King Features Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

King Features Entertainment was originally formed in 1980 as Novacom, Inc. by Bruce Paisner and PBS affiliate WGBH in Boston to distribute television movies for syndication. The company itself was sold to The Hearst Corporation in 1981 and was renamed to King Features Entertainment. In 1983, it absorbed the assets of PolyGram Television into this company. It later signed on a relationship with Phoenix Entertainment Group, distributing telemovies internationally, and acquired it outright in 1989. In 1990, it was renamed to Hearst Entertainment. Hearst Communications sold its live-action Hearst Entertainment library to Lionsgate in 2015, and integrated Hearst's animated content library into King Features Syndicate.



1st Logo (1981-1985, October 9, 1988)

Visuals: On a cerulean blue background, the words "King Features Entertainment" slowly zoom out. When the words get to a suitable distance, a "trail" of stylized outlined crowns come from the left and right side above the logo, consolidating into one stylized outlined shield. The words "Produced by" or "Distributed by" appear in an arc above it.

Variant: Sometimes, a chroma-keyed copyright appears below.

Technique: Motion-controlled cel animation.

Audio: A somewhat dramatic synthesizer theme.

Availability:

  • May appear at the end of some syndicated movie telecasts, such as The Cartier Affair.
  • It also appears on some prints of An American Werewolf in London, although other prints of that film use the Hearst Entertainment logo instead, with the KF music preserved.
  • This can also be found on DVD releases of The Toughest Man in the World and High School USA.
  • This logo also made a surprise appearance on the 1988 TV movie Going to the Chapel.
  • It can also be seen at the end of the Blondie films on the Movies! network and Amazon Prime such as Footlight Glamour (1943).
  • This logo also appears on GREAT! Movies Classic airings of The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper and An American Werewolf in London as they use old 4:3 SD masters.
  • This logo does not appear at the end of The All-New Popeye Hour DVD releases or Tubi prints, as it's been plastered over with the next logo below instead.

2nd Logo (1982, 1985-1990)

Visuals: On a black background, a blue 3D crown spins onto the screen. It moves towards the top as the black background begins to become lavender (the color moves up from the bottom). The crown, when it gets near the top and comfortably small, flashes and becomes a 2D stylized crown, similar to the previous logo but completely colored in. Below it the words "King Features Entertainment" appear in the same font as the previous logo. The words "A Subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation" appear below it.

Variants:

  • Most of the time, "Distributed By" also appears above the crown, and the logo is shifted lower than usual.
  • Sometimes, the logo is still.
  • A warp speed variant exists.
  • A slightly longer version also exists where the words slowly fade in.
  • On the 1989 Beetle Bailey special, the finished logo zooms in to fill the screen. Copyright stamps for King Features Entertainment and King Features Syndicate can be seen.
  • On the Blondie & Dagwood special from 1987, the variant above is plastered onto a black/blue gradient background with a very noticable black outline.
  • On the test pilot of the cartoon Defenders of the Earth, the text reads "AND King Features Entertainment, Inc." with a small version of the crown placed to the left of the company name.
  • A unique version was seen as the intro to King Features' cartoons on VHS where the background is blue. Here, the crown is above a long white stripe spanning the entire screen, with "King Features Entertainment" on it. Below it is a copyright for King Features Syndicate. "The Sailor's Hornpipe" plays here, in which when the whistle blows, the crown zooms in and takes up the entire screen, with the inside of it fading to the intro itself as the stripe and copyright disappear. At the end, the crown appears over King Features' line-up of characters and zooms in, takes up the entire screen again, and goes back to the logo, thus ending the intro.

Technique: CGI for the crown, 2D computer animation for the rest.

Audio: It begins with several synth taps, followed by a whirring sound getting louder and with more reverb. Four synth notes then play in series of two. A drum plays when the text starts to fade in, with the byline appearing with a twinkle. All of this was played on a Yamaha DX-7.

Audio Variants:

  • In some cases, the drum sound is delayed slightly.
  • It may also have the show/movie's ending theme playing over it.
  • The closing themes of the animated Blondie and Beetle Bailey specials from 1989, as well as Ask Dr. Ruth, are heard over the logo.
  • The still variant has the last few seconds of the logo's theme playing.
  • The warp speed variant has the logo's theme doubled in speed.
  • Both high tone and low tone variants of the logo's theme exist as well.

Availability:

  • Appears on old VHS releases of Popeye and Krazy Kat, as well as the 1970s Filmation version of Flash Gordon, among other classic KFS cartoons.
  • This logo also appeared without music on Cartoon Network reruns of G-Force in the late 1990s.
  • Early 90s reruns of The All-New Popeye Hour and Popeye and Son on the Family Channel (currently Freeform) also had this following both the 1974 Hanna-Barbera logo and the 1979 "Swirling Star" for the former (on this show, it was also sped up thanks to time compression), and the 1986 H-B logo for the latter.
    • However, Tubi prints of The All-New Popeye Hour (referred to as The Continuing Adventures of Popeye) have this logo and the Hanna-Barbera logos play normally.
  • It also appears on the DVD releases of Get Smart, Again and God Bless the Child, respectively.
  • It also appears at the end of the Sandy Frank dub of Gamera (1965), which was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • The sped-up variant was also seen on Defenders of the Earth, and is also preserved on the DVD release and on the Comics Kingdom YouTube channel.
  • It also appeared at the end of the syndicated series Ask Dr. Ruth, which aired during the 1989-1990 season (the parent King Features Syndicate distributed Dr. Ruth Westheimer's column to newspapers, so naturally their TV arm produced her show).
  • It also made an appearance on AMC's print of Six Weeks back in the early 2000s.
  • On BET airings of The Women of Brewster Place, the warp speed version is seen with the ending theme playing over it.
  • This logo is also retained on Air Music and Media Group plc's DVD releases of KFS' cartoons.
    • On Popeye releases (or at least Popeye: Ye Olde Popeye), the logo appears four times overall. The reason for this happening is because the content is split in two, with each half starting with the logo, and ending with the Distributed by variant.
King Features Syndicate
PolyGram Television
King Features Entertainment
Hearst Entertainment
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