The Inspector

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The Inspector
The Inspector Title Card.jpg
Voices of Pat Harrington, Jr.
Paul Frees
Don Messick
Larry Storch
Marvin Miller
Mark Skor
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 34 (list of episodes)
Production
Running time 5-6 minutes
Production company(s) DePatie–Freleng Enterprises
Release
Original release December 21, 1965 (1965-12-21) – May 14, 1969 (1969-05-14)

The Inspector is a series of 1960s theatrical cartoons produced by DePatie–Freleng Enterprises and released through United Artists. The title character is based on Inspector Jacque Clouseau, a comical French police officer who is the protagonist in The Pink Panther series of films.

Plot[edit]

In contrast to the live-action Inspector Clouseau, who is often portrayed as completely inept, the cartoon Inspector, while prone to bad judgement and bad luck, was generally competent. Much of the humor came from the often 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 blustery, ill-tempered Commissioner (based on Herbert Lom's Commissioner Dreyfus) who holds him in well-deserved contempt.[1]

In the majority of the cartoons, the Inspector usually tells his young assistant, Sergeant Deux-Deux, whenever Deux-Deux says "Sí",: "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" (actually "Sí-sick"). In Cock-A-Doodle Deux Deux, the Inspector ordered Deux Deux not to say "señor", say "monsieur". At a time of panic, Deux-Deux exclaims "¡Holy 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.

Production[edit]

Pat Harrington, Jr. provided voices for both the Inspector as well as his young assistant, the Barcelona-born Spanish gendarme Deux-Deux (pronounced "Du-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.[1] Miller also assumed the role of both the Inspector and Sgt. Deux-Deux in the wraparound bumpers produced for the inaugural season of The Pink Panther Show.[1]

The first entry in the series, The Great De Gaulle Stone Operation, preceded screenings of the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball.

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 (with Alan Arkin as Clouseau), the Inspector featured in the opening titles of later Pink Panther features beginning in the 1970s, changed dramatically to resemble Sellers, and then Steve Martin in the 2006 reboot of the series.[1]

The theme music heard during the titles of the cartoon was the instrumental "A Shot in the Dark" by Henry Mancini, from the 1964 feature film of the same name (the second entry in the Pink Panther film series). Additional music in the cartoons was composed initially by William Lava, then by Walter Greene. Two shorts had their own unique version of the theme music, Napoleon Blown-Aparte and Cock-A-Doodle Deux-Deux.[1]

All 34 episodes of the cartoon were shown on television during the inaugural season (1969–1970) of The Pink Panther Show.[1]

List of shorts[edit]

1965[edit]

# Title Date Director Story Synopsis Notes
01 The Great De Gaulle Stone Operation December 21, 1965 Friz Freleng John W. Dunn The Inspector is determined to retrieve the famous DeGaulle diamond from the three-headed jewel thief, the Maxi-o-Reilly Brothers, who are attempting to steal it. This cartoon was released on the same day that the 1965 TV special adaptation of the popular ballet, The Nutcracker, was broadcast. Some versions of the cartoon replace the original music with music from the ballet. This is also the first cartoon in the Inspector cartoon series. This cartoon was originally released in theaters with the fourth James Bond film, Thunderball during its original theatrical run.

1966[edit]

# Title Date Director Story Synopsis Notes
02 Reaux, Reaux, Reaux Your Boat February 1, 1966 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn The Inspector is after the notorious smuggler Captain Clamity and his first mate Crab Louie. The Commissioner does not appear.
03 Napoleon Blown-Aparte February 2, 1966 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn The Mad Bomber escapes from Le Prison and swears vengeance on the Commissioner (who had sent him to prison) by blowing him up with an endless amount of bombs. An alternative rendition of The Inspector theme, "A Shot in the Dark", is featured during the credits. Final cartoon to feature Larry Storch as the voice of The Commissioner.
04 Cirrhosis of the Louvre March 9, 1966 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn The insidious criminal known as The Blotch plans to steal all the paintings from the Louvre and the Inspector and Deux Deux arrive to foil his plot. First cartoon to feature Paul Frees as the voice of The Commissioner.
05 Plastered in Paris April 5, 1966 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn The Inspector and Deux Deux chase a fugitive known as "X" across the globe.
06 Cock-A-Doodle Deux Deux June 15, 1966 Robert McKimson Michael O'Connor The largest diamond in the world, the Plymouth Rock, has been stolen from Madame Marquise de Bouillebon at her chateau and the Inspector finds out that the suspects are all chickens. An alternative rendition of The Inspector theme "A Shot in the Dark" is featured during the credits. Final cartoon to be scored by William Lava.
07 Ape Suzette June 24, 1966 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn The Inspector thinks he is fighting a diminutive sailor, but an ape gets in all the punches. First cartoon to be scored by Walter Greene. The Commissioner does not appear.
08 The Pique Poquette of Paris August 25, 1966 George Singer John W. Dunn The Inspector goes after Spider Pierre, an expert pickpocket. The Commissioner does not appear.
09 Sicque! Sicque! Sicque! September 23, 1966 George Singer John W. Dunn During an investigation at the Château de Vincennes, Sergeant Deux Deux clumsily drinks a swig of the formula of a mad scientist and therefore transforms into a Mr. Hyde-like creature who, in routines, torments the Inspector. The Commissioner does not appear.
10 That's No Lady, That's Notre Dame October 26, 1966 George Singer John W. Dunn Trying to catch a purse snatcher, the Inspector sets up a sting operation by disguising himself as a woman and soon falls afoul of the Commissioner's jealous wife.
11 Unsafe and Seine November 9, 1966 George Singer John W. Dunn The Inspector and Deux-Deux go across the world on an undercover search for a secret agent.
12 Toulouse La Trick December 30, 1966 Robert McKimson John W. Dunn The Inspector handcuffs himself to Toulouse le Moose to prevent Toulouse from escaping, but it causes problems on the way to the station. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.

1967[edit]

# Title Date Director Story Synopsis Notes
13 Sacré Bleu Cross February 1, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn When they go after Hassan the Assassin, Deux-Deux gives the Inspector an unlucky rabbit's foot. The Commissioner does not appear.
14 Le Quiet Squad May 17, 1967 Robert McKimson Jim Ryan The Commissioner is overworked and needs absolute quiet, or he goes into uncontrolled fits of temper. The Inspector is assigned to look after him, but has trouble with a noisy cat. Sgt. Deux-Deux does not appear.
15 Bomb Voyage May 22, 1967 Robert McKimson Tony Benedict The Commissioner is kidnapped by extraterrestrials and the Inspector goes to rescue him. Music score is set to Ottorino Respighi's Pines of Rome.
16 Le Pig-Al Patrol May 24, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan The Inspector is sent after biker Pig Al and his biker gang. Sgt. Deux-Deux does not appear.
17 Le Bowser Bagger May 30, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan The Inspector is given Private Bowser, a very energetic dog, in his efforts to track down a thief. Sgt. Deux-Deux does not appear.
18 Le Escape Goat June 29, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan After being fired for letting notorious criminal Louie le Finke escape, the Inspector tries to stop Louie from taking vengeance on the Commissioner, but ends up becoming part of the manhunt when the Commissioner thinks the Inspector is trying to exact vengeance on him for giving him the axe. Final cartoon to feature Paul Frees as the voice of The Commissioner. Sgt. Deux-Deux does not appear.
19 Le Cop on Le Rocks July 3, 1967 George Singer Jim Ryan The Inspector is sent to prison, having been mistaken for a bank robber who looks exactly like him. He soon realizes that his backfiring attempts to escape add even more years to his sentence. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.
20 Crow De Guerre August 16, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn The Inspector is continually outwitted by a crow that steals jewels. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.
21 Canadian Can-Can September 20, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn Sent to Canada on an exchange programme, the Inspector is sent after Two-Faced Harry, who has a well-mannered, innocent face on the front of his head, and an evil, vicious face on the back. Only cartoon to feature Mark Skor as the voice of The Commissioner. Sgt. Deux-Deux does not appear.
22 Tour de Farce October 25, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan Through his own mistake, the Inspector is stranded on a deserted island with burly convict Mack le Truck, who attempts to kill him. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.
23 The Shooting of Caribou Lou December 20, 1967 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn On holiday in Canada as a Mountie, the Inspector is kidnapped by the diminutive, but aggressive fur trapper, Caribou Lou. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.

1968[edit]

# Title Date Director Story Synopsis Notes
24 London Derriere February 7, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan Having chased international jewel thief Louie le Swipe around Europe, the Inspector tries to nab him in London. Unfortunately, he runs afoul of the no-gun laws and works alongside a British police captain. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.
25 Les Miserobots March 21, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan The Inspector is fired after being replaced by an efficient police robot. He tries to destroy it, but his attempts backfire. First cartoon to feature Marvin Miller as the voice of The Commissioner. Sgt. Deux-Deux does not appear.
26 Transylvania Mania March 26, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn The Inspector is sent to find a scientist who is making monsters without a license. The scientist is Dracula, who needs a brain for his latest monster, and the Inspector arrives at just the right moment. Sgt. Deux Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.
27 Bear De Guerre April 26, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan The Inspector goes quail hunting, but runs afoul of a brown bear who thinks he is being hunted. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.
28 Cherche Le Phantom June 13, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy Tony Benedict The Inspector searches for a wanted gorilla from the Paris Zoo and a phantom hiding in the opera house.
29 Le Great Dane Robbery July 7, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan The Inspector must get past a vicious dog named Tiny in order to retrieve a code cipher stolen from a French intelligence unit. Moreover, the Inspector is not happy that this assignment came right before his scheduled vacation on a sea cruise and pours on the effort so as not to miss the boat. Sgt. Deux-Deux does not appear.
30 Le Ball and Chain Gang July 24, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan The Inspector tries to get into the house of an argumentative couple named Charlie and Edna, who think they're about to be arrested, when all the Inspector was trying to do was to notify Charlie that he is to serve jury duty. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner do not appear.
31 La Feet's Defeat July 24, 1968 Gerry Chiniquy Jim Ryan The Commissioner assigns the Inspector and Deux-Deux to capture Muddy la Feet and encounter many booby traps, which Deux-Deux sets off. Sgt. Deux-Deux and the Commissioner's final appearances. Sqt. Deux-Deux appears as a much younger and naive version than in other shorts, and is voiced by Don Messick, rather than Pat Harrington, Jr.

1969[edit]

# Title Date Director Story Synopsis Notes
32 French Freud January 22, 1969 Gerry Chiniquy Jack Miller A crooked Russian actress, Melody Mercurochrome and her "maid" — her husband in drag, who also is a psychiatrist — are trying to snatch the Du Barry diamond, which the Inspector is guarding.
33 Pierre and Cottage Cheese February 26, 1969 Gerry Chiniquy John W. Dunn A Chinese robot named Charlie tries to help the Inspector capture Dirty Pierre le Punk, who is hiding out in a cottage.
34 Carte Blanched May 14, 1969 Gerry Chiniquy David Detiege The Inspector ends up on the run when a malignant voiceover convinces him he has accidentally stolen a shopping cart from his local supermarket.

Voices[edit]

  • 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)

Home media[edit]

A DVD containing the first 17 shorts was released on March 4, 2008 from MGM Home Entertainment/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[citation needed]

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.

The first season of The Pink Panther is available for viewing on Amazon Video in the United States.[2]

On April 26, 2016, Kino Lorber released The Inspector: The DePatie-Freleng Collection on DVD and Blu-ray. This 2 disc set collects the 34 Inspector shorts (the first 17 on disc 1 and the last 17 on disc 2) along with retrospective featurettes focusing on DePatie-Freling Enterprises.[3]

Revival[edit]

The Inspector was revived in 1993 for the syndicated series, The Pink Panther, voiced by Brian George. The Inspector often works alongside the Pink Panther when he is depicted in law enforcement.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
  2. ^ amazon.com The Pink Panther Show – Season 1 at Amazon Video
  3. ^ http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Inspector-Blu-ray/133755/#Review

External links[edit]