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Pink Panther – The Evolution of a Big Screen Legend

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The Pink Panther phenomenon famously began with the series of films with Peter Sellers starring as Inspector Clouseau. The cartoon version previously appeared in the credits of the films, but proved to be popular enough to be developed into a very popular series of its own. The first short film “The Pink Phink” hit the screen in 1965 and won an Oscar for the Best Animated Short Subject. It was the first time in history that a cartoon-based short film had won an Academy Award. Subsequent shorts put the panther in fantastical situations, which were accompanied by the popular theme song written by Henry Mancini.

This theme song has also been used in endless works where the animated Pink Panther has appeared – for example in the gaming industry. The developer Playtech used the song for the Pink Panther slots, a game which is based on the 1963 film, reprising the bumbling attempts of Inspector Clouseau to find the “Pink Panther” diamond. The game was released in early mid-2010 and quickly became popular with players who are still fond of the Pink Panther, offering a chance to outwit Inspector Clouseau while playing for real money. William Hill Bingo has published a guide on how to play Pink Panther, which also offers some insight on what exactly it means to get an officially licensed slot game: music, characters and logos from the franchise are included here, while bonus games follow the theme too, with Wheel of Pink and The Pink Pow offering additional prizes.

In 2010 not only was the slot game released, but also the new series “Pink Panther & Pals” which ran for 26 episodes. The episode was produced by Rubicon Studios and Desert Panther Production in association with MGM Television and Mirisch-Geoffrey-DePatie-Freleng. It premiered in the UK on the 19th of April, 2010. For the emoji and sticker-loving crowd, a series of apps can be found on Android and iTunes, including Meet the Pink Panther by Swyft Media – a series of reaction stickers for iMessenger.

The comeback of the Pink Panther

As THG reported, a new movie of the pink panther is on its way. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) announced plans to develop a new action animated Pink Panther movie. MGM is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of television programs, cinema films, interactive media, home entertainment, music, and licensed goods. For this project, they asked Simpsons film director David Silverman for support. There were already in total 11 Pink Panther feature films, countless cartoons and shorts, stretching over five decades, like another property of MGM such as James Bond, which is the longest running feature franchise of all time. MGM has already tried Pink Panther reboots, including the 1993 film with Roberto Benigni, “Son of the Pink Panther” and two with Steve Martin in 2006 “The Pink Panther” and 2009 “The Pink Panther 2.” Both Martin’s attempts, however, received mediocre reviews.

In the new film version, the titular character will not speak, just like his initial appearances in film shorts and on television of 1963. Inspector Clouseau will unfortunately not be a part of the film, although he is a a bit of a legend and is likely to feature in potential sequels. Both Walter Mirisch, executive producer of the original Pink Panther films and shows, as well as Julie Andrews will participate in a production capacity. There is no timetable for this new Pink Panther film and it is still in development but we should hopefully hear more details in the coming months.

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