When Warner Brothers shut down its animation department in 1962, Isador 'Friz' (sic) Freleng teamed up with cartoon producer David DePatie to make animated commercials. Blake Edwards - a long time aficionado of the classic Warner Brothers cartoons and silent comedies - approached Freleng about providing animation for the opening moments of his next film.

Friz and I went back to our studio and got some of our top creative guys together. We came up with nearly 100 different designs. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday afternoon. We went to Blake’s house and laid all the drawings down on his living room floor. Blake walked around the barrage of drawings, stopped, held a up a sketch and said, "That's the one!"

    - David DePatie
      "One Cool Cat: An Interview with Pink Panther Creator, David DePatie"

Perhaps unfortunately for Edwards, the sophisticated feline proved to more popular with audiences and critics than the film itself, and the worlds coolest 2D animated cat was born. Combining pantomime slapstick humor and one of the most memorable theme tunes around (everybody! #dee dum dee dum, dedum, dedum dedum dedum dee dumm ...oh, just download this mp3 version!) the Pink Panther slinked his pink stuff for a good twenty years in one form or another.

The very first Pink Panther cartoon, The Pink Phink, earnt DePatie-Freleng Enterprises an Academy Award in 1964, and was the first animated entry to win with its first run. Even today, many of the original cartoons are regarded as classics by cartoon and cinema fans.

Perhaps some of the best loved cartoons are those featuring "The Little Man". The Man is a poor, put-upon soul who appears in many of the cartoons - always in a different role. "Dial P for Pink" and "Pink Pajamas" contain classic examples of "The Little Man" in action; as a safe-cracker and a drunk, respectively.

Another frequently recurring character was "The Inspector", who was based largely on Inspector Clouseau. He would have his own segment in the show, which usually featured his dim-witted attempts to uphold the law whilst being outsmarted, captured, blown up or otherwise thwarted. He was eventually given his own show, simply titled "The Inspector".

If you're lucky enough to live in the UK, you might well be able to catch some classic episodes on Cartoon Network.

 

The Great Big Cartoon List
Okay. Here we go -- a non-stop listing of sixties cartoon goodness at it's rinky-dink-pinkest:

Pink Panther: (1964 - 1977)
The original and arguably the best.

  • Suspense Account (Never released to the public)
  • The Pink Phink (1964)
  • Pink Pajamas (1964)
  • We Give Pink Stamps (1965)
  • Dial 'P' For Pink (1965)
  • Sink Pink (1965)
  • Pickled Pink (1965)
  • Shocking Pink (1965)
  • Pinkfinger (1965)
  • Pink Ice (1965)
  • The Pink Tail Fly (1965)
  • Pink Panzer (1965)
  • An Ounce Of Pink (1965)
  • Reel Pink (1965)
  • Bully For Pink (1965)
  • Pink Punch (1966)
  • Pink Pistons (1966)
  • Vitamin Pink (1966)
  • The Pink Blueprint (1966)
  • Pink, Plunk, Plink (1966)
  • Smile Pretty, Say Pink (1966)
  • Pink-A-Boo (1966)
  • Genie With The Light Pink Fur (1966)
  • Super Pink (1966)
  • Rock-A-Bye Pinky (1966)
  • Pinknic (1967)
  • Pink Panic (1967)
  • Pink Posies (1967)
  • Pink Of The Litter (1967)
  • In The Pink (1967)
  • Jet Pink (1967)
  • Pink Paradise (1967)
  • Pinto Pink (1967)
  • Congratulations! It's Pink (1967)
  • Prefabricated Pink (1967)
  • The Hand Is Pinker Than The Eye (1967)
  • Pink Outs (1967)
  • Sky Blue Pink (1968)
  • Pinkadilly Circus (1968)
  • Psychedelic Pink (1968)
  • Come On In! The Water's Pink (1968)
  • Put-Put Pink (1968)
  • G.I. Pink (1968)
  • Lucky Pink (1968)
  • The Pink Quarterback (1968)
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Pink (1968)
  • Pink Valiant (1968)
  • The Pink Pill (1968)
  • Prehistoric Pink (1968)
  • Pink In The Clink (1968)
  • Little Beaux Pink (1968)
  • Tickled Pink (1968)
  • Pink Sphinx (1968)
  • Pink Is A Many Splintered Thing (1968)
  • The Pink Package Plot (1968)
  • Pink-Come Tax (1968)
  • Pink-A-Rella (1969)
  • Pink Pest Control (1969)
  • Think Before You Pink (1969)
  • Slink Pink (1969)
  • In The Pink Of The Night (1969)
  • Pink On The Cob (1969)
  • Extinct Pink (1969)
  • A Fly In The Pink (1971)
  • Pink Blue Plate (1971)
  • Pink Tuba-Dore (1971)
  • Pink Pranks (1971)
  • Psst Pink (1971)
  • The Pink Flea (1971)
  • Pink-In (1971)
  • Gong With The Pink (1971)
  • Pink 8 Ball (1972)
  • Pink Aye (1974)
  • Trail Of The Lonesome Pink (1974)
  • Pink DaVinci (1975)
  • Pink Streaker (1975)
  • Salmon Pink (1975)
  • Pink Plasma (1975)
  • Forty Pink Winks (1975)
  • Pink Elephant (1975)
  • Keep Our Forests Pink (1975)
  • Pink Campaign (1975)
  • Bobolink Pink (1975)
  • It's Pink But Is It Mink? (1975)
  • The Scarlet Pinkernel (1975)
  • Mystic Pink (1976)
  • The Pink Of Arabee (1976)
  • The Pink Pro (1976)
  • Pink Piper (1976)
  • Pinky Doodle (1976)
  • Sherlock Pink (1976)
  • Rocky Pink (1976)
  • Therapeutic Pink (1977)

The Pink Panther Show: (1969 - 1970)
It was this series that introduced "The Inspector" and his sidekick, Paul.

  • 32 cartoons, each named "Show ##";

Pink Panther and Sons (1984 - 1985)
A spin-off featuring Pink Panther and his troublesome offspring,namely: Pinky, Finko, Rocko, Anney, Liona, Chatta, Punkin, and Finkle. We're struggling for plotlines by this point.

  • Spinning Wheels (1984)
  • Pinky At The Bat (1984)
  • The Great Bumpo (1984)
  • Take A Hike (1984)
  • Haunted Howlers (1984)
  • Traders Of The Lost Bark (1984)
  • Pink Enemy #1 (1984)
  • Pink Encounters Of The Panky Kind (1984)
  • Millionaire Murfel (1984)
  • The Pursuit Of Panky (1984)
  • Sitter Jitters (1984)
  • The Fix Up, Foul Up (1984)
  • Joking Genie (1984)
  • Panky's Pet (1984)
  • Punkin's Home Companion (1984)
  • Insanity Claus (1984)
  • Rocko's Last Round (1984)
  • Sleeptalking Chatta (1985)
  • Pink Shrink (1985)
  • The Pink Link (1985)
  • Anney's Invention (1985)
  • Arabian Frights (1985)
  • Brothers Are Special (1985)
  • A Hard Day's Knight (1985)
  • Mister Money (1985)

And I know for a fact that there are a few more Pink Panther cartoon series, namely...

  • The New Pink Panther Show (1971-?)
  • The Pink Panther Laugh and a Half Hour and a Half Show (1976?)
    Which was only six(?) cartoons long, and consisted of re-runs and compilations of the previous series.
  • The All-New Pink Panther Show (1978-?)
...but I am unable to find accurate listings of the dates and titles. If anyone is able to help with this, I'd be glad of a /msg.

 

Venerable sources:

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