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19 facts you maybe didn't know about the Pink Panther

The character turns 50 in 2014


The Pink Panther turns 50 in 2014 and MGM will launch a licensing program dedicated to the brand and the event. These 19 facts help to explain why the property has become a classic recognizable for three generations.

1. The Pink Panther hit the screens on January 9, 1964. This character starred in the credits of the first film of the series, directed by Blake Edwards and with Peter Sellers in the role of Clouseau. The cinema saga has 11 titles, the last released in 2009.

2. The author and director of the credits sequence was Fritz Freleng, from DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. The artist had also been one of the most important creative figures of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Bros.

3. Freleng reached an agreement with United Artists for the production of short films for the character.

4. The first title, The Pink Phink, also premièred in 1964 and won the Oscar for the best animated short.

5. The classic Pink Panther is silent, although two episodes featured the voice of Rich Little, who wanted to pay tribute to David Niven, the jewel thief of the original film.

6. Henry Mancini composed the unmistakable tune that now all readers are humming. He was nominated for an Oscar, but he lost to the soundtrack of Mary Poppins. He won three Grammy for this work, anyway.

7. In 1969 the NBC released The Pink Panther Show. This series would be on the air until 1980 and included characters like Inspector Clouseau and his sidekick Sergeant Deux-Deux, in addition to The Ant and the Aardvark, for example.

8. The character has starred in 124 shorts for theatres and TV, as well as other 13 special TV shows.

9. MGM bought United Artists in the early 80s and is the current owner of the Pink Panther licensing rights.

10. Hannah Barbera and MGM produced a new series for the character, The Pink Panther and Sons, which would count with one season of 26 episodes premièred in 1984. And yes, the panther had two kids, Pinky and Panky.

11. In 1993 MGM Animation relaunched the Pink Panther with a new series that would reach three seasons and 60 episodes of 22 minutes. The panther would be accompanied by classic characters such as Clouseau, plus some new such as Voodoo Man, that would have the voice of Dan Castellaneta, famous for portraying Homer Simpson.

12. Speaking of voices, this new Pink Panther would speak in all its episodes, thanks to actor Matt Frewer.

13. In 2010 the Pink Panther lived a new incarnation, thanks to The Pink Panther and Pals, with a season of 26 episodes produced by Cartoon Network, Rubicon Studios, and MGM Television. Although the panther would be silent again, the series renewed his image, and he appeared as a teenager.

14. It was not the first time that MGM rejuvenated the brand. To celebrate the 30th anniversary, the company launched Baby Pink Panther, a design that was intended to reach the preschool target.

15. The presence of the Pink Panther in advertising and licensing has been constant, being a very recognizable character. For example, he is Deutsche Telekom's mascot since 1995. He also starred in campaigns with Air France and IBM, for example, in addition to being the image of Chupa Chups in the US during the 90s. Of course, you can easily find plush toys and costumes, among other products.

16. Not to mention the Pink Panther cake by Bimbo, which has been in Spanish stores for more than thirty years.

17. The main target of the property are kids from 8-13, but the brand is also aimed at parents and even grandparents.

18. The last anniversary celebrated by the brand (45 years in 2009) resulted in agreements in fashion, promotions and even a for a rosé wine. There was some controversy in the UK, as alcoholic beverages can not use child-appealing brands or designs.

19. The favorite Pink Panther short of this editor is In the Pink of the Night . Yes, the one with the cuckoo clock.

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