Pink Panther

During this season of animating, my lecturer Kevin pointed me towards this classic, that is Pink Panther. After viewing my current animation progress, he thought that I should take inspiration from Pink Panther for my character performance.

While the versions of Pink Panther has evolved through the years, I thought I’d take inspiration and share with you, my observations from the very first original season [1].

I’d like to break down my thoughts into 3 main headings: Visuals, Character performance and Story-telling.

Visuals

  • The colour palette used in Pink Panther Season 1 Episode 1 stuck close to the classic pink, muted blue, black and white. Sticking to a limited palette not only simplified the colouring process in animation, but it also simplified the screen for the audience, allowing us to concentrate and immerse into this simple world.
  • The choice of colours is also important in this episode, because it is primarily a battle of colours between Pink Panther & Little Man. Pink Panther wants the world pink, but The Little Man wants the world blue.
  • Another effective way to help direct the audience’s attention to the correct place, we only see what’s essential on the screen. For example, there are no unnecessary props in the background that would not add any value to the scene.
  • As someone who is watching Season 1 Episode 1 in 2020 – I feel like this original aesthetic is really beautiful. The colours, drawings and performance is very suited to its age. In a special way, I feel like it shows me the world in 1960’s. I love the details such as the wired telephone (in later episodes)- they are all true to its time.
  • I personally would describe the (original) aesthetic of Pink Panther as simple, striking and strongly communicative.

Character Performance

  • The reason that Kevin recommended to me to watch Pink Panther was down to its particular character performance.
  • There is plenty of anticipation and overshoot to enhance their performance E.g. When the character looks left and right, there is overshoot in his head.
  • Follow through: Pink Panther’s tail and when The Little Man tries to shake open the door, there is follow through in his head and hat.
  • Reaction time: while keeping the upbeat pace of the animation, the animators also give the audience time to react with the character. E.g. when pink panther tastes the blue paint.
  • Speed: When Pink Panther runs, he slips and doesn’t move the first few frames – which makes him seem even faster.
  • Direction: the character leads his body with their eyes. E.g. when they are painting the walls.


Story-telling

  • For an animation with no speech, I feel that the body language and expressions need to carry the message. I personally understood the story with ease. I feel that the reaction times, simple colours, body language and expression carried the story so well that no speech is needed.
  • While it is a simple story of Pink Panther wanting Pink while The Little Man wants Blue, the pace and frustrations of the character make the story very interesting; it leads us to think why the characters want these colours?
  • Body language: The posture of each character and the way they move in space also tell us a little bit about their story. For example, Pink Panther walks with his head high, suggesting that he is calm and confident.

I hope you enjoyed this piece as much as I did! 🙂

Until next time,

Katie

References:
[1] Edwards, B., 1964. The Pink Panther Season 1 Episode 1. [online] youtube. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59lKdaXX6Eo> [Accessed 19 April 2020].

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