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 (August 2021)” Featuring Barbara Stanwyck in… The Great Man’s Lady (1942)

As we keep celebrating Barbara Stanwyck as the Star Of The Month, we’ve got another one of her films where she was paired with Joel McCrea, The Great Man’s Lady from 1942!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Pinto Pink (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, 5 seconds)

The Pink Panther is trying to hitchhike across the country, when he spots a horse and decides to try riding him.  This is a rather funny one, with the main source of humor being the Panther’s failed attempts to get on the horse.  Of course, the horse is stubborn and foils the Panther’s attempts, frequently giving him the horse laugh.  I enjoyed this one from start to finish, and it’s one I don’t mind coming back to every now and then for a good laugh (or several)!

And Now For The Main Feature…

The commemoration of a statue to Ethan Hoyt, the founder of Hoyt City, sends a flock of reporters to the home of Hannah Sempler, an old woman who claims to be connected to Ethan.  However, she turns everybody away.  Everybody, that is, except a young lady (Katharine Stevens) looking to write a biography about Ethan.  So, Hannah decides to tell her life story.  She turns the clock back to 1848, when Hannah (Barbara Stanwyck) met Ethan (Joel McCrea).  At that time, she was a young lady engaged to another man (mostly at her father’s insistence).  Ethan was trying to convince her father to invest in his idea to build a city dedicated to his father out west.  Her father turns him down, but Hannah is thrilled by Ethan and his enthusiasm, so she decides to run away with him and get married.  Everything is rough for them out west, but she takes to being a homesteader as best as she can.  When attempts to raise money for Ethan’s dream of Hoyt City fail, they decide to pack up and go to Sacramento, California.  However, in trying to raise money for the trip, Ethan loses it all to gambler Steely Edwards (Brian Donlevy).  When she sees men taking everything away, Hannah goes to Steely privately to win it all back.  He is instantly infatuated with her, and, although she wins everything back, he accompanies them out to Sacramento.  There, Hannah runs a boarding house, while Ethan works at a mine in Virginia City, trying to find some gold.  One night, Ethan comes back, feeling quite discouraged.  However, as Hannah quickly realizes, his boots are covered in silver, so she borrows some money from Steely so that Ethan can afford to go back and mine it.  Ethan wants her to come with him, but she refuses.  He doesn’t know it yet, but she is pregnant, a fact she is keeping a secret at the moment so that he can achieve his dream of Hoyt City without worrying about her or the baby.  Ethan, of course, is suspicious that she just wants to stay with Steely, and, since she won’t reveal her real reason, he promises not to come back to her.  Later on (after she has given birth to twins), a torrential flood threatens Sacramento, and all the citizens attempt to evacuate. Steely helps get her and the twins on a stagecoach bound for Virginia City, but along the way, a flash flood washes it off a bridge. Steely later finds the now-dead twins and buries them. Since he didn’t find Hannah, he assumes she died as well, and goes to Virginia City to tell Ethan. Upon learning the news, Ethan shoots Steely, blaming him for his wife’s death. Steely survives being shot (although Ethan doesn’t know this), and eventually returns to Sacramento. There, he finds Hannah in her old boarding house, and tells her that Ethan has remarried. She decides to let Ethan believe her to be dead, and goes with Steely to San Francisco. Will Hannah and Ethan ever be reunited? (I’d also ask if Ethan will ever achieve his dreams, but the film’s opening kind of gives that away, so we’ll let that one go.)

The old saying goes “Behind every great man is a great woman,” and, in this movie, that role is definitely being filled by Barbara Stanwyck’s character! In what was the fifth of six collaborations with Joel McCrea, she portrays a woman who falls in love, and continually pushes her significant other to do better and be a better person. Of course, Barbara also shows us the human side of that equation, as we see her struggle with the results of that push, whether it be when she pushes him to go back to the mine (even though she is pregnant), or when she has to stay away, especially after losing her children. I do admit, the early part of the film, when she portrays a teenager, is pushing it a little, but that’s only because she doesn’t look that young (as I’d certainly say that her performance even then is still good). Of course, she also portrays the much older Hannah as well, and, for that, Barbara supposedly studied residents of nursing homes. It worked, as I certainly found her convincing!

The film’s story came from Viña Delmar’s short story “The Human Side,” which had been published in Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan in 1939. I personally found this movie to be quite riveting, from start to finish! Barbara Stanwyck was certainly the film’s big appeal for me, but I think the rest of the cast worked quite well for me, too! Joel McCrea’s performance as Ethan Hoyt was interesting, since we saw him with his big ideas and dreams for the future. When on his own, he sometimes struggled with his dreams, and was sometimes willing to cut corners, but Stanwyck’s Hannah was there to push him not to take the easy way, and to help nudge him in the right direction. Brian Donlevy’s Steely Edwards was also worth watching, as a gambler (and con) who takes all Ethan’s money, only to meet Hannah, and fall in love with her. Yet, in spite of the presence of the love triangle, he realizes she loves Ethan, and tries to take care of her without trying to take Ethan’s place. This was a very heartwarming (and, to a degree, sad) story, and it’s one I look forward to revisiting in the future! (So, yes, I would recommend it!)

What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2020) with… The Great Man’s Lady (1942)

This movie is available on Blu-ray as part of the three film Barbara Stanwyck Collection from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.  This film’s HD scan looks pretty good.  There is some dust and dirt here and there, but it’s very minor, and easily forgotten.  It’s no full-blown restoration, but I’ll take it, as it’s the best this almost forgotten film is likely to appear for some time.  So, I would definitely recommend it!

Film Length: 1 hour, 31 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

The Lady Eve (1941)Barbara StanwyckChristmas In Connecticut (1945)

Sullivan’s Travels (1941) – Joel McCrea – The Palm Beach Story (1942)

The Great McGinty (1940) – Brian Donlevy

Internes Can’t Take Money (1937) – Barbara Stanwyck Collection – The Bride Wore Boots (1946)

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