Combustible Celluloid
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With: Joe Siracusa, Marvin Miller, Art Johnson, Bob Ogle, Larry D. Mann, Arnold Stang, Frank Welker, Hazel Shermet, Paul Winchell, Tom Holland
Written by: John W. Dunn, Art Leonardi, Larz Bourne, Irv Spector, Dale Hale, Tom Yakutis
Directed by: Art Leonardi, Robert McKimson, Gerry Chiniquy, Hawley Pratt, Art Davis
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 138
Date: 01/15/2019

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Vol. 4: 1971-1975 (1971)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Pink Toyed

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Kino Lorber has released their fourth collection of Pink Panther cartoons, 22 on one Blu-ray. (Please see my reviews of The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 1: 1964-1966, The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Vol. 2: 1966-1968, and The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Vol. 3: 1968-1969 for more details about this series.)

The set includes: A Fly in the Pink (1971), Pink Blue Plate (1971), Pink Tube-Dore (1971), Pink Pranks (1941), The Pink Flea (1971), Psst Pink (1971), Gong with the Pink (1971), Pink-In (1971), Pink 8 Ball (1971), Pink Aye (1974), Trail of the Lonesome Pink (1974), Pink Da Vinci (1975), Pink Streaker (1975), Salmon Pink (1975), Forty Pink Winks (1975), Pink Plasma (1975), Pink Elephant (1975), Keep Our Forests Pink (1975), Bobolink Pink (1975), It's Pink, But Is It Mink? (1975), Pink Campaign (1975), and The Scarlet Pinkernel (1975).

By now, theatrical cartoons were on the wane, and budgets had been cut. Television was on the way in, and speed was preferred over quality; these entries seem slightly more slapdash. But I still love them. While this stretch has very few notable titles, producer Friz Freleing's fellow veteran Looney Tunes director Robert McKimson came on board for a pair of good ones. The first is Pink Da Vinci, wherein the great painter tries to figure out what expression to paint on the Mona Lisa's face; Leonardo (a.k.a. "the Little Man") prefers a frown, but Pink changes it to the iconic smile, leading to one of their classic showdowns. The other is It's Pink, But Is It Mink?, wherein Tarzan (the "Little Man" again) is kind of a mean king of the jungle. Jane demands a new frock, and it has to be pink, so Tarzan goes looking for a pelt.

The sound and picture quality on each cartoon are top-notch. Extras include commentary tracks on 12 of the cartoons by author Mark Arnold, historian Jerry Beck, filmmaker Greg Ford, and cartoon writer William Hohauser, plus a 15-minute vintage featurette: "Pink Patter, with Art Leonardi." It also includes a reversible slip cover. I estimate there will be two more of these collections, and I continue to look forward to them!

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