Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Pink Descending a Staircase

The Pink Panther has to be the best theatrical cartoon character to come out of the 1960s and his first short, The Pink Phink (1964), deservedly won the Oscar. The outline designs enhance the colour gags, Henry Mancini’s theme (occasionally punctuated by Bill Lava’s minimal dissonance) sets a perfect mood and there’s that fine timing that Friz Freleng was known for.

Writer John Dunn comes up with a stream of funny gags, all based around the idea that a man is painting a home blue, but the Pink Panther obsessively wants it coloured pink. The Panther pours a bucket of pink paint onto a newly-blued staircase and lets gravity take its course. The reaction drawings are tops.

Hawley Pratt co-directed the cartoon. Friz’ animation crew from Warners didn’t work on this crew, with the exception of background artist Tom O’Loughlin and Bob Matz, who had been an assistant in his unit. La Verne Harding, Don Williams and Norm McCabe are also credited with animation.

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