Western Animation: The Pink Panther
aka: Pink Panther
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-Freleng 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, a co-production between Hanna-Barbera and DePatie-Freleng, 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:
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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, and 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.
- Surreal Humor: Often used for one-off gags, although "Pink Outs" is almost nothing but this.
- 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.
- Talking with Signs: How the Panther typically communicates, with the occasional Imagine Spot which other people can sometimes see.
- 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)
- An Aesop: Occasionally the 1993 series would venture into it in some episodes.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has a different ending theme.
- Art Shift: The episode Hamm-N-Eggz and the final two episodes of the series listed here show why. The Texas Toads, from 1995, is an example.
- Hamm-N-Eggz looks more like a 1990s Nickelodeon animation than a DePatie-Freleng/MGM production.
- Art Evolution: Compare the early 1993 episodes with the 1995 season.
- Bag of Kidnapping: In "All for Pink and Pink for All" the Queen is kidnapped with this method by her advisor's men, who are disguised as musketeers.
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- Catchphrase: Thiiiinnnnk Pink!
- Celebrity Paradox: Featuring an unvoiced cameo of Tara Strong.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: The Aardvark is this.
- A Day in the Limelight: Happened a few times.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Aardvark (but he is voiced by John Byner, so Ink-Suit Actor then?)
- Demoted to Extra: After the episode A Nut at the Opera, the panther did not appear for a full four episodes, excluding Driving Mr. Pink.
- Expy: Manly Man is an expy of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Fanfic: Yes, this is one of the most unlikely candidates!
- Fanservice: The dark-skinned policewoman who has no name, and appears only in Superpink's Egg-Cellent Adventure and Trains, Pains and Panthers, is considered an animated version of this trope.
- Not to mention the endless deviantART pictures of her.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Could have its own page.
- Also, the episode 7 Manly Men.
- Hamm-N-Eggz had a few of its own, despite Animal Protagonists.
- Identical Grandson
- Lampshade Hanging: One of the show's heavily used tropes. In-Universe on the show, it's a trope of legend.
- Lower Deck Episode: All episodes for The Inspector (Clouseau), and one with Voodoo Man, another for Manly Man, and the final two episodes, Texas Toads and Ant and Aardvark.
- Parental Bonus: Some episodes, like Lifestyles of the Pink and Famous. And 7 Manly Men as well.
- Shout-Out: The episode 7 Manly Men parodies Village People and their song "YMCA".
- The episode Pinky Rider is a direct shout-out to Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider.
- Straight Gay: Possibly Manly Man.
- Suddenly Voiced: The Pink Panther himself.
- Tara Strong: Plus a Captain Ersatz/Expy of her as well, creating a semi-Celebrity Paradox.
- Third-Person Person: Voodoo Man, who refers to himself this way.
- Two Shorts: Except the final episodes, which are three shorts.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: The Little Man's family.
- The Unintelligible: Voodoo Man can be this at times.
- Vanishing Village: One episode features an Arabian kingdom cursed to only appear once every 500 years. The curse will only be broken if the Sultan marries an outsider.
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Well, for The Little Man in this series, anyway...
- Witch Doctor: Played for Laughs. Voodoo Man is this.
Pink Panther and Pals (2010)