Pathé

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



Background

Pathé is a major film production and distribution company, that owns a number of cinema chains through its subsidiary Les Cinémas Pathé Gaumont across Europe. It is the second oldest operating film company behind Gaumont which was established in September 28, 1896 by the four brothers Charles, Émile, Théophile, and Jacques Pathé, and before Titanus (founded in 1904), Nordisk Film (founded in 1906), Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Nikkatsu Corporation (all founded in 1912). In 1942, the company was acquired by Adrien Ramauge and was later renamed to Pathé-Cinéma, while Pathé's distribution branch became AMLF. In 1990, Chargeurs purchased the Pathé-Cinéma group and resumed its film production business. AMLF was later folded into Pathé Distribution as a result.



1st Logo (1927-1936)


Visuals: Inside a white circle on a black background, there is a rooster, which seems to be standing on top of a model globe. Below is the word "Pathé", in the same style as before. The word is in white, except for the areas which overlap the circle, which are in black. The rooster crows.

Variant:

  • On Two Fresh Eggs, a sepia-toned version is used.
  • A variant exists where the background is white and the text is black and thinner.
  • On silent films produced by Cecil B. DeMille, there is the text "Distributed by Pathé" overlapping the globe and the rooster.

Technique: Live-action.

Audio: Just the rooster crowing. On silent films with this logo, it had the film's score over it.

Availability: Most surviving prints of their output have this removed or plastered over with the 7th logo (an example of this is on the Olive Films DVD & Blu-ray of the 1959 French version of Les Misérables). It may still be intact on French films released by The Criterion Collection, Fox Lorber, and Koch Media, among other specialty/art film labels. It was also seen on UK and French prints of Hal Roach's Laurel and Hardy comedies and Cecil B. DeMille's silent films such as Chicago and The Godless Girl. This was found intact on Pathegrams News Digests. Also seen on Van Beuren cartoons from 1929-1930 (most YouTubers remove the Pathé logo, but some kept them, particularly Motion Pictures).

2nd Logo (1943)


Visuals: There is the front of a skyscraper at dusk. A black square with a picture of a rooster is in the middle of the building. The large text "PATHE" is beneath the square while a marquee with the text "PICTURES LTD" is beneath "PATHE". The camera then pans down to reveal that the text is part of a building awning with "PRESENTS" encased in a rectangle.

Technique: Camera-controlled animation.

Audio: A horn fanfare.

Availability: Most prints of titles from this period have it removed or plastered over with the 3rd logo. Some films, such as Cosmo Jones and Crime Smasher, have kept it intact with the 7th logo following.

3rd Logo (1945-1948)


Visuals: On a gray background, there is a rooster inside a black circle. Beneath the rooster is "Pathe PICTURES LTD.", with "Pathé" in a large cursive font.

Technique: A painting filmed by a cameraman.

Audio: None or the opening theme of the film.

Availability: Unknown. [Examples?]

4th Logo (March 9, 1945-1946)


Visuals: There are the words "Un film" and a circle with a black and white picture of a rooster fade in. Then "Pathé" in large handwritten font draws itself below.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: The opening theme of the film.

Availability: Seen on the French DVD and the Criterion DVD of Les Enfants du Paradis at the start, the end of part 1, and the end of part 2. On the Criterion Blu-ray, the current Pathé ident replaces this at the start but it is seen at the end of the film since both parts 1 & 2 are combined into one.

5th Logo (1970-1980s)


Visuals: On a worn-out black background, there is a white rectangle containing an abstract red rooster. Beneath that is the white text "PATHÉ". "TRADEMARK OF QUALITY SINCE 1896" is beneath "PATHÉ" in smaller print.

Technique: A hand-drawn graphic.

Audio: Unknown.

Availability: Unknown.

6th Logo (1989)


Visuals: On a black background, the text "PATHÉ PICTURES" is seen in a bold white ITC Avant Garde font, with the "TH" being semi-conjoined and the text "INC." seen on the bottom left of the text pointing up. On the upper left gap is a red rooster silhouette crowing. A few seconds later, "PRESENTS" fades in below, and then the screen fades to the program.

Variant: At the end of the program, the logo is seen superimposed on the program, as well as a copyright below.

Technique: A digital graphic.

Audio: The opening and ending themes of the film.

Availability: It was only seen on Arthur Murray Dance Lessons: Cha Cha.

7th Logo (1991-1999)


Visuals: On a black background, a yellow line appears and slowly turns into a sunrise. Dark blue and red streaks come from the bottom of the sun, forming a rooster. Once it appears, the sun disappears, leaving a yellow rectangle surrounding the rooster, with "PATHÉ" written under it, and a small yellow line. After a few seconds, the rectangle flips over vertically, turning into a star, and zooms out. A blue oval-shaped ball appears. Four white stars appear from the top of it, surrounding the ball, while the yellow star floats on top of the ball. The text "une société de" appears on the top of the logo, while "CHARGEURS" appears below it.

Variant: On trailers as well as UK VHS releases, the logo slowly zooms in.

Technique: Possibly cel animation (by Digital Pictures).

Audio: A short synthesized fanfare, followed by a dreamy synth/piano tune. Sometimes silent.

Availability:

  • The animated variant appears on French theatrical releases from the time. [Examples?]
  • The zooming variant appears on VHS tapes released by Fox in the UK such as The Fifth Element, Twenty Four Seven and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. It may have appeared on UK theatrical releases from the time as well.

8th Logo (July 2, 1999-)

Visuals: On a grey background, there is a balloon reading "PATHÉ!" in yellow, stylized after the speech bubble variant, made into a mobile, rotating around clockwise, with the letters revolving around as well. There are two shadows of the mobile cast in the background by two spotlights. Then, the mobile stalls in its moment, only for it to rotate to its side, with a shadow of a rooster turning into view.

Trivia: There are replicas of the mobile seen in some Pathé cinemas (mostly from the Netherlands). However, they are designed differently than the logo. You can see the demonstration here.

Variants:

  • Some trailers have a short version of the logo, starting when the mobile stalls.
  • An enhancement to the logo, with more realistic-looking tinting, was introduced in 2012.
  • On several trailers and at the end of Chicken Run, the print version of the logo is seen, containing only "PATHÉ!" in either white or its corporate bulbous yellow font, without any motion. It was also used as an in-credit logo for films like Thunderpants and The Magic Roundabout.
    • There is another version that has the name in 2 speech bubbles, coming from a rooster. The text here is now stretched and straightened upwards.
  • A 1.66:1 matted version was spotted on French DVD releases, including Pollux - Le manège enchanté (the French title for The Magic Roundabout)
  • On some French Blu-ray releases, the logo is in 2.35:1 and is in a shade of blue. This was spotted on the Blu-ray release of the said film.
  • On the UK VHS and 4:3 UK TV broadcasts of Chicken Run, the logo cuts to when we see the logo revealed. It applies to both the retail and rental versions. The DVD release has it uncut.

Technique: CGI produced by Landor Associates in Paris, France.

Audio: A lush piano, drum, choir, and string fanfare. Films such as Astérix and Obélix: Mission Cleopatra have a chicken clucking at the end.

Audio Variants:

  • The shortened trailer variant uses the last several seconds of the theme.
  • Sometimes, the film's opening theme would be used instead.
  • On the UK DVD release of Chicken Run, the fanfare is out of sync, playing before the logo animates.
  • On both European Portuguese and Korean prints of The Magic Roundabout, the opening score has been cut to when the logo appears, mostly due to it playing a few seconds before it.

Audio Trivia: Parts of the fanfare would later be sampled and remixed for the company's UK website between 2005 and 2011.

Availability:

  • This plasters older logos on current prints of their output, and other distributors' tags on films Pathé now owns (an example is on the Criterion Collection release of Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, in which Pathé obtained U.S. rights from its previous owner, Miramax)
  • As with the last logo, it is used as a de-facto home video logo in the UK and France.
    • The 1.85:1 version was only seen on UK DVD releases of films from the company such as Millions, Chicken Run, The Magic Roundabout, Be Kind Rewind as well as many foreign films such as Les Choristes (The Chorus) and 菊次郎の夏 (Kikujiro).
    • The 1.33:1 version was most likely to appear on some anime releases in France such as Gunnm (Battle Angel in the USA), Ghost in the Shell and Ninja Scroll. It appears on UK VHS releases, and also the UK DVD release of Angry Kid Season 1 (Season 2 was distributed by 2 Entertain).
    • The 2.35:1 version appeared on some UK DVD releases such as 127 Hours and Two Brothers the 2012 re-release of Chicken Run, alongside the live-action Astérix movies.
  • It is also seen at the beginning of British and European releases of Chicken Run, accompanied by the film's theme music; however, it does not appear on the DreamWorks print, due to the length of that logo at the start of the film (although the print version of this logo appears at the end). It did however appear on the French, German and Spanish Blu-ray releases and on the Netflix UK print of the film with the original fanfare intact, followed by the DreamWorks Pictures logo. The latter on the other hand has this (and the entire film) on PAL speed.
  • The print logo is seen on several trailers, on Chicken Run and The Magic Roundabout (also known as Doogal in the US and several other countries), and also appears (in yellow) on the video game Astérix and Obélix Take on Caesar. The version with the rooster was seen in a trailer for The Iron Lady.
  • It can also be seen in the 2018 Australian Umbrella Entertainment DVD release of Driving Miss Daisy (this is because Pathé has international rights to the film).
  • It also appeared on the UK Blu-ray of Super Mario Bros. (1993), possibly due to using a streaming print of the film. Also on the Australian Umbrella Entertainment Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray releases of said film.
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Pathé