CBS/Fox Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

< CBS

Background

In 1982, 20th Century Fox entered into a joint venture with CBS to form CBS/Fox Video (legally known as The CBS/Fox Company); with its launch came two sub-labels; "Key Video" (later reactivated as Key DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), and "Playhouse Video", which both became inactive in 1991. CBS/Fox Video was renamed Fox Video the same year, alternating with the CBS/Fox name until 1998, when Fox Entertainment Group acquired CBS' interest in CBS/Fox.

1st Logo (November 1982-July 1983)

Visuals: Over a white background, a dual set of blue lines appear piece by piece, stacking upwards and downwards one after another. Then, six long objects pop in at the top and bottom of the segmented lines, revealing the words:

CBS
FOX

Then, each letter of the word "VIDEO" pops in one by one below "FOX".

Variants:

  • A still logo exists, which appears on the original release of Sophie's Choice.
  • A special animated version also exists, which appears on Australian releases. On a blue-black gradient background, two segmented white curved squares and one segmented red square zoom in and out from the screen. The words "CBS FOX", letter by letter, zoom in to the left side of the screen as another segmented white parallelogram zooms in. As it curves, it fills the screen, and the segments of the CBS/Fox logo zoom out from the top and bottom of the screen, and "TM" zooms in next to it, while the word "VIDEO" zooms out from the bottom.
    • Some releases do not have "TM".
  • An alternate variant for educational releases exists. On a blue-red gradient background, a eight-pointed light blue star flashes, and the text "A CBS/FOX VIDEO LEARNING EXPERIENCE" fades in. The words stay for several seconds, and then zoom away inward. While this happens, sets of white lines stack upon each other and form the CBS/Fox logo. A white flash below this forms the word "VIDEO".
  • A B&W variant also exists, which appears on the 1982 VHS release of The Diary of Anne Frank and the 1983 VHS releases of Modern Times and Intolerance.
  • Another Australian variant also exists, where the logo appears in the corner and Australian television and radio announcer Pete Smith (most famous for his announcing of the Australian version of Sale of the Century) introduces the film.

Technique: Computer effects.

Audio: None.

Audio Variants:

  • On Australian releases, a high-pitched variant of the original 1953 CinemaScope extension of the TCF fanfare is heard.
  • On the "Learning Experience" variant, a female voice-over says: "This has been a CBS/Fox Video Learning Experience".
  • Pete Smith says in his variant, "Hello there, congratulations on your choice of a great CBS/Fox film. Before settling back, here are scenes from two films available from the vast CBS/Fox Video catalog".

Availability: This was very likely a placeholder logo.

  • It appears on the original VHS releases of several Fox releases from late 1982 to early 1983.
  • The "Learning Experience" variant appears on VHS releases that begin with The CBS/Fox Guide, such as The CBS/Fox Guide to Home Videography and The CBS/Fox Guide to Complete Dog Care, among others.
  • The main Australian variant appears on releases from the era in that country; examples include the Betamax release of Chariots of Fire and VHS releases of Victory and Cruising.
  • It also appears on reissues of Modern Times and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that are packaged in Magnetic Video boxes (and sometimes even have Magnetic labels).
  • The Pete Smith variant presumably appears on select Australian releases from this era by the company.
  • One of the last releases to use this logo was a 1983 reissue of Rude Boy.
  • This logo is also retained on a 1984-era reprint of Hello, Dolly!.

2nd Logo (UK only, 1982)

Visuals: Just the white text "CBS-Fox Video presents" on a black background.

Technique: A still image.

Audio: None.

Availability: This was discovered on the UK LaserDisc release of Star Wars.

3rd Logo (July 1983-November 13, 1984)

Visuals: On a blue background, two lilac grids on the top and bottom of the screen scroll inwards, converging at the center. "CBS" comes from the top, and "FOX" comes from the bottom, both at an angle as the center line glows orange. "CBS" and "FOX" then swing inwards to meet with each other, cutting them up as they do, and then zooms in as the grids scroll away. The word "VIDEO" then flies in from the bottom center of the screen, letter by letter, and the trademark symbol fades in on the bottom right corner of the logo.

Variants:

  • A still version has been found at the end of some UK promos.
  • A black and white variant exists. This appears on the 1983 VHS releases of The Pride of the Yankees, The Birth of a Nation, and many other films in said colors.
  • On The Hit List, a series of trailer tapes, a few unique variants have appeared.
    • 1st Version: The large serif text "THE HIT LIST" appears over the logo. The opening variant has the logo appear by a concentric square transition, and the text flips in from the bottom. The ending has a blurry trail effect over the logo, and the text flips in over the center. It also freezes just before "VIDEO" appears.
    • 2nd Version: The logo plays out as normal, but after the text forms, the background gains a black gradient and the logo tilts upwards with a grey shadow, like a fake 3D effect. "VIDEO" and the trademark bug then pop in, also with drop shadows. The end of the tape just has the logo tilting.

Technique: Computer effects, with the orange flash done in Scanimate.

Audio: A triumphant 25-note horn march fanfare, sampled from the Bruton Music library track "National Trust" composed by Keith Mansfield.

Audio Trivia: When Bruton reissued the track on CD, they removed the prologue section from which the CBS/Fox music came, possibly because it became so associated with the CBS/Fox logo.

Audio Variant: A closing variant exists, which appears at the end of most Australian PAL releases carrying this logo, featuring a voice-over reminding the viewer to "Don't forget to rewind this tape before returning it to your video library."

Availability: Appears on the company's releases from the time-period, despite only being used for a year.

  • Most VHS releases that may have used this logo were issued in the same oversized boxes that were used by 20th Century-Fox Video.
  • It first appeared on a batch of releases that were released in July 1983.
  • VHS releases that feature this logo include the 1983 release of Star Wars, among many others, in a similar fashion to what was described in the first logo.
  • One of the last releases to use this logo was the 1984 VHS/Betamax/LaserDisc release of The Empire Strikes Back.
  • The "THE HIT LIST" variant can be seen on a promo/trailer tape from the era.
  • It also appears on the 1983 UK pre-cert VHS release of A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the 1985 UK pre-cert VHS release of Fleshburn (1984), and the 1988 UK VHS release of Flight of the Navigator (1986), respectively.

Legacy: The familiar CBS/Fox theme makes its debut.

4th Logo (October 2, 1984-July 18, 2000)

Visuals: On a black background, a mirrored, twin stair-like structure that shines a lot zooms out from the camera, tilting to the right as it does. The "stairs" rotate counter-clockwise and turn out to be the CBS/FOX logo in blue, as the background changes to black marble. Then the word "VIDEO" shines in below "FOX", and the whole logo shines with pride.

Trivia: This logo is referenced in a scene in the music video for the song "DVNO" by French electronic music duo Justice. Said scene references both this logo and the Universal Pictures logo at the same time.

Variants: There are a few variations of this logo:

  • A variation which appears in black and white exists. This appears on VHS releases of 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s films.
  • There may be either the words "STEREO", "STEREO SURROUND", the Dolby Surround logo, the Ultra Stereo logo or the Chace Surround Stereo logo appearing in the bottom left corner.
  • On widescreen releases, the logo would zoom out to a screen with two rectangles, one on the left and one on the right, on an almond-staged orange/purple background. The two rectangles on the sides would expand, and "SPECIAL WIDESCREEN EDITION" is below the screen on the stage. Sometimes, the "STEREO" or "STEREO SURROUND" words or a Dolby Surround logo appears on the bottom left corner (as well as other possible logos, but none have been confirmed yet).
  • On late 1989-early 1990 prints, from just before CBS/Fox started printing their tapes at Rank Video Services America, during the FBI Warning screen, which appears on the beginning of such tapes at that time, a still version of this logo appears a couple of times, staying on the screen for about five seconds before cutting back to the warning. This has been spotted on prints of License to Kill, Iron Eagle (the 1989 re-print), Die Hard, Magic Memories on Ice, The Mighty Quinn, The January Man, Buying Time, The Abyss, Commando (the 1989 re-print), In Like Flint, and Billy Joel: Live from Long Island (the 1990 re-print) from the time period.
  • Memories of Me has an almost still version where the logo shines.
  • On the 1984 VHS release of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, there is a still version where the logo does not shine at all. The entire logo fades in, stays on-screen for a couple of seconds, and then fades out.
  • On releases from Contacto Video in Colombia, the CBS/FOX Video logo shrinks down to the lower right of the screen. Then the Contacto Video logo animates, then it shrinks and moves to the upper-left of the screen.

Technique: CGI animation, designed and animated by Compugraph Designs in New York, NY, using a Bosch FGS-4000 CGI machine, Quantel DPB-7001 paint system, and an Abekas A-60 digital compositor; Compugraph's staff included Ed Kramer, Mike Saz, Janet Scabrini, Nat Zimmerman, and Bill Mahler. The shining appears to be chroma-keyed rostrum animation.

Audio: The "National Trust" sample from the previous logo, but the mixing (most noticeably with the opening horns) is slightly different.

Audio Variants:

  • On the widescreen variant, a big synthesized "WHOOSH" sound is heard at the beginning (if listening under stereo, it is out-of-phase considering that it was intended to be used in Dolby Surround, later known as Dolby Pro Logic), then twinkling glockenspiel sounds and an organ note (also in out-of-phase stereo, but almost) ending with a synthesized thunder sound.
  • On the 1990 VHS release of The Sound of Music, the logo is silent.
  • At the end of PAL VHS releases in Australia, there is a variant with a voice-over from Channel Seven's Don Rainsford, who says "Please rewind this cassette before returning it to your video library" at the end.
  • Another variant used Chelsea Brown saying "Could you please rewind your cassette before returning it to your video library?".
  • The completely still variant seen on the 1984 VHS release of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly has no music at all.
  • On an Argentinian VHS release of The Lightship from Gativideo, the 1981 TCF theme is used.

Availability: This logo lasted for 16 years and appears on a massive variety of releases, so it should be easy to find on VHS releases available in second-hand shops, charity shops and on Amazon and eBay.

  • It also appears on early-to-mid 1991 Media Home Entertainment releases and BBC Video releases.
  • The widescreen version appears on the first prints of the widescreen editions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (preceded on both VHS releases by the widescreen version of the 1991 Fox Video logo) and all the DVD releases from Bruce Lee's "Master Collection" box set, except Bruce Lee: The Legend.
    • It also appears on some Laserdisc releases as well.
  • The Dolby Surround variant appears on some VHS releases containing Dolby Surround.
  • The Chace Surround Stereo variant appears on the original VHS release of the 1945 version of State Fair, the 1990 VHS release of Planet of the Apes, the Laserdisc release of The Day the Earth Stood Still and the first U.S. VHS release of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • The "STEREO" text version appears on the 1995 Hong Kong Laserdisc release of Return of the Jedi (plastering the 1981 20th Century Fox logo).
  • This is also retained on the 1994 UK VHS releases of the Star Wars trilogy, but not the 1992 or 1995 U.S. VHS trilogies, despite showing the logo on the covers and labels of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, though their Laserdisc counterparts use this logo.
  • The Ultra Stereo version doesn't appear often, but can be found on the VHS releases of Satisfaction, Mindgames, Survival Quest, and Frankenstein Unbound.
  • One post-1991 solo appearance happens on the 1992 VHS release of Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child, where it's not even accompanied by the 1991 BBC Video logo.
  • It also appears on Media Home Entertainment releases from the early part of 1991 such as The Applegates and Sonny Boy, among others.
  • Strangely, it also appears on the Canadian Malofilm Video release of Ambition (the U.S. Media/Fox VHS release uses the first Fox Video logo instead), and Shout! Factory TV/Tubi's print of The Compleat Al.
  • The standard version (matted to widescreen) also makes a strange appearance on the 2000 Image Entertainment DVD release of The Twelve Chairs.
  • One of the first releases to use this logo was Snoopy Come Home.
  • Some of the last releases to use this include the 1999 U.S. DVD release of Wallace and Gromit: The First Three Adventures, FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue, Our Friend Martin and Walking with Dinosaurs, respectively.
    • Strangely, this logo also does not appear on the 1998 VHS release of Rusty: The Great Rescue, the 1997 Laserdisc release of all three Wallace & Gromit short films, as well as the mid 90's Star Wars trilogy release, despite the print logo appearing on the packaging and tape/disc label, as they would either be skipped or show the 1995 Fox Video logo instead.
  • This logo also appears on all of the tapes from the Star Wars Trilogy: The Definitive Collection 1995 UK VHS set (although it is not the widescreen variant).
    • However, this does not appear on the VHS release of A New Hope despite the print logo appearing on the packaging.
  • It also appears on UK VHS releases such as the 1988 UK VHS releases of Mr. Men: Volume 2 and Mr. Men: Volume 4, and the 1995 UK VHS release of Mr. Men: Volume 2: Mr. Bump and Friends, respectively.
  • The last possible Laserdisc release containing the widescreen variant could be the Limited Autographed Edition release of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, released in 1996.
  • The last possible release of the standard variant overall could be the Japanese Laserdisc release of The African Queen, also released that same year.

Legacy: This is considered one of the most memorable logos ever made, especially thanks to the music, CGI, and its lengthy lifespan.

5th Logo (Argentina only; 1986-1988)

Visuals: On a black background, two neon rings, one red on the bottom and one blue on the top, are seen zooming out, overlapping like a Venn diagram and having two blurry copies of them rotating around the entire thing. The CBS/FOX logo, now in white, appears over the rings piece-by-piece, first with "CBS" and then "FOX". The trademark symbol also flashes for a bit as well. The entire thing fades out to make room for the whole CBS/FOX Video logo to rotate from the bottom left corner of the screen and settles into place. Then, the background fades to blood red as bright blue feedback trials emerge from behind the logo and warp into the background for several seconds, before the logo fades out and the trails slowly disappear.

Technique: Computer and scanimate effects, as well as possible live-action work.

Audio: The Star Wars theme by John Williams, with beeping sounds when the CBS/Fox logo appears.

Availability: Appears on earlier CBS/FOX Video Argentinian releases distributed by Legal Video, such as Romancing the Stone, Commando and Star Wars.

6th Logo (Argentina only, 1988-1989)

Visuals: On a black space background with a moon on the lower-left of the screen and a planet below that (a widescreen shot of the opening in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope after the title crawl, stretched to fit a 4:3 screen), two hands are clasped together. They move away from the top and bottom respectively, revealing a super-imposed CBS FOX VIDEO logo with an explosion inside it. Then clips from various movies (such as Star Wars) play inside the logo. Then, after a few seconds, "GATIVIDEO S.A." (in its pre-1989 company font) appears below, then that itself disappears after a few moments.

Technique: Live-action footage and computer effects.

Audio: A disco theme ("Hot Wheels", composed by Walter Murphy from the Thomas J. Valentino production music library).

Availability: Appears on VHS releases in Argentina distributed by Gativideo, such as the original Star Wars trilogy.

7th Logo (UK and Australia only, 1998)

Visuals: Just a white version of the CBS/Fox Video logo, but with "VIDEO" in Arial.

Technique: A still image.

Audio: None.

Availability: Its only known appearance is on the UK and Australian VHS releases of FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue.

CBS/Fox Video All Time Greats

Logo (1989?-Early 1990s?)

Visuals:

  • Opening: The CBS/Fox Video logo in silver inside a black box with a white outline zooms up and has three black lines (each one getting larger further down) come up with it. "ALL TIME GREATS" then zooms and it has a larger line with an upside down triangle on it. This all happens against a blue gradient background.
  • Closing: The same as the opening version, only "YOURS TO KEEP FOREVER" appears under it.

Technique: Computer effects.

Audio:

  • The CBS/Fox Video theme from the previous logos.
  • On the closing version, a male British announcer says, "All Time Greats from CBS/Fox Video, favorite films to keep and enjoy, forever".

Availability: Appears on promos for films released under this label on other releases under this label.

  • It also appears on the 1989 UK VHS release of Betty Blue (1986).
20th Century-Fox Video
20th Century-Fox Video (South Pacific)
MGM/CBS Home Video
CBS/Fox Video
CBS Video
Fox Video

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