The Pink Panther Title Sequence

The Pink Panther opening credit sequence is one of the most recognizable movie references of all time. The movie, which premiered in 1963 was ahead of its time and opened the door for animated title sequences in the entertainment industry. 

In the opening sequence, it follows a panther doing different activities, such as wearing a monocle, running from a detective, rubbing against the typography like a cat, jumping on the letters, adding his own words with paint, and conducting the orchestra. The panther also rows a gondola, gets his picture taken, and interacts with a white glove and a detective. 

With the panther interacting with the typography on screen, it makes the title cards seem playful and almost as if they are still watching a show while the names are being credited. You can build a connection with the panther as it does different actions that hint at possible scenes later in the film. The panther also completes actions that what the credited name is doing, for example, conducting during the music credits. This makes the panther seem more personable and like it is the people that helped make the movie.

There is a lot of movement in this opening scene, not only just from the panther himself and the transitions and actions he makes, but the typography and shapes. There are multiple shapes in the sequence that multiply in size or distort its shape as it transitions from one element into another. The graphics on the screen also move in multiple axes across the screen side to side but also back deeper away from the audience. Not only does the shapes add for background elements behind the text, but it also helps create other forms such as small dots that turn into a typewriter for the screenwrite title card. Another noticeable form of movement is how the panther becomes injured. I think it is noticeable to see how it is related to the Loney Tunes, specifically the Roadrunner and Cayote which premiered years before The Pink Panther

The text and overall movement are very smooth and use spins, wipes, slides, complete clearing within the next frame, stretching, and manipulation of the images. Using different transitions makes the sequence seem playful. One of my favorite elements in the eyes at the end of the clip. When the panther blinks it goes completely black and you can see the stress in his eyes that has been created from his interactions in the title scene. 

There are many types of fonts in the title sequence. There is serif and sans serif fonts that are used in the open. Overall the text is rounded and either is a bright bold color or the background behind the text is vibrant. The words  “Pink Panther” are very different from the rest of the text. It becomes distorted and is very sharp on the edges making its stand-out element of the title sequence. The interactiveness of the panther with the text as mentioned earlier makes the opening more playful and also draws your eye to actually read the text. The majority of the time with title sequences I do not take too much time to read the names as it is brief and usually in the bottom corner. The designers wanted the audience to take the time to read the names, making it the focal point of the screen and having the panther correct the spelling of the name, jumping on the names and painting his own name of ‘pink panther on the screen.

The composition of the main title sequence of the Pink Panther is one of the most well-known movie scores of all time. The music gives a mischievous vibe and does a great job of dynamic mark changes and alterations between legato and staccato steps to make a distinguishable change in sound for theatrics throughout the sequence.  It makes the title scene and movie feel sneaky like one is trying to commit a crime of going somewhere without being caught. Although the loud crescendos make it seem like a close call and that the panther almost got caught. The panther has specific actions or surprises when the music gets louder to really emphasize the music creating a synched orchestra to the visual element. There are also sound effects such as the typewriter clicking, the panther falling or hitting something on-screen, and exploding when their picture is taken. 

As this is an animation there is not any lighting that was set up on the scene. The colors used are very vibrant in the background, including pink, yellow, green, purple, and blue. The background includes solid slides and marbled patterns. The text also reflects these muted pastel color selections. The panther on the other hand is bright pink and pulls off the screen. The title “The Pink Panther”, the paint used and the paw prints are also the same color as the panther providing emphasis that everything about his is meant to pop off the page. The colors also match with explosions and other actions the panther encounters. Using bright flashes and then making the panther appear black as if it was hit with smoke. The color scheme is matcha the music with a fun upbeat mood while still emphasizing the panther and his actions and the relation to the text and the overall story of the title sequence.