Lyrick Studios

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



Background

Lyrick Studios was a home video production and distributing company founded in 1988 by Richard C. Leach as The Lyons Group, best known for their production and distribution of children's programs like Barney & Friends, The Wiggles, VeggieTales, and Wishbone. In 1994, Lyons rebranded to Lyrick Studios, with the Lyons name remaining an in-name-only unit.

On February 9, 2001, the company was acquired by and merged into British company HIT Entertainment for $275 million, although the remaining Texas office was still open for production of Barney & Friends. As such, many of Lyrick's properties (specifically Barney, Wishbone, Kids for Character, and Kipper) are currently owned by Mattel Television.



1st Logo (March 11, 1997-March 31, 1998)

Visuals: On a white background, six black letters fly into the screen overlapping each other. The letters then settle in place, revealing the word "Lyrick" with various colors highlighting the letters' overlapping (blue, yellow, red, green, purple, and orange). After they have flown in place, a blue dot flies out and dots the "I", and the word "S T U D I O S" rotates letter-by-letter on the bottom-right of "Lyrick", with a line above "S T U D I O S".

Variants:

  • On some tapes from the company, "Distributed by" wipes in above the logo as the letters fly in. A still version also exists.
  • A rare early variant exists in which, with this logo being taller and skinnier, it doesn't have the shadow effect, "STUDIOS" is in a different font, the words "Distributed by" are yellow and there is a bigger space between "Distributed by" and "Lyrick Studios".
    • This variant is still at the end of tapes.
      • A version of this variant without "Distributed By" exists at the end of the tape. Seen on Joe Scruggs: Live From Deep In The Jungle, Joe Scruggs: Joe TV, the first two Francesco's Friendly World tapes, Barney's Musical Scrapbook, and some others.
  • Another early variant exists in which the logo is zoomed closer to the screen and "Distributed by" is yellow. Seen only on the tapes of Vatican 2: The Faithful Revolution, a non-children's release. Again, the version without "Distributed by" can be seen at the end of the tape.
  • Yet another still version exists in which the logo is very close to the finished logo. However it lacked only any shadows; the "Distributed by" is in a different, more generic font.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: An electronic keyboard arpeggio and low synth note plays throughout the logo, with three low-pitched violin notes as the "dot-the-I" sequence plays, followed by a rising xylophone and a violin stinger. Composed by Bob Singleton, who also directed the music for Barney & Friends.

Audio Variants:

  • The "Distributed by" variant features only two low pitched notes for the "dot-the-I" sequence. Also, ringing bells are heard when the "Distributed by" and the "STUDIOS" texts appear and during the "dot-the-I" sequence. The tune ends on a piano note with a slightly different stinger. In some exceptionally rare cases, like the screener VHS of Barney: It's Time for Counting!, it uses the standard music.
  • On the 1998 VHS release of Barney & Friends: Down on Barney's Farm, the "Distributed by" music is used on the regular version of the logo. However, the ringing bells are heard only once, since the words "Distributed by" aren't there.
  • For the still variant, none.

Availability:

  • Seen on tapes of Barney & Friends, VeggieTales, early Lyrick releases of Wishbone (after Lyrick took over from PolyGram Video), Kids for Character, Joe Scruggs and Francesco's Friendly World, most of which are long out of print and are hard to find (particularly the last two, since they're quite obscure).
  • However, tapes of Barney & Friends and VeggieTales are the least scarce of these mentioned, so those tapes are your best bet to find this logo.
  • Surprisingly, the still version appeared on the 2000 releases of Where's God When I'm S-scared?, God Wants Me To Forgive Them!?!, Are You My Neighbor?, Rack, Shack and Benny and Dave and the Giant Pickle, all taken from VeggieTales.

2nd Logo (March 27, 1998-August 14, 2001)

Visuals: The screen fades into a view of a lake, which is surrounded by a forest at sunset. On that lake, a silhouette of a coot is seen swimming from right to left on the bottom of the screen. Once it is far enough on the bottom left of the screen, the camera begins to pan into the night sky, which is filled with stars. A child's hand, which has the index finger extended, touches the sky, causing ripples to appear. As the ripples fade away, the word "Lyrick" (in the same font as before, but with thicker letters) slowly zooms in and settles in the middle of the screen. The word shines as the word "S T U D I O S" and its line, along with a trademark symbol, fade in.

Variants:

  • On some VeggieTales tapes from 1998 to 1999, the text "Distributed by" in the Arial Black font is seen on a black background before the logo animates. This regularly appears at both ends of the tapes. Also seen on Groundling Marsh VHS tapes, Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends VHS tapes and on Barney Classic Collection releases from 1998 to 1999. Surprisingly, it appeared on the screener VHSs of Bob the Builder: Can We Fix It? and Bob the Builder: To the Rescue!.
  • On an alternate print of The Wiggles: Yummy Yummy, the words "Distributed by" are in the Arial font.[1]
  • An early version exists: there are less stars in the night sky, the animation is comparably rougher, the camera pans up in the sky longer until the hand comes, the sunset is redder and the forest design is different. Also, it doesn't feature the sleeve on the child's arm (for whatever reason, the 1.85:1 widescreen version crops the frame that lacks the sleeve in the sequence). It only appeared on the film Barney's Great Adventure.
    • An open matte version of this variant exists with a turquoise/dark blue gradient starry sky and the Lyrick Studios logo being off-centered.
    • An open left-sided frame expansion of this variant, with the logo being centered properly, exists on current high-definition remaster prints of said film. This is due to widescreen framing that reveals more information in the process.
  • Another variation of the logo exists: the camera's panning up is much longer with "Distributed by" fading in above the logo after the logo is formed. Seen on most VeggieTales tapes from 1999 to 2001, The Wiggles, some Barney & Friends tapes from 1999 to 2000, Bob the Builder, and Kipper.
    • A still version also exists.
    • A shortened version, which starts at the child's hand entering the screen, exists. This has only been seen on a screener VHS of The Wiggles: Wiggly Wiggly Christmas.

Technique: Live-action, with some computer animation.

Audio: A beautiful dramatic fanfare with the sounds of the coot heard over the fanfare. At first, it's soft when the silhouette of the coot is swimming. Then it gets louder as the camera starts panning upward, as a cymbal crash is heard when the child's hand touches the sky. In the end, the rest of the logo is fixed at the loudest volume reached. Synthesized dings are heard when the text shines. Composed by Joseph Phillips.

Audio Variants:

  • The early variant has the cymbal crash slightly off-sync with the fanfare.
  • Like the previous logo, none for the still variant.

Availability:

  • It debuted on the 1998 film Barney's Great Adventure: The Movie (the early variant's exclusive appearance).
  • It's seen on most VeggieTales and Barney & Friends VHS tapes from the period distributed by the company. Also seen on all Wishbone tapes from 1998 onward and most Wiggles tapes from the period, as well as a few early DVD releases like More Barney Songs.
  • It made its final appearance on the 2001 VHS print of Wiggly Play Time.
  • Since 1999, the still version of the logo was used more often than the usual logo.
  • This logo has allegedly appeared on some prints of the 2003 film The Wiggles: Magical Adventure! A Wiggly Movie, though other copies instead use the HIT logo.

References

The Lyons Group
Lyrick Studios
HIT Entertainment
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