The series' title card
|Portrayed by||Pat Harrington, Jr.|
|Children||Agatha Clouseau (6 years old)|
The Inspector is a series of 1960s theatrical cartoons produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises and released through United Artists. The titular character is based on Jacques Clouseau, a comical French police officer who is the main character in the Pink Panther series of films.
Although the titular character was never given a name, in contrast to the completely inept Inspector Clouseau, the cartoon character was generally competent, if prone to moments of bad judgment. Humor came from the sometimes surreal villains and situations to whom the Inspector was exposed, with a healthy dose of stylized cartoon slapstick. Through these difficult circumstances, criminals often get the better of him and he must face the wrath of his ill-tempered, bullying Commissioner (based on Herbert Lom's Commissioner Dreyfus) who holds him in well-deserved contempt.
Pat Harrington, Jr. provided the voice for the Inspector and also supplied the voice of the Inspector's assistant, Spanish gendarme named Deux-Deux (often sounding like "Ju-Du"), a common French nickname for Eduard/Eduardo. The frustrated Commissioner was voiced primarily by Paul Frees. Larry Storch, Marvin Miller, and Mark Skor also alternated providing the Commissioner's voice as well. The first entry, The Great DeGaulle Stone Operation, was the short featured before screenings of the James Bond film Thunderball.
In the majority of the cartoons, the Inspector usually tells Deux-Deux: "Don't say 'Sí', say 'Oui'", to which Deux-Deux would reply "Sí, I mean 'Oui'". In Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat, Deux-Deux was advised not to say "Oui-sick", but "Seasick". At a time of panic, Deux-Deux exclaims "¡Hola frijoles!", meaning "Holy beans!". Sometimes, Deux-Deux ends up as the winner, when he arrests the culprit, usually without much of a struggle, as in The Pique Poquette of Paris and Ape Suzette.
While both characters bore the brunt of the slapstick, a sense of dedication to the police force and repeated attempts would achieve mixed success, as the Inspector and Deux-Deux would generally either apprehend the wanted criminal or recover the item assigned to them.
While the Inspector character design remained basically the same throughout the DePatie-Freleng shorts, and was used in the opening credit sequence of the 1968 live-action film Inspector Clouseau (which had Alan Arkin standing in for Peter Sellers as the title character), the Inspector featured in the opening titles of later Pink Panther features starting in the 1970s changed dramatically to first resemble Sellers more closely and then Steve Martin in the remake series in the 2000s.
The music used for the titles of the cartoon was the song "A Shot in the Dark" by Henry Mancini, borrowed from the 1964 feature film of the same name (the second entry in the Pink Panther film series). Additional music in the shows was composed initially by William Lava, then by Walter Greene later on. Two shorts had their own unique version of the theme music, Napoleon Blown-Aparte and Cock-A-Doodle Deux-Deux.
All 34 entries appeared during the inaugural season (1969–1970) of The Pink Panther Show. For new bumper sequences, the Inspector (now voiced by Marvin Miller) is featured trying to capture The Pink Panther. The first season of The Pink Panther currently airs on Boomerang and BBC2, and is available for download on Amazon Instant Video in the United States.
List of shorts
- Pat Harrington, Jr. - The Inspector, Deux-Deux
- Paul Frees - The Commissioner (1966–1967)
- Don Messick - Deux-Deux (La Feet's Defeat)
- Larry Storch - The Commissioner (1965–1966) (The Great DeGaulle Stone Operation, Napoleon Blown-Aparte)
- Marvin Miller - The Commissioner (1967, 1968–1969), The Inspector, Deux-Deux (The Pink Panther Show)
- Mark Skor - The Commissioner (1967) (Canadian Can-Can)
A DVD set titled Pink Panther and Friends Classic Cartoon Collection released on January 27, 2009 by MGM Home Entertainment contains the first set of 17 shorts and a volume 2 containing the last 17 shorts.
- Beck, Jerry (2006). Pink Panther: The Ultimate Guide to the Coolest Cat in Town. New York, New York: Dorling Kindersley, Ltd. ISBN 0-7566-1033-8.
- amazon.com The Pink Panther Show – Season 1 at Amazon Instant Video