The four GK232 Character Panoramas were printed in 1976, but all of them are reprints of earlier sets. "Jungle Book" has artwork dating from 1968, while "Walt Disney", "Aristocats" & "Bedknobs & Broomsticks" weren't quite so old.
The release dates for the relevant films were:
— US: 18th October 1967
— UK: 21st March (or 18th November) 1968
— France: 11th December 1968
— US: 11th December 1970
— UK: 27th December 1970 (or 22nd November 1971)
— France: 8th December 1971
Bedknobs & Broomsticks:
— UK: 7th October 1971
— US: 13th December 1971
Although we haven't yet seen any examples from that year, 1972 would seem to be the most likely original date for "Aristocats".
These Panoramas were originally produced for John Waddington Ltd., but after their divorce Letraset claimed ownership of the Panorama title & format by means of these reprints.
Letraset re-used the artwork & simply eliminated any references to John Waddington Ltd.
Here's the GK232/1 sheet. You can see that the cut sheet is divided into two panes.
However, these two panes are just half of the four Mako Calco / Mako Calcorama sheets produced by Comano, as you can see from the following illustration, which shows the Mako sheets on the left (N.B.: there's also a "Mickey et ses Amis" sheet in there, too… whoops!):
The Comano 1972 catalogue lists nine Calcoramas, four of which (shown here) have Panorama connections. "Aristocats" is at the top left of this scan. The three-foot wide background is only slightly similar to the much smaller Aristocats Panorama background.
The Aristocats Mako Calco sheets are numbered 4408, & the catalogue says they are "New for 1972". Since Waddington's often produced their Panoramas after Comano had published their corresponding Mako Calcorama, this suggests 1972 as the most likely year for the Aristocats Panorama.
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives
© Tom Vinelott 2018