Streamline Pictures

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Streamline Pictures was formed in 1988 by Carl Macek and Jerry Beck to produce and distribute English-dubbed Japanese animation. Streamline later stopped producing new anime releases but continued to distribute its releases for a while. During the mid-'90s, its releases were variously distributed by Best Film & Video Corp., Family Home Entertainment, and Orion Home Video. In 2002, the company went out of business, and all its film and television material are now owned by different anime companies, such as Manga, Viz, and Funimation.



1st Logo (March 24, 1989-October 19, 1995)


Visuals: On a black background, a spark bounces all over the screen. When it covers the whole screen, it fades to the Streamline Pictures logo. It consists of a large art deco-styled design, with a circle containing a streamliner (a type of train designed to reduce air resistance, with the modern-day equivalent being a bullet train), as well as 3 shiny arcs on the top, 3 bars on the bottom, and wing-like extensions on the sides. "Streamline", in a black Raceway font surrounded by a heavy blue outline, is above the train, and "PICTURES", in an orange striped art deco font, is written inside the bottom outline of the circle. The entire thing is contained in a white glow.

Trivia: The final design is actually the logo for Streamline Film Archives (now Streamline Stock Footage), with the word "PICTURES" added below. Streamline Film Archives was owned by friends of Jerry Beck and the name and logo were borrowed from said company because Beck needed a brand identity before a meeting with potential clients. Streamline Stock Footage still uses this logo. The bouncing spark was animated by Chris Casady, a visual effects artist; this effect also appears on Casady's short film Pencil Dance (1988).

Variants:

  • The logo can come in shades of brown or a heavy blue tint, depending on the condition of the elements used.
  • An early variant has the spark animation on a space background and the finished logo has a heavy blue hue. This version can be be seen on the 1990 VHS of Akira and the 1990 VHS and Discotek Blu-ray of Robot Carnival.
  • A shortened version can be seen on videotapes of Colonel Bleep.

Technique: 2D effects animation.

Audio: Usually silent, though some releases such as Lensman and Windaria have the film's opening theme heard over it.

Audio Variant: On the trailer for Robot Carnival, a soothing synth piece is heard, which is actually the opening theme to the short Cloud, itself featured on the former.

Availability:

  • Until then, this was hard to find outside of VHS and Laserdisc releases put out by Best Film & Video, Lumivision, and later Orion Home Video, with the Best Film & Video release of Robot Carnival being an example.
  • Can also be seen on the F.H.E. release and Lionsgate DVD of Speed Racer: The Movie (not to be confused with the 2008 movie) and a few '90s cassettes of Robotech from Streamline.
  • 35mm prints of films they distributed in the late '80s and early '90s, such as the aforementioned Speed Racer: The Movie and 1986's Fist of the North Star, also have this.
  • Though it stopped appearing on new video releases around December 1993, this still appeared on theatrical releases of Streamline-dubbed product, with the last of such being Space Adventure Cobra, which wouldn't be available on videocassette until Urban Vision picked it and some other Streamline properties up a few years later.
  • The Orion release of Dirty Pair: Affair on Nolandia retains this, as do Orion's reissues of the individual episodes of 3x3 Eyes (where the 3rd logo precedes this).
  • It also appears on Streamline's releases of Colonel Bleep and Nadia, among others.
  • On Zillion, it appears at the end of the videogram.
  • The early variant makes a reappearance in HD on the Blu-ray of Robot Carnival, both on the US trailer and the reconstructed US theatrical and Laserdisc cuts.
  • Despite the first English-language dub being produced by them, this logo does not appear on any pre-Disney English prints of My Neighbor Totoro.

2nd Logo (January-May 1991)

Visuals: Essentially just the Streamline Pictures textual logo in yellow against the first shot of the Zillion opening sequence.

Technique: Digital title generation.

Audio: The opening theme of Zillion.

Availability: Only appears on Streamline's five volumes of Zillion.

3rd Logo (December 1993-May 28, 1996)


Visuals: The camera zooms into a bed of magma with rocks inside it at night, with flames flickering wildly. The words "Streamline Pictures" rises from the pool, colored a yellow/orange mix of colors. As the words rise up, the camera zooms into the words slowly, only for them to turn silver as they go above the clouds and into space. They rotate and shine a bit as they pass a green moon, and the camera rotates to face them straight-on, with them glowing a blue trail forwards for a bit before they retract. As they stop glowing, a burst of blue particles fires off from the middle of the screen and the logo continues to shine. A purple cloud can also be seen in the background.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A lush orchestral tune that ends with a five-note brass stinger. On post-1993 prints of Fist of the North Star, the opening theme is used instead.

Availability:

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