Pink Panther

The Pink Panther refers to:

  • A series of films, most of which feature Peter Sellers as the bumbling French policeman Jacques Clouseau
  • The diamond depicted in the first film (although fans over the years have perceived Inspector Clouseau to be the Pink Panther, as evidenced by the titles of the sequels).
  • A series of animated short films spun off after use in the titles of the films, as well as several television series either featuring these films or new shorts made for television
  • The cartoon character of the Pink Panther itself, seen in both the feature films' credits and the short films, television series, and a few computer games.
  • The theme song of most of the live-action film series and animated short films, which is a jazz piece composed by Henry Mancini


The films initially starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau and were directed by Blake Edwards. The popular theme music is by Henry Mancini. The Pink Panther of the title is, in the first film, a diamond supposedly containing a flaw which forms the image of a pink panther, whose theft is the concern of the first film. The diamond is not subsequently referred to in the series (except The Return Of The Pink Panther), but the name stuck because of the distinctive animated character of a pink panther seen in the first film only in the opening credits and at the end of the film.

In the original Pink Panther movie, the main focus was on on David Niven's role as Sir Charles Lytton, aka the infamous jewel thief "the Phantom", and his plot to steal the Pink Panther from its original owner. The Inspector Clouseau character played essentially a supporting role as Lytton's incompetent antagonist, and provided slapstick comic relief to a movie that was a subtle, light-hearted crime drama. The popularity of Clouseau caused him to become the main character in subsequent Pink Panther films, which were more standard slapstick comedy movies.

Mancini's theme, with variations in arrangement, is used at the start of all but a few of the Clouseau films.

Thus far, nine official films have been made, all but two having "Pink Panther" in the title. The films are as follows:

All these films have been released by United Artists, however The Return Of The Pink Panther is the only film in the series not currently owned by MGM/UA as at the time UA sold the film rights to British production company ITC (although UA does own the copyright)--that film is now in rights litigation, which is why "Return" is not included in a 2004 DVD box set of the other five Sellers films.

Although official, the 1968 film Inspector Clouseau is generally not considered part of the Pink Panther "canon" since it did not involve Sellers or Edwards. Some elements of Arkin's performance and costuming, however, were retained when Peter Sellers took back the role in 1974.

Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers originally intended to produce a Clouseau television series in 1974, but backers ITC felt a movie would better suit the character, resulting in Return of the Pink Panther and a revived Clouseau film franchise.

A new film, called The Pink Panther, starring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau and directed and produced by Ivan Reitman, was producted in Spring (Northern Hemisphere) 2004 for release in February 2006. Although advance publicity suggests it will be a prequel to the 1963 film, it is set in the present day. Prior to Martin signing to the picture, which he also co-wrote the screenplay for, Mike Myers, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker had all been announced as candidates to play the role of Clouseau. It remains to be seen whether fans of Clouseau will consider the film to be canonical since Blake Edwards is not involved in the writing or directing of the project.


Inspector Jacques Clouseau

A bumbling simpleton who believes himself to be a detective genius. Inexplicably speaks in English with a ludicrous French accent, while other characters in the films speak English in whatever accent is normal for the actor playing the part. (Clouseau's accent is far less pronounced in the early films; it was only starting in the 1970s that an exaggerated accent became part of the joke).

Sheer luck or clumsiness usually saves him. For example, in one film, assassins from all over the world are sent to kill him; Clouseau bends down to tie his shoelace, falls over, etc, at just the right moment to ensure that the killers' attempts eliminate one another.

Played by Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin, Roger Moore, and Steve Martin

Chief Inspector Dreyfus

Clouseau's superior, who is eventually driven murderously insane by his intolerance for Clouseau's stupidity. One film ends with him strait-jacketed in a padded cell writing "Kill Clouseau" on the wall with his feet. In Pink Panther Strikes Again he attempts to take over the world for the sole purpose of guaranteeing the death of Clouseau by kidnapping a scientist and forcing him to build a doomsday weapon, a giant gun-like weapon that emits a laser that vaporizes anything it touches. Dreyfus appears to vaporize himself at the end of this film, but subsequently, without any explanation, returns to his Chief Inspector post in later films.

Played by Herbert Lom and Kevin Kline


Clouseau's manservant, and an expert in martial arts. It's unclear whether he believes Clouseau is a great detective or merely humours him. It is a running joke that he is required to attack Clouseau when he least expects it, to keep Clouseau's combat skills and vigilance sharp. One memorable scene has Clouseau stealthily search the entire apartment on returning from grocery shopping; upon not finding Cato, he opens the refrigerator for a snack. The location of Cato is left to the reader's imagination. In later films, Cato helps Clouseau on some cases, including one in Hong Kong. Ever-faithful Cato wears glasses in order to be inconspicuous, but he ends up running into various objects because of his now-impaired vision. At first, Cato appears to conform to the Chinese racial stereotype of speaking in "broken English" and grinning, however Revenge of the Pink Panther reveals that Cato is actually a cultured gentleman, fluent in English, who puts on the stereotype as an act for Clouseau. It is suggested that a love-hate relationship exists between the two men, sometimes bordering more on the hate side for Cato.

In the movie Revenge of the Pink Panther, Cato, believing his master to be dead, ran a covert brothel in his apartment. The code to get into the brothel was to claim to be Inspector Clouseau, which caused a humorous scene when the real Inspector Clouseau showed up.

Played by Burt Kwouk.


The Pink Panther animated shorts were directed by Friz Freleng. Originally they were created for the opening of the Blake Edwards series of films, but they were soon spun off in their own series, sometimes with the animated version of Clouseau as foil. The cartoon series was initially produced for theatrical release, and the 1964 animated short film The Pink Phink won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film (Freleng's third Oscar). The series eventually moved to television, with several Saturday morning cartoon series (including one called The Think Pink Panther Show) producing a number of additional Pink Panther cartoons. It also added episodes starring other characters including The Ant and the Aardvark, the Tijuana Toads (aka the Texas Toads), and Mr. Jaws and Catfish (aka Misterjaw), featuring a shark who liked to leap out of the water and shout "Gotcha!" at unsuspecting folks, and his sidekick, a meek yellow derby-wearing catfish. There were also a series of animated shorts called "The Inspector", with the bumbling Clouseau inspired Inspector and his Spanish-speaking sidekick Sgt. Dieu-Dieu, whom the Inspector is forever correcting. ("Dieu" is French for "God", meaning the little man's name is both a bowel-centric pun and literally means "God-God". Quite odd.)

In the early series of Pink Panther cartoons, the Panther generally remained silent, speaking only in two theatrical shorts. In a later series of cartoons the Panther starred with his sons Pinky, Panky, and Punky. A third series of cartoons had the Pink Panther speaking with the voice of Matt Frewer (of Max Headroom fame), a move that was controversial with fans who felt that the panther should never speak. However, two original 1965 Pink Panther cartoons, "Sink Pink" and "Pink Ice" actually did have the character speak, with the voice of Rich Little, who years later would overdub David Niven's voice for Trail... and Curse of the Pink Panther.

The cartoon character of the Pink Panther has been, since August 15, 1980, a mascot for Owens Corning fiberglass thermal insulation. The association comes from the pink coloration of the insulation.

Jacques Clouseau, Dreyfus and Cato seems to have inspired the popular animated series Inspector Gadget

FILMOGRAPHY (for the original theatrical cartoons)




  • Pink Punch (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink Pistons (Hawley Pratt)
  • Vitamin Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • The Pink Blue Print (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink, Plunk, Plink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Smile Pretty, Say Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink-A-Boo (Hawley Pratt)
  • Genie with the Light Pink Fur (Hawley Pratt)
  • Super Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Rock A Bye Pinky (Hawley Pratt)


  • Pinknic (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink Panic (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink Posies (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink of the Litter (Hawley Pratt)
  • In the Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Jet Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink Pardise (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pinto Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Congratulations! It's Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Prefabricated Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • The Hand is Pinker than the Eye (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink Outs (Gerry Chiniquy)


  • Sky Blue Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pinkadilly Circus (Hawley Pratt)
  • Psychedelic Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • ComItalic texte on In! The Water's Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Put-Put, Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • G.I. Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Lucky Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • The Pink Quarterback (Hawley Pratt)
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink Valiant (Hawley Pratt)
  • The Pink Pill (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Prehistoric Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink in the Clink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Little Beaux Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Tickled Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink Sphinx (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink is a Many Splintered Thing (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • The Pink Package Plot (Art Davis)
  • Pinkcome Tax (Art Davis)


  • Pink-A-Rella (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink Pest Control (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Think Before You Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Slink Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink on the Cob (Hawley Pratt)
  • Extinct Pink (Hawley Pratt)


  • A Fly in the Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink Blue Plate (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink Tuba-Dore (Art Davis)
  • Pink Pranks (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • The Pink Flea (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Psst Pink (Art Davis)
  • Gong with the Pink (Hawley Pratt)
  • Pink-In (Art Davis)


  • Pink 8 Ball (Gerry Chiniquy)


  • Pink Aye (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Trail of the Lonesome Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)


  • Pink DaVinci (Robert McKimson)
  • Pink Streaker (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Salmon Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Forty Pink Winks (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink Plasma (Art Leonardi)
  • Pink Elephant (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Keep Our Forests' Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Bobolink Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • It's Pink But Is It Mink? (Robert McKimson)
  • Pink Campaign (Art Leonardi)
  • The Scarlet Pinkernel (Gerry Chiniquy)



  • Therapeutic Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)


  • Pink Pictures (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink Arcade (Sid Marcus)
  • Pink Lemonade (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink Trumpet (Art Davis)
  • Sprinkle Me Pink (Bob Richardson)
  • Dietic Pink (Sid Marcus)
  • Pink U.F.O. (Dave Detiege)
  • Pink Lightning (Brad Case)
  • Pink Daddy (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Cat and the Pink Stalk (Dave Detiege)
  • Pink S.W.A.T. (Sid Marcus)
  • Pink and Shovel (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pinkologist (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink Press (Art Davis)
  • Pink in the Drink (Sid Marcus)
  • Pink Bananas (Art Davis)
  • Pinktails for Two (Art Davis)
  • Pink Z-Z-Z (Sid Marcus)
  • Star Pink (Art Davis)


  • Pink Breakfast (Brad Case)
  • Pink Quackers (Brad Case)
  • Toro Pink (Sid Marcus)
  • String Along in Pink (Gerry Chiniquy)
  • Pink in the Woods (Brad Case)
  • Pink Pull (Sid Marcus)
  • Spark Plug Pink (Brad Case)
  • Doctor Pink (Sid Marcus)
  • Pink Suds (Art Davis)


  • Supermarket Pink (Brad Case)

External links

ja:ピンク・パンサー it:La pantera rosa nl:Roze panter


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