Monday, March 06, 2006

PINK PAJAMAS (1964)

Homeless in America. You might think that it is a big problem in America, but you'd find it even more so if you don't conform to society's basic acceptance line of being a human. The second Pink Panther short finds our hero tired and in need of shelter at 1:00 a.m. in the morning, but, most likely due to the fact that he is a large pink cat, he has been rejected by the only flophouse in town. Walking off, the Panther finds a key laying on the ground. He is confused by this and tries to throw the key away, until he looks up to find a lone door, weirdly hanging in the air in front of him, without walls or windows attached to it, and even weirder, the background still continuing on directly behind the door. The Panther goes to open the door but finds no keyhole, and then remembers he has one in his pocket, pulls it out, and matches the key to it. Opening the door, he finds a comfy bedroom awaiting him.

Wasting no time to think about his break-in, the Panther sets about preparing for bed. It turns out that he is wearing slippers on his feet that look exactly like his feet. Behind a screen, he removes his fur as if it were a set of pajamas, and drapes them casually over the back of the screen. He then walks to the shower looking the same as before! He turns on the shower, but puts up an umbrella so he can't get wet (he is a cat, after all); however, the water has other ideas and squirts out from beneath the umbrella, soaking the Panther. Angry, he dries off, but then the shower comes on and gets him wet anew. He then stands before the mirror and decides to shave. The shaving cream can turns his head into a white fluffly cloud, and he runs the blade over the whiskers sticking out. Wiping off the excess cream, he appears the same as before. His experience next with an electric toothbrush has him swallowing the device and rattling about the floor. Removing it, he beats to death with a hairbrush. Finally and exhaustedly, he goes to bed.

Cue the arrival of the Little Man, the true owner of the house, an inebriate who can't quite seem to get his keys out with spilling them all over the ground. He picks up his flowerpot and makes a staggering dash at the door, but it opens on its own accord, and he crashes inside. He stumbles to the lamp in the bedroom and turns it on, but the Panther wakes up and turns it off. The drunk staggers back to the lamp and crashes into it, causing the lampshade to fall on his head. He turns on the light a second time, and then wanders off, and the Panther gets back up to turn it off again. This time the chainswitch comes off, so the Panther blows the bulb out. The drunk comes back in and crashes into the lamp again, and then lights the lamp with a match. The Panther gets up and unscrews the bulb, sticks it in a flowerpot, and then turns it over and finally corks the bottom hole of the pot as the light keeps escaping from it. He goes back to bed.

With both characters still unaware of each other's prescence, the Little Man climbs into bed, only to discover the Panther's pink feet sticking out from under the covers. The Little Man believes that they are his own freezing feet, and prepares a hot water bottle to warm up. He sticks it under the covers with the Panther, and the cat jumps dancingly out of the bed trying to vanquish his newly gained hotfoot. The Little Man sees the Panther for the first time, and because he is a drunk, immediately attributes the Pink Panther's appearance to his delirium.

He calls up his buddy at A.A., who rushes over to help his besotted pal out in a time of crisis. He hears the tale of the Pink Panther, and gets the Little Man to swear off alcohol. They run through the house, finding the Little Man's bottle stashes. Finally, a book titled Demon Rum is opened to reveal a hidden cavity with a bottle of, what else, Demon Rum. They then throw out all of the bottles into a garbage can outside, and then drink a toast to the Little Man's new sobriety with glasses of milk, but the Panther crosses the kitchen in front of them. The men freak out, and go off into the night to chase down the Dept. of Sanitation truck that is carting off the thrown out stash of booze. The Panther is then shown laying on a "The End" sign shaped like a bed, with a lamp hanging off of the "T". He turns out the light, and the cartoon ends.

So, not only does the Panther tackle the homeless situation at the beginning, but also the perils of alcoholism within the frames of this most amusing and inventive cartoon. Or rather, the perils of drinking alcohol around the Pink Panther. It's probably very hard to tell which end is up when there is a large oddly hued predatory cat squatting in your home. But until a cartoon law is passed requiring flophouses to accept guests of different species, let alone colors, the drunks are just going to have to watch out where they place their bottles. Hot water ones or otherwise...

Pink Pajamas (DePatie-Freleng, 1964) Dir: Friz Freleng & Hawley Pratt
Cel Bloc Rating: 7

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