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… The Palm Beach Story (1942)

For my last look at one of actress Claudette Colbert’s films (to end the celebration of her as the Star Of The Month), we’ve got her 1942 comedy The Palm Beach Story, also starring Joel McCrea!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pinknic (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, 9 seconds)

The Pink Panther is stuck in a cabin awaiting the arrival of spring, and is stuck with an equally hungry mouse. This short is, at best, average for the series. Certainly, the antics of the mouse as he tries to eat the Panther provide much of the humor, here. However, the fact that the Panther is hungry as well gets quickly dropped, as time moves quickly, with nary a drop of food hinted at (other than a picture of a fish that the Panther tries to cook but which gets eaten by the mouse). I like it, but it’s at best middle of the pack, and one I’m not *quite* as likely to come back to as often as others I’ve seen.

And Now For The Main Feature…

After six years of marriage, Tom (Joel McCrea) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert) are flat broke.  The manager of their Park Avenue apartment building is showing their place to some prospective tenants (since they haven’t paid their rent).  Gerry is still in the apartment while this is happening, but she tries to keep out of sight.  However, one of the prospective tenants, the self-proclaimed Wienie King (Robert Dudley) pokes around, and comes across her.  When he finds out that the beautiful Gerry is broke, he decides to give her $700 to help pay the rent and other things.  Feeling better with the bills paid (and frustrated at the idea that they will quickly be in the same boat again since her inventor husband is struggling to get anybody to invest in his inventions), Gerry decides to divorce Tom and use her sex appeal to marry a millionaire (and help support Tom financially that way).  Tom doesn’t like the idea, but she manages to get to the train station to get away before he can stop her.  Without any money or luggage, she uses her appeal to get some men from the Ale And Quail Club to get her a ticket.  However, while in their private car, the men all get drunk and start shooting, so she makes her escape towards the front of the train.  There, she finds a berth above J. D. “Snoodles” Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee) and sleeps there.  In the morning, she finds that she has no clothes to wear (everything was in the private car with the Ale and Quail Club, and that car was disconnected because the conductor was fed up with the group’s antics).  So, Snoodles comes to her rescue at the next town, and buys her many outfits and bracelets, etc.  When he takes her the rest of the way to Palm Beach on his yacht, she learns who he is (one of the richest men in the world), and they get to know each other better.  In the meantime, Tom also meets the Wienie King, who gives him money to take a plane ahead of her in an attempt to reconcile.  When he learns from a porter about Gerry getting off the train with somebody, Tom goes to the pier to meet the yacht.  He is not the only one there to meet it, as it is also being met by Snoodles’ sister, the often-married (and divorced) Princess Maude Centimillia (Mary Astor), along with her current suitor, Toto (Sig Arno).  When she sees Tom on the dock, Gerry introduces him as her brother, “Captain McGlue” (since Snoodles already knew of her husband), and Maude takes an immediate liking to him.  Tom is not fond of the overall situation, but he wants Gerry back, so he tries to make the best of it (while keeping an eye on her).  Meanwhile, she works on Snoodles to get him to invest in Tom’s idea.  Of course, the question remains: will things work out for everybody?

Director Preston Sturges was enjoying great success at the time, following the well-received The Lady Eve (which I hope to review later this year), which had also allowed him to do his passion project: Sullivan’s Travels.  He had planned to possibly do another film with actress Veronica Lake (which ended up being handed off to director René Clair and would become I Married A Witch).  So, Sturges came up with his own idea, borrowing heavily from his own life experiences.  At the time, the story was tentatively being called Is That Bad? or Is Marriage Necessary? (both titles that got into trouble with the censors at the Hays office).  Originally, the plan was for actress Carole Lombard to star in this film, but her death changed things, resulting in Claudette Colbert taking over the role.  Rudy Vallee’s casting was mainly at the insistence of Sturges, as Vallee had mostly been a failure in previous movies, but this film’s success changed his career trajectory, allowing him the opportunity to do more comedic roles.  This film was an expensive one, in between the sets and the salaries of the cast, but it still proved a hit with audiences who wanted a relief from the various dramas and war films of the time.

I will readily admit that I like actress Claudette Colbert’s performance in this film.  She does great as a gal who prefers to live lavishly (but struggles to do so on her husband’s income).  Especially with the attention (and money) she gets from the Wienie King, she is quick to realize she is still young and beautiful, which she believes can get her anywhere.  We can see that she still loves her husband and wants to help him out, but, as she says, his jealous streak prevents her from doing anything to help him successfully. Through her performance, we are shown how she is trying to fight , not just for a better life for herself, but for her husband, and yet, she has to fight her own emotions and love for her husband in order to do so.

Overall, I will readily admit that I had a lot of fun with this one. That opening credits sequence gets the movie started off on the right foot (but I can’t describe it without spoiling some things). Admittedly, I would also say it almost feels like it belongs to a different movie, with the events shown not really coming into play until the very end (and even then, you’re still slightly confused about what was going on). Still, the cast are all quite fun, including Mary Astor as the man-hungry princess, who always gets the man she wants (but can’t seem to get rid of her current lover, Toto). The only other weak point, in a gag that really isn’t aging well, is all the hunters on the train, especially when they start shooting the place up (in a drunken stupor, but it’s still not as funny nowadays). All its faults aside, this is another classic comedy from director Preston Sturges that I thoroughly enjoyed, and one I would say is well worth recommending!

This movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Criterion Collection

Film Length: 1 hour, 28 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938)Claudette ColbertSince You Went Away (1944)

The Great Man’s Lady (1942) – Joel McCrea

The Maltese Falcon (1941) – Mary Astor – Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)

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