6.8/10
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The Pink Panther in 'Pink at First Sight' (1981)

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Marilyn Schreffler ...
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Weaver Copeland ...
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10 May 1981 (USA)  »

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Followed by Pink Panther & Pals (2010) See more »

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So lovely to see the Pink Panther in love
19 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer. While Pink at First Sight is nowhere near classic Pink Panther or Pink Panther at his best, it is generally better than most of the post-1975 output, which had a few very good cartoons(but never classic), several good or decent ones and a fair share of mediocre ones. Ranking the three late-70s-early-80s Pink Panther TV specials, Pink at First Sight is a little below A Pink Christmas but superior to the still entertaining Pink Panther in the Olym-Pinks.

Pink at First Sight's debits are with the animation and the pacing. All three of the aforementioned specials were made during a period where the animation for the Pink Panther cartoons was vastly inferior in quality to the earlier output. Like A Pink Christmas and Pink Panther in the Olym-Pinks, Pink at First Sight's animation is not as badly affected as most of the Pink Panther cartoons of the post-1975 period, but it still looked crude and rushed-looking. Granted, there are some vibrant colours, Pinky as always is very well-designed and a great job is done with his expressions, but some of the other colours are either flat or garish, the backgrounds are rather sparse and simplistic(the Pink Panther cartoons were always done in a minimal style but it was far more appealing in their early cartoons) and a lot of the drawing is rough-edged and crude.

The pacing in Pink at First Sight could also have been sharper. As a result of trying to stretch what could very easily have been six or seven minutes worth of material to nearly half an hour, the story does have times where it drags and doesn't have the momentum that it could have done, with one or two aimless parts or ones that go on for slightly too long.

However, Pink at First Sight does contain the best music score of the three specials. Henry Mancini's slinky, elegant jazz style is missed, but this is generally far more energetic and subtle scoring than that of A Pink Christmas and Pink Panther in the Olym-Pinks, it fits more with Pinky's behaviour and characteristics(in a way that almost all of the 1978 onwards output didn't do enough of) and it's nowhere near as repetitive. Who cannot resist the classic theme tune either? There are some very funny, if somewhat standard, gags (personally didn't find them all that mean-spirited), and on the most part the story, centring around Valentine's Day, is very sweet and charming. While not flawlessly told, as mentioned early on, it is told with crisp, endearing humour, a sweet romantic charm and a warm heart, without falling into too much sentiment.

Pinky is cool, suave and very easy to like, and as ever he has good comic timing without even saying a word, it all comes from his expressions and the unintentional trouble he causes and the special deals with both very well. The supporting characters are good and none of them feel superfluous to the story, though while the voice acting is solid and used appropriately part of the Pink Panther cartoons' charm was the lack of dialogue and speaking.

Overall, not Pink Panther at his classic best, but for me this is nowhere near close to an embarrassment. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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