Coming Up Shorts! with… The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1

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 1964 through 1966 that have been released together on disc in The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1.

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. The Pink Phink (1964) (Length: 6 minutes, 47 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther fights with the Little Man over the color scheme of a house being painted.
  2. Pink Pajamas (1964) (Length: 6 minutes, 19 seconds)
    • A tired Pink Panther finds a place to spend the night, only to find the home belongs to an alcoholic Little Man.
  3. We Give Pink Stamps (1965) (Length: 7 minutes, 1 second)
    • The Pink Panther wanders around a closed department store, periodically trying to avoid the Little Man working as a janitor.
  4. Dial “P” For Pink (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 31 seconds)
    • A klutzy safecracker tries to rob a safe that the Pink Panther has taken up residence in.
  5. Sink Pink (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 21 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther faces off against a hunter trying to recreate Noah’s ark so he can hunt all the animals.
  6. Pickled Pink (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 22 seconds)
    • A drunk invites the Pink Panther into his home, but they have to avoid his wife, who threatens to throw any of her husband’s “friends” out of the house.
  7. Pinkfinger (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 15 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther takes on a ring of spies.
  8. Shocking Pink (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 43 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther tries to relax, but the narrator keeps pushing him to work on some things around the house.
  9. Pink Ice (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 17 seconds)
    • The Panther is operating a diamond mine, but a pair of rival miners steal his diamonds.
  10. The Pink Tail Fly (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 17 seconds)
    • An exhausted Pink Panther tries to get some sleep, but is interrupted by a persistent fly.
  11. Pink Panzer (1965) (Length: 5 minutes, 50 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther and his neighbor are slowly being turned against each other by the narrator.
  12. An Ounce Of Pink (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 2 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther runs across a coin-operated talking weight and fortune-telling machine, and he buys it to keep with him.
  13. Reel Pink (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 17 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther buys a group of worms to go fishing, but one of them keeps giving him trouble.
  14. Bully For Pink (1965) (Length: 6 minutes, 2 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther decides to try being an amateur bullfighter, and borrows a magician’s cape to use.
  15. Pink Punch (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 27 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther has come up with a health drink of his own, and tries to promote it. He is thwarted, however, by an asterisk from one of his signs that turned green and keeps turning everything green.
  16. Pink Pistons (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 2 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther buys a compact car (with a mind of its own) and ends up in a drag race.
  17. Vitamin Pink (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 25 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther is selling some pep pills out west, but finds himself stuck as a deputy when he gives some to an escaped convict.
  18. The Pink Blueprint (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 25 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther competes with the Little Man on a construction site.
  19. Pink, Plunk, Plink (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 24 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther tries to get himself into the orchestra at a concert, but the conductor keeps throwing him out.
  20. Smile Pretty, Say Pink (1966) (Length: 6 minutes, 9 seconds)
    • The Pink Panther takes on an amateur photographer visiting a national park.

Like I said when discussing The Ant And The Aardvark, Friz Freleng and David H. DePatie formed DePatie-Freleng Enterprises in 1963. They were approached by director Blake Edwards to design a panther character for his then-upcoming film The Pink Panther (1963), which would appear during the opening credits. That initial appearance proved to be quite popular with audiences, and United Artists ordered a series of theatrical cartoons using that character. The first cartoon put together was the 1964 The Pink Phink, which made use of Henry Mancini’s classic “Pink Panther Theme” music, and established the relationship of the Pink Panther and the Little Man. The cartoon would win an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, the only Oscar win not only for the series, but also for DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.

The Pink Panther cartoons are among the few I can still remember seeing on TV as a child (beyond the Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry cartoons). This first set was a lot of fun for me, reliving my childhood. Admittedly, the only one that I really remember was the first one, The Pink Phink (and with them using the classic theme song for the entire score of that one, as opposed to just the opening credits on the rest, really helps set it apart). But, there is still some enjoyment to be found here with the rest, as well. I do confess to the idea that these early cartoons are all over the place, as they try to figure out what to do with the character. Most are completely silent, a few have some other characters talking, and two of them (Sink Pink and Pink Ice) even have the Panther speak! There is a good deal of variety within these shorts (even if at least one does seem close to being a remake of an earlier Looney Tunes short)! The Pink Panther is still one cool cat, and I always enjoy coming back to these cartoons, both for the music and the comedy! They aren’t necessarily restored here, but they look pretty good, and that’s good enough for me to recommend them!

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber. The whole set has a runtime of two hours, eight minutes.

TFTMM 2020 & WOIANRA 2019 on… Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)

We’re sticking around for the second film of today’s triple-feature as we finish out the Universal run of the Abbott and Costello films, with their 1955 comedy Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy!

Coming Up Shorts! with… Sink Pink (1965)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) from Kino Lorber)

(Length: 6 minutes, 21 seconds)

The Pink Panther faces off against a hunter trying to recreate Noah’s ark so he can hunt all the animals. Fun little idea, although the cartoon mainly focuses on the hunter trying (and failing) to outwit the panther. This one actually changes things up a little, as the hunter actually talks for most of the cartoon (and the panther himself has one quick line to end the cartoon)! It’s fun, and worth seeing every now and then even if it does break with the otherwise mostly silent cartoons in this series.

And Now For The Main Feature…

Note: even though the credits list their parts as Pete Patterson (Bud Abbott) and Freddie Franklin (Lou Costello), they go by their own names within the movie, so I will stick with their own names for the synopsis.

Dr. Gustav Zoomer (Kurt Katch) has announced to a journalist that he has found the mummy of Klaris, with a clue to a big treasure. He is overheard by many parties. Among them are Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who hope he will hire them to help take the mummy to America. However, before they can talk to him, Dr. Zoomer is murdered by members of Klaris’ cult followers. When Bud and Lou discover the body of Dr. Zoomer, they take pictures that they send to the police. The only problem is, Lou took a picture of Bud with the body, and now the police suspect him of being the murderer! While on the run from the police, they return to Dr. Zoomer’s home, where they hope to find some clues to his murderer. While they are searching, two other groups are also there, looking for a medallion that would reveal the lost tomb of the Princess Ara. Lou stumbles across it, and, when one group gives chase, they make a run for it. Unsure of the medallion’s value, they ask around, only to scare people away. In a pawnshop, they run into Madame Rontru (Marie Windsor). Unknown to them, she is a treasure hunter and the leader of one of the groups after the medallion. She offers them money for the medallion, but she wants to meet them at a cafe later that evening to pay them. While they are waiting for her, Lou accidentally eats the medallion. Madame Rontru takes him to a doctor to confirm that he ate the medallion, and it is there that they meet Semu (Richard Deacon). He is the leader of Klaris’ followers, but, to lead them into a trap and recover the medallion, he pretends to be a professor, with an ability to read heiroglyphics. Once they arrive at their destination, Madame Rontru and Semu go their separate ways, so they can each plan their betrayal of the other, while Bud and Lou are forced to start digging. Lou finds the secret passage, and encounters Klaris, who scares Lou into spitting out the medallion. Bud and Lou hope to make a deal with Semu, although Klaris keeps causing them trouble.

After dealing with Dracula, the Frankenstein monster, the Wolfman, the Invisible Man, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, of course Abbott and Costello had to meet up with the Mummy! Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy was directed by Charles Lamont, the ninth time that he would direct Bud and Lou in the movies. Of course, by this time, Bud and Lou were no longer the darlings of the studio, with their recent films not received as well by audiences. In spite of the fact that this movie was finished a day early and came in within the budget, Universal spent very little money advertising the movie. After the movie was finished, it was also time for Bud and Lou to renew their contract with Universal, but in between their films not being as successful and their demands for more money, Universal decided instead to drop them.

For me, this movie was truly a return to form for Bud and Lou (although sadly a short-lived one with Universal ending their contract). They made use of some of their comedy routines, including “Changing Room” and “Take Your Pick.” With Lou’s character eating a medallion at one point, we rather hilariously see the villains shaking him up as they try to find it in his stomach with an x-ray machine (although it is fairly obvious at one point that it is some stunt doubles throwing a dummy around instead of Lou). While Lou and his antics when scared by the Mummy are nothing new, he’s still very effective and funny when scared. This is a fun movie, very effective around Halloween, but equally good any other time of the year. I have no trouble whatsoever with recommending this movie!

This movie is available on Blu-ray from Universal Studios either individually or in the Mummy Legacy Collection, or as part of Shout Factory’s 28-film set The Complete Abbott And Costello Universal Pictures Collection.

Film Length: 1 hour, 19 minutes

My Rating: 8/10

Audience Rating:

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Abbott And Costello Meet The Keystone Kops (1955)Bud Abbott/ Lou Costello

Abbott And Costello Meet The Keystone Kops (1955)The Complete Abbott And Costello Universal Pictures CollectionThe World Of Abbott And Costello (1965)