "The Pink Phink," won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject — the first time an animation studio had won one with its very first cartoon. Subsequent shorts put the Panther in situations ranging from the mundane to the fantastic, always with Henry Mancini's popular theme music somewhere in the score. Most of the shorts were silent, save for gibberish, sound effects, and music; attempts to give the Panther a voice were washes.

(The German translation of the series, however, featured an ever-present, rhymed voice-over reminiscent of Wilhelm Busch's work, spoken by the German voice of Sean Connery. It was also only in this dub that the Panther was given a name: Paul. But more often than not, the cutsey version "Paulchen" was used.)

Along with the Panther's shorts, DePatie-Freleng established a sister series in The Inspector, shorts inspired by the Breakout Character of the live-action films, Inspector Clouseau. The Inspector in these shorts, voiced by Pat Harrington, was more competent than his movie counterpart, though still prone to bad judgement calls, and was the general Butt Monkey of the series even when he did succeed in the end.

When these shorts were packaged for the television market as the Saturday Morning Cartoon The Pink Panther Show at the end of The Sixties, they were soon joined by other series over the course of The Seventies:

  • The Ant and the Aardvark: A 17-episode Cat-And-Mouse series about the two titular characters, a red ant and the blue aardvark who constantly tries to eat him.
  • Tijuana Toads: A pair of Mexican toads usually fail in catching food, but are luckier in avoiding the hunger of one Crazylegs Crane (who later got his own series). This was eventually redubbed into Texas Toads to be less offensive.
  • Roland and Rattfink: The eternal conflict between the perfectly pacifistic Roland and the Dastardly Whiplash-like Rattfink.
  • Hoot Kloot: The misadventures of Wild West lawman Kloot and his horse.
  • Misterjaw: A series about an affable German-accented shark and his catfish buddy, with many takeoffs from Jaws.
  • The Dogfather: A canine-focused spoof of The Godfather.

The Pink Panther is notable as the last great theatrical shorts character; even after the shorts were made specifically for television, they were still released to theaters into the early 1980s. After that, he became the focus of new, TV-only productions.

  • ABC aired three half-hour animated specials over 1978-81: A Pink Christmas, Olym-pinks, and Pink at First Sight.
  • The Pink Panther and Sons aired in The Eighties.
  • The New Pink Panther Show ran for several years in syndication in The Nineties, and thus far is the only incarnation that gave the Panther a proper voice at all times, provided by Matt Frewer.
  • Pink Panther and Pals ran in 2010 on Cartoon Network.
  • A Very Pink Christmas was a 2011 half-hour Christmas Special.

Has a character sheet.


This series contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Common to all series 
  • The Merch: In an odd example, the Pink Panther character is also the mascot of Owens Corning insulation, leading to weird moments when kids discover the product in home improvement stores.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: It is clear that the Panther is a guy.

    1964- 1980 Original Series 
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The Aardvark.
    • In an episode of The New Pink Panther Show, the Aardvark (as a Tarzan parody) screams "Oy Vey!" in a Tarzan-like manner.
  • Animated Anthology: When the animated shorts began airing on Saturday morning TV in 1969 as The Pink Panther Show, it was in a half-hour timeslot and an ABA format: two Pink Panther shorts and an Inspector short. This particular setup persisted via syndicated airings and (later) Cartoon Network for years. As The Seventies progressed, the various Pink Panther anthology shows came to include other DePatie-Freleng shorts.
  • Art Evolution
  • Asshole Victim: Several episodes feature The Panther ruining the day of someone who, thankfully, is generally revealed to be a jerk beforhand.
  • Butt Monkey: In the episodes where he's not a trickster, the Panther's always being being bedeviled by the universe as a whole. He's remarkably cool about it.
  • Clueless Detective: The Inspector - though the cartoons go back on forth (often within the same cartoon) as to whether he's a bumbler with a Hypercompetent Sidekick, or bumbling but semi-competent with a Clueless Sidekick who still manages to get the job done in the end.
  • Cool Cat: The Panther is the quintessential example, of the "never has to lose his cool" variety - even in cartoons where he's the Butt Monkey, he always keeps his silent wit and rhythmic step.
  • Karmic Trickster: The Panther - often a master of Disproportionate Retribution as well - though he's also often an innocent trickster who doesn't mean to cause the chaos he does.
  • Lampshade Hanging
  • Laugh Track: By 1969, laugh tracks for Saturday Morning had become the norm, The Pink Panther Show was no exception.
  • Limited Animation: Although it improved.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dean Martin for the Ant and Jackie Mason for the Aardvark. One short also had a computer parodying Paul Lynde.
  • Shrug Take: "The Panther sees/causes some crazy occurrence, shrugs and saunters into the sunset" is a favorite to end episodes.
  • Synchronized Swarming: One cartoon has the title character annoy a swarm of bees. While taking cover inside a house blocks them, the bees take a form of a drill, and create a hole in the door that they fly through.
  • Tickertape Parade: In "Pink of the Litter", Pink is hired to clean all the litter in town. After he does, he is given one... and then has to clean up after it.
  • The Voiceless: Except on two occasions (ending of "Sink Pink" and all of "Pink Ice"), and always with a Celebrity Star (Rich Little doing an impression of David Niven, to be exact).
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist

    The Pink Panther and Sons 

     The New Pink Panther Show (1993- 1996 series) 

     Pink Panther and Pals (2010) 

The Pink PantherAnimal Title IndexPiranha
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownWestern Animation of the 1960sRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Phantom 2040Western Animation of the 1990sPinky and the Brain
The Perils of Penelope PitstopThe Dark Age of AnimationThe Plague Dogs
Mister TSaturday Morning CartoonProStars
PinguThe Kiddie RidePostman Pat
Mother UpCreator/HuluPole Position
PinguWestern AnimationPink Panther And Pals
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?ImageSource/Western AnimationTreasure Is Bigger in Fiction

alternative title(s): Pink Panther
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