November 18, 2017

BLU PINK PANTHER

New release: Fans of the classic Pink Panther cartoon will be happy to hear the series has been remastered in HD and will be making its way to Blu-ray via Kino Lorber on January 30th, 2018. Volume One will feature 20 shorts (chronological oder and original sound (no laugh track), and many audio commentaries by a host of experts (including Jerry Beck and Friz Freleng). From the press release: "Finding immediate fame in the opening title sequence of Blake Edwards 1964 classic comedy The Pink Panther, the feline embodiment of the Swinging Sixties cool quickly became the star of his own animated shorts produced by the DePatie-Freleng Studio. Unlike the loud and manic characters of other animation studios, The Pink Panther was lithe and easygoing, and moved to the rhythm of jazzy theme music of the great Henry Mancini (Breakfast at Tiffany's). Usually thwarting the plans of a variety of uptight little men, the hep cat's fresh approach to cartoon comedy earned an Academy Award for his first solo effort: The Pink Phink (Best Animated Short Film, 1964) and remains the era's most iconic animation sensation. This collection of 20 cartoons are all mastered in HD and feature the original audio without laugh-tracks which were added to the television versions of the short films." As I wrote in my book about cartoonist Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey), cartoon styles embraced modernist design -often creating dynamic expression in shrinking real estate on the comics page- and both comics and animated cartoons remain a wonderful time capsule of the 1950s and 1960s. And you can't get much more Swinging' than The Pink Panther and Henry Mancini. More info at Amazon and Blu-ray. Enjoy!


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