July 24, 2021



(Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, September 29, 2007-November 12, 2011)
Omation Animation Studio, Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Chris Hardwick – Otis, Sheep, Boil the Chick, various
Leigh-Allyn Baker – Abby, Etta, Sheep
Jeff Garcia – Pip
Tino Insana – Pig
Cam Clarke – Freddy, Sheep
Rob Paulsen – Peck, Sheep, Skunky, Tony Twocheeks, Pizza Twin, Joey the Cow, Max, various
Dom Irrera – Duke
Wanda Sykes – Bessy
Fred Tatasciore – Farmer Buyer
Maria Bamford – Noreen “Nora” Beady, Jessica Allspice
Steve Oedekerk – Eugene “Snotty Boy” Beady, Nathaniel Randall Beady III, Pizza Twin

            Before Toy Story changed the animated film landscape, Steve Oedekerk was trying to pitch his own computer animated film. But producers and studios weren’t quite ready to buy what he was selling. After Toy Story, however, and the creation of his hit show Jimmy Neutron, that was a different story. When Nickelodeon executives visited him at his clubhouse during production of the series, he showed them the demo of what he wanted to do. They loved it, and Barnyard was greenlit to begin production in October of 2003.

            Barnyard followed Otis (Kevin James), a slacker cow (yes, who was a male—Oedekerk thought it was funny to give them udders) that was found and adopted by the farm’s leader, Ben (Sam Elliott). Ben tried to instill a sense of responsibility into Otis, but he preferred to waste the day away hanging out with his friends: Pip the mouse (Jeffrey Garcia); dim-witted Freddy the ferret (Trevor Howard); intelligent Peck the chicken; (Rob Paulsen); gluttonous Pig the pig (Tino Insana); overzealous Duke the sheepdog (Dom Irrera); or Daisy (Courteney Cox), a pregnant cow that came to the farm and Otis fell for. After Ben is killed protecting the farm from coyote Dag (Dave Koechner) and his pack, Otis was elected the new leader. And, of course, he shirked those responsibilities allowing the coyotes to return and help themselves to his friends.

Promo art featuring Abby, Pip, Bessy, Otis, Pig, Peck, Freddy and Duke.

            Oedekerk wrote, directed, produced and even voiced some characters in the film. It was the inaugural project of Omation Animation Studio, a division of his O Entertainment production company. The film was comparatively low-budget compared to other CGI features around the time, however that didn’t stop Oedekerk from courting the talent he wanted or ensuring every scene featured characters actually “living” in the backgrounds rather than the wide-open static spaces of the other movies. The result was over 180 characters being created and their animation being achieved with a process they used on Jimmy Neutron: motion capturing actors on a set in the studio. The film was released to theaters on August 4, 2006 by Paramount Pictures, and grossed over $116.5 million, despite lukewarm reviews.

Abby hanging out with Bigfoot.

            Even before the positive box office, Nickelodeon had ordered a series spin-off of the film. Picking up where the story left off, Otis (now Chris Hardwick) was in charge of the farm and learning to balance that responsibility with his desire to just goof off and have fun—which often led to wild schemes that caused chaos for the farm’s residents and neighbors. Always with him or causing their own trouble were his friends Pip, Pig, Peck, Duke (all with their original actors) and Freddy (now Cam Clarke). Having none of Otis’ nonsense was sassy cow Bessy (Wanda Sykes, reprising the role), who served as the principal of the barnyard school and judge of their court. A running gag had Pip constantly vie for her affections, only to be repeatedly (and often physically painfully) rejected. Newly created for the series was Abby (Leigh-Allyn Baker), Bessy’s best friend who was athletic and allergic to petunias with an OCD for organization. She replaced Daisy and her calf, who went unreferenced throughout the show. Also missing were the coyotes, Ben’s old friend Miles the mule (Danny Glover), and Maddy (Madeline Lovejoy), a young chick that enjoyed playing with Otis.

Mrs. Beady, always determined to prove the animals aren't what they seem.

            Much like Toy Story, the animals had to constantly be on the lookout for human beings; acting like normal animals whenever they were around. Only the farm’s neighbor Nora Beady (Maria Bamford) was aware of their real nature. Taking a cue from Bewitched, she always tried to expose them to the world but was constantly thwarted in her attempts. Her husband, Nathan Beady III (Oedekerk), often tried to convince her she was mistaken.

Snotty Boy and his friends.

            Other characters included Farmer Buyer (Fred Tatasciore), the owner of the farm whom Otis frequently tricked away with prank phone calls so that they could operate in peace (in the film, he would always be knocked unconscious when he saw the animals being themselves); the five sheep (Hardwick, Baker, Clarke, Paulsen and Jeff Bennet) that Duke was charged with watching and were always outsmarting him to escape; Etta (Baker), the lead hen; Skunky (Paulsen), Pig’s pet skunk and best friend; The Jersey Cows: Eddy (S. Scott Bullock), Igg (Maurice LaMarche) and Bud (John DiMaggio), who enjoyed pranking humans and ignoring rules; Tony Twocheeks (Paulsen), a gopher who frequently conned people into buying stuff from him; Everett (Lloyd Sherr), the farmer’s old bloodhound and the oldest resident; Bigfoot (Dee Bradley Baker), the mythological creature who managed to become a celebrity; the Pizza Twins (Paulsen & Oedekerk), unintelligent twin brothers who frequently delivered pizza to the farm; Joey the cow (Paulsen), Macy the Sheep (Maile Flanagan) and Boil the Chick (Hardwick), three children who attend school in the barnyard in Peck’s class; the vet (Audrey Wasilewski & Julia Sweeney), a female veterinarian who came to the farm to maintain the animal’s health; Root (Nathaniel Stroman), Peck’s rival who held a weekly talent show; and Eugene “Snotty Boy” Goldner (Oedekerk), the Beady’s bratty nephew who enjoyed antagonizing animals and Mr. Beady when Mrs. Beady wasn’t looking.

Farmland superheroes.

            Back at the Barnyard debuted on Nickelodeon on September 29, 2007. The majority of episodes were broken up into two story segments, with a couple spanning a full half-hour and some segments airing independently of each other. Whenever an episode was running short, a filler segment hosted by Pig was inserted covering a variety of things like “viewer mail”, medical advice or makeovers. The series was written by Jed Spingarn, Gene Grillo, Aaron Hilliard, Luke Del Tredici, Chris Painter, Brandon Sawyer, Andrew Nicholls, Darrell Vickers, Jessica Gao, Sam O’Neal, Neal Boushell, Adam Cohen, Joel Bergen, Alex Muniz, Lazar Saric, Tom Sheppard, Dan Serafin, Ned Goldreyer and Teresa Trendler, with Oedekerk and Hardwick contributing a script each themselves. Because it was computer animated, they were able to reuse the assets they had developed for the film in the show, saving time and money on character design and set building. Additional character designs were handled by Mark Beam, Phil Cruden and Bill Schwab. Cruden, along with his company Go For Launch Productions, also handled the production design for the series as they had for the film. The theme was written and performed by Michael Fitzpatrick and Mickey Petralia, with the rest of the series’ music done by Guy Moon.

            While the show performed well enough to receive a second season, it didn’t continue to live up to Nickelodeon’s expectations. The show was removed from the network with just 8 episodes left to air, which they would eventually do almost a year later on sister channel Nicktoons. 52 episodes aired in all. In 2008, a video game based on the show was developed by Firemint (now Firemonkeys) and released by Play THQ for the Nintendo DS. Back at the Barnyard: Slop Bucket Games (Cowlympics in Europe) was a collection of mini-games unlocked by completing fetch quests around an overhead 3-D render of the barnyard. It contained limited voice acting from Hardwick, Insana, Irrera and Julie Nathanson.

DVD cover.

            Beginning in 2008, Nickelodeon released several compilation DVDs containing 4 episodes each: Escape from the Barnyard, When No One’s Looking and Cowman, the Uddered Avenger. Additionally, Lights, Camera, Moo! and Club Otis were released overseas with bonus SpongeBob SquarePants episodes. A digital-only DVD, Nickelodeon Shocktober! Vol. 2, was also released to iTunes containing “Barnyard Idol / The Haunting”. 2011 saw the release of the complete first season, with the second coming a few months later (preceding the airing of two episodes). In 2012 digital-only DVDs were made available on iTunes: On Your Marks, Get Set, Go! containing 2 episodes from season 1, the Orange Collection containing 8 episodes from season 1 and Nickelodeon’s Christmas Stocking which included “It’s an Udderful Life”. The complete series was made available to purchase for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Season 1:
“The Good, the Bad, and the Snotty / Escape from the Barnyard” (9/29/07) – Otis tricks the farmer off the farm so he can have a birthday party, but the farmer hires Snotty Boy to look after things. / The appearance of a grill has the animals worried they’re about to be eaten so they attempt to escape.
“Cowman and Ratboy / Cow’s Best Friend” (10/6/07) – The animals are unamused when Otis and Pip pretend to be superheroes. / After Otis saves Duke’s life, Duke becomes devoted and helpful to him to the point of annoyance.
“Chez Pig / The Right Cow” (10/13/07) – The animals decide to sell Pig’s delicious pies to humans to make some money, but they quickly become greedy in the process. / A space test monkey crashes onto the farm and is invited to stay, but he has his sights set on replacing Otis as leader.
“Saving Mrs. Beady / The Farmer Takes a Woman” (10/20/07) – After their antics get Mrs. Beady institutionalized, the animals attempt to bust her out. / Otis tries to set up the farmer so they can have their Saturday nights free again, but his new love wants to get rid of the animals.
“Hypno-A-Go-Go / Fowl Play” (11/24/07) – Otis accidentally hypnotizes himself to destroy the farmer. / When Freddy is found sleeping on a bed of Peck’s feathers, the animals assume he ate him and ban him from the farm.
“The Barnyard Games / War of the Pranks” (1/19/08) – Tried of losing, Otis tries to find Abby’s weakness so he can win some of the Barnyard Games. / Otis attempts to get revenge on Bessy for her constant insults but all his pranks backfire.
“Lights! Camera! Moo! / Animal Farmers” (2/2/08) – Otis goes overboard remaking the barn’s safety film. / Otis accidentally injures the farmer in his rush to see his favorite country music star, forcing the animals to handle all of the farming for him.
“Raging Cow / The Great Sheep Escape” (2/16/08) – A hedgehog convinces Otis to wrestle for him, not knowing all the matches are fixed except the last one. / Otis and Duke chase the sheep across the country before they get to New Zealand.
“The Big Barnyard Broadcast / Dead Cow Walking” (3/15/08) – The animals attempt to sabotage Mrs. Beady’s video of them from being broadcast on the news. / Overhearing the vet leads Otis to believe he’s dying.
“Otis Season / Cow’s Night Out” (3/29/08) – Otis disguises himself as a moose so he can get attention from the humans during Moose Appreciation Week. / Otis decides to go for a wild night on the town with The Jersey Cows.
“Big Top Barnyard / Pigmation” (4/12/08) – Otis volunteers the gang to take over a circus when they accidentally injure the lead. / A birthmark on Pig’s backside leads him to believe he’s of royal blood and begins to act like a snob.
“A Barn Day’s Night / Meet the Ferrets” (4/26/08) – The animals become stars when Pip broadcasts one of their music sessions, causing egos to rise. / Freddy tries to hide the fact that he’s a vegetarian from his parents.
“A Tale of Two Snottys / Snotty’s New Pet” (5/10/08) – Snotty Boy gets amnesia and turns nice, becoming unrecognizable to Mrs. Beady. / Pip gets captured by Snotty Boy as dinner for his new pet snake.
“Home Sweet Hole / Otis’ Mom” (5/24/08) – Otis accidentally destroys Pip’s home, causing him to move in with the others and their contrasting habits. / Realizing Otis has the same bell as her long-lost kid, Bessy begins acting motherly towards Otis.
“Club Otis / The Chronicles of Barnia” (6/7/08) – After being excluded from Otis’ boys’ club, Abby makes a club of her own that everyone else wants to join. / Snotty Boy catches the animals playing “Dungeons and Barn Animals”.
“Barnyard Idol” (7/21/08) – Discovering Pig’s beautiful voice, the animals enter him into a singing competition to win the farmer a golden tractor.
“The Haunting” (7/22/08) – When Otis builds a fun shack on a pet cemetery a ghost bunny possesses Pig and attempts to conquer the world.
“Brave Udders” (7/23/08) – Otis fears the impending arriving of his childhood bully.
“Otis’ 11” (7/24/08) – Otis loses the barn in a game of Fizzbin to the gophers.
“Pecky Suave” (7/25/08) – Peck takes a “potion” to enable him to speak to his crush, but ends up becoming bold enough to challenge his rival to a duel.
“Otis vs. Bigfoot” (9/22/08) – Abby brings Bigfoot onto the farm and Mrs. Beady is determined to capture him to prove she’s not crazy.
“Cowman: The Uddered Avenger” (11/28/08) – Cowman must prove his innocence when he’s accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
“Top Cow” (9/23/08) – An accident causes Otis to give up being the county’s top crop duster just as a swarm of locusts is on the way.
“School of Otis” (9/24/08) – Otis has to take over Peck’s class after injuring him and decides to make school less boring by teaching them pranks.
“Otis for Mayor” (9/25/08) – Otis decides to run against Mrs. Beady for mayor to prevent her from outing them.
“Dummy and Dummier” (9/26/08) – Helping Freddy find a talent has the animals get him into ventriloquism--which turns out to be a bad thing when the dummy starts trying to kill them.
“Some Like it Snotty” (10/24/08) – The animals dress up as girls to get into the bowling alley for free, but Snotty Boy and his friends want to date them.
“Pig Amok” (1/20/09) – Pig returns to his birthplace to get married, but Otis tries to keep him from his horrible future wife.
“The Sun Cow” (1/21/09) – A bee sting lets Otis’ new Kobe cow neighbors believe he’s the reincarnation of the 5-uddered Sun Cow, who usually ends up as a steak dinner.
“Doggelganger” (1/22/09) – When Duke is at the vet another dog attempts to take his place.
“Save the Clams” (1/23/09) – Abby rescues a clam from a nearby café  and it ends up becoming an annoying farm resident.
“Cowdyshack” (2/23/09) – Otis gets his friends onto a golf course through a friend of his, but ends up having to win a tournament to get him a new appendix when Pig injures it.
“Adventures in Snotty Sitting” (2/24/09) – The animals take a babysitting job to make money and replace the farmer’s game system, only to end up having to babysit Snotty Boy.
Season 2:
“Wild Mike’s Dance Party” (2/25/09) – Otis frees Wild Mike for a dance party, but he escapes and ends up captured by humans.
“Buyers Beware” (2/26/09) – The animals fear the farmer is selling the farm and take steps to scare potential buyers away,
“Anchor Cow” (2/27/09) – Accidentally injuring the local newscaster has the animals taking over his job.
“Abby and Veronica” (5/18/09) – Abby’s cousin visits and uses her beauty to trick the other animals into doing stuff to please her.
“Bling My Barn” (5/19/09) – After blowing up the barn, the animals attempt to get on a home improvement show that will fix the barn for them.
“Udderado” (5/20/09) – When Otis gets the farmer arrested, the animals turn the farm into a Wild West theme park to raise money for his bail.
“Cupig” (5/21/09) – Pig writes a love letter to his favorite treat which Otis finds and thinks is for him from Abby.
“Happy Animal Fun Time” (5/22/09) – Otis tries to get out of going to a concert with Abby by creating a fake holiday where everyone has to stay home.
“Dream Birthday” (6/29/09) – The animals decide to throw the farmer a birthday party and make him think it was all a dream after.
“Lord of the Beavers” (6/30/09) – When Pip has to cover for an injured Otis, Otis returns to find out everyone liked Pip better in charge.
“Little Otis” (7/1/09) – Otis creates a tiny clone of himself to handle his chores, which ends up captured by Mrs. Beady.
“Kids in the City” (7/2/09) – Otis is put in charge of watching the barnyard kids and promptly loses them in the city.
“Snotty and Snottier” (7/3/09) – The animals have to help Snotty with his even worse cousin so that he’ll stop hiding in the barnyard.
“Paging Dr. Filly” (11/5/11) – Dr. Filly is called in to settle a dispute between Freddy and Peck but ends up making it worse.
“Barnyards and Broomsticks / The Barn Buddy” (10/5/09) – Pip tells the others a campfire story about a witch, and when they find an old woman’s house full of sweets in the woods Otis fears she’s her. / Buying a security system for the barnyard turns out to be a bad idea.
“Iron Otis / Too Good to be Glue” (10/6/09) – Otis disguises himself to save Peck from being cooked by a chef on a cooking show. / Pig invents a super glue that the animals try to sell, only to learn it explodes 2 hours after application.
“King Cud / Everett’s Treasure” (10/7/09) – Otis is knocked out and awakens believing he’s King Cudenhotep. / The animals find an old safe belonging to Everett’s former owner and Otis tries to recreate his memories of their adventures to help him remember the combination.
“Free Schmoozy / Man’s Best Fiend” (10/8/09) – The animals rescue a show whale from a water park only to end up on his menu. / The animals convince the farmer to get a playmate for Duke, which ends up being his rival which continually gets Duke in trouble.
“Fumblebums / Endangered Liaisons” (10/9/09) – The animals end up subbing in for injured football players. / The animals import an endangered ferret to the farm to keep it from being torn down, then must rescue a smitten Freddy from her black widow ways.
“Back at the Booyard” (10/25/09) - Otis gives out supposedly haunted candy to his friends so that he can win a prize for collecting the most Halloween candy.
“Mr. Wiggleplix / Chain Gang” (11/14/09) – Pig accuses Otis of killing his imaginary friend. / The animals get mistaken for costumed crooks and end up arrested.
“It’s an Udderful Life!” (12/5/09) – Otis convinces Donner and Blitzen to visit the barnyard, but when Santa gets sick as a result the animals have to finish his deliveries for him.
“Get Bessy! / A Beautiful Freddy” (1/2/10) – The animals try to figure out what Bessy does when she’s not insulting them. / A lightning strike turns Freddy into a genius, and the animals try to cash in on it on a quiz show.
“RoboPeck / Arcade of Doom” (1/16/10) – After accidentally breaking his body, Otis rebuilds Peck with machine parts to make him a big help around the farm. / It’s the animals vs. Snotty Boy to win enough tickets to buy a gaming console.
“Puppy Love / Rodeotis” (2/6/10) – Duke’s sister visits with a surprise: she’s engaged to his rival! / Otis plays a bull to help the farmer impress a woman he likes, but when he gets hurt the farmer ends up having to ride a real bull.
“A Catfish Called Eddie / Beady and the Beasts” (6/19/10) – Otis’ old best friend returns and tries to get rid of Pip. / When Mrs. Beady is kicked out of her house she moves in with the animals.
“Mission: Save Bigfoot / Mrs. Beady Takes a Holiday” (9/11/10) – The animals climb a mountain to rescue Bigfoot after he has an accident. / The animals get Mrs. Beady to take a vacation and leave them alone, but Otis ends up missing pranking her.
“Treasure Hunt” (9/12/11) – A group of crows distract the animals with a fake treasure map to leave their corn crop unguarded.
“Clonedemonium / Hickory Dickory Donkey” (9/18/10) – The animals clone themselves to give little Otis and little Abby friends, but the owner of the Clone-a-Torium threatens to expose them. / Bessy comes between Pip and his new donkey love.
“Clown and Out / Clan of the Cave Cow” (9/19/11) – Otis gets into a battle with Snotty Boy’s clown father. / Otis ends up taken by scientists who believe he’s a primitive cave cow currently attacking the farm.
“Four Leaf Otis / Cop Cow” (9/26/11) - The animals are on the hunt for a leprechaun. / The animals become cops and try to solve a donut store theft.
“Plucky and Me” (10/3/11) – Otis hatches a giant chicken egg so they’ll have a fifth for polo, but it ends up being a dinosaur that causes havoc.
“Pig of the Mole People” (10/3/11) – The mole people come seeking Pig to reclaim his throne and defend them from an abusive worm.
“Aliens!!!” (11/12/11) – The animals plan to scare Mrs. Beady off with a fake alien news story so she’ll leave their satellite dish alone, but end up calling on real aliens to invade the planet.

July 17, 2021



(NBC, ABC, September 6, 1969-August 30, 1980)
Mirisch Films, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises
Rich Little – Pink Panther
Paul Frees – Pink Panther Narrator, American hunter, Commissioner
Pat Harrington, Jr. – The Inspector, Segreant Deux-Deux
Marvin Miller – Commissioner, The Inspector (1969), Deux-Deux (1969), Narrator (1969)
Lennie Weinrib – Roland, Rattfink
John Byner – Charlie Ant, Blue Aardvark, Roland (1 short)
Don Diamond – Toro/Fatso
Tom Holland – Pancho/Banjo, Japanese beetle
Larry D. Mann – Blue Racer, Crazylegs Crane
Bob Holt – Sheriff Hoot Kloot, Fester, Dogfather
Daws Butler – Pug, Louie
Paul Ritts (1972-73) – Host, puppeteer
Mary Ritts (1972-73) – Host, puppeteer
Lenny Schultz (1976-77) – Host
Arte Johnson (1976) – Misterjaw
Arnold Stang (1976) – Catfish
Frank Welker (1978) – Crazylegs Crane Jr., Dragonfly



            The Pink Panther is a media franchise conceived by writer/director Blake Edwards that began with the film of the same name. Originally, it was meant to be a sophisticated romantic comedy about a suave jewel thief, Sir Charles Lytton, aka The Phantom (David Niven). The primary object of his desire was the world’s largest diamond known as The Pink Panther due to a small imperfection at its center that resembled, well, a pink panther. Hot on his trail would be the bumbling French detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Ustinov), with his unfaithful wife, Simone (Ava Gardner), who was in league with Lytton.

Publicity photo of Peter Sellers and David Niven.

            However, things didn’t quite go as planned. Gardner left the project when the producers, The Mirisch Company, were unable to meet her demands for a personal staff. Ustinov also followed her off the project. After Janet Leigh turned down the Simone role due to it requiring her to be away from the United States for too long, Capucine was cast instead. Now playing her husband was Peter Sellers. The Pink Panther debuted in Italy on December 18, 1963, with a United States release following on March 18. The film was set at a ski resort where The Pink Panther’s owner, Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale), was vacationing. Following her was Lytton, and following him was Clouseau and his wife. Also after the diamond was Lytton’s nephew, George (Robert Wagner), in order to pay off his massive gambling debts. While Clouseau ineptly investigates, Simone must constantly juggle keeping her relationships with both Lytton and George a secret from everyone.

While the Clouseau role was always intended to be comedic, Edwards discovered he and Sellers had similar tastes in humor and began elaborating and improvising on bits. Sellers soon began to steal every scene he was in, becoming the breakout star and character of the film and overshadowing Niven, who had the actual lead billing in the credits, despite his comparatively short amount of screen time. As a result, the film became a massive success. Sellers, who was set to star in an adaptation of the stage play A Shot in the Dark, was unsatisfied with the script and was able to get Edwards onto the project to write and direct. Edwards utilized his newfound clout to turn the film into a Clouseau vehicle, making it the second entry and the official launching point of The Pink Panther franchise that spanned 9 films; 6 of which starred Sellers (one was made after a falling out between Sellers and Edwards that poorly attempted to recast the role, and two following Sellers’ death).

Sellers wasn’t the only breakout star of the franchise, however. Edwards knew David DePatie, co-founder of animation studio DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (DFE), through his uncle and asked him to design a pink panther for him. DePatie gave the assignment to character designer Hawley Pratt who proceeded to churn out about 100 different design concepts. Edwards selected the one he liked and used it initially for letterheads and business cards. Once filming was wrapped, Edwards contacted DePatie again and asked him to create a title sequence where the Panther character would interact with the film’s credits while the theme composed by Henry Mancini played. These titles ended up being a tremendous hit with the audience, and were thought to have added a couple extra million to the film’s overall gross. DFE soon found themselves in demand to make titles for other projects, allowing them to move beyond commercials and industrial films.

It also allowed them to move into the business of theatrical shorts. DePatie was encouraged by the titles’ success into thinking there was more to be done with the character. DFE struck up a deal with Mirisch and United Artists, the film’s distributor, to produce 156 6-minute theatrical shorts (although only 124 ended up being made). The shorts took a cue from the titles, showing Pink silently (at the suggestion of primary writer John Dunn) working his way through a given situation; like sneaking into an alcoholic’s house to spend the night or serving as a secret agent. Pink would speak in only two cartoons, his voice provided by Rich Little modeled after Niven’s portrayal in the first movie (and who would later dub an ill Niven in future Pink Panther films). Other characters provided any dialogue that was spoken, with the exception of Pink’s primary antagonist: the Little White Man, a minimalist rounded figure of a person with a large nose and mustache. Said to be modeled after DFE co-founder and initial short director Friz Freleng, the Little Man was also silent as he often dealt with Pink’s shenanigans. Mancini’s theme typically accompanied each short, with additional music provided by Walter Greene and William Lava.

The Pink Panther begins his career of (intentionally?) annoying the Little White Man.

The first short, The Pink Phink, debuted on December 18, 1964 and ended up taking home the Academy Award for Best Animated Short. This success would spur other studios to revisit the notion of theatrical shorts, which had largely fallen out of fashion by this time. Pratt would eventually take over as the primary director for much of the series, with Gerry Chinquy, Art Davis Robert McKimson, Art Leonardi, Cullen Houghtaling and Sid Marcus handling various later entries. DFE was able to churn out one Pink Panther cartoon a month, eventually ending up far ahead of schedule by 1965. It would be 6 years until DFE would need to resume work on the series, giving them time to visit additional series upon United Artists’ request.

DFE’s second series went back to The Pink Panther well and came up with The Inspector, based on the Clouseau character. Dubbed simply “The Inspector”, the character had appeared in the opening titles for The Pink Panther and A Shot in the Dark previously, but was altered for the new shorts to remove any resemblance to Sellers for legal purposes. The Inspector (Pat Harrington Jr.) was a senior detective for the Sȗreté nationale (now known as The National Police). He was slightly more competent than his inspiration, however he was plagued by bad luck and poor judgement. His partner for roughly half of the run was Sergeant Deux-Deux (also Harrington, Don Messick for one short), a slow-talking Spaniard gendarme with a love of Mexican food. A running gag saw The Inspector constantly try to get Deux-Deux to respond with “oui” instead of his native “si”, resulting in some misunderstandings along the way. Their commissioner was voiced by Larry Storch, Paul Frees, Marvin Miller and Mark Skor at various points. Storylines usually involved the misadventures of The Inspector as he attempted to apprehend equally colorful criminals around Paris.

The Inspector and Deux-Deux are on the case! Which is good news for the criminals...

The first Inspector short, The Great De Gaulle Stone Operation, debuted on December 21, 1965 preceding the James Bond film Thunderball. As with the Panther shorts, Mancini’s theme from A Shot in the Dark was used for the shorts’ intros, with additional music by Greene and Lava. DePatie, due to his knowledge of the French language, had the most involvement with the production of these shorts out of any DFE project. While the shorts performed well, they didn’t quite reach Panther levels and capped off with 34 entries. The Inspector would be used for the title sequence of the 1968 film Inspector Clouseau, and would be seen interacting with Pink and redesigned to more resemble Sellers in his remaining entries in the franchise.

Their next series was Roland and Rattfink. The shorts focused on the titular characters: blonde good-looking pacifist Roland, and the evil mustachioed Rattfink (both Lennie Weinrib, except for one short where John Byner and Dave Barry voiced them). Rattfink was always eager to get ahead in life in the most dirty, underhanded and violent ways possible with additional bad deeds on the side. Good-natured Roland was sometimes put at odds with him, taking indirect action to stop Rattfink’s machinations or allowing Rattink to foul himself up. Some of the plots were recycled from Looney Tunes shorts directed by Freleng. Many of the shorts featured intertitles like old silent movies, introducing the characters and offering some plot narration at points, with music to match composed by Doug Goodwin. Most of the shorts were written by Dunn with the remainder by Marcus, Spector and Dale Hale. The first short, “Hawkes and Doves”, debuted on December 18, 1968 with the film The Night They Raided Minsky’s. Despite Variety’s January 9th issue declaring 26 shorts had been ordered, only 17 were produced.

Replacing that series was another pair at odds with each other: The Ant and the Aardvark. The series followed a solid blue aardvark (Byner, impersonating Jackie Mason) attempting to catch and eat a red ant named Charlie (also Byner, impersonating Dean Martin). At one point, when Mason heard Byner’s impression he decided to approach DFE about doing it himself. However, upon realizing Byner did him better than him, Mason instead worked out a deal where he was paid for the use of his distinctive voice while Byner continued on in the role. The series actually predated DFE, with Pratt having come up with a concept for them at Spunbuggy studio originally known as The Big Red Ant and Harry the Anteater. Corny Cole handled the design for the DFE version. Musical director Goodwin assembled a group of established jazz musicians—Ray Brown, Billy Byers, Pete Candoli, Shelly Manne, Jimmy Rowles and Tommy Tedesco—to compose the score. For the first time in cartoon history, all six musicians received on-screen credit. Leonardi designed the main titles utilizing a technique that included tearing paper into a stylized version of the characters. Also capping off at 17 entries, the first short was released to theaters on March 5, 1969. Dunn again wrote the lion’s share of the series, with additional scripts by Spector, Marcus, Hale, David Detiege and Larz Bourne.

Next was Tijuana Toads, also written by Dunn, Hale and Bourne, which hit theaters for the first time on August 6, 1969. The titular toads were the hefty Toro (Don Diamond, named after the character he portrayed in The Adventures of Kit Carson) and the scrawny Pancho (Tom Holland). The pair was always generally hanging out, with Toro being fairly abusive and dominant towards Pancho, until a bug crossed their paths. Then, the chase was on to try and snag the bug by any means necessary for lunch. However, they always ended up outsmarted. Once again, plots and gags from Freleng’s past Looney Tunes shorts were recycled for the series. The tables were turned on the toads when two antagonists were introduced that wanted to eat them: the first was Crazylegs Crane (Larry D. Mann, Bob Holt in one short), a dimwitted and klutzy yellow crane with a hat and spats, and The Blue Racer (based on an actual snake, also voiced by Mann and Holt), the world’s fastest blue snake. Despite Toads also only running for 17 entries, Crazylegs and Racer were both eventually spun off into their own series.

NBC's 1969 Saturday morning ad.

As the 1970s approached, once again the age of the theatrical short was beginning to wane. Looking to get more mileage out of their investment, Mirisch decided to import the shorts to Saturday morning television like other studios had done before. The result was The Pink Panther Show, which saw two Panther shorts sandwiching an Inspector short each episode with the addition of a laugh track. Bridging sequences were created utilizing a mix of newly-animated and recycled footage starring Pink, The Inspector and Deux-Deux (the latter two voiced by Marvin Miller, who also acted as a narrator), marking the first time that the characters would interact outside of a title sequence.

Pink and the Inspector with the Panthermobile.

The Pink Panther Show debuted on NBC on September 6, 1969. The opening titles were filmed in live-action following a pink hotrod dubbed the “Panthermobile”, designed by Ed “Newt” Newton and built at Bob Reisner California Show Cars by Newton, Dan Woods, Joe Bailon, Bill “The Leadslinger” Hines and Bill Honda for about $100,000. It traveled down a rural roadway before eventually ending up at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, accompanied by stock footage of animals from the Los Angeles Zoo and Marineland of the Pacific, people on the beach and at a carnival, and clips from “Reel Pink”, “Come on In! The Water’s Pink” and “Put Put Pink”. A young boy would be revealed to have been the driver with an animated Pink and the Inspector as his passengers. A slightly-altered version was used for the second season, which essentially reshuffled and resized some of the clips used. For the end credits, the Inspector would return to the car and it would drive off, leaving Pink to chase after it. The show’s theme, “Panther Pink Panther From head to Toes”, was written by Goodwin. Some of the shorts received minor edits for content to make them more family-friendly due to growing concerns over violence in television.

After two seasons, The Inspector was dropped and replaced by The Ant and the Aardvark and the show was renamed The New Pink Panther Show (sometimes referred to as The Pink Panther Meets the Ant and the Aardvark). A new intro was created, doing away with the live-action in favor of Pink and the Aardvark vying for the viewer’s attention. Goodwin also composed a new theme, “Pantherly Pride”. All-new bumper segments were created, sometimes featuring Pink involved in a typical Ant and Aardvark plot or showcasing a story with the pair. Unlike their original adventures, the Ant and Aardvark remained as silent as Pink.

Paul and Mary Ritts with two of their puppets.

The second season of this version introduced live-action hosts Paul and Mary Ritts who, along with their menagerie of puppets, would perform various skits and read fan mail on the air. Their son, Mark, also performed some puppetry on the show. The pair were already featured weekdays on NBC’s Watch Your Child. However, this format was dropped for the third season, and The Inspector was reintroduced into the line-up with all three series now airing in a single episode. Only 8 new Panther shorts were made during this period, with the rest having already previously aired.

Hoot Kloot and Fester.

The Blue Racer and the Japanese Beetle.

The Dogfather with Pug and Louie.

For the 1974 season, the series was revamped again as The Pink Panther and Friends. This time a few new Panther shorts were mixed in with the older ones, and were joined by a rotating line-up including The Inspector and new entries Roland and Rattfink, Hoot Kloot, The Blue Racer and The Dogfather. The Blue Racer starred the aforementioned Racer with a new hunger for a Japanese beetle (Holland) who happened to be a black belt in karate. Hoot Kloot starred a diminutive and short-tempered sheriff (Holt) who tried to maintain order in a Western town with his faithful steed, Fester. The Dogfather was a parody of The Godfather starring anthropomorphic dogs. Holt played the titular role doing an impression of the film’s star Marlon Brando, with Daws Butler playing henchdogs Pug and Louie (Holt would voice Pug when Louie wasn’t present). Each series only lasted 17 entries each. Dogfather was the last theatrical series created by DFE as demand for them continued to diminish, and DePatie theorized they were asked to keep making them to keep the television show fresh.

A lobby card for the latest revision.

In 1976 the show got yet another revamp in an attempt to duplicate the success CBS found after they expanded The Bugs Bunny Show into The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour the previous year. The Pink Panther Laugh and a Half Hour and a Half Show Introducing Misterjaw expanded to 90 minutes and included three Panthers, two Inspectors, one Ant and the Aardvark, and one Tijuana Toads. However, due to changing broadcast standards, the Toads were rebranded as The Texas Toads, the toads renamed Fatso and Banjo, and the shorts were all redubbed to remove any trace of stereotypical Spanish elements.

Misterjaw and Catfish.

Newly created for the show was Misterjaw, inspired by the success of Jaws. It followed the misadventures of the titular shark (Arte Johnson, using a German accent) adorned in a collar, tie, vest and top hat. He was joined by his sidekick, Catfish (Arnold Stang, using a Brooklyn accent), who wore a bowler hat. Running gags included Misterjaw often mispronouncing words, attempting to make a feast out of Harry Halibut (Bob Ogle), and his terrorizing people by sneaking up on them and saying “Gotcha!” Of course, when people came face-to-face with him, they would take off running anyway similarly to the old Casper shorts (after all, he was a shark!). The series’ theme by Goodwin utilized a couple of notes reminiscent of John WilliamsJaws theme. It would be the final project directed by McKimson before his sudden death.

Filling in the remainder of the 90s minutes were all-new bumpers involving the Texas Toads and Misterjaw, as well as riddle segments NBC forced DFE to do. NBC also introduced a new host: comedian Lenny Schultz. Like the Ritts before him, he performed routines and read fan mail from viewers. While he was hot at the time, it became apparent very quickly that he was too frantic and his humor skewed too adult for kids. The show fared poorly in the ratings and was scaled back to 30-minutes for the subsequent season, renamed Think Pink Panther and dropping Schultz, The Inspector and The Ant and the Aardvark in the process.

After nine years on NBC, the network dropped it and the show was acquired by ABC, who retitled it The All New Pink Panther Show. A new rendition of Mancini’s theme with a disco flair was composed for the intro by Steve DePatie. At ABC’s behest, DFE made 32 new Panther shorts that United Artists would eventually release to theaters through 1981. Additionally, DFE made 16 Crazylegs Crane shorts to go along with the Panther; his first solo series after appearing  as a guest character in Toads, Racer and Dogfather. In his series, Crazylegs was joined by his son, Crazylegs Crane Jr. (Frank Welker), as misadventures were caused by his dimwitted and klutzy nature. To make his son proud, Crazylegs often tried to capture and make dinner out of his frenemy, a fire-breathing dragonfly (Welker, impersonating Andy Kaufman). For the 11th and final season, the show was once again renamed Pink Panther Encore and was a repackaging of previously aired shorts. No further content was made.

Crazylegs Crane and his son.

Following the end of the network run, MGM/UA created two syndicated versions of The Pink Panther Show. One featured Panther, Inspector, Ant and Aardvark and Texas Toads shorts utilizing the prints from the television series. The second had Panther, Ant and Aardvark and Misterjaw sourced from film prints and original negatives, resulting in sharper images. For the ones sourced from theatrical versions, a new laugh track similar to those used on current sitcoms was added. Additionally, DFE produced two Panther animated specials for ABC in 1978 and 1980. A third was done by DFE’s successor Marvel Productions, who also worked on the title sequence for the next Panther film, Curse of the Pink Panther. Pink himself wouldn’t return to television in new adventures until 1986. The Ant and the Aardvark would return in both the syndicated The Pink Panther in 1993 (where Pink was given a voice supplied by Matt Frewer), and for the 2010 revival series Pink Panther and Pals (where the Little Man was renamed Big Nose). The Inspector, The Texas Toads and The Dogfather characters were also included in the 1993 series.

The Dragonfly.

The show’s various formats have been broadcast in reruns across cable and around the world. Networks like Boomerang, Cartoon Network, BBC Two, UK Gold, BBC One, Teletoon Retro, This TV, Galavisión and others. Sometimes they were presented with the shorts remastered while the original content was not, sometimes without the original content at all. Occasionally, the shorts would air individually to use up empty time in a schedule. In the summer of 2021, MeTV began airing a selection of the shorts as part of their Saturday Morning Cartoons programming block under the name Pink Panther’s Party. Pink was introduced on the network during the weekday Toon In With Me programming block with his first short, and the first Saturday broadcast featured two Panther, a Roland and Rattfink and an Inspector shorts.

Cover art for American Mythology's Pink Panther Cartoon Hour Special by S.L. Gallant.

While Pink was heavily marketed, in relation to the show it was the Panthermobile that received most of the focus. Dinky Toys released a self-driving pull-cord version of the car with Pink in the driver’s seat in 1972, then rereleased a reworked version in 1977 minus the large flywheel that moved it and with new sticker graphics. Eldon Industries produced a buildable model kit, which was later rereleased by Doyusha when Eldon went out of business. As for the car itself, after it made a few rounds on the show circuit it changed hands several times before being bought at auction by Galpin Auto Sports in 2011, who then restored it to its former glory.  Prompted by the series’ BBC run, World Distributors published 11 comics annuals containing reprints from the Western Comics Pink Panther series. Between 2016 and 2019, American Mythology published new Pink Panther comics that featured original stories as well as classic reprints. Many of the shorts characters appeared in various issues.

The DePatie/Freleng Collection Vol. 2 Blu-ray set.

1985 saw the debut of MGM/UA’s “Viddy-Oh! For Kids” VHS line, which included 32 Panther shorts across four tapes, 10 Inspector shorts between two, and 5 each for Ant and the Aardvark, Roland and Rattfink, Tijuana Toads and Misterjaw. The Panther tapes were reissued in 1993 with new cover art. Beginning in 2006, MGM released the Pink Panther shorts onto DVD across 6 volumes, with a box set in 2009. KL Studio Classics started re-releasing them onto DVD and Blu-ray in new collections with all-new special features and HD remastering in 2018. They were collected into a box set in 2020. 20th Century Fox handled the UK release with 2014’s Pink Panther Cartoon Collection and the Fan Favorites Cartoon Collection of 24 shorts voted by vans for Pink’s 50th anniversary in 2015. The other shorts got their own releases from KL starting in 2016, both individually and in two DePatie/Freleng collections on DVD and Blu-ray.



EPISODE GUIDE (made-for-TV shorts only):
“Flying Fool / Shopping Spree” (9/11/76) – Misterjaw tries to duplicate a pelican’s method of catching fish. / An ad encourages Misterjaw and Catfish to go to the supermarket for food.
“To Catch a Halibut / Beach Resort” (9/18/76) – When his first two meal ideas don’t pan out, Catfish suggests Misterjaw go after a much easier (so he thinks) halibut. / After Misterjaw and Catfish take over a beach, a shark hunter is called in to get rid of him.
“Monster of the Deep / Showbiz Shark” (9/25/76) – Misterjaw finds a sunken ship complete with a resident ghost. / Misterjaw auditions for a position at a marine park.
“Aladdin’s Lump / Little Red Riding Halibut” (10/2/76) – Scaring off two fishermen drops their catch into Misterjaw’s fins: a magic lamp. / Misterjaw pretends to be the halibut’s grandmother to lure him into a trap.
“The Codfather / Davey Jones’ Locker” (10/9/76) – Misterjaw and Catfish try to liberate a treasure trove of tuna from the fish who’s already claimed it. / Misterjaw shoots some pool with a swordfish to see who gets to eat the halibut.
“Flying Saucer / The Shape of Things” (10/16/76) – Aliens land on Earth and encountering Misterjaw and Catfish leads them to believe they’re typical Earthlings. / While Misterjaw joins a gym to lose weight, Catfish becomes the target of some hungry alley cats.
“Caught in the Act / Merry Sharkman, Merry Sharkman” (10/23/76) – When his lunch takes refuge in a woman’s fishbowl, Misterjaw dons a variety of disguises in an attempt to get him. / The shark hunter sets his sights on capturing Misterjaw once and for all.
“Sea Chase / Aloha, Hah, Hah!” (10/30/76) – Misterjaw may have finally met someone he can’t scare: a decoy duck. / A pair of pirates attempt to get past Misterjaw to reach their buried treasure.
“Never Shake Hands With a Piranha / Stand-In Room Only” (11/6/76) – Chasing the halibut leads Misterjaw and Catfish to encounter a ravenous piranha. / Misterjaw gets a job as a stand-in for a shark in a new movie, only he finds out it’s one dangerous occupation.
“The Fishy Time Machine / Transistorized Shark” (11/13/76) – Snooping in the house of a man they scared off leads Misterjaw and Catfish to discover and use a time machine. / Swallowing a radio gets Misterjaw in trouble as the “perfect” commercials end up playing at just the “right” times.
“The $6.95 Bionic Shark / Moulin Rogues” (11/20/76) – The owner of a pool gets a robotic shark to get Misterjaw out of it. / Ending up in Paris has Misterjaw and Catfish running from the law.
“Holiday in Venice / Shark and the Beanstalk” (11/27/76) – Two Italian cats want Catfish for lunch. / Climbing a magic beanstalk puts Misterjaw and Catfish on a giant’s menu.
“The Aquanuts / Cannery Caper” (12/4/76) – Misterjaw and Catfish attempt to escape from the aquarium they’re put into. / When a cannery operation leaves fishing scarce, Misterjaw takes over the cannery.
“Fish Anonymous / Maguiness Book of Records” (12/11/76) – Misterjaw attempts to go on a diet. / Misterjaw attempts to break any of the records held by Jack Sharky.
“Cool Shark / Deep Sea Rodeo” (12/18/76) – When an octopus he scares inks him in response, Misterjaw chases him all the way to the North Pole. / Misterjaw tries to wrangle himself a seahorse.
“Mama / Easy Come Easy Go” (12/25/76) – Misterjaw becomes the mother to a sea monster when he steals its egg for a meal. / Misterjaw plans to become the pet of a wealthy individual so that he can inherit their fortune.
“No Man’s Halibut / Sweat Hog Shark” (1/1/77) – Misterjaw faces off against a stranded castaway for a halibut lunch. / Misterjaw takes up motorcycling.
The All New Pink Panther Show:
“Pink Bananas / Crane Brained / Pinktails for Two” (9/9/78) – Pink encounters a gorilla that dances whenever he hears music. / Crazylegs tries to make his son proud by catching the dragonfly. / Fertilizer causes Pink’s tail to grow.
“Pink Arcade / Life With Feather / Pink S.W.A.T.” (9/16/78) – Lucking into a mess of quarters, Pink decides to indulge at an amusement arcade that turns out to be anything but amusing. / Pepper turns out to be Crazylegs’ undoing when he finally catches the dragonfly. / Pink attempts to get a fly out of his house.
“Pink Suds / King of the Swamp / Pink Pull” (9/23/78) – Pink ends up causing chaos at the launderette. / Crazylegs believes he’s king of the swamp…it’s just too bad no one else does. / Pink uses a giant magnet to retrieve a lost quarter.
“Toro Pink / Winter Blunderland / Pink in the Woods” (9/30/78) – Pink takes over for a toreador that chickens out. / Crazylegs could do with a hot dragonfly meal on a cold wintery day. / Lumberjack Pink is constantly in trouble with his short-tempered boss.
“Spark Plug Pink / Sonic Broom / Pink Breakfast” (10/7/78) – Pink must retrieve his lawnmower’s spark plug from a yard guarded by a mean dog. / Crazylegs competes with a witch for the dragonfly. / Making breakfast turns into an adventure for Pink.
“Pink Lightning / Storky and Hatch / Pink in the Drink” (10/14/78) – Pink’s new car turns out to be monstrous with Dr. Jekyll’s formula in its tank. / A cue ball ends up in Crazylegs’ nest and he believes it’s an egg he must hatch. / Pink’s relaxing cruise is anything but when his captain turns out to be a vicious pirate that puts him to work.
“Doctor Pink / Bug Off / Pink Pictures” (10/21/78) – Pink takes up first aid. / The dragonfly manages to convince Crazylegs that he can’t fly. / The local wildlife isn’t making Pink’s new photography hobby easy.
“Supermarket Pink / Animal Crackups / String Along in Pink” (10/28/78) – The Little Man keeps his eye on Pink while he does his shopping. / Crazylegs ends up in misadventures at the circus when he tries to capture the dragonfly who’s performing there. / Pink follows a seemingly-endless piece of string.
“Pink Lemonade / Fly-by-Knight / Pink Trumpet” (11/4/78) – Pink pretends to be the stuffed animal of the Little Man’s daughter to evade a dog catcher. / Crazylegs attempts to become knighted to make his son proud. / Pink annoys the Little Man by practicing his trumpet in the motel room next to his.
“Dietetic Pink / Sneaker Snack / Sprinkle Me Pink” (11/11/78) – After a scale shows him weighing 220 pounds, Pink puts himself on a strict diet. / Crazylegs and his friend both want the dragonfly for themselves. / Pink tries to evade a persistent rain cloud to have a picnic.
“Pink Daddy / Barnacle Bird / Cat and the Pinkstalk” (11/18/78) – A lost stork accidentally delivers a baby crocodile to Pink. / Crazylegs follows the dragonfly onto a ship headed out to sea. / Pink sells his cow for beans that turn out to be magic.
“Pink Quackers / Jet Feathers / Pink and Shovel” (11/25/78) – Pink takes on a wind-up toy duck as a house pet. / Crazylegs tries to enhance his flying so that he can keep up with the dragonfly. / Pink tries to reclaim a $5 bill he buried where a hotel now stands.
“Yankee Doodle Pink / Beach Bummer / Pinkologist” (12/2/78) – Pink is sent to warn the townsfolk of the Redcoats in the American Revolution. / A broke Crazylegs tries to enjoy the beach without paying the entrance fee. / The Little Man is driven to a psychiatrist by Pink’s antics.
“Pet Pink Pebbles / Nest Quest / The Pink of Bagdad” (12/9/78) – Pink’s pet rock turns out to be big trouble. / Fed up with nests, Crazylegs decides to build himself a house. / A fakir’s magic rope falls in love with Pink’s tail.
“Pink Press / Flower Power / Pink U.F.O.” (12/16/78) – Pink does whatever it takes to secure an elusive interview for his newspaper. / Crazylegs has to protect his new garden from a weed. / A butterfly Pink catches turns out to be a tiny U.F.O.
“Pink Z-Z-Z / Trail of the Lonesome Mine / Star Pink” (12/23/78) – A cat keeps Pink up at night. / Crazylegs and a witch set their sights on stealing the dragonfly’s gold claim. / Running a space ship gas station pits Pink against a space villain.