Simitar Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Simitar Entertainment, Inc. was a Minnesota-based company founded in 1985 that released content on VHS, DVD, CD and CD-ROM. It was founded by Mickey Elfenbien and Philip Kives, who were the CEO and founder of K-Tel, respectively. They bought out Pickwick Records and began releasing music. Eventually, they became one of the leading names in budget VHS. They also released many tapes of sports footage, and spun off Simitar Motorsports Video for this purpose. They also had a short-lived Japanese animation distributor known as Ani-Magine Anime, started by John Litton. In 1997, they became the first independent film producer to release their films on DVD. Simitar Entertainment would eventually go bankrupt and shut down in 2000 after losing a lawsuit filed by Titan Sports (former owner of WWF, now known as WWE) over a 1999 knock-off compilation entitled Slammin' Wrestling Hits, which contained covers of WWF entrance themes produced without their consent. Simitar's film library ended up being sold to Brentwood Communications (later BCI Eclipse).



1st Logo (Early 1985-1987)


Visuals: On a space background, a black and blue scimitar (a sword with a curved blade) with a swirly-styled red "S" on the front spins up to the center of the screen. The scimitar shines and the letters "IMITAR" slide from behind the "S" to the right to spell the word "SIMITAR". The text "ENTERTAINMENT INC." fades in below the scimitar, which shines again.

Trivia: This was the only logo of theirs which did not make use of the "Big S" logo.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A few droning beeps that descend in pitch.

Audio Variant: On most releases, the logo is silent.

Availability: Seen on specialty VHS releases from Simitar Entertainment from the '80s, among others. Some 1986 releases also used this with the next logo below.

2nd Logo (1985-1990)


Visuals: On a black background, a white line moves from left to right upwards many times to draw a lined square, shining the RGB colors as it moves. When it finishes drawing the square, the line takes a right curve up to draw the outline of a boxy "S". Suddenly, the logo flashes, fills in with a bluish silver gradient and the lined square turns silver, and in the lower left of the box a ray of light sweeps across, leaving a black trail with "Simitar Entertainment Inc." written in white. Then the logo shines and flashes again.

Trivia: This was the first logo by Simitar to use their "S" logo, which would be used until the company shut down.

Variant: A filmed version exists.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A synth bass repeating the same note 129 times throughout, accompanied by a loud synthesized crash when the logo flashes, a loud synthesized choir that sings 5 ascending notes, another loud synthesized crash for the second flash, and finally 2 loud whoosh sounds.

Audio Variant: On some tapes, it's silent.

Availability: Seen on special interest videos released by Simitar in the 1980s, such as Vitsie and Baseball tapes. Some early releases that used this logo also used the previous logo above.

3rd Logo (1990-2000)


Visuals: On a shady blue background, two separate sets of gold bars at opposite angles merge into each others' spaces in the center of the screen. From the bottom, 3 stacked lines swoop up and rotate 90 degrees to reveal the familiar "S", now in gold CGI, and plasters itself onto the bars. Underneath, a 9th bar drops down and causes the gold text "S i m i t a r" to rotate forward.

Trivia: See it or not, this logo contains an animation error as one of the gold bars protrudes from the right side of the screen before the rest of them do. It may or may not be visible depending on the aspect ratio of the viewer's television.

Variant: On rare instances, the end of the logo may be used in promos. This can be seen on some products featuring Simitar trailers on Amazon.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Same as the second logo.

Availability: Appears on 1990s Simitar Entertainment VHS releases, and some DVD releases like Dumb Luck in Vegas.

  • It was also spotted on a tape of It's a Wonderful Life as well as a Christopher Crocodile VHS.
  • This was also seen on the movie The Christmas Light.
  • It also appears on the 1993 UK VHS release of Dinosaurs: The Official Video of the Natural History Museum.

4th Logo (DVD) (1997-2000)


Visuals: On a shady denim blue-textured background with some light near the upper-left is a faded square in the center with a shadow drop behind it. A DVD flies around with a dust trailing effect, and parts of the Simitar logo (very much like what you see in the 3rd logo, but slightly re-textured) fly into place in the center. The word "Simitar", now in Futura font, flies around and settles underneath it, and the silver DVD logo (with a CGI DVD and a simple font for "DVD") flies into place under that. The disc seen earlier is part of this. Then the logo starts to "ripple" away before it fades out.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A short variant of the second logo's music, which starts off at the synth crash and the first synth choir note.

Availability: Can be seen on most Simitar DVD releases, including The Killing Man, Firehouse, Mob War, Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe, Search and Destroy (1988), Hyperspace, Cybernator, Cartel, Red Scorpion, The Naked Truth, Werewolf, Dead End, Ninja Academy, Bloodstone, and Glitch!, among others.

  • This can also sometimes be found on Simitar-related Amazon Video Shorts (which is used mainly for trailers and promos of films, TV shows, etc.), in tandem with the 3rd logo.
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