Saban Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Saban Entertainment was an independent television production company formed in 1980 by music and television producers Haim Saban and Shuki Levy as "Saban Records", a U.S. subsidiary of Saban International Paris (later "SIP Animation"), who composed music soundtracks to shows made by other companies (most notably DiC). In 1984, the company expanded in television production of its own, and was renamed as "Saban Productions". In 1988, the company also founded "Saban International N.V." (now part of Disney Platform Distribution) for international distribution of its shows (Note: Though used interchangeably with "Saban International Paris", they were technically two distinct entities). Around the early 1990s, the company was reincorporated as "Saban Entertainment, Inc.". On November 29, 2001, Saban Entertainment was renamed to "BVS Entertainment, Inc." after Saban and News Corp. (owner of Fox) were sold to The Walt Disney Company a month earlier. Likewise, Saban International became "BVS International N.V.".

Today, most of the Saban library is held by The Walt Disney Company through Buena Vista Studios (BVS Entertainment) and 20th Century Studios. The Power Rangers and Power Rangers-related series (VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs, Masked Rider, The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, and Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation), were re-acquired on May 15, 2010 by Saban Brands, as well as the English dubs of Digimon (including the seasons dubbed by Sensation Animation) on September 25, 2012, through "SCG Power Rangers, Inc." and "SCG Characters LLC", respectively, both subsidiaries of private investment firm Saban Capital Group (founded by Saban himself in 2001, after the company's sale to Disney), and most are currently held by Hasbro Entertainment with Digimon being held by Discotek Media and Toei Animation. After Disney purchased Saban, Saban's rights to many of their shows they distributed and licensed were lapsed or expired.



1st Logo (September 15, 1984-October 29, 1988)


Visuals: On a light indigo/white gradient background (in which a few stars can be faintly seen) is a static shot of a purple (or dark red) Saturn-like planet, with a ring. In the middle of the planet and the ring, the text "S A B A N" is seen in a font similar to the Pac-Man logo. Below it is the word "P R O D U C T I O N S". On the bottom half of the planet to the left, there are five yellow lines.

Variants:

  • On Kidd Video, the Saban logo is seen in a box in the upper left corner of the screen, and the 1st DIC Entertainment logo in the bottom-right; the corner of the Saban logo overlaps the DIC logo. They are up against an orange background with a streak in the middle.
    • On the pilot episode of Kidd Video, the Saban logo is seen in the bottom right corner and the DIC logo in the upper left, which overlaps Saban. They are on a black background with a streak in the middle.
  • On the VHS release of The New Archies, the logo fades out early.
  • On Wolf Rock TV, the logo is on a cerulean blue-dark magenta vertical gradient background. It is placed on the top-left of the screen, with the 3rd DIC Entertainment logo below it an the 4th Dick Clark Productions logo next to DIC's logo.

Technique: Fading effects.

Audio: A nine-note synthesized theme with a descending synth sound, ending in five hits. Composed by Shuki Levy.

Audio Variants:

  • On the Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling special "All Time Champ", the theme is high-pitched and sped-up.
  • On ALF: The Animated Series, only the five hits are used.
  • On Kidd Video, the end theme plays over it.
  • On the pilot episode of Kidd Video, the 1984 DiC music is heard.

Availability: Seen on releases from the company if you know where to look.

  • Will probably be intact if any shows produced by Saban during this time are reran in the future, such as Maple Town and I'm Telling.
  • It was also seen on The New Archies during its' original run on NBC, but never kept on later airings nor DVD releases for many years.
  • It is also preserved on DVD releases of ALF: The Animated Series and ALF Tales.

2nd Logo (June 11, 1988-March 30, 1996, January 2-August 28, 2010)


Visuals: On a background with stars, a white marble rectangle with a round hole in the center moves slowly from the left-hand side of the screen towards the middle of the screen, growing as it does so. In the hole, "glowing" but in black lettering, is the word "SABAN" and below the circle-shaped hole is the word "PRODUCTIONS" (in later years "ENTERTAINMENT"), or "INTERNATIONAL" for international distribution, with a gold line underneath. On the right side of the screen, a gold "coin" (or plate) twirls towards the middle of the screen as well. As the coin gets closer to the rectangle and the middle of the screen, it starts twirling faster and faster until it is affixed firmly in the hole in the center of the rectangle like a magnet attracting metal. Three white lines form on the bottom-left of the circle.

Variant: A still variant exists.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: A short synthesized theme ending in what sounds like a jail door slamming shut. The music was done on a Roland D-50 synthesizer using the "Digital Native Dance" patch and was composed by Shuki Levy.

Audio Variants:

  • There are two short versions:
    • The first one is the second half of the logo theme.
    • The other has the first three notes and the slamming jail door sound.
  • Sometimes, the "slamming door" sound is removed.
  • The music was altered in 2010 for the remastered version of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This time it consists of a series of loud whooshes that culminate in a different "slamming door" sound.
  • For most of the '90s shows such as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and VR Troopers, among others, the end of the show's theme plays over it instead.

Availability: It can be found if one knows where to look, specifically on VHS releases but also on some DVD releases.

  • Seen on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, alongside its spinoffs VR Troopers and Masked Rider episodes until "The Dash" (although Netflix and YouTube prints of all those shows plaster all 1988 and 1996 Saban logos with the 2011 Saban Brands logo instead).
  • It is also seen on X-Men and is kept on VHS and DVD releases and all digital prints, including Disney+ for the latter and the complete series box set on DVD, alongside the earlier U.S. "volume" DVD releases from Buena Vista and VHS releases of the show that were given out by Pizza Hut in the early 1990s, as well as the 2009 UK DVD release from Clear Vision.
  • The 2010 version was only seen on the 2010 remaster of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on ABC Kids.
  • The "PRODUCTIONS" variant is seen on Noozles and VHS releases of Bumpety Boo; it was also sighted on the game show Couch Potatoes when the show was last rerun on the USA Network in the early '90s (followed by the Group W Productions logo).
  • The "INTERNATIONAL" variant is more common and is seen on international prints of various Saban shows from the era such as C.O.P.S. and Camp Candy, among others, notably English-dubbed anime shows and co-produced shows, alongside shows produced by Saban International Paris.
    • It is also seen on international broadcasts of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, both the 1991 UK VHS releases of Samurai Pizza Cats and Christmas Reindeer Tales from Entertainment UK, the 2013 German DVD boxset release of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Die Komplette Saga, and also strangely at the start of the 1998 TV movie Voyage of Terror on the ARD Mediathek website, instead of the next logo, due to an editing error on the latter.
  • Also seen on Bob in the Bottle, the partly-found, English-language dub of Hakushon Daimaō.
  • Syndicated prints of New World Pictures films from the early 1990s, such as Heathers, had this plastered over the New World logo.
  • It is also seen after The Landsburg Company logo on the UK VHS release of The Ryan White Story.
  • It was also seen on North American prints of Samurai Pizza Cats, and is intact on home media and streaming prints.

3rd Logo (February 5, 1996-July 21, 2002)


Visuals: On a cloudy sky background (that seems to converge towards the center), a group of children, who are ethnically diverse and wearing what appears to be spandex jumpsuits (some are wearing green, some are wearing red, and some are wearing yellow) with patterns all over them, are shown in a circle, looking upward as the camera revolves around and zooms out for a second. Then, it fades to a shot of the children from above as they take a piece of orange-yellow cloth with a globe pattern imprinted on it and throw it in the air as they are standing on opposite ends of a small "orb". It then fades to another shot of the children, who are shown raising their hands up and releasing spherical objects, most of which are brown or silver, into the air as they fade out. While this happens, the orb (which resembles an Earth globe with yellow water and red and green continents) "transforms" into the Saban logo, which resembles a shiny gold crescent moon on the right with three "swishing" lines on the left, also akin to the previous logo. The text "S A B A N" appears below the logo. The Saban logo zooms in slightly.

Variants: There are five variations of this logo:

  • A "short" version that only has the "hands-up" part of the animation with an abridged version of the music (two different versions were used).
  • A "medium" version that lacks the close-up shot of the children. The music plays in its entirety (though sometimes only the first six notes and the last note of the jingle plays).
  • A long version, which is the one described and has all of the shots in the logo and the complete music.
  • The logo is still on the video game Power Rangers Zeo vs the Machine Empire.
  • Some Saban shows distributed outside North America have "INTERNATIONAL" at the bottom.
  • A weird stretched variant of the Saban International logo also exists, which is seen on the 2000 TV movie On Thin Ice: Going For The Gold.
  • On Rusty: A Dog's Tale and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the logo is filmed, while the later film is cropped in widescreen.
  • When ABC Family (now Freeform) reran Au Pair 2 in 2009, the short version of the logo is slowed down (with the ending theme) as an attempt to plaster the 1998 Fox Family Productions logo that was originally used there. The split-screen credits followed.
    • Another slowed-down variant also exists, which was seen on certain episodes of Iron Man on Disney XD, plastering over both the 1995 Genesis Entertainment or New World Entertainment logos (most episodes used the short variant but without the slowdown).

Technique: Live-action and computer animation.

Audio: A 13-note flute/xylophone-like jingle that eventually coalesces into a trumpet, with the sounds of children laughing throughout the audio and with some wind. Composed by Shuki Levy.

Audio Trivia: This music was used on the company's adaptation of Kamen Rider Black RX, Masked Rider (made before the logo was introduced), as the theme for one of the supporting cast members, the alien Ferbus.

Audio Variants:

  • The short version has seven notes of the theme.
  • Sometimes, the "INTERNATIONAL" version uses 10 notes that are rearranged.
    • High tone and low tone variants both also exist, with the low tone variant being found on some overseas prints of the CGI Action Man series and on Unis TV broadcasts of Big Wolf on Campus in the Canadian province of Québec, respectively.
  • A double pitched (very high tone) variant with the seven-note music also exists, which was seen on later episodes of UPN's The Mouse and the Monster.
  • The 10 notes version is sometimes shortened to six notes for both the normal and "INTERNATIONAL" versions, which is seen on a few TV movies, such as On Thin Ice: Going For The Gold and some shows such as Space Goofs and Diabolik, respectively.
  • One season 3 episode of the French dub of Bobby's World has a weird monaural reverb effect.
  • On international airings and the Australian DVD release of the 1999 TV movie Au Pair, instead of the children's laughing, it plays the two first notes of the 1998 Fox Family Productions logo before the high tone variant of the seven-note music plays normal. This is only seen at the end of the movie.
  • Toon Disney/Disney XD prints of Iron Man's first season had the Genesis Entertainment music playing under the logo (in one case, switching from the 1994 music to the 1989 theme); some international prints of the 1994 Spider-Man have the 1988 New World Entertainment theme playing under the logo.
  • In other cases, the ending theme of the show is played.
  • On Rusty: A Dog's Tale and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the opening theme of the film is played over the logo.

Availability: When their output was first seen on TV, original airings didn't have this logo (in North America at least); for a while, it was plastered by the 2011 Saban Brands logo on some online and television prints. However, this logo is still generally preserved on modern DVD/Blu-ray releases of Saban shows, as well as VHS copies.

  • Seen on many later Fox Kids and Fox Family shows like Flint the Time Detective, Mon Colle Knights, The New Addams Family, and specifically on episodes of Power Rangers (from Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers until Time Force), Masked Rider episodes from "Battle of the Bands", and the first three English-dubbed seasons of Digimon; Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and the first 22 episodes of Digimon Tamers.
  • The "INTERNATIONAL" variant of this logo is seen on most series from Saban's library, including some of the 1980s and 1990s Marvel Productions shows it owned (Dungeons and Dragons) and pre-1990 DiC shows such as Pole Position, among others, sometimes plastering older logos.
  • On Netflix prints of Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, this logo is plastered with the 2011 Saban Brands logo, though it might be preserved on Shout! Factory's DVD releases of those series. YouTube uploads of Power Rangers also use these same prints.
  • This logo was also shown on U.S. prints of Space Goofs, following the 1995 Gaumont logo.
  • On television, the final time this was shown was on This TV's prints of Inspector Gadget, which either used older prints from Fox Family or the DiC Kids Network syndicated prints, and on some of the Marvel shows (primarily Iron Man, Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk) on Disney XD, newer prints of those shows have the Marvel Animation logo instead.
  • It was also seen on the 1998 TV movie Like Father, Like Santa on Lifetime, with the 2006 Buena Vista International Television logo following afterwards.
  • This logo is also preserved on the Revelation Media DVD releases of Goosebumps released in the UK from 2012, starting with the complete first season, the Flatiron DVD set of Digimon Adventure (and presumably their sets of Adventure 02 and Tamers as well), and the 2006 DVD release of Rusty: The Great Rescue (aka Rusty: A Dog's Tale).
  • It is also seen on VHS releases of those shows, and on Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
  • On streaming, this logo is preserved on Richie Rich's Christmas Wish and Three Days on Disney+, Pigs Next Door on Tubi, and Hulu's streaming prints of Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers, as well as Hulu's prints of The Tick.
  • This logo does not appear on Digimon: The Movie (2000) (except on Toon Disney/Jetix's print, which has the "INTERNATIONAL" version at the start right after the 1994 20th Century Fox logo, in that case plastering the 2000 Fox Kids theatrical logo and having the opening theme as well).
  • The "INTERNATIONAL" variant of this logo is also seen at the end of the preview of Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, included on the 2000 UK VHS release of Inspector Gadget: Monster Lake and Other Stories from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
  • The "INTERNATIONAL" variant of this logo is also seen at the end of the pilot episode of The Incredible Hulk (1966 animated series), included on the UK DVD release of The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series: Marvel Originals Series: 60s from Liberation Entertainment, which is then followed by the 1999 Fox Kids Worldwide logo.
  • The short version of this logo can be found on season 1 episodes of Dragon Ball Z, following the Funimation logo.
Saban Entertainment
Sensation Animation
Saban Brands