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Pink Panther
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Pink Panther

The Pink Panther refers to:
		

Table of contents
1 Films
2 Cartoons

Films

The films initially starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau and were directed by Blake Edwards. The popular theme music is by Henry Mancini. The Pink Panther of the title is, in the first film, a diamond supposedly containing a flaw which forms the image of a pink panther, whose theft is the concern of the first film. The diamond is not subsequently referred to in the series (except The Return Of The Pink Panther), but the name stuck because of the distinctive animated character of a pink panther seen in the first film only in the opening credits and at the end of the film. Thus far, nine official films have been made, all but two having "Pink Panther" in the title. The films are as follows: All these films have been released by United Artists, however The Return Of The Pink Panther is the only film in the series not currently owned by MGM/UA as at the time UA sold the film rights to British production company ITC (although UA does own the copyright)--that film is now in rights litigation, which is why "Return" is not included in a 2004 DVD box set of the other five Sellers films.

A new film, called The Pink Panther, starring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau and directed and produced by Ivan Reitman, is scheduled to enter production in Spring 2004 for release in 2005. The film is intended to be a prequel to the original 1963 film.

Characters

Inspector Jacques Clouseau

A bumbling simpleton who believes himself to be a detective genius. Inexplicably speaks in
English with a ludicrous French accent, while other characters in the films speak English in whatever accent is normal for the actor playing the part.

Sheer luck or clumsiness usually saves him. For example, in one film, assassins from all over the world are sent to kill him; Clouseau bends down to tie his shoelace, falls over, etc, at just the right moment to ensure that the killers' attempts eliminate one another.

Played by Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin, and Roger Moore

Chief Inspector Dreyfus

Clouseau's superior, who is eventually driven insane by his intolerance for Clouseau's stupidity. One film ends with him strait-jacketed in a padded cell writing "Kill Clouseau" on the wall with his feet. He attempts to take over the world for the sole purpose of guaranteeing the death of Clouseau.

Played by Herbert Lom

Cato

Clouseau's manservant, and an expert in martial arts. It's unclear whether he believes Clouseau is a great detective or merely humours him. It is a running joke that he is required to attack Clouseau when he least expects it, to keep Clouseau's combat skills and vigilance sharp. One memorable scene has Clouseau stealthily search the entire apartment on returning from grocery shopping; upon not finding Cato, he opens the refrigerator for a snack. The location of Cato is left to the reader's imagination.

Played by Burt Kwouk.

Cartoons

The Pink Panther animated shorts were directed by Friz Freleng. Originally they were created for the opening of the Blake Edwards series of films, but they were soon spun off in their own series, sometimes with the animated version of Clouseau as foil. The cartoon series was initially produced for theatrical release, and the 1964 animated short film The Pink Phink won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film (Freleng's third Oscar). The series eventually moved to television, with several Saturday morning cartoon series (including one called The Think Pink Panther Show) producing a number of additional Pink Panther cartoons. It also added episodes starring other characters including The Ant and the Aardvark, the Tijuana Toads (aka the Texas Toads) and Mr. Jaws and Catfish. (aka Misterjaw).

In the early series of Pink Panther cartoons, the Panther generally remained silent, speaking only in two theatrical shorts. In a later series of cartoons the Panther starred with his sons Pinky, Panky, and Punky. A third series of cartoons had the Pink Panther speaking with the voice of Matt Frewer (of Max Headroom fame).

The cartoon character of the Pink Panther has been, since August 15, 1980, a mascot for Owens Corning fiberglass thermal insulation. The association comes from the pink coloration of the insulation.

FILMOGRAPHY (for the original theatrical cartoons)

1964

1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 The Pink Panther Page [1]