Wednesday, March 08, 2006

SINK PINK (1965)

Not the AC/DC album with the similar entendre-laden name (missing the The), Sink Pink, the fifth Pink Panther cartoon, has a unique and sad distinction: the Pink Panther speaks in this one, folks! (He does this in one other theatrical cartoon: Pink Ice, from a little later in 1965). True, he only has one line, but it works like the rest of the picture; which is, not at all.

A big game hunter from Texas, for obscure reasons, decides to build an ark (named after his wife, Nora), and then populate the thing with two of every animal, just like Noah. Tex sets off on building the boat, and then fills the thing up with wildlife. As he checks off the names of the creatures on his list, he notices at the end the words Pink Panthers. His guide warns him, in the only halfway humorous pair of lines in the flick, that "in this country, Pink Panthers are taboo", to which Tex, "I don't care what you call him", and then steels his resolve to capture the critter. He attempts several times to capture the cat, and all of them lame and unfunny, and ends up falling from great heights a couple or three times, getting squished by a hippo, and finally, he gets trampled by all of the animals in the ark. At the end, the Panther says his single line (voiced by impressionist Rich Little, in what I suppose is his Rex Harrison "Doctor Dolittle" voice), "Why can't man be more like the animals?" and walks off with an elephant.

This film simply does not work, or even entertain. The chief culprit in this is choosing to make the film with dialogue. This story can be told very easily as a completely silent film, but if they were trying to stretch the series a little (and early in its run), they made a drastic error in developing the Tex character. While Paul Frees' vocal work is just fine, most of the dialogue is just there to, well, be there. It is just rambling and unnecessary to the story, and to be perfectly frank, boring. It kills the picture almost from moment one, and you can practically hear the film straining to get out of each scene just so it can end its unfunny existence. The only thing I will give it is that they make the Texan character an egotistical idiot who likes to push the world around.

My, how things never change in some areas...

Sink Pink (DePatie-Freleng, 1965) Dir: Friz Freleng (uncredited) & Hawley Pratt
Cel Bloc Rating: 4

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