Pickwick Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Pickwick International Inc. was originally established as a music/record company in 1961 that released products at low prices. The company opened a UK office in 1982 and purchased in a management buyout in 1983.

As part of the UK office's opening, the company established a home video division known as Pickwick Video Ltd. that released VHS tapes under various labels. These included Pickwick Video, Screen Legends, Ladybird Video, Longman Video, Fairtrade Video, Children's Choice, Mr Pickwick, Hallmark and the Rank Classic Collection.

In 1986, the company was purchased in an investment buyout, and was renamed as Pickwick Group PLC in 1987. The company continued to release content at that time.

1st Logo (1989-Early 1992)

Visuals: A series of grey and white vertical lines are formed on the screen. They then flip around a few times to show brief clips of some films from Pickwick's library (including a yacht race, boxing match, and even Thomas the Tank Engine). After that, the text "PICKWICK" appears sliding in letter-by-letter from the right and the word "Video" appears written underneath, underlined in red. The text then shines.

Trivia: The clip of Thomas the Tank Engine is taken from the episode "Thomas Comes to Breakfast".


  • Originally, Australian releases only feature the ending animation starting from when the text appears on-screen and freezing for 30 seconds with the full music underneath it.
  • On later Australian releases, the music starts five seconds into the warning screen, and the logo is a short version with the opening similar to the second logo.

Technique: 2D animation over mostly live-action, sometimes animated clips.

Audio: A synthesised rock tune entitled "Superman 3" done by Anthony & Gaynor Sadler (who would later do the music for many of BBC Two's 1991-2001 idents), which was also heard on Earthvue on the then-Prevue Guide (now Pop) around that time. Extra drumbeats not present in the original version are also heard near the end.

Availability: Seen on VHS releases by Pickwick Video in the UK and Australia from the time-period until 1992.

  • Examples include the 1989 UK VHS re-releases of the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends season 2 VHS releases of Thomas, Percy and the Coal and Other Stories, Percy and Harold and Other Stories, and The Deputation and Other Stories, respectively, (plastering the 1986 Screen Legends logo), and the 1991 UK VHS release of The Best of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, among others.
  • In Australia, this logo can also be found on several Abbey Home Entertainment releases.
  • It is also seen on the 1989 UK VHS release of Angela Lansbury's Positive Moves, the 1990 UK VHS releases of Peter Pan (1988), The Adventures of Pinocchio (1984, 1990 re-release), All Colours. Shapes and Sizes, The Animals Went in Two by Two, and The Magic Mirror: Vol. 2 (the latter three being the 1990 Children's Choice releases), and the 1991 UK VHS releases of Dinosaurs Fun Fact and Fantasy, Little Women (1980, Mr. Pickwick release), and Story Playtime (1991 re-release), respectively.
  • It is also seen at the start of the 1991 UK VHS re-release of Famous Five: Five Go to the Mystery Moor, although it strangely does not appear at the end of it, as the Mr Pickwick logo appears instead.

2nd Logo (Early-Late 1992)

Visuals: A series of the same grey and white vertical lines are formed on the same screen. Then they flip only once and the word "PICKWICK" from the first logo appears in the same font, but now letter-by-letter from the left. Then the text "Video" in the same script font, now underlined in blue, ripples down and places itself underneath "PICKWICK".

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A synth hum (which sounds similar to the one used on the Roadshow Home Video logo in Australia), followed by five drumbeats and a different synth warbling sound.

Availability: Seen on some UK VHS releases released under the Mr. Pickwick sub-label, such as the 1992 UK VHS releases of Nursery Rhymes and Songs: A House Full Of Fun, and First Songs (1992 re-release), among others.

3rd Logo (November 30, 1992-1995)

Visuals: The camera travels through a curvy blue maze and drops down a keyhole, revealing several blue and purple copies of the maze. It then pans through the bottom-most area of the maze and reaches a yellow light coming out from another hole, then it begins to travel upwards through the hole and spins around a bit, which eventually reveals the word "PICKWICK" in the same font as before against a black background. The logo then shines.

Variant: A rare prototype short version exists, which starts with two copies of the word "PICKWICK", one on top of the other being viewed from the left side before the camera goes through the first letter "C" and travels quickly between the two copies until coming out again through the second letter "C". The ending is largely the same as the main logo, except it shines differently.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A dramatic tune sounding like something off an action film.

Audio Variant: The short version has a heavenly chorus.

Availability: Seen on VHS releases by Pickwick Video in the UK and Australia from the time-period until 1995.

  • Examples include Bananas in Pyjamas, The Legends of Treasure Island, the 1993 UK VHS release of Prince Cinders, and the 1995 UK VHS release of Really Wild Animals: Adventures in Asia, among many others.
  • The rare prototype short version can be found on both the 1992 UK VHS release of Astro Farm: Wacky Weather and Other Stories, and the 1993 UK VHS release of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, respectively.
  • This logo is also intact on the 2007 UK DVD release of Bananas in Pyjamas: Birthday Special as well, due to it being taken from the 1994 VHS master.

Legacy: Considered one of the more memorable UK logos of the VHS era. Some aspects of it are quite ahead of its time.

Pickwick Video
Carlton Visual Entertainment
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.