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The Pink Panther World
The Panther filmmakers chose to create a timeless, classic, romanticized, tourist, picture-postcard world—a Paris of sidewalk cafes, flower vendors, street artists and strange-looking cars, influenced by such sources as Madeleine, The Red Balloon, the films of director Jacques Tati, and Ratatouille. While the film is surely set in modern Paris, its anachronistic elements, including the many classic, colorful cars that now only zoom around the Arc de Triomphe in movies, are decidedly intentional.

"Clouseau is a French icon,” observes executive producer Ira Shuman, "so we wanted him to live in that storybook French world – not the new, high-rise, metal and glass Paris, but the city we all know and love.” 

Director of photography Denis Crossan, BSC, who collaborated with director Harald Zwart on Agent Cody Banks, adds, "Clouseau's world is contemporary, but he's kind of in his own universe; as soon as you take him into a real-life situation where it's slightly gritty or real, it doesn't seem to work. So my starting point was to give it the feel of a Hollywood world and the décor and the costumes have added to that.”

Creating that Hollywood world through the costumes, according to costume designer Joseph G. Aulisi, meant working with "real clothes, but off-kilter due to a change in proportions,” he says. Now in his sixth collaboration with Steve Martin, Aulisi says that the actor has a very clear idea of what he wanted to express through Clouseau's clothes. "We did a four-button jacket with a very small lapel, tiny collars, narrow ties, long, exaggerated shoes, pants and sleeves that are too short, hats with small brims and strange colors. All of this adds to the humor, because of what Steve could do with it with his body language.”

Production designer Rusty Smith, who also worked with Zwart on Cody Banks, says, "Harald was really interested in paying homage to Jacques Tati, the French comic and director, and tried to give the film a retro or nostalgic feel. Even though we have modern microphones and DNA analyses, it takes place in its own time. For the design, we wanted to maintain the beautiful, idealized flavor that Lily Kilvert brought to the first film.” Smith also integrated such classic elements as the curved art nouveau lines of Clouseau's home and the entrance to his apartment building (added to an already existing façade in Paris) and the iconic artwork hanging on the walls, the Monet cathedrals at the party, Jean-Louis David's "Death of Marat” in Avellaneda's den and paintings and his "Napoleon Crossing the Alps” along with busts of the Emperor that help define the décor of Dreyfus's office. Smith gives credit for finding the "film's many fabulous antiques to my brilliant set decorator, Carla Curry, with whom I've worked for several years.” 

"This is a world seen through Clouseau's eyes,” says costume designer Joseph Aulisi, "so it's a fairytale environment that's slightly heightened, slightly more amusing than things normally are. I came up with some things that I think are rather timeless and classic but are grounded in the wonderfully defined characters.”

The film's audiences are dazzled by the array of classic vehicles that grace Pink Panther 2's Parisian streets, most notably the blue 1968 Citroen DS 19 driven at the beginning of the film by the angry motorist who rejects Clouseau's parking ticket and drives off with the Inspector attached to his car. Propmaster Jennifer Gerbino recalls, "Harald showed me a picture of that car and said he'd had one as a young man. As luck would have it, I found it in less than an hour on line and bought it a few hours later in Massachusetts, where most of the film was shot. The prop department in Paris was forced to match my car—since it would easier to find a match in France than vice versa.”

The filmmakers also populated their streets w

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