The first film in the series derives its name from a pink diamond that has enormous size and value. The diamond is called the "Pink Panther" because the flaw at its center, when viewed closely, is said to resemble a leaping pink panther. The phrase reappears in the title of the fourth film The Return of the Pink Panther, in which the theft of the diamond is again the center of the plot. The phrase was used for all the subsequent films in the series, even when the jewel did not figure in the plot. The jewel ultimately appeared in six of the 11 films.
The "Pink Panther" of the title is a diamond supposedly containing a flaw that forms the image of a "leaping panther" which can be seen if held up to the light in a certain way. This is explained at the beginning of the first film, and the camera zooms in on the diamond to reveal the blurry flaw, which focuses on the cartoon Panther (though not actually leaping) to begin the opening credits sequence. (This is also done in The Return of the Pink Panther .) The plot of the first film is based on the theft of this diamond. The diamond reappears in several later films in the series, The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) and Curse of the Pink Panther (1983). It also appears in the revival of the Inspector Clouseau character in the Steve Martin reboot films The Pink Panther (2006), and its sequel The Pink Panther 2 (2009). The name "the Pink Panther" became attached to Inspector Clouseau in much the same way that Frankenstein has been used in film titles to refer to Dr. Frankenstein's creation, or The Thin Man was used in a series of detective films.
In the late 1980s. MGM-UA had been developing a live action/animation hybrid Pink Panther tv series. Focusing on a young reporter to be portrayed by Charlie Schlatter who is helped in his investigations by the panther. The series was encouraged by the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. But for unknown reasons, it was not greenlit. 
Upon making his debut in the famed holiday spectacle, the Pink Panther also appeared in a specialty vehicle with one of his creators, Friz Freleng, and was guided by a team of 50 balloon handlers who all wore matching pink-clad jumpsuits.
In the 1991 Parade, despite the fact that his tube was deflated again, the Pink Panther balloon was joined by the Valley Stream High School Streamers, and a walk-around version of himself, who performed a choreographed dance number as a troupe of bumbling, fumbling detective clouseaus in pink overcoats. A similar unit appeared in the 1992 Parade, however the Pink Panther rode in a car as the group of detectives searched for clues along the route. In the 1993 Parade, his left wrist was deflated, it would happen again in the 1994 Parade.
The Pink Panther is a cartoon icon. The character was starring in video games and television commercials (for pink home insulation and pink packets of Sweet'n Low, naturally) long before "rosé all day" became a thing. It's easy to forget his humble roots. The Pink Panther cartoon character began as a mere pun in the opening credits of the 1963 crime-caper comedy The Pink Panther.
Inspector Clouseau is the bumbling Parisian detective in The Pink Panther movies that starred the late, great comedian Peter Sellers as Clouseau. Despite his bungling, he always managed to solve the crime. In the inaugural film, Clouseau was called on to investigate the theft of a fabulous gemstone with one small flaw which when held to the light, resembled a pink panther. Hence, the name.
The film's creator, Blake Edwards, originally intended Clouseau to be a minor supporting character in the first film, but he became the star. Six sequels followed, A Shot In The Dark, Return to Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, The Revenge of the Pink Panther, Trail of the Pink Panther, and finally, Curse of the Pink Panther. Even though all of the film titles refer to it, the pink panther jewel was central only to the first film, and otherwise briefly appeared in the third installment. The name, Pink Panther, lives on not only in films, but in a cartoon series and in the theme music that won an Academy Award for Henry Mancini. 781b155fdc