The Pink Panther-Cartoon Collection (1969)
|Category||Animation||Credits-Opening Sequences Of Pink Panther Films|
|Year Of Production||1969|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (4)
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Mirisch Films Inc
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Smoking||Yes, the Pink Panther smokes often|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
After opening Blake Edward's The Pink Panther with such unforgettable style, the Pink Panther quickly established a long and successful solo career. Following on from the Oscar winning The Pink Phink, Fritz Freleng and David H. DePattie put the aristocratically inclined and somewhat snooty Panther up to all sorts of mischief, continually disturbing the Clouseau-like, moustachioed little man and insisting that things be done pink. Unlike his Looney Tunes counterpart Bugs Bunny, the Panther gets his comeuppance as plans backfire and gadgets malfunction. Often, while trying to sleep, find food, or get warm, the Panther encounters animal characters hell-bent on disturbing his attempts at an ordered - and pink - world.
This boxed set includes all of the Pink Panther shorts (except for the pilot short Suspense Account which has never been shown publicly) in chronological order - that's 124 shorts. Each runs about six minutes. I can't list them all here but some stand-out favourites include:
• An Ounce of Pink (Disc 1) - The Pink Panther is manipulated by a set of talking scales.
• Extinct Pink (Disc 2) - A hungry Pink Panther battles dinosaurs and the little man for a bone.
• Pinkerella (Disc 2) - After discovering a magic wand, Pink Panther decides to become a fairy godmother.
• Pink Valiant (Disc 2) - Knights in shining pink armour.
Disc 2 contains all the best shorts from the late 1960s. The late 1970s films just aren't quite as good in my opinion, but I do vaguely recall enjoying them when I was a kid. Everyone is sure to find a favourite or two here. And if you can't see yourself making your way through all of them, consider the two retrospective shorts: Pink In has the Panther looking back on old memories and Pinkologist finds the little man on his psychiatrist's couch recalling all of his traumatically pink experiences. A very welcome release, although not a package I would readily recommend, as I explain below.
Our favourite pink cat gets a great video transfer, although with one major caveat. As far as I can tell, all the Pink Panther cartoons were originally shot at a ratio of 1.33:1. They are all presented here 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. I'm not sure yet whether they have just been cropped, or also stretched to boot. Either way, why it was felt that Pink Panther needed to be in widescreen is beyond me. Very disappointing (I've deducted a star from the overall video score).
Otherwise we get a nice, relatively clean transfer. Video is a little soft, with minimal grain. Colours generally stick to pastels, although some of the later shorts use a much more vivid colour palette. I noticed no MPEG artefacts to speak of. Interlacing is visible throughout. Some shorts display edge enhancement (Pink Quackers (Disc 2) - 2:00). Film artefacts in the form of black and white specks appear in every short but are very small and unobtrusive. The worst examples include the appearance of a vertical blue line for the duration of We Give Pink Stamps (Disc 1) and several vertical lines appear in Pink Outs (Disc 2). A horizontal line runs down the screen during Star Pink (Disc 4 - 1:39).
White subtitles are available in numerous languages to translate signs, printed text and rare moments of dialogue.
Audio is, thankfully, true to the source. The disc includes a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track.
Rare moments of dialogue are clear and easy to understand. Generally the audio sounds quite clean. The title audio sounds a little worse for wear at times and Sink Pink's audio contains plenty of hiss and crackle. Otherwise, taking the dynamic limitations of mono sound into account, all the shorts have very good audio.
The music for each short is usually based around Henry Mancini's original Pink Panther theme. The score is arranged by William Lava in the early days and later by Walter Greene. Late 1970s music is uncredited. Greene's last short was Therapeutic Pink, and the later scores are never quite as good the early ones.
There is no surround or subwoofer activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 2 UK release appears identical to ours, including the incorrect aspect ratio. The German Region 2 release has the correct aspect ratio but has apparently been dubbed over with German dialogue (where there is no dialogue) and has added title cards.
The Region 1 release has been delayed several times, but looks set to be released at the end of January 2006. It includes all the cartoons in the original aspect ratio over five discs, and on top of the opening title sequence from the movies, includes: - "Behind the Feline: The Cartoon Phenomenon" Documentary - "Pink Patter With Art Leonardi: The Story Behind the Animation" Featurette - "Remembering Fritz: A Tribute to Fritz Freleng" Featurette - "Think Pink: How to Draw the Pink Panther" Featurette - Page to Screen: The Making of Two Cartoons.
I'd call Region 1 the winner on the correct aspect ratio alone, but the additional features completely seal the deal. Go Region 1.
The Pink Panther cartoons are loads of fun and it's great to see them released to DVD.
Disappointingly, they are presented in an incorrect aspect ratio, undermining the otherwise excellent video.
Audio is satisfactory.
Extras are valuable, but brief.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S336, using Component output|
|Display||LG Flatron Widescreen RT-28FZ85RX. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||DB Dynamics Belmont Series: Fronts: B50F, Centre: B50C, Rears: B50S, Sub: SW8BR|