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Pink Panther Cartoons on the Big Screen: The Coolest Cat in Town(Various)

Fifty years ago, the biggest, classiest and coolest cartoon star in Hollywood was the Pink Panther. The character was created by cartoon veterans Friz Freleng and David DePatie for the opening titles of Blake Edwards’ live-action comedy hit starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. United Artists asked producer Walter Mirisch’s The Mirisch Company for a continuing series of Pink Panther theatrical cartoons, and DePatie and Freleng quickly agreed. The first cartoon, “The Pink Phink,” won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject in 1964 and the Pink Panther cartoons continued to play in movie theaters for the next 20 years! This program includes the best, newly restored Pink Panther shorts, complete with pantomime humor that evokes the great silent clowns, and a soundtrack of cool jazz fronted by composer and conductor Henry Mancini adapting his iconic Pink Panther theme for animation. Also featured are the opening title clips and the Pink Panther’s costars: The Inspector and The Ant and The Aardvark. This showing is hosted by animation historian and author of The Pink Panther the Coolest Cat in town, Jerry Beck. (d: Friz Freleng, Hawley Pratt, 90m, Digital)

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