Friday, June 27, 2008

A Tale of Two Cats

"Heavens to Murgatroyd! Copycat--stage right!"

With Depatie-Freleng cartoons in heavy rotation here I thought I would bring up a mystery that has haunted me since the advent of that studio's famous PINK PANTHER character...

The strange thing is that another cartoon pink mountain lion (which could also be called a "panther" by a zoological stretch) preceded that character by at least two years on the public forefront. Namely Hanna-Barbera's SNAGGLEPUSS. It's probably just a co-incidence, but this is a rare case where such a 'co-incidence' occurs out of sync, meaning that Hanna-Barbera's creation actually came out before the other one. H-B cartoons were always conspicuously liberal about "borrowing" --as in THE FLINTSTONES resembling THE HONEYMOONERS, THE JETSONS resembling the BLONDIE movies, heck--even the moniker "TOM & JERRY" belonged to a completely unrelated series of Van Beuren cartoons before Bill & Joe's cat and mouse came along.

Ultimately the differences between the characters far outweigh the remarkable physical similarities, "Pink Panther" is a purely pantomime character and "Snagglepuss" never shuts up for one thing. "Pink Panther" generally inhabits a kind of psychedelic universe that is vaguely urban, whereas "Snagglepuss" lives in the wilderness (or somewhere else, I can't sit through a single one of these any more).

Still the coincidence, (which is what I honestly think it is in this case) amuses me.

P.S. Purists, bear with me on the drawing, it was done entirely from memory. Also: "SNAGGLEPUS" is copyright protected by Hanna-Barbera/Time-Warner. "PINK PANTHER" is copyright protected by DFE enterprises, MGM-UA, and FOX HOME VIDEO.

5 comments:

amir avni said...

"It's probably just a co-incidence, but this is a rare case where such a 'co-incidence' occurs out of sync, meaning that Hanna-Barbera's creation actually came out before the other one"

LOL
Here's a coincidence of two characters named Dennis the Menace

Michael J. Ruocco said...

You know... I've never noticed that before! & it was right in front of my face all these years.

I can't stand Snagglepuss. After watching or listening to him for more than 2 minutes, I start to get really annoyed by him. Now Pink Panther... he I can always tolerate. He's a complete 180 from Snagglepuss.

By the way, your drawing of the two is spot on. Very good, for drawing them straight from memory without any visual reference at hand.

Ashley Barton said...

Huh! I've never noticed that before. But I do love the way Snagglepuss talks. Though, I can see how it might get annoying after a while, haha.

The drawing's great, too! 'Specially for being from memory.

Larry Levine said...

Will, I like your take on the Pink Panther, it has a nice Chuck Jones take to it :)

Octav said...

hehecheck on my blog you can find an entire series of very similar characters!

check it out: http://smokingcoolcat.blogspot.com/search/label/versus