Pink Panther and Pals

I don’t know much about the new Pink Panther and Pals series – which premieres this Sunday March 7th on Cartoon Network at 7:30am Eastern (4:30am Pacific) – except I like the redesigns of the Ant and the Aardvark. The new show features three six-minute cartoons – two featuring a “teenage Pink Panther” and one Ant and Aardvark short in the middle. 26 episodes were produced by MGM Animation. There’s no animation online, but here’s a bunch of still images to tide you over till Sunday.

(Thanks, Bob Spang)

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  • Michael Wolff

    OK, I have fond memories of the original And & The Aardvark. John Byner doing both his Jackie Mason and Dean Martin shticks. If the new version can’t improve then forget it.

  • http://www.pugavida.blogspot.com Miguel Puga

    Sweet! i worked on this show as a storyboard artist! The Ant and the Aardvarks were my favorite to work on! And yes Aardvark still has that Jackie Mason voice but Ant got a whole new youthful voice, voiced by Kel Mitchel! The whole show is going to be awesome! everyone watch it, wee need more cartoons on Cartoon Network!

  • http://gavinscartoons.blogspot.com Gavin

    These are going to be great cartoons! I was lucky enough to work and see a little of the show. My hats off to all the artist that contributed. These guys kept true to the look and animation of the classics. I just hope Cartoon Network keeps in on past the 26 shows. Can’t wait to see the shows…

  • DBishop

    Kel Mitchell ? That would be a drastic difference.

    I hope the Panther doesn’t talk this time around. I guess there aren’t any Inspector shorts .

  • Isaac

    A remake that looks good? How is this possible?

  • Dann

    Always a good sign when they make shows about classic icons and teenagers.

    …wait…

  • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

    The Ant and the Aardvark look beautiful! Big Nose (that was his name?) looks terrific! The Pink Panther looks HORRIBLE! AWFUL! Like he’s been crushed into a cube after being force-fed to harvest his liver! This character design might work for the Pink Panther’s equivalent of Patty and Selma, but it doesn’t look like a cool teen version of the Pink Panther or whatever the hell they were going for.

  • http://www.fourhman.com Joe

    Premieres Sunday at 7:30am, eh? Well that’s sure to draw a huge audience.

  • Alberto

    I’m skeptical, I’ll watch it and give it a shot however. It would be nice if Peter Sellers were in it though.

  • http://www.pugavida.blogspot.com Miguel Puga

    I’m sure God will forgive you if you watched this show instead of going to church!

  • Donald C.

    I’m still a tad skeptical about this one.

  • http://bruandboegie.co.za Mike

    Wow, extra characters really do look good. Pink Panther himself looks absolutely horrid. Ow, hurts my eyes ow ow ow make it stop ow my eyes ouchie stop stop. Thanks Bob Spang, or should I say SpangBob.

  • Jay Sabicer

    It’s good to see Shorty (and his dog!, I love those PP shorts with the dog) in the title cards. Reserving judgment until I actually see a couple episodes, although I’m hoping for some good Ant & Aardvark shorts.

  • http://www.brucelaing.com Bruce Laing

    While I do like the new designs for the Ant and “ol’ Blue”, the jury will be out for me until the show airs in Australia on CN (or Boomerang) which will be much later on in the year.

  • Bob Spang

    The Ant the Aardvarks are awesomely awesome! They’re more along the lines of the old Looney Tunes shorts . It has a great cast of characters,and wonderfully strong slapstick humor. Set your alarms or dvr/tivos people,this is the one.

  • Daniel

    The artists contributed a lot to the stories. There’s some great stuff to be found.

  • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ Teodor

    Ant, aadvark and friends is better name.
    Panher is ugly

  • http://www.fooksie.com Fooksie

    The Ant and the Aardvark look good, but the Pink Panther is weird looking.
    As if you were in a foreign country, and the strange candy bar you bought had this character on the label.
    You know, just close-enough to the real thing to make you realize that …” oh yeah, it’s supposed to be the Pink Panther “, but not close enough.
    It reminds me of a pack of toys I bought in Chinatown in San Francisco a few years back.
    The label says ” Mavel Team Up “, and the package contains knock offs of Spiderman, Superman, the Hulk, and Batman.
    The toys are close enough to what they are supposed to be, but still off.

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    I prefer the old designs, with their visible pencil lines and “broken” strokes. The new Aardvark doesn’t seem to have volume in his head. And the new Panther is terrible, like a plush toy, all elegance gone.

    (“Ant and Aardvark” were dubbed “Die blaue Elise” in Germany, the Aardvark being female and dubbed by Marianne Wischmann who passed away last year. She also was the german voice of Miss Piggy.)

  • http://www.cineforum.ca/ Reg Hartt

    The Teen Panther seems short and on the heavy side.

    Lacks the svelteness that made the original so cool.

  • Gobo

    I’m kinda shocked at how good the Ant & Aardvark look. I expected another thick-inked Craig McCracken clone.

  • http://powpowcomics.com Brooks Michael Williams

    Looks pretty solid. I’m not thrilled with the teenage Panther but then again it doesn’t look like anyone is either.

    At least these stills have turned out tons better than the really awful promo pic I saw a long while back.

  • squirrel

    I know he’s supposed to be a teenager, but did they have to make him look like he was put halfway through a trash compactor?

    And does he………… talk? Like in the recent 90′s revival?

  • Bob Harper

    I like the new designs of the Ant and the Aardvark. I’ll see if my kids like this incarnation better than the original. They are usually loyalists to the old school stuff though, especially George of the Jungle and Looney Tunes. BTW you forgot to draw the line through “Cartoon” in Cartoon Network, since they’re not doing any more cartoons. ;)

  • Scarabim

    God, I HATE the Aardvark redesign! That stupid curly snout…he’s an aardvark, not a freaking elephant! The sad, droopy look is completely gone. Terrible. And the Panther….it’s clear that the owners of that character still have no clue, after all these years, what to do with him. He’s never been better than his original incarnation – as the cute, slinky, mischievous pink panther he was in the film’s original opening credits. It’s all been downhill from there. Yeesh.

  • Jeffrey T. McAndrew

    It’s got to be better than Pink Panther and Sons….right? I liked Kel Mitchell in Mystery Men and he was even kind of funny in Good Burger and even Rocky and Bullwinkle. I like the character designs other than the wonky Pink Panther. I never did get around to watching the 2 new movies with Steve Martin? Were they any good?

  • http://tikitantrum.deviantart.com/ Tikitantrum

    @DBishop
    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but rumor has it that the guy who currently voices Sonic the Hedgehog, Jason Griffith, is voicing Pink in the series. I don’t know if it’s a speaking role or only mere laughs and screams, but now I can’t watch Pink without hearing “YOU’RE TOO SLOW” or “GOTTA SPEED UP”.

    To be honest, and Ant segments of the show looks a lot better than the Pink segments, design wise. But tell me, is the series animated traditionally or is it motion-tweened(I didn’t call it Flash since you can animate traditionally in flash like Brackenwood and Superjail)?

  • http://www.Heibies.deviantart.com Phil

    I wouldn’t think any of the artists & animators are to blame for the Panther’s unfortunate appearance. All the other characters look awesome, while the Panther has that distinct Design by an Executive look.

    Good luck to the crew though, nice to see some cartoons are still being produced for The Network.

  • http://www.pugavida.blogspot.com Miguel Puga

    No Pink Panther doesnt talk, neither does Bignose! 21 and a half hours left! (pacific time)

  • captainmurphy

    Can anyone link to images of the new pink panther designs?

    Ant and Aardvark look acceptable. It was always mostly a vehicle for voice talent anyway, and had its own shoddiness, but was well done, using limits as strength. Some of DePatie Frelengs best.

  • Mac

    Usually when a character is re-imagined as a teenager it’s an attempt to make them more cool, hip and attractive to kids. Odd then that the reverse seem to be true here – taking a mature and extremely cool character and teenaging him into something more juvenile, awkward, square and ugly.

    The stills look great for a T.V cartoon, however. Plus all the positive comments about The Ant and the Aardvark cartoons is encouraging. I’ll check it out if it ever airs in the UK or online.

  • David

    Why the hell did they shrink the Panther?

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    The EARTHWORM JIM Aardvark looks good. The “little man” hasn’t been changed at all, which is great. The redesigned panther looks like a weird, naked child, especially here:
    http://pinkpanther.mgm.com/images/full/PPP110_still_image9-c.jpg

  • http://tikitantrum.deviantart.com/ Tikitantrum

    @Miguel Puga
    Thank god, at least the execs learned their mistake from the 90s series.

    @David
    Could’ve been worse. They could’ve sticked to the original baby-ized versions.

  • http://tikitantrum.deviantart.com/ Tikitantrum

    Oh hey, found some clips, and it is indeed done in traditional animation.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAnZ-4nw-yE

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    Am I the only one who thinks the 90s version looked better? Ok, the Pink Panther talked, but the visuals were pretty good and I think they had the best version of the theme song EVER. I completely loved the credit titles:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNl3-HGT0eQ&feature=related

    Then again, this one doesn’t look too bad, though the idea of making them teenagers is not that interesting, and they allways use the same things: skateboarding, videogames…to make them “cooler”.

    I actually think they look cuter in the baby-size version we can see at 00:11 in that youtube clip. Especially the Pink Panther looks a lot better.

  • inspector clouseau

    let’s just say there were plenty of debates between artists and bigwigs to get it to this point. There was also a very long period of time between the development of Pink Panther and the Ant and Aardvark shorts which explains how they look so different from each other.

    It could’ve been far worse given the very unusual nature of the production, but the crew is pretty happy with the result and hope to get a chance to do an even better job if the higher ups are happy with the ratings and give it another go.

    artists had a lot of creative freedom on this show even while dealing with some bizarre notes from up high.

    Ant and Aardvark was the great success of the artists being allowed to really cut loose design-wise after being reigned in on Panther.

    we’re talking young artists for many of which this was their first job and a brand new animation studio overseas. I also can’t forget the experienced pros that came in and helped put a polish on the finished product. This wasn’t a cookie cutter factory production in the least and we’re proud of it.

  • mrscriblam

    oh christ if they make pink panther talk oh my god

  • inspector clouseau

    Personality-wise, Panther is still Panther and doesn’t have any ‘tude nor does he try to pander down to kids. It’ll follow the classic set up of Panther giving bignose a run for his money. no pointless jibber jabber, no hackneyed catch phrases. Just pure acting, action and gags.

    he’s younger and shorter and that’s about all we’ve changed.

  • http://vincemusacchia.blogspot.com vince m

    Not too crazy about the shorter heavyset Panther. Did he have his ears ‘clipped’, too? They look smaller. Very pleasing visuals though, for the most part. I hope this show finds an audience.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Intriguing. I’m a big fan of the original so if this one is even half as charming and amusing then I think it’ll be a hit!

  • petervincent

    Looks like the teenage Pink Panther was created by Lou Scheimer and the Filmation guys.

  • Tsimone Tse Tse

    Hoping for a few seasons. However…

    Panther looks like a theme park character costume design

  • Scarabim

    Here’s the trailer from the original film. It demonstrates how appealing the Panther was in the beginning:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMiRxq12Fx0

  • TJ and Co

    At last a production Lou Scheimer can be proud of.

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    Panthers don’t have extremely long lives… wasn’t it likely he was already a teenager?

    When you redesign a classic character, aren’t you pretty much saying “that old design was a DISASTER, it HAD to be changed”?

    Yes, that’s what you are saying.

  • http://qwertypictures.deviantart.com/ Christopher

    I’ll say this much: I do give the guys credit for, this time round, keeping the style as close to the DePatie-Freleng style as possible. The BGs, especially, have a nice air of Dick Ung’s style :)

    ….however, the redesigns for Charlie and “Ol’ Blue” scared the life out of me at first. That big head on a small body could getting used to.
    Although I did hear word that John Byner wouldn’t be avaliable to voice Ant and Aardvark this time, so I’ll hold my views on how well his successor/s will do.

    On a whole, I’m just thankful they’re aiming for a teenage audience than another babyfication. Now all can we hope for is some Doug Goodwin-esque soundtracks to accommodate the series ;)

  • Cyber Fox

    1. I love The Pink Panther as much as all of you but I don’t wanna get butthurt like the Power Ranger fans currently are with the currently airing HD remake of the original series via The Pink Panther’s looks or any changes

    2. I remain optimistic on this series as this might be a good show, I mean it couldn’t be worse than the idea of letting the dude whom did Max Headroom voicing The Pink Panther in the 1990s revival

    3. Kel Mitchel (All That/Kenan and Kel) as The Ant would be interesting, again.. let’s be optimistic

    and finally an Out-Of-Topic opinion: I don’t care what Amid says, Filmation is a great company despite it’s flaws.. We should enjoy their shows as is and forgive their flaws.

  • http://www.pugavida.blogspot.com Miguel Puga

    The show was done by Desert Panther/MGM in woodland hills, CA. ANd it was Traditionally animated in Jordan by Rubicon along in the Phillipines. Its going to be great people! cant wait

  • someguy

    the big deal about hating on filmation isn’t so much the crappy product as was the company’s lasting impact on the way animation is currently produced.

    It introduced a cheap, factory process that favored profit over quality at the expense of a 100 year old craft. A lot of techniques and creative methods were lost during the filmation era that still haven’t been rediscovered or appreciated since.

    so yeah, like scooby doo all you want, but scooby nearly killed an industry and the morale of a lot of dedicated artists.

  • AnthroCoon

    Watched first half or so (enough commercials for ya?)…enjoyed first short, Pink annoying next door neighbor with his music (sim. to that
    short in Alvin Show of the Chipmunks disturbing their neighbor). Don’t mind the shorter, slightly heavier panther. Big nose guy has a dog that’s not bad…As for A&A, yeah, give Kel Mitchell a try but I miss the Dean Martin voice John Byner gave for the Ant…music wise the opening theme is based on the Mancini tune of course but no trace of the Doug Goodwin jazz for A&A…recording,
    turned off TV, will watch rest later.

  • Christopher Cook

    Okay, having seen the first show, I was a tad underwhelmed. The premise of the first short, “Pink Up The Volume,” has been done before (most notably in the 1978 short “Pink Trumpet”), and instead of the surrealist visuals that gave the original Panther shorts their kick, the episode played merely as a comedy of manners. It seemed to focus more on Big Nose and his temper explosions than on anything the Panther would do. Still, this was only the first ep, so there’s still time to gauge some thought.

    On a plus side, it’s traditional 2-D hand-drawn.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    This was just on. It’s very good in general. It’s distinctive among contemporary cartoons. It deserves much better treatment than being dumped into such an insulting, throwaway time slot. CN spent money to produce the show – why bury it? It “feels” like classic Panther with a bigger budget.

    It’s a shock to see the Panther characters with iPods and PCs (It’s weird to see the SIMPSONS with that stuff, too).

    If the show has a glaring problem, it’s faulty cartoon physics. It reminds me of the wave of circa-1990 imitations of NEW ADVENTURES OF MIGHTY MOUSE: stuff such as A PUP NAMED SCOOBY DOO and TOM AND JERRY KIDS and the late 90s, horrid WACKY WORLD OF TEX AVERY. Those shows were desperate to be cartoony, but whoever was calling the shots had no clue how to do it. Baffling gags just happened, with little physical motivation.

    Anyway, this good, entertaining show needs to be scheduled when it might actually be seen. I was only awake by accident at 7:30 AM.

  • jic

    “It would be nice if Peter Sellers were in it though.”

    Only if by “nice”, you mean “terrifying”…

  • Snuffy Derma

    Saw the show this morning. The PP shorts looked great, but lacked story. The A&A were better, but not by much. Where the show fails is that aimed at too low an age. The was geared is for young children.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/timkelly19/ Tim Kelly

    I love the design of the Ant and the Aardvark! Too bad I woke up too late to see this. Then again, won’t they re-run it all through the night? Every three hours?

  • sb

    just watched it, It was nice to see the shows having creative title cards and the background designs were really well done on both shows. I don’t agree that it was aimed at too low of an age group there wasn’t anything really defining it to an age group, they obviously cant be exactly like the classic panthers i think someone got shot in the face in every episode, and they do have to be appealing to kids otherwise it would be an adult swim show. All in all i look forward to the next episode, it was the first and hopefully the stories will become better and better.

  • inspector clouseau

    Rubicon definitely had a ton to learn regarding timing and following boards. Our animatics were timed and fully posed out, however, a lot of it just didn’t translate overseas. Gags that got laughs in animatic form fell flat because they evened out or simply didn’t understand the timing. We eventually resorted to animating certain actions in-house just because it was impossible to direct animation from 3000 miles away.

    They did get better over the course of production.

  • captainmurphy

    Re; The Hating on Filmation, from someone who grew up during their growing successful reign.

    Filmation did have lasting bad effects. But do you know why they became a success, grew to a point where they would have this influence?

    If you think Filmation was bad, it was succeeding in particular because Hanna Barbera was REALLY going to the dogs at the time. Filmation delivered a shiny project with clean lines and more apparent movement in comparison to lets say GrapeApe or Hong Kong Phooey of the time. It is likely, if not for Scooby Doo, HB might have lost out completely. But even with that, what they were providing the networks was imploding so badly, that Filmation looked like a really good alternative.

    Compare the products season by season. Filmation got some licensed properties with some clout about the time HB was really spinning their wheels trying to create shows from scratch that were often pale self plagiarism. Hey, they aren’t the only company that can create also rans.

    The fact is, the networks got what they paid for.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    Oh, yeah – another massively positive thing about the show -

    It lacked the ugly, nasty, irrelevant wallpaper music that made most DP 60s and 70s cartoons unbearable. That stuff sounded like the bouzouki player in Monty Python’s “Cheese Shop” sketch.

  • Paul N

    Watched the PP on Tivo – overall not bad. At a minimum, it’s nice to see non-Flash-style animation again, even if it’s at TV animation quality.

    On the whole I preferred the A&A over the two panthers, but I was always a major Aardvark fan. Kel’s work on the ant’s voice was pleasantly surprising, and whoever’s doing the Aardvark obviously did his homework.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    I just watched the premiere episode. Props to John Over, who wrote and directed the Ant and Aardvark cartoon (Zeus Juice). It was EXCELLENT. Funny drawings, great poses, beautiful art direction and color – and overall a solid, funny cartoon. I’m setting the TiVo each week to watch these. I was less impressed with the Panther shorts.

  • gaastra

    My take. The first pp short was kind of dull. Needed more gags. The glass dome gag fell flat.

    The ANA one was good. My nephew asked me why the ant is a girl now! The ant does sound like one but other then that a good short.

    The second pp short was better then the first. Funny ending with the “Bride” ordering a pizza.

    Not a bad start so i’ll watch it again next week.

  • Corey K.

    The thing I really like about the Ant’s new voice is that it evokes a sort of Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox vibe.

  • Deejai09

    If this show was not watched in Hi Def on a Hi Def monitor, which based on most of the comments here, they weren’t, they will look squashed, a little lumpy and cut off in frame. If you’re not, you don’t know what you’re missing, but you’re not seeing them the way they were created or intended.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I just watched it and I agree with Jerry.

    The Pink Panther cartoons were decent, but not really great. They are more or less respectful with the character but I guess it’s just difficult to make good mute cartoons and they seem difficult to follow and even a little boring in comparison to the original ones. The drawings could be better at times, but the panther does look better than I thought.

    The Ant and Aardvark cartoon , on the other hand, was fantastic! Very funny, imaginative set-up, great poses, beautiful shots and cool backgrounds. Loved it.

  • Cyber Fox

    I wasn’t able to watch the first episode due to the following
    1. My DVRed episode was cut short
    2. A mysterious explosion in my area occured during the show’s time slot

    Sadly, with no rerun of the 1st episode in sight and no video hosting site has the first episode for public viewing and the only way to see it to download it via torrent.. I had no choice than to tell the family DVR to record the whole series

  • JP

    The 1st episode is on Youtube! really good quality! My kids really liked this show, especially the the Ant and the Aardvark and the second Pink Panther. Check them out here. Can’t wait for next week.
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=videos&search_query=pink+panther+and+pals&search_sort=video_recently_uploaded&suggested_categories=24%2C1%2C10

  • Pez

    Wow I really liked that Aardvark cartoon. Congratulations to all who worked on this series. Hey CARTOON NETWORK!!! put this on at a time that kids will be able to watch it. CN programming is retarded “Lets play a full day of Johnny Test and hide our new shows at 7:30am. ”

    Put it with Flap Jack and Co.

  • http://manasrah.deviantart.com/ hassan manasrah

    i like it soo much it’s very cute & the quality is good for TV animation series

  • http://qwertypictures.deviantart.com/ Christopher

    reg; inspector clouseau’s message…

    “Rubicon definitely had a ton to learn regarding timing and following boards. Our animatics were timed and fully posed out, however, a lot of it just didn’t translate overseas. Gags that got laughs in animatic form fell flat because they evened out or simply didn’t understand the timing. We eventually resorted to animating certain actions in-house just because it was impossible to direct animation from 3000 miles away.

    They did get better over the course of production.”

    Having watched the entire run so far (and loving it, BTW) I’d be VERY interested to hear which particular scenes where redrawn in-house. I wouldn’t be surprised, really, if most of the “Ant and Aardvark” shorts were animated entirely by John Over’s crew themselves! =)

  • eastwood

    Having worked at that Manila end of this production. You need to give a huge amount of credit to the Philippine team. Manila was responsible for the AA episodes.

    Let’s give credit where’s it’s due….

  • http://www.facebook.com/tina.coley.12 Tina Coley

    pink panther is my favorite cartoon I watch it when I was a little girl.so I can’t wait to see it next Sunday.