The Pink Panther-Film Collection: Extras Disc
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-The Pink Panther Story
Featurette-The Unknown Peter Sellers
TV Spots-The Commercial Peter Sellers
Featurette-Making Of-TWA Commercials
Featurette-Behind The Feline: The Cartoon Phenomenon
Short Film-Original Pink Panther Cartoons (6)
Gallery-Photo-Shots In the Dark
|Year Of Production||?|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It's a bit hard to give a plot synopsis for what is basically a disc full of extras, but there are 3 main documentaries to be found on this DVD, so I'll consider those to be the main features. These documentaries are as follows:
This is a recently produced documentary (I assume made especially for these DVDs), which covers the Pink Panther series as depicted in this boxset. In other words it goes into very little, if any, detail on the movies missing from the DVD set. It's a fairly interesting, but fairly brief, look into the evolution of the franchise and how the first movie's troubled beginnings actually led to what was to come (only casting problems brought Peter Sellers onto the set).
This documentary includes a lot of interview segments with people involved in the production of the different movies, including such influentials as Blake Edwards and Walter Mirisch. These interviews are interspersed with footage and photos from the films and from behind the scenes. My only complaint is the way they rushed through the last 3 films contained in the DVD boxset, since there was such an informative build up when covering the first 2 films. It's still well worth a look though, even if for nothing more than some insight into the relationship between Sellers and Edwards.
Probably the least substantial of the documentaries due to its promotional overtones (this was produced in 1978 to promote Revenge of the Pink Panther), but there are still some gems to be found within.
This documentary starts off in Hawaii where the world premiere of Revenge is taking place, and we get to sit in on some of the interviews with the stars during the press junket. All I can say is that if this is a selection of the best interview questions, I dread to think what the others must have been like! Of novelty interest though, to hear the stars talking about the film and the characters, with some ignorant comments by Steve Martin being one of the highlights.
Other things contained in this documentary are clips from the various movies, behind the scenes footage, and even some out-takes (one of the redeeming features). The way everything has been put together, though, all seems rather disjointed and badly organised. It's certainly not a stellar feature, but is worth at least one viewing for the novelty interest Pink Panther fans will get from it. I don't think I'd be watching it again though.
In my opinion, the best item on this extras disc. It's a recently produced documentary on the life of Peter Sellers, but it wasn't produced specifically for this DVD set (I recall seeing this on TV somewhere before). This really is a quite in-depth look at Sellers, starting with his childhood and how his parents introduced him to performing at a very young age! It goes through his schooldays, teen years, and so on, right up until his death from a heart attack.
There are contributing interviews with people who knew, worked with, and admired him, including Harry Secombe, Michael Palin, and Blake Edwards. His years in The Goon Show receive quite a bit of coverage, which I was pleased about, as well as his early days in British cinema.
There is a lot of footage of some of his more obscure performances, including some movies that never even made it to the cinemas, as well as insight into what drove him to try out alternative roles. His friends speak openly about his personal life and his inability to really know who he was outside of his many manufactured characters.
Many little trivia facts litter this documentary, which will be of interest to fans of Sellers (his love of Stan Laurel makes it clear why some of the scenes in Revenge seem so familiar), and although I'd watched this before, I'd forgotten many of these intriguing bits of info.
Although somewhat sad in the long run, this is a highly informative and entertaining look at the life of a comic genius - a term that is far too often thrown about these days, but which genuinely applied to Peter Sellers. I strongly recommend you check this one out.
Video quality is really varied, due to the widely varying source material.
All documentaries are presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and are of course not 16x9 enhanced. Clips taken from movies are presented in varying letterboxed formats.
Sharpness varies widely, with the new documentaries exhibiting excellent clarity of detail in their recent footage (such as the interview segments), but not so good during archival footage. Some of this transfer is even sourced from old home movies, so as you'd expect this is very poor in almost every aspect. The second documentary betrays its age with grainy images, lack of detail, and soft edges throughout the whole thing.
Colours again vary greatly, from solid and vibrant to washed-out and faded (with most areas in between being covered as well).
A lot of the older footage has film artefacts galore, but the new material is very clean and artefact free.
There are 6 subtitle streams on this DVD; English for the Hearing Impaired, German for the Hearing Impaired, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch. I sampled the English ones, and like those found on all the other discs in this set, they are more than acceptable. Note that all the extras on the disc have subtitles available, including the commercials and short cartoons.
This is a dual layered disc, but I assume the change takes place between the extras as it isn't visible.
There is just the one audio track on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) .
Most dialogue is clear and understandable, with the exception of some of the older footage, and some parts of the older, second documentary.
There is no surround speaker or subwoofer use, and you wouldn't really expect it either with this material.
|Surround Channel Use|
The 16x9 enhanced menus are similar to all other menus found in this set, but like the first movie's (and unlike the others), these are animated with music looping in the background.
A look at the commercials that Sellers resorted to making during times of financial need. Although all the contents of this area are listed in the one menu, they can be broken up into three parts:
A short look at the successful career for the pink cartoon character that blossomed out of the first film's credits. Includes interview footage (mostly with one of the co-creators, David DePatie), and clips from the cartoons. These shorts certainly did capture people's imagination (at least the early, decent ones did), and I didn't realise that the first cartoon featuring the panther won an Oscar for short animation.
Over a hundred theatrical shorts were created featuring the strangely coloured feline. This section contains a selection, including the first one to be released. Anyone who's familiar with the cartoons will know what to expect - visual humour that is certainly able to be laughed at by adults and children alike. Some are better than others, and all run for around 6 minutes. They are as follows:
These are the older cartoons which were still of a high standard, before things started going downhill in later episodes. Also, the last cartoon is not actually a Pink Panther short, but rather one of the offshoot Inspector series which involved a bungling French Inspector who is based on Clouseau.
Note that, as with the commercials section, there is no "Play All" option with these cartoons. Both these sections could really use one.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, the video quality is actually not too bad, despite showing its age. They've cleaned up the source nicely.
A series of 108 black and white photos taken during the production of the first movie. These rather small photos rotate of their own accord, and are of only limited interest.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This disc is identical to the equivalent disc in the Region 2 boxset, which has been available since last November. According to the specs, the Region 1 disc will also be practically the same.
A very decent extras package with one good documentary on the movies, one average documentary on the movies, and one great documentary on Peter Sellers. The sort of person who would buy this boxset will most definitely want to check out this disc.
Video is a real mixed bag, with the footage shot specifically for this set being very good, but the older stuff leaving a lot to be desired.
Audio is acceptable, and varies with the source.
Extras include a smattering of items that are, for the most part, well worth at least one viewing.
|DVD||Omni 3600, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Accusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer|