Son of the Pink Panther is a 1993 comedy and crime drama film and the final installment in the original "The Pink Panther" franchise, as well as the last film directed by Blake Edwards. Just like the last one, this film once again tried to continue the series with a new bufoonish lead. This time, Roberto Benigni plays Jacques Gambrelli, the equally-inept son of Clouseau.
In Lugash, the young Princess Yasmin is kidnapped by Hans Zarba and his crew, who demand that her father, King Haroak, renounce his throne. The case is assigned to the once-again-Commissioner Dreyfus, who unknowingly runs into Hans and his crew on the road. Theyre both accompanied by a rather unexpected visitor; a dopey French gendarme named Jacques Gambrelli, prone to many familiar mannerisms and quirks that make Dreyfus tick. After meeting with Jacques mother, Maria (Clouseaus love interest in A Shot in the Dark), Dreyfuss suspicions are finally answered;
Jacques is indeed the Illegitimate son of the famed Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a fact that neither father or son were allowed to know.
When Jacques is assigned to the kidnapping case, filled with new-found determination, he must fill the shoes of his infamous fathers bumbling legacy as Detective Jacques Clouseau Jr. to rescue Yasmin from the clutches of Zarba and his gang.
This film provides examples of:
- A Cappella: The opening rendition of the Pink Panther theme is sung this way by famed acappella artist Bobby McFerrin.
- Agony of the Feet: The Pink Panther gets his foot crushed by a cutout of Jacques' face just before the credits roll.
- Animated Credits Opening: 'Son' was the first film in the series to put a spin on the opening titles, having them be a animated and live-action blend with the animated Panther and Gambrelli interact in a recording studio to an acapella rendition of the iconic series theme tune.
- Catchphrase: Jacques' "That felt gewd!".
- Cool Bike: In the beginning of the film, Jacques patrols the countryside on a blue motorbike. He loses it after falling off a pier and into a harbour.
- Darker and Edgier: This film has been noted for being slightly more darker than all the rest, due in part to the villians kidnapping of Yasmin, and the surprisingly-high body-count.
- End of an Age: This would prove to be the final Edwards-directed film in the series, as he retired after this film tanked. This was also the final work of both composer Henry Mancininote and actor Herbert Lomnote , who played Dreyfus.
- Establishing Character Moment: Jacques
- Last Episode, New Character: MANY new characters! And the audience is only familiar with around six-and-a-half of them!
- Leitmotif: Jacques is given a theme that very closely echos the original Inspector Clouseau theme, right down to the key.
- * Rearrange the Song: The Pink Panther Theme. What else?
- The opening titles variant, as mentioned above, have been given an A Cappella treatment with vocals by Bobby McFerrin.
- The end titles variant returns to the traditional performance of the theme, with the classic swinging brass and tenor saxophone played by Phil Todd. It also includes a soft flute solo likely inspired by the arrangements from Trail.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: The opening titles of the film are animated this way, with the Pink Panther and Gambrelli caricature animated over live-action footage of a recording studio.
- What a Drag: Jacques gets his fingers caught in the back doors of Hans' van, which drives away with him in tow. He does manage to free himself, though.