Coming Up Shorts! with… The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 2

Welcome back for another full post of Coming Up Shorts! This time, I’m going with theatrical shorts starring The Pink Panther, featuring the shorts from 1966 through 1968 that have been released together on disc in The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 2.

Here’s a list and quick plot description for each of the cartoons included in this set (for my comments on the individual cartoons, click on the title to go to my previous reviews):

  1. Pink-A-Boo (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 14 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther has to deal with a mouse and his friends who have come to party.
  2. Genie With The Light Pink Fur (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 7 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther tries to become a genie, to hilarious effect!
  3. Super Pink (1966) (Length: 5 minutes, 58 seconds)
    • After reading a superhero comic, the Pink Panther tries to be a superhero himself!
  4. Rock A Bye Pinky (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 8 seconds)
    • When the Pink Panther can’t sleep due to the Little Man’s snoring, he tries to do something about it!
  5. Pinknic (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 9 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther is stuck in a cabin awaiting the arrival of spring, and is stuck with an equally hungry mouse.
  6. Pink Panic (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 1 second)
    • Coming out of a storm, the Pink Panther tries to spend the night at a haunted hotel in a ghost town.
  7. Pink Posies (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 11 seconds)
    • The Little Man tries to plant some yellow posies, but the Pink Panther keeps replacing them with pink posies.
  8. Pink Of The Litter (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 1 second)
    • When a policeman catches the Pink Panther littering, the Panther is forced to clean up the town of Littersburg.
  9. In The Pink (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 13 seconds)
    • Feeling a little fat, the Pink Panther goes to the gym to work out.
  10. Jet Pink (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 3 seconds)
    • When the Pink Panther walks onto an experimental aircraft base, he decides to try becoming a famous pilot.
  11. Pink Paradise (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 11 seconds)
    • When the Pink Panther comes upon a tropical island, he finds himself trying to avoid the Little Man, who is doing some hunting.
  12. Pinto Pink (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 5 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther is trying to hitchhike across the country, when he spots a horse and decides to try riding him.
  13. Congratulations It’s Pink (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 12 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther steals a basket from some campers, only to find it has a baby in it and not food.
  14. Prefabricated Pink (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 11 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther sees a “Help Wanted” sign at a construction site, and hops right in to help out the workers.
  15. The Hand Is Pinker Than The Eye (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 15 seconds)
    • On a cold winter’s day, the Pink Panther sneaks into a house to get warm. What he doesn’t know is that the house belongs to magician Zammo the Great, and he has to contend with all sorts of magical troubles!
  16. Pink Outs (1967) (Length: 6 minutes, 14 seconds)
    • In this Pink Panther cartoon, there is no story. It’s just a series of different gags, switching from one activity to another.
  17. Sky Blue Pink (1968) (Length: 6 minutes, 11 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther tries to fly a kite, but keeps causing trouble for the Little Man.
  18. Pinkadilly Circus (1968) (Length: 6 minutes, 2 seconds)
    • When the Little Man pulls a nail out of the Pink Panther’s foot, the Panther offers to be his slave out of gratitude.
  19. Psychedelic Pink (1968) (Length: 6 minutes, 17 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther walks by a psychedelic book store, and comes inside after being hypnotized by the door.
  20. Come On In! The Water’s Pink (1968) (Length: 6 minutes, 4 seconds)
    • At Bicep Beach, the Pink Panther runs afoul of a muscle-bound freak with his various inflatables.

Given that I haven’t had any luck in finding out much in the way of background information with regard to the era of Pink Panther cartoons contained in this set (compared to what I could find on Pink Panther Volume 1), I will then confine my comments to what I think of the shorts that are included. While I don’t have as strong a memory on whether I saw any of these shorts when I was younger, there are still a number of fun shorts here. Genie With The Light Pink Fur stands out as a fun one, with the Panther pretending to be a genie in a lamp (but nobody wants to make any wishes, instead chasing him away most of the time). Pink Panic is fun as a more Halloween-centered short, as the Panther deals with a ghost and skeleton (and one of my favorite shorts to watch around that time of year). The gym-centered In The Pink is also fun, as the Panther tries to exercise (and inadvertently causes trouble for the Little Man). There are some shorts that are very similar in this set (with at least two dealing with the Panther causing trouble for the Little Man’s dog, who knows the Panther is there but can’t get that across to his master, who blames him for his trouble), plus others that are close in story to some from the first set, but they are still quite entertaining. The only ones that I really didn’t care for were Pink Outs (due to its lack of story) and the hippie-era Psychedelic Pink. Apart from those, this second chronological volume of Pink Panther shorts is still quite entertaining! The level of restoration (or lack thereof) is quite similar to Volume 1, which is good enough for me to recommend it!

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 2 is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber. The whole set has a runtime of two hours, eight minutes.

“Star Of The Month (June 2021)” Featuring Claudette Colbert in… Cleopatra (1934)

Next up for actress Claudette Colbert (June’s Star Of The Month), we have her 1934 film Cleopatra, also starring Warren William!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Genie With The Light Pink Fur (1966)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 2 (1966-1968) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 7 seconds)

The Pink Panther tries to become a genie, to hilarious effect! Of course, nobody seems to care about the possibility of the genie in the lamp, as everybody has a different use for the lamp! I’ll admit, the tea drinker being scared when the Panther pops out of the lamp is one of the funniest reactions, but all the trouble the Panther gets into here is guaranteed to make me laugh! Another one of the better shorts, in my opinion!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Cleopatra (Claudette Colbert) is in a fight for control of Egypt with her brother, Ptolemy.  She and her philosopher/adviser Apollodorus (Irving Pichel) are kidnapped by Pothinos (Leonard Mudie) and left in the desert ahead of the arrival of Julius Caesar (Warren William).  However, Cleopatra returns secretly, and quickly gains an audience with Caesar.  She offers him the wealth of Egypt, as well as the treasures of India.  Caesar brings Cleopatra back with him to Rome, where he plans to divorce his wife Calpurnia (Gertrude Michael) and marry Cleopatra.  However, this idea doesn’t go over well with the Roman Senate, as they fear that will make him a king, and they plan to kill him.  Their plans are successful, and Cleopatra leaves to return to Egypt.  However, Marc Antony (Henry Wilcoxon) and Caesar’s nephew Octavian (Ian Keith) now share power as the rulers of Rome, and Antony vows to bring Cleopatra back in chains while he conquers Egypt.  Unfortunately for him, Cleopatra is wily enough that she seduces him easily.  Octavian makes use of this opportunity to brand Antony as a traitor, and vows to have him (and Cleopatra) killed.  With all his Roman troops and generals deserting him, will Antony and Cleopatra have a chance against the Roman army?

Earlier in 1934, Cecil B. DeMille made his second film (of three) with actress Claudette Colbert, Four Frightened People.  However, unlike their earlier film The Sign Of The Cross, that film was a flop.  That prompted Paramount Studios head Adolph Zukor to push DeMille to do another historical epic in a similar fashion to The Sign Of The Cross. Of course, part of that earlier film’s appeal was the pre-Code elements, and, with the Hays Code being implemented in 1934, that made that harder to do. Still, Cecil B. DeMille still tried to flaunt the restrictions while he could, to great effect. The movie was popular at the box office, and garnered five Oscar nominations (and one win, for Best Cinematography).

It wasn’t quite an easy film for leading lady Claudette Colbert, though. She struggled with health issues, as she had contracted appendicitis while making her previous film Four Frightened People, which made it harder for her to rehearse for Cleopatra. And, just as bad, her fear of snakes resulted in DeMille delaying her scene with a snake as long as he could. Using psychology, he brought in a big boa constrictor, and, when she asked him not to use that, he offered up a small garden snake instead (which she was happier with). Regardless of her issues, she gives a great performance here, still against type, as she seduces two Roman men. She proves quite wily, and in control most of the time, as she throws the men off their game.

I will freely admit, I hadn’t heard of this film before it was announced for release on Blu-ray back in 2018. I had known of the later 1963 film starring Elizabeth Taylor in the title role (but have never been interested in that one because of her). With actress Claudette Colbert in the title role for the 1934 film (and Cecil B. DeMille in the director’s seat), I was a lot more willing to try it. I wasn’t disappointed! This movie was a thrill from start to finish. I’ll admit, the opening was slightly confusing, starting with her kidnapping already in progress, but the rest of the film was great fun! I really feel like all the performances worked here (which made it better, in my mind, than the earlier The Sign Of The Cross), and I would also include the sets, the costumes and everything else in that statement! I enjoyed this movie, and I would certainly recommend it highly!

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2018) with… Cleopatra (1934)

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Studios.  According to the Blu-ray case, it has been restored from 35mm original film elements, and I would say that this movie certainly looks wonderful!  The detail is superb, and there is very little print damage showing.  It looks (and sounds) even better than the previously reviewed The Sign Of The Cross, and for my money, is well worth it!

Film Length: 1 hour, 41 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

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List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

It Happened One Night (1934)Claudette ColbertThe Bride Comes Home (1935)

Upper World (1934) – Warren William