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 (July 2021)” Featuring James Cagney in… Never Steal Anything Small (1959)

We’ve got one more James Cagney movie to finish out his run as the Star Of The Month, and that would be his 1959 musical Never Steal Anything Small (which was based on an unproduced play called The Devil’s Hornpipe by Maxwell Anderson and Rouben Mamoulian), which also stars Shirley Jones!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pink Posies (1967)

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

(Length: 6 minutes, 11 seconds)

The Little Man tries to plant some yellow posies, but the Pink Panther keeps replacing them with pink posies. This one is a fun cartoon, with the Little Man questioning his eyesight (at least, until he actually sees the Pink Panther). Sure, it’s certainly derivative of the first Pink Panther cartoon The Pink Phink, even using a gag of them going around something (in this case, a tree), as they keep switching from the Little Man’s color to pink. But, similar or not, it’s still hilarious, and the Pink Panther’s antics don’t grow old here (making it easy to watch this one over and over again)!

And Now For The Main Feature…

Jake MacIllaney (James Cagney) is running for the position of president for his local longshoresmen’s union, but he is running short of money for a rally. He turns to “Sleep-Out” Charlie Barnes (Jack Albertson) and extorts nearly $10,000 from him. At the rally, he is arrested for extortion, but Jake is able to spin it as being an attempt by his opponent to get him out of the way. He is assigned Dan Cabot (Roger Smith) as his lawyer. They don’t get along at first, but Jake likes Dan enough to retain him as the lawyer. Meanwhile, Jake enlists the help of Sleep-Out’s girlfriend Ginger (Virginia Vincent) to get Sleep-Out out of the way for the trial. Jake holds another party on the eve of the election, which he uses to get his opponent O. K. Merritt (Horace McMahon) and some of his men out of the way. The election obviously goes Jake’s way, but, upon going to his new office, he finds out that Dan Cabot has resigned as his lawyer. Still needing Dan to take care of the trial before Sleep-Out could return, Jake goes to Dan’s apartment, where he meets Dan’s wife, Linda (Shirley Jones). He quickly finds out that she pushed her husband not to represent Jake, which cost Dan his job at the firm. However, Dan arrives home, and Jake offers him $1,000 to be a lawyer for the union (which he accepts, despite Linda’s protests). Interested in Linda himself, Jake sets about getting an office set up for Dan, and pushes his friend Winnipeg Simmons (Cara Williams) to be Dan’s secretary. She is reluctant to do so, as she can sense that Jake is trying to break up their marriage, but decides to go along when Jake grudgingly offers her a Ferrari to do it. Meanwhile, Jake starts going after a new contract for his union members, but finds resistance from the president of the union, Pinelli (Nehemiah Persoff). Unable to do anything about a new contract, which he needed to help keep some promises he made to the members of his union, Jake decides to steal some watches and sell them on the black market. As far as Dan and Linda are concerned, Jake is able (with Winnipeg’s help) to break them up (mainly by Linda catching Dan kissing Winnipeg), and so Jake starts trying to go out with Linda himself. She is hesitant, but finds out that he is not as much of a hoodlum as she thought he was. Jake’s popularity with the union members prompts them to push for him to run against Pinelli for the presidency of the union, but Pinelli has an ace up his sleeve. With all this going on, can Jake win the election and Linda’s affections, or will he end up in trouble?

Ah, James Cagney’s last film musical. He is essentially playing yet another gangster-type character here. He plays it rough as his character tries to rise in position in his union. He’s a mostly unlikeable guy, although he does manage to give us some elements of redemption, in the ways he tries to take care of the workers in his union, while taking on some corrupt leaders. Of course, those are somewhat offset by his actions as he tries to break up the marriage of his lawyer (although he comes around at least a little on that, too).

I will readily admit, this being another Cagney musical made it seem appealing to me. Compared to some of the earlier ones that I’ve seen, though, like Footlight Parade, Yankee Doodle Dandy and Love Me Or Leave Me, this one isn’t quite as good. Supposedly, Allie Wrubel and Maxwell Anderson wrote thirteen songs for this movie, but only five were actually retained. And of those five, I have mostly mixed feelings, with only the title song really coming off as memorable. I will admit, “I’m Sorry, I Want A Ferrari” is a bit more fun to watch (and, realistically, the closest that Cagney comes to doing any dancing in this movie). Shirley Jones is fun here, too, with two songs that she gets to sing (although “It Takes Love To Make A Home” is the better of the two admittedly weak songs). I’ve certainly seen far better musicals, but, I’ve seen worse, and I find this one enjoyable enough that I would recommend it if given the chance (maybe rent it/ stream it if you can).

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… Never Steal Anything Small (1959)

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. I would say that the transfer leaves something to be desired. There are some issues here and there with the colors, and it seems to have come from less-than-stellar film elements, but I think that it is still very watchable. Quite frankly, this is likely the best we are to get anytime soon. From what I’ve heard, there have been issues with the film elements that kept this one from getting released on DVD in the first place (through Universal themselves), so I think Kino did the best they could on this one, making it available for audiences to still be able to see it.

And with that ends all my new reviews for the month of July (particularly this month’s Star, James Cagney). Originally, I had planned to end the month with a review of Ziegfeld Follies on Wednesday, but writer’s block has slowed me down on that one, and I will instead be adding new comments to my old review of Take Me Out To The Ball Game on Wednesday. Otherwise, stay tuned for next Sunday, when we shift gears to August’s star, Barbara Stanwyck!

Film Length: 1 hour, 34 minutes

My Rating: 7/10

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List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Man Of A Thousand Faces (1957)James Cagney

Shirley Jones – The Music Man (1962)