The Pink Panther 2
designer: Karin Fong • studio: Imaginary Forces • 1 comment
The ever-suave cat, that eternal prankster in princely pink has not lost his nerve or his panache in 2009. Once more he takes on his beloved role as the stylish and distinct tormentor of Inspector Clouseau for the title sequence of The Pink Panther 2, directed by Karin Fong of Imaginary Forces.
We're ever so happy that this second American installment in the Pink Panther movie franchize sticks with the tradition of having an elaborate animated title sequence. As the respected movie critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times put it: “I was smiling all the way through the opening credits of The Pink Panther 2. They made me miss the golden age of credits, when you actually found out who the actors were going to be, and maybe saw a little cartoon in the bargain.”
The honor to revive and, apparently, update the character “for today's audiences” went to veteran main title designer Karin Fong of Imaginary Forces. We interviewed her on camera in May 2009, after her presentation at the Flux/Watch the Titles event at the Hammer Museum in L.A, where she, among other things, talked about designing The Pink Panther 2 title sequence.
See the complete video interview with Karin Fong here.
Karin Fong: “An influential main title for me was the original Pink Panther cartoon, because it really played a lot with the typography in a very cartoony way. I am a huge fan of things like Sesame Street and Schoolhouse Rock... Some people would say 'cartoon style,' but it's really quite clever how you work in the word play and visual puns. That always struck me as a very imaginative main title ... It departed from the look of the movie, which is live action, yet became a signature for the film.”
“Of course they've been making an animated Pink Panther title for each of the movies over the years. Over time you can see differences in animation style - the characters have changed a little from the early 1960s till now. You have to remain true to the Panther character – that sense of mischief, yet being a really cool cat. This movie takes place in the present day and it's very important to connect it to the present day. It's about capturing that spirit of the Panther, the kind of jokes he would play on the inspector, the kind of antics they would have. But yet giving it the backgrounds, the sceneries, the effects that would update it for todays audiences.”
See also: The Pink Panther (2006), directed by Bob Kurtz.
Year of production
About Karin Fong
Karin Fong is a director and designer based in New York City. A native Californian, Fong studied Art at Yale, with a concentration in Graphic Design. After successfully creating an animated alphabet book for her senior project, she began her career as an animator on the WGBH television program 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' From that point forward, Karin was hooked on creating work that combines live action, design, and animation.
Karin Fong/Imaginary Forces
MGM, Columbia Pictures
Pink Panther theme