The Pink Panther first appeared on cinema screens in the comical title sequence of the live action movie of the same name. The animated character which was created by Friz Freleng had nothing to do with the movie itself which centred round the theft of a diamond called the Pink Panther. However, Freleng's cartoon creation was such a success that United Artists signed him up to produce a series of theatrical comedy shorts. The first of these, 1964's The Pink Phink (which won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film), featured the Panther tormenting a white moustachioed man (actually a caricature of Freleng), by constantly thwarting his attempts to paint his house blue - by painting it pink.
In late 1969 the Pink Panther cartoons by Freleng and David H. DePatie made their way to television on The Pink Panther Show, a series by Mirisch Films and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, created to showcase the cartoons. Each 30 minute episode began with a Doug Goodwin composed theme music replacing the more familiarly known Pink Panther Theme by Henry Mancini. Each show featured the Pink Panther and The Inspector, a cartoon version of the live-action Clousseau character. The opening sequence showed the Pink Panther and the Inspector alighting from the Panthermobile outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Announcer Marvin Miller acting as an off-camera narrator for the linking scenes between cartoons which now had canned laughter added to the original soundtrack.
Other DePatie-Freleng series joined the Pink Panther, including Roland and Rattfink, The Dogfather, The Blue Racer and Crazylegs Crane as well as The Inspector, with the bumbling Clouseau and his Spanish-speaking sidekick Sgt. Deux-Deux.
Published on January 18th, 2019. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.