First, and once again, let’s get our facts straight. The Pink Panther is a series of comedy films. The first film, the one officially entitled “The Pink Panther”, was shown in 1963. Since then there had been 11 Pink Panther movies made, with the last two starring Steve Martin as French police detective Jacques Clouseau (the old Pink Panthers starred British actor Peter Sellers).
The animation relationship
As most of you know, there is a literally pink panther cartoon character. The character emerged from the series of films as well, because the first film in 1963 had an animated opening sequence. It became such a success that later on they adapted it into a series of animated shorts, and, used it in all but a couple of the movies’ title sequences.
Now on to the theme song
The Pink Panther theme is, well, as expected, called “The Pink Panther Theme”. It was composed by the late great Henry Mancini for the original 1963 film. The song was nominated in 1964 for the Academy Award for Original Music Score. The song was commercially released as a single by RCA Records in 1964.
Below is the original opening main title credits from the 1963 film. Thanks YouTube user suztakumi.
- The cartoon character was created by David DePatie and Friz Freleng.
- The song was also used by The Price Is Right from 1976 to 1993 for its “Safe Crackers” segment.