"Think of all the animals you've ever heard about. Like rhinoceroses and tigers, cats and mink. There are lots of funny animals in all this world. But have you ever seen a panther that is pink? Think! A panther that is positively pink. Well, here he is. The Pink Panther. The Pink Panther. Everybody loves a panther that's pink. He really is a groovy cat. He's a gentleman, a scholar, and an acrobat. He's in the rinky-dink Panther. The Pink Panther. He's as plain as your nose. He's the one and only truly original panther pink from head to toes. He's the one and only truly original panther Pink Panther from head to toes!"In 1963, cartoon-animation director Friz Freleng was approached by live-action film producer/director Blake Edwards to design a cartoon cat for the title sequence to Edwards' new comedy movie for United Artists, The Pink Panther, starring Peter Sellers as a bumbling, accident-prone French detective named Clouseau and David Niven as a debonair English jewel thief, Sir Charles Litton, alias the Phantom. Edwards asked Freleng to conceive a classy but mischievous pink cat that was supposed to be visible when a person looks a certain way into a large gem called the Pink Panther. Freleng and Hawley Pratt sketched numerous versions of the desired pink feline and spread them on a table at Edwards' house. Edwards walked straight over to a particular sketch, of the Pink Panther who would be known and loved by generations of comedy movie and cartoon buffs, and said, "That's him. That's the guy."
The title sequence to the film garnered rave reviews by critics and induced belly-laughs from audiences. Some people opined that the title sequence was the most entertaining part of the movie. United Artists contracted with Freleng and David DePatie's newly-formed animation company, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, to produce a series of short cartoons for theatrical release to be shown prior to feature films as the Warner Brothers cartoons, directed by Freleng for more than 20 years, had been exhibited. Just like in the title sequence for The Pink Panther, the pink cat featured in the new series of cartoon shorts was almost always shown in pantomime to Henry Mancini's by-then-famous theme music, and finding himself in bizarre situations. Freleng himself directed the initial and definitive Pink Panther cartoons before delegating the directing duties to his long-time layout man from Warner Brothers, Hawley Pratt. Once Pratt had directed several excellent Pink Panther cartoons, another of Freleng's colleagues from his Warner Brothers days, Gerry Chiniquy, joined Pratt in the then-regular output of Pink Panther cartoon shorts, in conjunction with another cartoon series based on the Blake Edwards films featuring Inspector Clouseau, a cartoon version of the inept French detective, called the Inspector.
The cartoon Inspector is not quite as clumsy as his live-action forebear, though the circumstances of his hazardous work result in him being blasted, stampeded, run over by cars, sunken in a boat, or pounded on the head by a furious Surete Commissioner. The Commissioner's volatile personality was patterned upon that of Commissioner Dreyfus in Edwards' A Shot in the Dark (1964). The Inspector's faltering investigations or calamitous chases of criminals always result in the Commissioner being humiliated or, worse, physically hurt. Another character in A Shot in the Dark, Clouseau's unassuming, taciturn sidekick, Hercule Lajoy, inspired a cartoon counterpart, Sergeant Deux-Deux. A Spanish gendarme who does not comprehend the intricacies of the French language, Sergeant Deux-Deux is diminutive, soft-spoken, timid yet low-key and seldom wide-eyed. In fact, his eyes often look as though they are closed. Comedian Pat Harrington Jr., known to television audiences as apartment building superintendent Dwayne F. Schneider in the popular 1970s television series, One Day at a Time (1975-84), provided the voice for both the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux, while Paul Frees and Larry Storch voiced the Commissioner and several of the villains.
The humour in the Inspector cartoons derives from the usually violent treatment that the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, or the Commissioner receive from freakish villains such as the Blotch, an art thief who looks like a red ink blot ("Cirrhosis of the Louvre"), Captain Clamity, a smuggler who is a clam with a cigar ("Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat"), Spider Pierre, a many-armed pick-pocket ("The Pique Poquette of Paris"), ugly alien creatures that abduct the Commissioner to distant, desolate planet Urnova ("Bomb Voyage"), a literal two-face named Two-Faced Harry ("Canadian Can-Can"), and a mad bomber that is shaped like a black-ball bomb with wild eyes ("Napoleon Blown-Aparte"). The Inspector also finds himself in an array of difficult predicaments, including being mistaken for an assassin ("Le Escape Goat"), jailed because he resembles a criminal ("Le Cop On Le Rocks"), and being unable, while in London, to use his gun to effect capture of an elusive international lawbreaker ("London Derriere"). And in one very memorable cartoon, "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!" (1966), which is pictured immediately below this paragraph, Sergeant Deux-Deux is repeatedly transformed into a hideous creature after drinking a bubbling, Hyde-formula-like liquid from a beaker in a wicked scientist's home, and the transformed Deux-Deux compresses, stomps upon, and pistol-shoots the Inspector, who, after several horrible and violent transformations by his sidekick, finally realises that Deux-Deux is the monster. The Inspector flees Deux-Deux and the estate of the scientist, Deux-Deux now undergoing half-second transmogrifications as he chases after the Surete car driven in haste by a revolted-looking Inspector back to Surete headquarters.
Another successful story idea for an Inspector cartoon is a variation on the Warner Brothers cartoon, "D' Fightin' Ones" (1961), wherein Sylvester Cat and a bulldog are chained together after being accidentally ejected from truck whose destination was an animal pound facility. In "Toulouse La Trick" (1966), the Inspector handcuffs himself to towering criminal Toulouse Le Moose, who escapes from a train en route to Cherbourg, to where the Inspector was escorting him to prison. His police pistol broken, his key to the handcuffs having been stupidly discarded, the Inspector is dragged through marshes, collides with stone walls, and is nearly castrated by flexible tree trunks as he is the unwilling travelling companion of the "on-the-lam" Toulouse. As in "D' Fightin' Ones", a climactic attempt to sever the chain connecting the incompatible couple involves placing it in the path of a locomotive, with the pair dangling from a bridge, high over a valley. When the chain is cut, the duo plunge many dozens of feet and subsequently find themselves again problematically linked, in the case of the Inspector and Toulouse inside of a bale of hay!
The Pink Panther is a recognisable figure in any setting, not just because of his conspicuous colour, but also due to his one-man, or rather one-cat, heroism. He is a hero whether he succeeds or fails, because even his failures are the result of best intentions hampered by lack of experience, or by conditions that conspire against him. Many, many viewers can identify with him!
There is no one way to describe the Pink Panther's adventures and the resultant behaviours displayed by the heroic cat. In some of his cartoons, he is a winner, never being the victim of blasts, bullets, or falling objects. In his first cartoon, the Academy Award-winning "The Pink Phink" (1964), a battle of the paintbrush in a house with a pointy-nosed, little man (a caricature of the Panther's creator, Friz Freleng), the Pink Panther is impish but sophisticated, preferring his favourite colour to the little man's blue paint job and sneakily painting over everything that the little man has painted. The little man simply cannot compete with the Pink Panther's replacement pink paintbrush, and the cartoon ends with everything being turned pink: the house, the grass, the sky, and the sun. The little man is in hysterics, smashing his head on the Pink Panther's new mailbox, while the Pink Panther debonairly makes the all-pink house his own abode. A somewhat similar scenario occurs in "Pink Posies" (1967), with the Pink Panther replacing a short-tempered, diminutive gardener's yellow flowers with pink ones. In cartoons such as these, the Pink Panther is like Bugs Bunny in Bugs' winning escapades against Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam. It is this same Pink Panther who outwits a hunter who wants to capture a panther with a pink coat as a specimen for an ark in "Sink Pink" (1965). It is this same Pink Panther who prevails over two English diamond miners in "Pink Ice" (also 1965).
On the other side of the pinky "spectrum" is the Pink Panther who is accident-prone, who, no matter how much he tries to be helpful, causes calamity. This Pink Panther is like Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies. The best example of his well-intentioned but bumbling and disastrous persona is in "Prefabricated Pink" (1967), in which the Pink Panther joins the crew at a building construction site, but his inexperience results in a series of increasingly destructive accidents. A co-worker's helmet is filled with red-hot rivets dumped there by the panther who wanted to use the rivets bucket, and the co-worker's head is scorched when he dons the helmet, with the dropping rivets then burning a hole in the wooden platform, a hole through which the co-worker falls. The panther ties a mallet to a rope, and it strikes another worker on the head, causing him to fall into plaster and crumble to pieces when the dropping mallet hits him on the head again. A dominoes-like collision of beams and other objects prompted by the panther's innocent but unauthorised operating of a beam-lifter finally causes the building's frame to collapse at its foundations.
Similar events can be found in the Academy Award-nominated "The Pink Blueprint" (1966), in which the Pink Panther competes with a carpenter to have his favoured, ultra-modern pink home built on the same site with the same foundations as the carpenter's generic project, and several times saws through the wood on which the man is standing, sending him in one instance into a vat of cement, and releases an out-of-control chainsaw that cuts the man's ladder in two, with him on it!
The running gag in these cartoons is that the accidents caused by the Pink Panther are always inflicted upon an excitable, little, pointy-nosed man. In "Sky Blue Pink" (1968), the panther's new hobby of kite-flying succeeds in tracking flames from a barbecue onto the little man's house, reducing it to cinders in seconds! The little man is a police officer in "Put-Put, Pink" (1968), and the Pink Panther as an amateur motor mechanic builds several strange, speed-limit-exceeding motorcycles, including one structured from bed frame bars, which cuts the constable, who is blocking the road in hope of halting the panther's by this point out-of-control joy ride, into many slices. And in "G.I. Pink" (1968), which is somewhat similar in situation to the Bugs Bunny cartoon, "Forward March Hare" (1953), the little man is a boot camp drill Sergeant who must contend with a Private Pink Panther whose gun fires inopportunely during an inspection, straight into the eye of the boot camp's commanding officer! The commanding officer holds the Sergeant responsible for the mishap and orders the boot camp's Military Police to punish the Sergeant with repeated whacks to the Sergeant's head. When the Sergeant is unsuccessfully trying to start the motor of an army jeep, Private Pink Panther goes to the controls of a functional-motor army jeep and tries to help the Sergeant by applying a jeep-to-jeep push from behind the Sergeant's immobile military motor vehicle, unwittingly pushing the Sergeant's jeep off of a cliff. The Sergeant decides to "do away" with the panther by having him dig a hole in the middle of a grenade-testing area, but when the Sergeant throws a grenade therein, the panther uses his shovel to hit the grenade like a baseball, right into the house of the camp mascot, a bulldog, where it explodes. The angry bulldog chases the Sergeant, who grabs a stick and starts hitting the dog. The Sergeant is discovered doing this by his superior and is painfully penalised again by the Military Police. The Sergeant next builds a brutal obstacle course and orders the dutiful Private Pink Panther to go through it- but is frightened by the dog and runs through the obstacle course himself! Even his attempt to mail the Pink Panther to the U.S. Navy is quashed when the Navy sends the panther back to him!
In "Pink is a Many Splintered Thing" (1968), the Pink Panther chooses to work as a lumberjack and succeeds in inciting a group of hornets to chase him after he penetrates his axe into the arboreal home of the stinging swarm, in being hammered into the ground by trees felled by another woodcutter whose yells of, "Timber!" are chronically late, and in chop-downing the telephone pole connected to his boss' cabin.
Yet another Pink Panther is one who has high hopes for achieving a goal but who unwisely invests his faith in an unwilling or faltering animal or object. In "Pinto Pink" (1967) for instance, the panther wants to travel 1250 miles to Anaheim, and when hitchhiking proves ineffective, he decides to ride a laughing horse, which refuses to let him mount it. The result is a battle of wits between the Pink Panther and the horse, with the panther being kicked, ramming into a wooden arch, almost drowning, and careening along a train track with the horse on roller skates, finally being thrown smack into the Anaheim: 1250 miles sign, with the horse being driven past- and laughing at- the hapless, hitchhiking panther. The same stubborn stallion bedevils the panther in "Pink Valiant" (1968). In "Shocking Pink" (1965), the unfortunate Pink Panther is persuaded by an unseen, English-accented narrator to attempt repair of a drippy lavatory shower faucet and replacement of an unreliable basement light bulb, the results being a water-filled bathroom and several tumbles down a flight of stairs.
This un-charmed Pink Panther is nevertheless a good-intentioned hero, as in "Super Pink" (1966), in which he acts as a less-than-high-flying, caped crusader, or in "Pinkfinger" (1965), when he follows the advice of the English-accented narrator and becomes a secret agent, suffering gunshots and bomb blasts as he seeks to thwart a band of enemy spies, or in "Pinkcome Tax" (1968), when he champions the cause of tax relief in medieval times, or in "Pink-A-Rella" (1969), when he waves the magic wand that he has found, to transform a scrawny, dirt-poor girl into a ravishing beauty to find her hunky mate, or in "Congratulations! It's Pink" (1967), in which he strives to protect a human baby separated from its kin. In "Pink Pranks" (1971), the same noble Pink Panther cannot conscience abandoning a sobbing Arctic seal pup, whose tears freeze into ice cubes, and helps the seal to escape the greedy clutches of a trapper, a scenario similar to that of the 1949 Bugs Bunny cartoon, "Frigid Hare".
The Pink Panther always returns a favour, as in "Pinkadilly Circus" (1968), in which the little man is a drinking, gambling party-goer who does a good deed for the Pink Panther by pulling a nail from the panther's foot, and the grateful Pink Panther becomes humble and obedient servant to the little man, coming to the man's house and frightening the man's shrewish wife into speedily doing every house chore whenever the little man whistles for him to come and "roar" at his wife. At this cartoon's end, the wife has pulled a nail from the Pink Panther's foot and is the new recipient of the panther's favourable gratitude. The Pink Panther permits her to smash bottles on her husband's head, and the little man's whistles for the panther to frighten his wife go unanswered as the Pink Panther is now exclusively at the wife's service, having fulfilled his obligation to her husband.
In several cartoons, a harsh, somewhat negative side of the panther is seen, one who reacts violently to pesky mice or insects ("Pink-A-Boo", "Pink-Nic", "Pink Pest Control"), who exacts revenge upon those whom he perceives as leading him painfully astray, as in "Pinkfinger" (1965) by leaving the narrator to a hoard of lions and in "Tickled Pink" (1968) by wishing for his fairy godmother to have to wear the same troublesome pair of roller skates that plagued him in an uncontrolled, collision-wrought trip through a city.
In "In the Pink of the Night" (1969), the Pink Panther is cranky at being awakened early in the morning by his alarm clock, smashes the clock, and goes back to sleep, finally arising and racing to "catch" his train for work, only to find that the train has left the depot seconds before his arrival there. He buys a cuckoo clock in hope that its chirps will awaken him more pleasantly at the proper time so that he is not late again, but reacts just as violently to the persistent awakening sounds of the cuckoo. However, the Pink Panther is still ultimately a moral character. After he irately nails the cuckoo inside the clock and throws the clock and cuckoo from a bridge into a river, the panther is overcome by guilt as he lays in bed having visions of the cuckoo drowning. He returns to the bridge and looks for the clock in the river and, unaware that the cuckoo has rowed it to shore, cries and drops flowers. When he mournfully returns home, he finds to his relief and delight that the cuckoo and clock are safely on the wall. He invites his new friend, the cuckoo, to share his bed, and both smash the alarm clock the following morning to continue sleeping.
There is the fun-loving Pink Panther who enjoys a romp at a beach ("Come On in! The Water's Pink") with his inflatable muscles, weights, water-skis, clothes-changing room, and giant animal balloons, and the physically conscious Pink Panther ("In the Pink") whose work-out at a gymnasium results in much-pain-no-gain for the little man, who has come to the same gymnasium. There is the hobbyist Pink Panther who goes fishing ("Reel Pink") and flies kites ("Sky Blue Pink"). There is the vagrant Pink Panther who wants a warm place for a night, in "Pink Pyjamas" (1964), "Pickled Pink" (1965), "We Give Pink Stamps" (1965), and "Slink Pink" (1969). In "Pink Pyjamas" and "Pickled Pink", the panther finds himself in the home of a drunk. The drunk in "Pink Pyjamas" is so befuddled at seeing the pink cat that he thinks that it is an alcoholic hallucination. He calls upon Alcoholics Anonymous to help him to overcome his addiction to booze, but just when he and his A.A. friend believe that he has conquered his vice, the Pink Panther walks past them, causing both men to believe that sobriety is just as bad as drunkenness in causing bizarre visions. They both chase the sanitation truck carrying the booze which they had discarded, intent upon a drinking spree.
What each of these Pink Panther portrayals have in common is the appealing character of a well-meaning cat with human foibles who only wants to do the right thing or have a life as stimulating and free from complication as possible. In these ways, he is every man's hero, experiencing every man's dreams, failures, and stoic hopes for improved conditions.
The Pink Panther cartoons, and those also of the Inspector, have a different aesthetic to that of Friz Freleng's other work, the Warner Brothers cartoons. Backgrounds in Freleng's Pink Panthers are minimalist yet exceedingly abstract in what they do show. Some cartoons, like "Psychedelic Pink" (1968), abandon reality altogether. Others use exotic places or times, like a tropical island ("Pink Paradise"), a Western ghost town ("Pink Panic"), a bullfight ring ("Bully For Pink"), a magician's home ("The Hand is Pinker Than the Eye"), Egypt ("Pink Sphinx"), an observatory ("Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Pink"), medieval England ("Pinkcome Tax", "Pink Valiant"), and the Stone Age ("Extinct Pink", "Prehistoric Pink"). "Prehistoric Pink" (1968) and "Extinct Pink" (1969) derive much of their humour from their Stone Age setting. In "Prehistoric Pink", the Pink Panther and a diminutive caveman hope to overcome the strain of manually moving a huge, rectangular rock by inventing the wheel on which to convey the heavy load. After reclaiming their creation from a pterodactyl wanting to use it as aeronautical landing gear, they destroy it when they envision the urban blight that it will inevitably yield. In "Extinct Pink", arguably one of the funniest chase cartoons ever, all creatures great and small (the Pink Panther, a pointy-nosed, little savage, a lizard, and a dinosaur) are desperate for food, to the extent of fighting a running, violent battle over a bone.
The cartoon directors, Friz Freleng, Hawley Pratt, Gerry Chiniquy, and Arthur Davis- another of Freleng's Warner Brothers colleagues, even late in their careers, had tremendous imagination, culminating in such reality-bending settings as a surreal library in "Psychedelic Pink" where books "bleed" words and giant letters become golf clubs and rifles, and in bizarre predicaments like that of a chemist Pink Panther in "Pink Punch" (1966), whose promotion of his patented pink health drink is hampered by a stubborn dot on his advertisement bristle board. The dot turns green from pink and squirts green at the panther, who has to imbibe his health drink to restore his pink colour. "Pink Panic" (1967), although much reminiscent of Warner Brothers cartoons about spooky places of lodging, achieves a sublime degree of comedic effect with the Pink Panther, hopeful country-inn guest on a violently stormy night, battling an unfriendly ghost. The ghost's stereotypical fabric-sheet-with-eyes physical manifestation allows for the panther some quite innovatively hilarious action in the pink feline's struggle to eliminate the spectre of the Dead Dog Hotel and thence enjoy a good night's sleep. The adding of a theremin sound to the Pink Panther theme music through this particular cartoon was a stroke of genius, enhancing every funny second of the Pink Panther's stay in the haunted accommodations. And the same mix of sound and music would be heard in a later Pink Panther cartoon, "Pink Plasma", which also pitted the panther against supernatural forces.
In September, 1969, the cartoon shorts featuring the Pink Panther and the Inspector appeared on Saturday morning television, on the U.S. NBC network at 10:30 A.M. Atlantic Time, in The Pink Panther Show, which was similar in format to The Road Runner Show (1966-8) in that there were three cartoon shorts with additional black-out gag vignettes between the first and second and between the second and third cartoons. A number of these quick gags were lifted from the cartoons, "Pink Outs" and "Super Pink", and re-dubbed with rather more upbeat music than Mancini's and a narrator describing the Pink Panther's actions and asking him questions to which no oral answer is expected. The Pink Panther is almost always mute. Some newly animated between-cartoon vignettes had the panther and the Inspector together. In one memorable one such, the Pink Panther plays beach tennis with the Inspector, who is swallowed by a shark while unwittingly straying into the water to return the Pink Panther's relay of the tennis ball. In several of the between-cartoon segments, the Inspector pursues the Pink Panther, who has become, as far as the Inspector is concerned, a wanted criminal. And in still another set of between-cartoon items, the Inspector lectures a group of children on such things as the dangers of electricity, proper swimming technique, and crosswalk safety, though proving to be scarcely the best example for such valuable lessons. Sergeant Deux-Deux appears in some of these interstitial segments, though not speaking with the same sort of voice that he has in most of the cartoon shorts in which he has a part.
The opening to each Pink Panther Show episode began with a live-action pink racing car advancing on a road toward camera, with the screen image splitting into several boxes showing different animals, and eventually in one of the boxes is the Pink Panther, via clips from some of his cartoons, including "Reel Pink", "Come On in! The Water's Pink", and "Put-Put, Pink". The car is then shown coming to a stop at the Hollywood Chinese Theatre, with the driver of the car revealed to be a boy dressed in a striped, short-sleeved shirt and matching pants. And the cartoon Pink Panther and Inspector step out of the car in a beautifully matted mix of cartoon animation and live-action and walk into the theatre to watch their presented spectacle.
The following is an episode guide to The Pink Panther Show that was run on NBC on Saturday mornings from 1969 to 1971.
Season 1For the seventeen instalments of Season 1 of The Pink Panther Show, the content cartoons were clipped of their original theatrical titles that had credits for director, layouts, animators, voices, and music. Instead, there was a quick titling system with two still cards, the first saying, "The Pink Panther", the second showing the cartoon's title surrounded by various poses of the Pink Panther. For the Inspector cartoons, two still cards were used, one saying, "The Inspector", the other stating the cartoon title on red with blue and white vertical stripes on the left side. A distinctive instrumental (i.e. no lyrics) musical phrase to the tune of the television show's theme song was heard over the titles for the cartoons with the Pink Panther and the Inspector. For Season 1, all episodes started with a Pink Panther cartoon, followed by some interstitial comedy with the Pink Panther and/or the Inspector, then an Inspector cartoon, some more funny interstitials, and a further, second Pink Panther cartoon, followed by a closing credits listing of all 1969 DePatie-Freleng cartoon directors, cartoon animators, voice artists, etc.. Prior to the textual stating of the cartoon directors, the Inspector is shown boarding the pink racing car, and the car's young driver prematurely pulls the automotive vehicle away from the Hollywood Chinese Theatre and onto a busy street, with the Pink Panther chasing after the car. The same instalment-ending credits sequence would be retained for Season 2, though all cartoon shorts presented in the episodes of Season 2 sported their full original theatrical titles with all production personnel listed therein.
Pink Panther Show # 1 (Sept. 6, 1969) The Pink Panther wants for an unobliging building contractor to construct the ultra-modern, pink house of his dreams; flying saucer aliens abduct the Commissioner, whom the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux astronautically venture to rescue; and the Pink Panther faces the daunting task of ridding his home of a tenacious, flying insect. "The Pink Blueprint" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Bomb Voyage" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, and the Commissioner "The Pink Tail-Fly" with the Pink Panther and an Annoying Fly Pink Panther Show # 2 (Sept. 13, 1969) A laughing, obstinate stallion declines to carry the Pink Panther on a 1250-mile journey to Anaheim, the Inspector is tasked with apprehending uncouth motorcyclist bandits led by red-bearded Pig-Al and headquartered at the top of a steep hill, and bodybuilding is problematic for the luckless Pink Panther. "Pinto Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Laughing Horse "Le Pig-Al Patrol" with the Inspector and Pig-Al "In the Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 3 (Sept. 20, 1969) The Pink Panther performs an unauthorised test of his piloting prowess at the controls of a military supersonic aeroplane, the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux are intent upon catching many-armed, ambidextrous pick-pocket Spider Pierre, and the Pink Panther's fairy godmother grants to him his wish to wear roller skates, without informing him that he will have no control over their speed and direction. "Jet Pink" with the Pink Panther "The Pique Poquette of Paris" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, and Spider Pierre "Tickled Pink" with the Pink Panther and Fairy Godmother Pink Panther Show # 4 (Sept. 27, 1969) The Pink Panther is hospitalised after tripping over a banana peel; the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux are in resolute, international pursuit of a mysterious Monsieur X; and the little, used car that the Pink Panther purchases and spray- paints pink has a will of its own, with the panther finding himself in a hazardous, mountain road race against a hot rod driven by an elderly lady of fiery temper. "The Pink Pill" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Plastered in Paris" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, the Commissioner, and Monsieur X "Pink Pistons" with the Pink Panther and Granny Flash Pink Panther Show # 5 (Oct. 4, 1969) Sleep is a problem for the Pink Panther while he is situated in a tree-branch campsite; the Inspector is handcuffed to an escaped convict whom he had been assigned to accompany by train to prison; and an animal hunter building a replica of Noah's Ark wishes to fill said boat with specimens of every known creature- including the Pink Panther. "Rock-A-Bye Pinky" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Dog "Toulouse La Trick" with the Inspector and Toulouse Le Moose "Sink Pink" with the Pink Panther and Ark Specimen Hunter Pink Panther Show # 6 (Oct. 11, 1969) In the Stone Age, the Pink Panther and a caveman invent the wheel in order to move a heavy rectangular stone through a jungle. In other cartoons, the Inspector attempts and fails many times by night to board the ship belonging to clammy smuggler Captain Clamity, and, with his bag of inflatable muscles, weights, animal balloons, etc., the Pink Panther goes to a beach to have fun and finds himself in competition for position of beach dominator with a man of large biceps and tremendous ego. "Prehistoric Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, Captain Clamity, and Crab Louie "Come On in! The Water's Pink" with the Pink Panther and a Muscleman Pink Panther Show # 7 (Oct. 18, 1969) Mountain cabin inhabitant, the Pink Panther, is the victim of a termite of insatiable appetite. The Inspector is engaged in a desperate battle for his life on a deserted island on which he and notorious criminal Mack La Truck have been accidentally marooned. And lastly, sleep is impossible for the Pink Panther, in whose house exists the hole dwelling of a mouse, who is having all-night parties with his abundant rodent friends. "Pink Pest Control" with the Pink Panther and a Termite "Tour De Farce" with the Inspector and Mack La Truck "Pink-A-Boo" with the Pink Panther, a Pesky Mouse, and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 8 (Oct. 25, 1969) A Halloween show, with the Pink Panther meeting the unfriendly undead in a ghost town's Dead Dog Hotel, at which the travelling Pink Panther is trying to reside for a night, and the Inspector in Transylvania investigating reports of an evil scientist building monsters without legal sanction of the ghoulish construction work. A fortune-telling, talking weight machine convinces the Pink Panther to purchase it and bring it home with him, but the future predictions are never fortuitous for the panther, and the machine requires continuous coin insertions to be able to speak. "Pink Panic" with the Pink Panther, a Ghost, a Skeleton, and the Little Man "Transylvania Mania" with the Inspector and Vampire Scientist "An Ounce of Pink" with the Pink Panther and Talking Weight Machine Pink Panther Show # 9 (Nov. 1, 1969) The Pink Panther unwittingly wreaks havoc at the site of construction of an urban edifice, a canine constable hired to partner with the Inspector relentlessly pursues a thief onto a train, literally dragging behind him the Inspector, who sustains all of the pains in the chase, and the Pink Panther flies kites and in so-doing totally ruins a neighbour's property. "Prefabricated Pink" with the Pink Panther and Several Little Men "Le Bowser Bagger" with the Inspector, the Commissioner, and Private Bowser "Sky Blue Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 10 (Nov. 8, 1969) A nocturnal safecracker cannot perpetrate his latest heist, for the targeted safe is the new home of the Pink Panther. Next, a prison escapee insane bomber acts on his threat to eliminate the Commissioner, who sent him to jail- and the Inspector in his ineptitude is insufficient to protect the Commissioner from the bomber. Finally, by use of a magician's cape, the Pink Panther triumphs against his opponent in a bullfight ring. "Dial P For Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Napoleon Blown-Aparte" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, the Commissioner, and the Mad Bomber "Bully For Pink" with the Pink Panther, a Magician's Rabbit, and a Bull Pink Panther Show # 11 (Nov. 15, 1969) The Pink Panther searches for buried treasure in the Sahara Desert; a jewel which the Inspector is responsible for guarding against theft, is filched by chickens formerly belonging to the rags-to-riches, chicken-plucker-turned-heiress who rightfully owns the gem; and the Pink Panther vies with a painter to render a house pink rather than the painter's choice of blue. "Pink Sphinx" with the Pink Panther and a Little Camel "Cock-A-Doodle Deux-Deux" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, the Commissioner, and Madame Pouletbon's Chickens "The Pink Phink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 12 (Nov. 22, 1969) The Pink Panther litters in a small town, is quickly convicted of this crime, and is sentenced to collecting and disposing of every article of refuse in the wasteful community, a three-headed villain in a black coat steals the priceless DeGaulle Stone from the protective custody of the Inspector, who must recover the heisted diamond or lose his job- and his head, and the Pink Panther's home improvement projects painfully miscarry. "Pink of the Litter" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "The Great DeGaulle Stone Operation" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, the Commissioner, and Matz-O'Reilly "Shocking Pink" with the Pink Panther and the English Narrator Pink Panther Show # 13 (Nov. 29, 1969) The Pink Panther rides- with difficulty- a laughing horse in his bid to free a king's maiden daughter from the castle of the infamous Black Knight. In this instalment's other cartoons, the Inspector's assignment to maintain peace and quiet for the bedridden, stressed-and-in-need-of-rest Commissioner, is bedevilled by a noisy alley cat that the Inspector repeatedly fails to silence, and the domicile of a magician is not an ideal place for the Pink Panther to seek winter shelter. "Pink Valiant" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Laughing Horse "Le Quiet Squad" with the Inspector and the Commissioner "The Hand is Pinker Than the Eye" with the Pink Panther and a Magician's Rabbit Pink Panther Show # 14 (Dec. 6, 1969) The Pink Panther's attempt at fishing is fettered by a reluctant worm and a belligerent crab, the Inspector is replaced in his job by a robot, which the vengeful Inspector seeks to destroy, and a man's photographic expedition in a National Park is plagued by a camera-hogging Pink Panther, who objects to the man's refusal to donate to the welfare of a certain pink denizen of the wilderness. "Reel Pink" with the Pink Panther "Les Miserobots" with the Inspector, the Commissioner, and a Robot Cop "Smile Pretty, Say Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 15 (Dec. 13, 1969) The Pink Panther's latest trouble-wrought hobby is the building and riding of motorcycles. In other cartoons, the Inspector alone warily protects a priceless diamond from a treacherous pair of many-disguise jewel thieves, and the hapless Pink Panther works as a lumberjack, with timber falling every which way (and usually on top of him), a hornets' nest being disturbed, and a telephone pole, mistaken for a tree, plunging into the office of his employer. "Put-Put, Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "French Freud" with the Inspector and Two Jewel Thieves "Pink is a Many Splintered Thing" with the Pink Panther Pink Panther Show # 16 (Dec. 20, 1969) The Pink Panther is a contestant in a Stone Age struggle for sustenance, the Commissioner orders the Inspector to stealthily procure an important code book from a safe on an estate guarded by Tiny, an irritable Great Dane, and the Pink Panther chases a rolling quarter through several urban obstacles. "Extinct Pink" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, a Dinosaur, and a Lizard "Le Great Dane Robbery" with the Inspector, Tiny the Great Dane, and the Commissioner "The Pink Quarterback" with the Pink Panther Pink Panther Show # 17 (Dec. 27, 1969) The Pink Panther learns that his being a genie does not amaze his friends- or anyone, for that matter. The Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux investigate reports of a phantom creature stalking the Paris Opera House. Also, the Pink Panther endeavours to survive in a snowbound cabin that he involuntarily shares with a tiny, whiskered pest of enormous appetite. "Genie With the Light Pink Fur" with the Pink Panther "Cherche Le Phantom" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, the Commissioner, and an Ape "Pink-Nic" with the Pink Panther and a Pesky Mouse
Season 2Starting with this season's first episode, cartoons were shown with their complete original theatrical titles, i.e. with full production credits and the familiar Henry Mancini music (music from the title sequence to A Shot in the Dark for the Inspector cartoons). With only two exceptions, the first and third cartoons of each episode were Pink Panthers, and second was an Inspector. In the two exceptions, the first and third cartoons were Inspectors, and the middle one was a Pink Panther.
Pink Panther Show # 1 (Sept. 19, 1970) The Pink Panther enlists in the U.S. Army, to the torment of his boot camp drill Sergeant, and helps the carousing, cigar- smoking, irresponsible man who removed a thorn from his foot to persuade the man's spouse to perform household chores without complaint. The Inspector thoughtlessly wheels a cart out of its grocery store and is goaded by a narrator into believing himself guilty of a capital felony. "G.I. Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Carte Blanched" with the Inspector and a Shady Narrator "Pinkadilly Circus" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Wife Pink Panther Show # 2 (Sept. 26, 1970) The Pink Panther is coerced by the nozzle of a burglar's gun into assisting the masked thug in robbing a factory's payroll room. For once, the panther's propensity for mishap works in his favour, sparing him from a life of crime or a prison sentence. Another criminal's evil deeds are foiled by bad luck transmitted to him by the horseshoe which the Pink Panther courteously persists in presenting to that criminal. And the Inspector, while in Canada to study Canadian prison systems, becomes hostage of a fugitive backwoods miscreant. "Lucky Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "The Shooting of Caribou Lou" with the Inspector and Caribou Lou "Pink in the Clink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 3 (Oct. 3, 1970) Opposed by a volatile cattle rancher, the Pink Panther and his only lamb attempt to establish a sheep farm in Texas. The Inspector's aim to hunt quail goes afoul of a bear trying to hibernate. And lastly, the Pink Panther is forced by gunpoint to deliver a parcel containing a bomb, to a foreign embassy. "Little Beaux Pink" with the Pink Panther, a Lamb, and a Texan "Bear De Guerre" with the Inspector, a Quail, and a Short-Tempered Bear "The Pink Package Plot" with the Pink Panther Pink Panther Show # 4 (Oct. 10, 1970) The Inspector's efforts to capture a hoodlum, Dirty Pierre Le Punk, are unmitigated failures, despite the advice of an Oriental-voiced, robot policeman; the Pink Panther tries to free a medieval peasant from the dungeons of a tax collector; and an all-red, blotchy art thief fleeces the Louvre gallery of all of its treasures- behind the backs of the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux. "Pierre and Cottage Cheese" with the Inspector and Dirty Pierre Le Punk "Pinkcome Tax" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Cirrhosis of the Louvre" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, the Commissioner, and the Blotch Pink Panther Show # 5 (Oct. 17, 1970) Lodgings for a London night are closed to the Pink Panther, who finds a dropped key beside the dwelling of an alcoholic. Arriving at home after one of his binges, the drunk finds the Pink Panther in his bed, believes that he is hallucinating, and summons help from Alcoholics Anonymous. While with the Inspector in exploring the house of a recently apprehended crazy scientist, Sergeant Deux-Deux drinks a chemical that changes him at various intervals into a hideous monster. The talking Pink Panther's South African diamond mine's yield, a huge gem, is expropriated by a dastardly rival pair of miners. "Pink Pyjamas" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!" with the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux "Pink Ice" with the Pink Panther, Hoskins, and Devereaux Pink Panther Show # 6 (Oct. 24, 1970) A drunken man invites the park vagrant Pink Panther to stay at his home but must hide the conspicuous pink feline from his domineering and house-guest-loathing wife. Also in this episode, the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux trail a cargo of stolen bananas and confront a cockney sailor and his hidden yet punchy simian companion and the Pink Panther dons trench coat and hat to become a secret agent in a perilous tussle with a group of enemy spies. "Pickled Pink" with the Pink Panther and a Drunk "Ape Suzette" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, a Cockney Sailor, and Judy the Ape "Pinkfinger" with the Pink Panther and the English Narrator Pink Panther Show # 7 (Oct. 31, 1970) The Pink Panther is a health drink chemist, troubled by a contrary dot on advertising bristle board. The dot insists on being green instead of the panther's preferred pink. From the French Riviera to Piccadilly Circus to Venice to the African jungle, the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux hunt a clever and evasive agent who claims to have information that the Inspector's life is in danger. On the Western frontier, the Pink Panther works as a travelling vendor of pep pills, unwittingly selling some of them to a frail criminal, who gains the strength to rob every bank in a nearby town. "Pink Punch" with the Pink Panther and the Troublesome Dot "Unsafe and Seine" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, and the Commissioner "Vitamin Pink" with the Pink Panther and a Bank Robber Pink Panther Show # 8 (Nov. 7, 1970) The Pink Panther wants to play violin in an orchestra, but his favourite musical phrase clashes with the wishes of his conductor; the Inspector dresses like a woman in endeavouring to apprehend a purse-snatcher at the Paris Hotel D'Hote; and the Pink Panther demolishes a shed, paints a building, relaxes on a beach inside of an hourglass, tries to clip a hedge that is really an ostrich, and saws a dummy Pink Panther in half. "Pink, Plunk, Plink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "That's No Lady-- That's Notre Dame!" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, and the Commissioner "Pink Outs" with the Pink Panther Pink Panther Show # 9 (Nov. 14, 1970) A rabbit's foot tends to be regarded as bringer of good luck, but it has precisely the opposite effect upon the Inspector during the Parisian law-enforcer's hazardous effort to apprehend Hassan the Assassin; the Pink Panther accepts the responsibility of caretaker for a human infant in the area of a public campground, and he also walks onto the shore of a tropical island occupied by human and dog. "Pink Paradise" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Dog "Sacre Bleu Cross" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, and Hassan the Assassin "Congratulations! It's Pink" with the Pink Panther and a Baby Pink Panther Show # 10 (Nov. 21, 1970) The Pink Panther encounters a door with a hypnotic eye and enters a surrealistic library whose sole attendant is a beatnik; the Inspector is unable to prove to the Commissioner that he is not the person responsible for a series of suspicious contretemps suffered by the Commissioner; and an amateur florist's garden of yellow posies is repeatedly replaced, behind the furious man's back, with pink flowers of identical size- by the Pink Panther, of course. "Psychedelic Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Le Escape Goat" with the Inspector, the Commissioner, and Louie Le Finke "Pink Posies" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 11 (Nov. 28, 1970) The Pink Panther dons cape and not-so-snug tights to become an inept "super-guy" in assisting but repeatedly injuring an old woman. Next, totally unbeknown to him or to his colleagues, the Inspector has a look-alike, of whose felony the Inspector is presumed to be the perpetrator; so, the Inspector is wrongfully jailed. Then, an astronomer's observatory view of the Moon is blocked by the Pink Panther's new house atop a narrow mesa, heralding a conflict ending with the Pink Panther playing with soft-shoe dancing puppets of little, green men on the telescope lens to fool the astronomer into reporting to his superiors the unlikely existence of this type of life on the Moon. "Super Pink" with the Pink Panther and Old Lady "Le Cop On Le Rocks" with the Inspector and a No-Nonsense Prison Warden "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 12 (Dec. 5, 1970) Searching for warmth and nourishment, the Pink Panther invades the home of a hunter and his irascible pooch; the Inspector, in Canada to assist the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, trails a literally two-faced, deceptive wrongdoer to the snowy frontier of Manitoba; and the Pink Panther finds a magic wand dropped by an inebriated witch and uses the wand to benefit an unkempt, destitute girl by transforming her into a ravishing beauty with a gorgeous dress for a night of dancing at a party attended by hunky eligible bachelor Pelvis Parsley. "Slink Pink" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Dog "Canadian Can-Can" with the Inspector, the Commissioner, and Two-Faced Harry "Pink-A-Rella" with the Pink Panther, a Drunken Witch, a Dirt-Poor Girl, and Pelvis Parsley Pink Panther Show # 13 (Dec. 12, 1970) The cuckoo of the clock bought by the Pink Panther to awaken him at an early-morning hour finds that the panther's sunrise disposition is decidedly hostile. In this instalment's other cartoons, the Inspector's effort to apprehend international criminal Louie Le Swipe in Great Britain is thwarted again and again by a Scotland Yard detective's edict of, "Please, no shooting," and crossing a street poses a perplexing problem for a luckless Pink Panther. "In the Pink of the Night" with the Pink Panther and a Cuckoo "London Derriere" with the Inspector, Louie Le Swipe, and a Scotland Yard Detective "Think Before You Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man Pink Panther Show # 14 (Dec. 19, 1970) The Pink Panther is spurred by a diabolical narrator into waging war against a neighbour who borrowed but did not return the panther's lawn mower, the Commissioner commands the Inspector and Sergeant Deux-Deux to hunt a legally wanted prankster who leaves footprints leading to an crocodile-filled castle moat, an electrified castle door, and a portal through a non-existent hideout at the edge of a cliff, and the Pink Panther's corn business is raided by two hungry crows. "Pink Panzer" with the Pink Panther and the English Narrator "La Feet's Defeat" with the Inspector, Sergeant Deux-Deux, and the Commissioner "Pink On the Cob" with the Pink Panther and Two Crows Pink Panther Show # 15 (Dec. 26, 1970) The Inspector's assignment to deliver a paper of jury duty notification to a man is anything but simple, for the man and his argumentative wife think that the Inspector carries an arrest warrant for some crime that each believes the other to have committed. The Pink Panther's attempt to dwell within a department store after said department store's closing time brings him into conflict with a store custodian. And lastly, the Inspector declares war upon an irritating crow nesting atop an electric power pole. "Le Ball and Chain Gang" with the Inspector and a Bickering Man and Wife "We Give Pink Stamps" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Crow De Guerre" with the Inspector and a Pesky CrowInspector cartoons were in every episode of The Pink Panther Show in the television show's first two seasons. But such was to change with the coming of a third season.
After two successful years on NBC, The Pink Panther Show became The New Pink Panther Show, with the panther and two new characters.
"It's true. It's new. And waitin' for you. The New Pink Panther Show. Pink Panther. Hooray, Pink Panther. It's number one and loaded with fun. The New Pink Panther Show." "And the Aardvark, too." "So, up with the curtain. Now, let's introduce the star. P-I-N-K P-A-N-T-H-E-R. Get up. Get out. Get ready to shout. 'Cause everyone should know. That in this world that's wide it's with pantherly pride, we bring to you the Panther Show. Yes, sir, it's all for you- and funnier, too. 'Cause it's The New Pink Panther Show. P-I-N-K P-A-N-T-H-E-R. The New Pink Panther Show."The New Pink Panther Show was transmitted Saturdays at 10:30 A.M. Atlantic Time on NBC from September, 1971 onward. Format was consistent with The Pink Panther Show, i.e. three theatrical cartoon shorts per half-hour instalment. The Inspector disappeared, and the characters of the second cartoon in every episode were an easy-going ant named Charlie, and a hungry aardvark (with a snout that operates like the hose of a vacuum cleaner), who wants to eat the Ant. Comedian John Byner, host of the 1980s Canadian comedy-skit television series, Bizarre, imitated consummate American singer-entertainer Dean Martin for the voice of the Ant and provided distinct inflections of Wisconsin rabbi-turned-comic Jackie Mason for the plaintive but resolute words of the Aardvark.
The Aardvark's pursuit of the Ant is continually hampered by his own ineptitude and by some of Charlie's protectors, including a giant ant who is Charlie's aunt ("The Ant From Uncle"), a havoc-causing family of termites who acknowledge insect kinship with Charlie ("Rough Brunch"), and a tiger who owes a favour to Charlie after Charlie removed a thorn from his foot ("Scratch a Tiger")- a scenario reminiscent of the Pink Panther cartoon, "Pinkadilly Circus". The Aardvark must also contend with unfavourable circumstances like the onset of winter ("The Froze Nose Knows") or the Ant being put in a zoological laboratory by an English scientist intent upon studying his insect specimen without interference by a certain aardvark who requires a daily intake of a pound of ants- "That's a lot of ants." ("Science Friction")
Trumpets, pianos, and banjos were the source of the musical accompaniment to the antics of the Ant and Aardvark. Passages of the Ant and the Aardvark chase theme were first used in "Extinct Pink" (1969).
Meanwhile, the Pink Panther continues to find himself in perilous or frustrating predicaments as he works as a short-order cook near a construction site ("Pink Blue Plate") and as a waiter in a Chinese restaurant ("Gong With the Pink"), chases an errant tire ("Psst Pink"), and battles a flea ("The Pink Flea"), a genetically mutated, mighty fruit fly ("A Fly in the Pink"), a fur trapper and polar bear ("Pink Pranks"), and an annoying Alpine tuba-player ("Pink Tuba-Dore").
As had been true on The Pink Panther Show, there were between-cartoon vignettes in The New Pink Panther Show with the panther and his co-stars. Two of these were as follows. The Pink Panther, flying transporter of piping hot pizzas to the farthest reaches of the world, is expected by the Aardvark to deliver to "ol' blue" an ant pizza pie, with Charlie as the meaty topping, but when the Aardvark opens the pizza box, all that he finds inside of it are crumbs and a somewhat plump, pizza-filled Charlie, who promptly escapes from the Aardvark. A baseball game between the Pink Panther and the Ant and the Aardvark is not on level terms, for the Ant is so much smaller than the Pink Panther, who on receiving an exceedingly low baseball pitch from Charlie, instantly dresses in golfing garb and swings a golf club to hit the ball for a home run.
An unwelcome addition to the television show was a laugh track, heard over all Pink Panther and Ant and the Aardvark cartoons and during the between-cartoon gags. Evidently, either NBC or DePatie-Freleng believed that children would not perceive the humour in The New Pink Panther Show without being told what is funny by the laugh track. In later seasons, when certain Inspector cartoons returned, they too were marred by an added laugh track.
Below is an episode guide for The New Pink Panther Show that was shown on NBC in 1971-2.
Season 3 New Pink Panther Show # 1 (Sept. 11, 1971) The cuckoo of the Pink Panther's new clock has difficulty in rousing the Pink Panther early in the morning pursuant to the panther's intention on the prior evening. Next, the computer contraption that the Aardvark consults for advice on how to catch the Ant only guides the Aardvark through an exercise of painful futility. And lastly, super-heroics are problematical for the Pink Panther. "In the Pink of the Night" with the Pink Panther and a Cuckoo "Technology, Phooey" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and Pop-Up Toaster "Super Pink" with the Pink Panther and Old Lady New Pink Panther Show # 2 (Sept. 18, 1971) A variety of uncommon methods are used by the Pink Panther in his oft-thwarted bid to cross a busy city street; the Aardvark overhears Bongo Pest Control's telephone operator's confirmation of a contract to exterminate ants at 402 Bongo Road and goes to that address in haste to himself rid the property of its red insect infestation, suction-pulling pepper into his nozzle instead of the giggling Ant; and the dropped magic wand of an intoxicated witch is useful in the Pink Panther's assistance of an impoverished girl in finding salvation from her squalor. "Think Before You Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Ants in the Pantry" with the Ant and the Aardvark "Pink-A-Rella" with the Pink Panther, a Drunken Witch, a Dirt-Poor Girl, and Pelvis Parsley New Pink Panther Show # 3 (Sept. 25, 1971) Foes for the Pink Panther in this instalment are an astronomer at an observatory whose protruding telescope impinges on the Pink Panther's privacy and sanctity of home, and a recalcitrant dot on the advertisement bristle board for the panther's patented pink health drink. The Aardvark is marooned on a sub-equatorial island with nothing thereon to eat but coconuts, and on a neighbouring island is an abundance of ants- but in the water between the two slabs of land is a shark. "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Isle of Caprice" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and a Shark "Pink Punch" with the Pink Panther and the Troublesome Dot New Pink Panther Show # 4 (Oct. 2, 1971) A genetically-altered, immensely powerful fruit fly invades the Pink Panther's apple orchard, resulting in a fight to the last core. Next, to bar the Ant from subterranean refuge, the Aardvark strives to plug every ant hole in existence and, to his dismay, discovers a hole of volcanic proportions and which is the dwelling of Charlie's huge, older kin. Lastly, the Pink Panther adopts the exceedingly hazardous life of a secret agent, with pursuit of enemy espionage operatives in a city and aboard a passenger train. "A Fly in the Pink" with the Pink Panther and a Fruit Fly "The Ant From Uncle" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and Aunt Ant "Pinkfinger" with the Pink Panther and the English Narrator New Pink Panther Show # 5 (Oct. 9, 1971) Misfortune awaits the Pink Panther as the pink feline demolishes a condemned building, mows grass, inflates a balloon, performs magic, and serves in the military; the Ant removes a thorn from the foot of a tiger and gains the gratitude, friendship, and protection of the husky cat against the Aardvark; and the Pink Panther hopes to bring his theme music to the stage performance of an orchestra whose excitable conductor is intent upon a precise rendition of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. "Pink Outs" with the Pink Panther "Scratch a Tiger" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and a Tiger "Pink, Plunk, Plink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man New Pink Panther Show # 6 (Oct. 16, 1971) The Pink Panther fights some fellow denizens of the Stone Age for gastronomic possession of a bone. The Ant is captured by a scientist and placed in an insect specimen container within the scientist's mobile laboratory, and fortunately for the Ant, his host does not approve of the Aardvark's Ant-snatching attempts. And in the concluding cartoon for this episode, a harmonious existence for man and dog on a tropical island is subverted and ultimately submerged when the Pink Panther joins the island populace. "Extinct Pink" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, a Dinosaur, and a Lizard "Science Friction" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and a Scientist "Pink Paradise" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Dog New Pink Panther Show # 7 (Oct. 23, 1971) Two hungry crows scheme to pilfer the corn harvest of aspiring corn cob vendor Pink Panther, termites thwart the Aardvark's chase of the Ant in a house, and the Pink Panther steals what he thinks is a picnic lunch but is actually a human infant in a basket. "Pink On the Cob" with the Pink Panther and Two Crows "Rough Brunch" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and Termites "Congratulations! It's Pink" with the Pink Panther and a Baby New Pink Panther Show # 8 (Oct. 30, 1971) A burly construction engineer bears the brunt of the Pink Panther's errors as a short-order cook, for which the angry construction man blames and pummels the panther's employer; the Aardvark shiveringly pursues the Ant after a snowfall has covered their habitat; and the Pink Panther had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow, and in Texas where the lamb would graze- to the violent vexation of an ornery cattle rancher, the panther would not say no. "Pink Blue Plate" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "The Froze Nose Knows" with the Ant and the Aardvark "Little Beaux Pink" with the Pink Panther, a Lamb, and a Texan New Pink Panther Show # 9 (Nov. 6, 1971) Having been ordered to leave a town for disturbing the peace, a short-of-stature and short-tempered tuba player ventures into a mountain wilderness to play his musical instrument and thereby deprives tree-dweller Pink Panther of beauty rest, and when the irate Pink Panther retaliates with actions in which his hand is not immediately evident, it is the tuba player's loyal dachshund whom the tuba player blames for the outcomes. Next, the Aardvark attempts to capture the Ant on a beach where the Ant wishes to enjoy sun and surf. And an ornery hunter of animals constructs a latter-day Noah's Ark to which to lure pairs of every known creature- including the Pink Panther- to captivity and harvest of skin and fur. "Pink Tuba-Dore" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Dog "Dune Bug" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and a Lifeguard "Sink Pink" with the Pink Panther and Ark Specimen Hunter New Pink Panther Show # 10 (Nov. 13, 1971) The Pink Panther reads a letter written by an old friend named Loud-Mouth Louie that recalls the panther's exploits in the U.S. Army and as a deliverer of packages. Charlie's new diet of vitamins engenders in him ample strength to easily repel the Aardvark's latest ant-procurement attempts. The Pink Panther is persistently pestered by an airborne insect. "Pink-in" with the Pink Panther, Loud-Mouth Louie, and the Little Man "Don't Hustle an Ant With Muscle" with the Ant and the Aardvark "The Pink Tail-Fly" with the Pink Panther and an Annoying Fly New Pink Panther Show # 11 (Nov. 20, 1971) When the Pink Panther endeavours to replace a tire for his car, the new tire rolls down a hill while the panther is raising the car to enable change of tire, the result being a lengthy chase of the tire by the Pink Panther through a city; the Aardvark's vacuum cleaner, intended by him to inhale the Ant after his own snout becomes corked and bottled, ingests an angry bear; and the Pink Panther prefers his ultra-modern pink house to what a building contractor rather mundanely intends. "Psst Pink" with the Pink Panther "Never Bug an Ant" with the Ant and the Aardvark "The Pink Blueprint" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man New Pink Panther Show # 12 (Nov. 27, 1971) Extremes of surrealism shall be experienced by the Pink Panther as the debonair feline steps into the mind-bending library beyond a hypnotic eye on a door. Then, the Aardvark's underground pursuit of the Ant brings long-schnoz into vicinity of dangerous emissions from a natural gas valve and then into a mine field. Subsequently, the Pink Panther joins the staff of a Chinese restaurant, and the dinner gong sounded by the panther is devastating to a diminutive glass merchant's inventory. "Psychedelic Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "The Ant and the Aardvark" with the Ant and the Aardvark "Gong With the Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man New Pink Panther Show # 13 (Dec. 4, 1971) The Pink Panther is airdropped to an Arctic wilderness, where he strives to defend a seal pup from both a seal-pelt- desiring trapper and a violently crotchety polar bear; a portable hole and an anvil, which the Aardvark hopes will yield positive result in two separate tries of his to capture and eat the Ant, combine to deliver quite the headache for the Aardvark; and the Pink Panther, intending to improve his physique, goes to a gymnasium where a diminutive man, in the place for the same purpose, becomes victim of a series of mishaps unwittingly caused by the panther. "Pink Pranks" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, a Seal, and a Polar Bear "Hasty But Tasty" with the Ant and the Aardvark "In the Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man New Pink Panther Show # 14 (Dec. 11, 1971) Having come to a beach for fast food and fun, the Pink Panther suffers the itchy persistence of a flea that fancies pink fur (and bought-by-Pink-Panther frankfurters). The Aardvark finds further opposition, in the form of another hungry aardvark, to his goal of ant intake- and so ensues a battle of aardvarks for digestive possession of Charlie, with use of spread-on-ground thumb tacks and rubber cement, plus jet-powered stilts and a tripping rope. And finally, the Pink Panther wants to travel 1250 miles to Anaheim but lacks his own automotive vehicle and is unsuccessful at hitchhiking. Seeing a horse, the panther thinks that he has an answer to the transportation issue, but the horse resists the panther's efforts to mount him. "The Pink Flea" with the Pink Panther and a Flea "I've Got Ants in My Plans" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and Green Aardvark "Pinto Pink" with the Pink Panther and the Laughing Horse New Pink Panther Show # 15 (Dec. 18, 1971) Dog may be man's best friend, but not when the Pink Panther has sneakily come into home of man and dog, resulting in misunderstanding and suspicion. A can of chocolate covered Ant falls out of a delivery truck, and the Aardvark and a fellow anteater of green complexion war on railway track and under factory compressor-weight over entitlement to the can and its occupant. Lastly, the Pink Panther wishes to roller skate, his Fairy Godmother happily obliges in granting the wish, and it becomes a wish that the panther soon regrets. "Slink Pink" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Dog "Odd Ant Out" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and Green Aardvark "Tickled Pink" with the Pink Panther and Fairy Godmother New Pink Panther Show # 16 (Dec. 25, 1971) An otherwise not-very-considerate little man's act of kindness, removing a thorn from the Pink Panther's foot, earns for that man the advantage of a grateful Pink Panther who, on the man's summons, frightens the man's wife into agreeing to doing household chores, mainly cleaning the man's cigar messes and garbage from the floors of their home; the Pink Panther acts to oppose an inhumane taxation system in medieval times; and the Ant, the Aardvark, and an Aardvark-loathing canine are all in hospital with broken legs. "Pinkadilly Circus" with the Pink Panther, the Little Man, and the Little Man's Wife "From Bed to Worse" with the Ant, the Aardvark, a Dog, and an Elderly Nurse "Pinkcome Tax" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man New Pink Panther Show # 17 (Jan. 1, 1972) The Pink Panther enjoys stealthful residence in a department store, where he routinely has fun after business hours with the products on display- and with a janitor who suspects the panther's presence but is not entirely sure thereof; the Ant's new jungle chum is an elephant, to the aching despair of the Aardvark; and a horseshoe is unlucky for a criminal to whom the Pink Panther keeps returning the discarded horseshoe, resulting in more unfortunate incident for the lawbreaker. "We Give Pink Stamps" with the Pink Panther and the Little Man "Mumbo Jumbo" with the Ant, the Aardvark, and an Elephant "Lucky Pink" with the Pink PantherFor the 1972-3 television season, NBC continued its association with the Pink Panther, with repeats of episodes of The Pink Panther Show and The New Pink Panther Show. Same notation for the 1973-4 television season. No new Pink Panther cartoons were produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises between early 1972 and early-to-mid-1974. In 1974, production of Pink Panther cartoons resumed, and those cartoons trickled onto the NBC Saturday morning Pink Panther television show in the 1974-5 and 1975-6 television seasons, mixed with Pink Panther cartoons of several-year vintage. Ant and Aardvark cartoons were present in most of those seasons' episodes. And there also appeared such new DePatie-Freleng cartoon personages as the Dogfather (a canine mobster) and the Blue Racer (a speedy, blue snake), of whom neither was deemed to be successful with the Pink Panther television series' audience.
In September, 1976, NBC expanded its Pink Panther television show to 90 minutes, and cartoons with the panther, the Inspector, and the Ant and the Aardvark were joined by cartoon shorts with some further new DePatie-Freleng cartoon-animation characters, Fatso and Banjo- the Texas Toads, a pair of intellectually-challenged, Rio Grande-region amphibians always in search of flies and fun, and black-suited Misterjaw, a self-important, scheming shark voiced by Arte Johnson.
The Inspector cartoons that rejoined the NBC network television show in 1976 were "Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat", "Napoleon Blown-Aparte", "Sacre Bleu Cross", "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!" (in a Halloween episode whose first Pink Panther cartoon was "Pink Plasma", the Pink Panther's Transylvanian encounter with a hungry, little vampire), "Cirrhosis of the Louvre", "The Pique Poquette of Paris", "Plastered in Paris", "Bomb Voyage", "Cock-A-Doodle Deux-Deux", "Ape Suzette", "Le Pig-Al Patrol", and "That's No Lady-- That's Notre Dame!".
In addition to "Pink Plasma" were several more new Pink Panther cartoons, including "Pink Aye", "Trail of the Lonesome Pink", "Pink Da Vinci", "Pink Elephant", "Keep Our Forests Pink", "Bobolink Pink", "Pink Streaker", and "Pink Piper". In these cartoons, the panther is a stowaway on an ocean liner, the crafty nemesis of a pair of fur-trapping French-Canadians, aesthetic rival to Leonardo Da Vinci, apartment building roommate to an elephant, the caretaker of a National Park, a teacher of principles of airborne flight to an inexperienced, small bird, a faltering but award-winning skier, and the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
This writer found the quality of Pink Panther cartoon shorts to plummet in subsequent years, particularly after 1977, when Mancini's music was rendered exceedingly jazzy and intermixed with repetitive tunes seldom in synchronisation with the cartoon animation, which, under the direction of less experienced animators, became rather stilted, and the stories rehashed earlier Pink Panthers. "Pink S.W.A.T." is essentially "The Pink Tail-Fly", "Toro Pink" is "Bully For Pink" without the magic cape, "Pink Pull" is reminiscent of "The Pink Quarterback", and "Pink Breakfast" reuses a dough-flipping gag from "Pink Blue Plate". The later Pink Panther cartoons have a different style and appeal to a different taste. To some viewers, they are probably quite likable.
The Pink Panther Show and The New Pink Panther Show were combined in a package for sale by United Artists to individual television stations (i.e. syndication) in 1973 and became commonplace as weekday or Saturday morning or afternoon offerings on Canadian television.
Disappearing from syndication in the late 1970s, The Pink Panther Show and The New Pink Panther Show were reassembled for distribution to television stations in many countries by United Artists in the 1980s, with addition of cartoons produced in the mid-1970s. "Pink Aye" (1974) was placed before "Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat" in Pink Panther Show first season's instalment six, for example. Two further cartoon compilation Pink Panther Show "seasons" were included in the package, culled from NBC's 90-minute, post-1976 Pink Panther Show. And they both opened their episodes with a scene from "Pink Outs", with the desperately hungry Pink Panther folding a background to a hand-held square to be swallowed, said square unfolding in the panther's stomach and causing him to expand to the same size as the background. And that scene was accompanied by the rendition of the Pink Panther theme music that had opened his cartoons in their original theatrical format. A Halloween episode of the first of those two additional "seasons" contained "Pink Plasma", "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!", and "Pink Pest Control". The second cartoon in the episodes of the first of the two additional "seasons" would either be an Inspector, an Ant and Aardvark, or a Texas Toads. There was an episode with "Pink Pranks", "Scratch a Tiger", and "The Pink Quarterback". And another with "Pink Streaker", "Le Pig-Al Patrol", and "Psychedelic Pink". The second of the two additional "seasons" alternated between the cartoons of the Ant and Aardvark and the cartoons of Misterjaw for its episodes' second presented cartoon. And its Pink Panther cartoons included those produced in the late 1970s.
MGM/UA Home Entertainment released several Pink Panther and Inspector cartoons on videocassette between 1985 and 1997. For the initial CARTOON FESTIVAL series of MGM/UA videotapes was a trio of Pink Panther cartoon compilations of 9 cartoon shorts each and two Inspector videotapes both consisting of 5 cartoons. On the Pink Panther videotapes were "Pink-A-Rella", "Pink Pest Control", "Put-Put, Pink", "Rock-A-Bye Pinky", "Pink in the Clink", "Sky Blue Pink", "G.I. Pink", "Prefabricated Pink", "Pink Outs", "Tickled Pink", "Pinto Pink", "Slink Pink", "Come On in! The Water's Pink", "Pink-A-Boo", "Bully For Pink", "In the Pink of the Night", "Extinct Pink", "Smile Pretty, Say Pink", and some post-Pink Panther Show cartoons of the 1970s. The Inspectors on the videotapes were "Napoleon Blown-Aparte", "Cirrhosis of the Louvre", "Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat", "Plastered in Paris", "Cock-A-Doodle Deux-Deux", "Ape Suzette", "The Pique Poquette of Paris", "Sicque! Sicque! Sicque!", "Unsafe and Seine", and "That's No Lady-- That's Notre Dame!". Subsequent MGM/UA videocassette releases, THE PINK PANTHER'S LAUGH FESTIVAL, THE PINK PANTHER'S COMIC CAPERS, etc., had six cartoons per videotape, among them "Pink Ice", "Pink Pyjamas", "Pinkfinger", "Super-Pink", "The Hand is Pinker Than the Eye", "Shocking Pink", "The Pink Phink", "The Pink Blueprint, "Pink Panic", "We Give Pink Stamps", "Vitamin Pink", "An Ounce of Pink", "In the Pink", "Pink Sphinx", "Pink Paradise", "Pink, Plunk, Plink", and many more. All of these videocassettes were discontinued in 1997. The same fate befell the MGM/UA 1994 laser videodisc, THE PINK PANTHER ANIMATION ARCHIVE- and its contents: "The Pink Phink", "Pink Pyjamas", "We Give Pink Stamps", "Dial P For Pink", "Pink Punch", "Come On in! The Water's Pink", "Pinkfinger", "The Pink Blueprint", "Psychedelic Pink", "The Great DeGaulle Stone Operation", "Pink, Plunk, Plink", and the title sequences of all of the theatrical feature films starring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.
With the advent of the digital videodisc (DVD), MGM/UA Home Entertainment ported over to the fledgling format in 1999 a compilation of cartoon shorts originally sold on VHS videocassette in 1997 under the title, THE PINK PANTHER CARTOON COLLECTION: "JET PINK" (cartoons contained therein were "In the Pink of the Night", "Jet Pink", "Little Beaux Pink", "Pet Pink Pebbles", "The Pink Blueprint", "The Pink Phink", "Think Before You Pink", and "Toro Pink"), but declined to follow THE PINK PANTHER CARTOON COLLECTION: "JET PINK" with DVD releases of the remaining groupings of Pink Panther cartoons in the 1997 home videotape range (there were four additional volumes therein), and the panther's cartoon shorts were not again to come to DVD until 2004, when MGM/UA Home Entertainment issued DVD box sets in Germany and the U.K., box sets that contained every Pink Panther cartoon short from "The Pink Phink" (1964) through to "Supermarket Pink" (1980) but which, alas, cropped the pictures in every cartoon to widescreen format, losing portions of the film image along top and bottom of frame. Included in the bonus features of the German and British DVD box sets was the introductory sequence to The Pink Panther Show, it, too, in "faux widescreen".
A DVD box set of Pink Panther cartoons did not reach North America until early 2006, but the wait was definitely worthwhile in that the cartoons as presented in MGM/UA Home Entertainment's North American PINK PANTHER CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION were in their original aspect ratio, not cropped for widescreen. Unfortunately, however, while the extra features included a new documentary on Friz Freleng and some on-screen commentary and a character drawing session provided by Pink Panther cartoon animator Art Leonardi, there was no Pink Panther Show introductory sequence. Single-disc releases of the individual DVD volumes in the PINK PANTHER CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION box set also were on DVD dealer shelves in 2006, and these were supplemented in 2007 with a further singly released DVD of Ant and Aardvark cartoons, and that 2007 DVD was in turn followed by a DVD in 2008 consisting of 17 Inspector cartoons. Select cartoons with the Pink Panther, the Ant and Aardvark, and the Inspector were also offered as bonus content in a box set of the Pink Panther theatrical films released by MGM/UA Home Entertainment in 2004.
In 2009, a mammoth DVD box set comprising all of the cartoons of the Pink Panther, the Inspector, and the Ant and the Aardvark was released by MGM/UA Home Entertainment. It was called THE PINK PANTHER AND FRIENDS CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION, and it included also every entry in DePatie-Freleng's Roland and Ratfink series of cartoons. Alas, it all too quickly was discontinued and began fetching large sums of money as a rare, out-of-print item.
In 2015, the Kino Lorber DVD and Blu-Ray company announced that it had licenced, from MGM/UA, every DePatie-Freleng cartoon series except for that of the Pink Panther, for Blu-Ray release in 2015 and 2016. The Kino Lorber Blu-Ray release of the cartoons of The Inspector and that of the cartoons of the Ant and Aardvark had, as bonus features, audio commentaries for some of the cartoons and two documentaries, "Good-Bye, Warner Bros.; Hello, DePatie-Freleng" and "Of Aardvarks, Ants, Inspectors, and Cranes". The second of these two documentaries concerned the genesis and development of the series of cartoons with the Inspector, the Ant and the Aardvark, and a DePatie-Freleng cartoon character of later origin and utilisation, Crazylegs Crane.
Starting on March 3, 2008, Teletoon Retro, a specialty cable television station in Canada, would broadcast episodes of The Pink Panther Show in its daily schedule. For Teletoon Retro's run of The Pink Panther Show, cartoon shorts were evidently given a remastering treatment for clarity of resolution and vibrant colour, but the opening and closing of the episodes, the between-cartoon black-out gags, and cartoon title cards of Season 1 were of old, blurry, colour-faded film elements.
Cartoon directors Hawley Pratt, Gerry Chiniquy, George Singer, Arthur Davis,
Robert McKimson, Sid Marcus, David Detiege, and Brad Case
Background graphic designer T.M. Yakutis
Voice characterisation performers Pat Harrington Jr., Paul Frees, Marvin Miller, Dave Barry, Mel Blanc, Hal Smith, and Lennie Weinrib
Theme music composer Henry Mancini
Producer Friz Freleng
Character creator Blake Edwards