Pink Panther And Friends: The Inspector

Pink Panther And Friends: The Inspector
Quite possibly some of cartoon director Friz Freleng’s (Looney Tunes) greatest work, The Inspector was a mid-’60s series of shorts featuring a clueless French police detective and his ethos-providing Spanish sidekick. Originally airing as a part of the Pink Panther series, this collection of all 17 episodes finds our miniscule officer running into diamond-stealing chickens, a pickpocket spider, gorillas who hijack a boat filled with bananas and other seemingly asinine yet incredibly humorous encounters. What makes The Inspector work though is not the slapstick comedy that encapsulated many cartoons of its era, although even these six-minute shorts include much of the same, but The Inspector’s more subversive, adult-oriented humour. The show appeals to youth with its goofiness while adults revel in the subtleties of the characters’ actions and double entendre-laden lines barely slipping past the radar. Particularly in regards to cartoons, it’s that crossover appeal to generations that establishes the longevity and timelessness of anything, let alone a few chapters in the life of a bungling police force. Similarly, the unique aesthetic approach of the drawings is as appealing as the content. Created in a minimalist style, many of the backgrounds within are almost Shag-like with their swirling details that often trail off, giving an unfinished appearance. To kids, this ensures the action is never overtaken by garish settings while still creating an atmosphere unique to the show. While it is all-too easy to shrug off a 40-year-old cartoon such as The Inspector as worn-out tripe, as this disc proves there is a reason this Parisian Sherlock Holmes is still relevant today. Sadly, there are no bonus features. (MGM)