The Pink Panther was born in the opening sequence of the eponymous 1963 United Artists film comedy starring David Niven and Peter Sellers. However, in the film, the Pink Panther was the name of a priceless jewel that thief David Niven was determined to pilfer and the ever-bumbling Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) was tasked with protecting.
The literal Pink Panther, however, who traipsed through that movie‟s credits was the creation of animation legend Friz Freleng. UA saw potential in the mute, soft crimson kitty and Friz’ DePatie-Freleng studio were signed up to create a bunch of cartoons.
The cartoons pretty much sucked. Pink wasn’t much of a character, he didn’t speak, had no personality and other than the cartoons in which he bedevils a cartoon version of Clouseau, no purpose. He kept turning up, in repackaged series, the odd special and even a cereal in the early 70s.
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