What better way to start the day than with some classic animation – in this case a 1965 Pink Panther short entitled Pink Ice . The character of the Pink Panther received his start in the animated intro and outro for most of the live action Blake Edwards films – those segments being handled by the DePatie–Freleng Enterprises studio. To the shock of United Artists who produced the film in 1963, audiences were just as bowled over by the animated character as they were the film itself. So that was how the DePatie-Freleng animation studio found itself signing a multi-year contract with United Artists to produce theatrical animated shorts featuring the character of the Panther – with The Pink Phink being released just a year later. The popularity of The Pink Panther shorts was worldwide – as generally there was very little speaking involved in the cartoons themselves, far easier for other countries to dub over a handful of dialogue than with the likes of a Looney Tunes short. Although in Pink Ice you will find that the character is quite verbose as are the characters of Hoskins and Devereaux – all three being voiced by none other than famed impersonator Rich Little. In fact I have read that Little based his voice for the animated character on David Niven’s portrayal of Sir Charles Lytton – the main protagonist of 1963’s The Pink Panther.
For what it might be worth, just five years after the Pink Panther began appearing in theatrical shorts, he received a television show on NBC. Beginning on September 6th of ’69 – The Pink Panther Show managed to run until September the 2nd of ’78, before jumping to ABC for one season as The All New Pink Panther Show.
In 1965’s Pink Ice, we find the Panther busying himself as a miner of diamonds and it appears he is doing quite well too. The problem is however that there are two nefarious miners who have decided to let Pink do all of the hard work and then steal him blind. The Pink Panther much like Bugs Bunny is not one to take it on the chin when wronged – so you can expect to see the Panther give a little payback to Hoskins and Devereaux when he is pushed too far.