StudioCanal

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum




Background

StudioCanal (formerly known as Le Studio Canal+ until 1999) is the general production and distribution unit of French premium television channel Canal+. It was founded in 1988 by Canal+ president Pierre Lescure as a spin-off of the pay-TV network; its original function was to focus on French and European productions, but later made strategic deals with American production companies.

Over the years, the studio acquired the film libraries of other studios that either became defunct or had merged with it. As a result, StudioCanal now owns the third largest film and television library in the world with over 6,000 titles, behind Warner Bros. and MGM. The library includes titles from Carolco Pictures, Avco Embassy Pictures, and Lumiere, among others.


Le Studio Canal+

1st Logo (March 20, 1992-1995)


Visuals: Inserted into the end credits of a film (instituting that it's a print logo) is "LE STUDIO" in a large font. Inside it is the Canal+ logo, which is the name of the network in an italic form. The plus sign is inside the "O" of "STUDIO".

Variants:

  • The logo, was often seen inside a white rectangle with "LE STUDIO" in gray and the "CANAL+" in black.
  • An animated variant exists, and starts with the rectangle fading in, then 3 copies of "LE STUDIO" in pink, blue, and yellow flying into the rectangle, then combining and turning gray. "CANAL+" then fades in. Then the logo fades out and "PRESENTE" in white fades in. This animation was used as a de-facto video ident for the company's releases.
  • On Chaplin, the logo is seen next to the Carolco logo.

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None on the still version. The animated version has a fanfare with 4 deep synth notes and a choir, piano notes playing as the copies of "LE STUDIO" fly into the rectangle, and a cymbal hit once "CANAL+" fades in.

Availability: Appears on Canal+ airings and VHS releases of Basic Instinct, The City of Fear, and Chaplin.

2nd Logo (1995-2000)



Visuals: Same as the Canal+ Video logo (which is based on the Canal+ feature presentation ident of the time), but the Canal+ logo is replaced with a black bar. In the end, the words "LE STUDIO" and "CANAL+" are seen in the center, with "LE STUDIO" moved to the left. The square is to the left of "CANAL+".

Technique: 2D computer animation done with a Quantel Paintbox.

Audio: Same as the Canal+ Video logo.

Availability:

  • Found on the 1999 French VHS release of Scream 2, the 2000 French VHS release of Jeu Mortel and the 1999 French DVD and VHS release of Porco Rosso.
  • Also found on the 1997 French VHS and DVD release of the Smart Planet TV movie after the 1997 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment logo.

StudioCanal

1st Logo (April 21, 2000)


Visuals: On a black background, there are two connected rectangles, one gray, the other light blue, both sliding from the center of the screen like a mirror image. The gray rectangle reads "STUDIO" and the light blue one reads "CANAL"; both texts are in white. The logo and font look similar to the one used for its parent company Canal+.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Was only seen on U-571.

2nd Logo (September 28, 2000-January 24, 2003)



Visuals: A comet flies across a very dark blue sky, with a few intermittent stars (a homage to the Canal+ feature presentation ident of the time). As the comet passes over the screen, small stars start to flash and random numbers begin to appear in place of the flashes. A lightning bolt strikes from the right side of the screen into the middle of the screen. The numbers disappear and a circular burst of "rain" appears. Large white circles of varying sizes pop up over the screen and disappear almost instantaneously. Another lightning bolt hits. The source of the "rain" switches to the right side of the screen. The rain stops and white lines begin to appear all over the screen (once again disappearing instantly) as the letters for "STUDIO CANAL" appear haphazardly across the screen. A shooting star and a lightning bolt appear at the same time. Rain starts coming from all sides of the screen, as well as small white circles floating upwards. Sparkles of light encompass the screen, culminating in a white flash. The same logo from the previous logo, only the box for "STUDIO" is black, appears, surrounded by light streaks. Finally the text "A CANAL+ COMPANY" appears on the bottom right of "CANAL" (with a bit of moving light appearing on the corner of the logo simultaneously).

Variants:

  • There is a short version of the logo that starts at the logo's appearance, so far this has only been seen on the 2002 DVD release, 2017 Australian DVD release, and the 2015 Criterion Blu-ray release (not the 2021 re-release) of Mulholland Drive, and a Philippines VCD release of The Others.
  • An open matte version of the logo exists on 4:3 prints.
  • A still version also exists as well.

Technique: 2D computer animation with some CG elements. A digital graphic for the still variant.

Audio: First, a zap sound is heard when the comet flies by, then a tribal hymn heavy on thunderous percussion, with an operatic singer marking the appearance of the company name, and a strange primal scream at the white flash (from Spectrasonics' Heart of Africa 1 sample CD). A brief bongo tap is also heard to mark the appearance of "A CANAL+ COMPANY".

Audio Variants:

  • The 2002 Anchor Bay DVD release of Highlander (1986) also uses this logo, but on the audio commentary track, the 1992 jingle from the second Lumiere Pictures logo can be heard as this logo plays. This is because the commentary was taken from the 1996 Republic LaserDisc release of the movie.
  • NTSC prints of films have had the fanfare low pitched (due to PAL to NTSC conversion).
  • The short version uses the opening theme of the movie.
  • Sometimes, it's silent, or the opening theme of the film plays.

Availability: Not many films used this logo, but it's still not too hard to find.

  • Appears on films like Billy Elliot (the US release), Bridget Jones's Diary and 40 Days and 40 Nights.
  • Also seen on most international television and DVD prints of Avco Embassy (though TV rights to those films are with Sony), Lumiere, Thorn-EMI Screen Entertainment, Carolco, De Laurentiis, American Zoetrope, and Nelson Entertainment films, such as HDNet Movies' prints of Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw.
  • On DVD, this logo was seen on prints of library titles from this era through licensed distributors (e.g. Anchor Bay Entertainment), such as The Criterion Collection's Day of the Dolphin.
  • Also seen on the 2001 French VHS release of Traffic as a de-facto home video logo.
  • This also appears on Paramount/Trifecta syndicated prints of Narrow Margin, before the TriStar and Carolco logos.
  • This also appears on the 2001 French VHS and DVD releases of the Happy Planet TV movie after the 1999 Universal Pictures logo.
  • This logo was also used as a de-facto VHS and DVD logo in France entitled StudioCanal Video.
  • This logo also appeared at the start of a December 27, 2022 UK airing of Warlords of Atlantis (1978) on LEGEND.

3rd Logo (March 5, 2003-August 26, 2011)


Visuals: A thin rectangle with an image of clouds inside appears in the center of a black background, and slowly grows so that it takes up the whole screen. The camera flies through the clouds, and, after a few seconds, the StudioCanal logo appears, and the surrounding area fades to black.

Variants:

  • There is a black and white version to fit with such films of this type. Found on recent prints of The Farmer's Wife and The Elephant Man (sans Encore's prints), as well as other black-and-white films (most commonly French New Wave films) and British ABC produced shows such as Armchair Theatre.
    • It also makes an appearance in most current prints of The Mirror Crack'd before the film-within-a-film that the people of St Mary Mead have gone to see, plastering the 1976-1982 Columbia Pictures logo.
  • The shorter version starts in the clouds. This was found on Inland Empire and the Canadian & US releases of Franklin and the Turtle Lake Adventure, as well as the 2003 DVD and VHS releases of Stargate.
  • A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures uses a variant where all the clouds are lighter and re-rendered to look more realistic. When the StudioCanal logo fades in, it slides to the left a little bit before the background fades to black.

Technique: CGI, done by BUF Compagnie and designed by Laurent Panissier.[1]

Audio: Faint unintelligible whispers, followed by a whimsical-sounding fanfare, accompanied by various sound effects (e.g. a camera lens adjusting, wooden creaks, and bird chirps, sometimes louder).

Audio Variants:

  • Sometimes, it's silent, or the opening theme of the film plays.
  • Like the previous logo, the fanfare is low pitched on some NTSC releases once again due to PAL to NTSC conversion.
  • On Love Actually (2003), the faint whisper comes in late and cut off before the fanfare appears, this time with the various sound effects intact.
  • On Thunderbirds (2004), the faint whisper plays twice and while the fanfare plays, the various sound effects play twice.
  • On Johnny English (2003) and Wimbledon and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (both 2004), the tail end of the 1997 Universal Pictures logo's music plays alongside the faint whispers before the fanfare appears, this time with the various sound effects intact.

Availability: Appears on films like Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Babies, Thunderbirds, and Genesis, among others.

  • Like the previous logo, it also appears on television and DVD prints of films from the previously mentioned companies' libraries. It plasters the TriStar and Carolco logos on the Blu-ray release of Angel Heart.
  • It is also used as a de-facto VHS and DVD logo in France.
  • One of its first appearances was on a StudioCanal Classique DVD release of The Trial (Le Proces) released in March 2003.
  • It also appears on most current prints of the 1958-1966 Carry On films that were released by Anglo-Amalgamated Films, preceding the first three logos of that company, though most newer prints of them may plaster it with the next logo below, though some have it still intact, although it strangely is retained on its own on Blu-ray and Britbox prints of Carry On Screaming due to the 1962?-1971 Anglo-Amalgamated Films logo being strangely cut out.

4th Logo (September 5, 2011-)


Visuals: In a live-action black environment are several revolving rectangular glass panels in a letterboxed format, with brightly-colored lights shining through it. There are reflections of StudioCanal's new logo ("STUDIOCANAL" in Futura LT Bold, all upright and with the "O" and "C" connected, inside a black rectangle with the top-left and bottom-right corners rounded off; it is also rendered with the rectangle being white and the name being the same colors as the glass). They rotate like a revolving door to form the studio's name, upon the formation of which the rectangle fades in behind it and the lights continue to appear behind it.

Trivia: The logo's background was entirely done in live-action, with the glass installed specifically for the logo. A behind-the-scenes featurette can be seen here.

Variants:

  • A print version of the logo exists. Also this version is an in-credit variant.
  • A black-and-white version exists.
  • A short version exists for TV shows.
  • There is also a version on wich the normal logo is scrolling in credits.
  • Starting in 2020 with the re-release of Total Recall (1990), the byline "A CANAL+ COMPANY" appears underneath the studio name for the first time since the 2000 logo.
  • A seemingly unused package of variations from 2018 omits the mattes on top and bottom of the logo, and has the StudioCanal logo form through its letters as outlines rotating together, which then fill up with white. The result also lacks the rounded rectangle.


Technique: Primarily live-action with some minor computer graphics. Done by Devilfish.

Audio: A strings, woodwind, and mallets-laden composition by Alexandre Desplat, somewhat reminiscent of his score from Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Audio Variants:

  • On The Fives, the logo is silent.
  • A Portuguese print of Total Recall (1990) has the 2003 fanfare from the previous logo due to sloppy plastering.
  • On recent releases of Jean-Luc Godard's A Woman is a Woman as well as Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club, only the guitar, the flute, a trumpet and some strings can be heard. It turns out to be only the center channel of the logo’s original 7.1 mix played considering that the films were only mixed in mono and StudioCanal couldn’t convert all the channels into mono.
  • On Johnny English Strikes Again, the tail end of the 2012 Universal Pictures fanfare is heard before the fanfare plays. The music is also low-pitched.
  • The 2018 variations use a different accelerando composition by Desplat. Each variation uses a set of different instruments.
  • On the U.S. release of Paddington 2 (2017), the tail end of the 1999 Warner Bros. Pictures fanfare plays over the logo, omitting the first two chimes.
  • On a Paramount Network UK 2020 airing of Raw Deal (1986), the final note of the 2003 fanfare from the previous logo can be faintly heard after the logo ends due to a sloppy plastering job.
  • The in-credit variant uses the ending theme of the movie.

Availability: Seen on releases from the studio such as Non-Stop, Paddington and The Commuter.

  • It is also used as a de-facto DVD and Blu-ray logo in France, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, and appears on many current prints of older titles, for instance, streaming copies of Escape from New York and Carnal Knowledge on Vudu.
  • It's seen at the beginning of every episode of both Wanted: Dead or Alive and The Big Valley on Starz Encore Westerns, however, it does not appear on Me-TV's airings of the aforementioned show.
  • It also appears at the start of the 3D version of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and also new prints of the first three Rambo movies since 2018, when a 4K restoration from the original negative was released on Blu-ray and 4K UHD.
  • It also appears on some current French television prints of Regency and Spyglass Entertainment titles (as well as French digital prints of Spyglass titles), such as The Sixth Sense, What Happens in Vegas, Keeping the Faith, Love and Other Drugs and Shanghai Noon, among others.
  • It also appeared at the end of TV shows that they own such as The Avengers, War of the Worlds and The Adventures of Paddington.
  • This logo also appeared on TV shows that it's units produced such as Ridley Road and Happy Valley.
  • It can also be seen on GKIDS's English dub of The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales.
  • The 2018 variation package was posted on J.F. Degrevy's Vimeo account on August 9, 2018.
  • It appears on UK prints of post-2011 Studio Ghibli films on both DVD and Blu-ray.
  • The in-credit variant appears on Shaun the Sheep Movie, Early Man and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, respectively.
  • It also appears on the Mamoru Hosada film, The Boy and the Beast, however, it was cut out on home media releases, mostly due to StudioCanal using authoring from the Australian releases from Madman Entertainment.
  • This logo also does not appear at all on Johnny English Reborn (despite the company being mentioned in the credits) and it also does not appear on Mr Bean's Holiday either.
  • The bylineless version of this logo also appeared at the start of an April 8, 2023 UK airing of Five Guns West (1953) before the 1997 Orion Pictures logo on LEGEND.
  • The version with the Canal+ byline also appears at the start of a Sky Go New Zealand streaming print of Richard III (1955) before the 2013 ITV Studios Global Entertainment logo.
  • This can also be spotted on German theatrical and home media releases of Ladybug & Cat Noir: The Movie.
  • Some current prints of The Mirror Crack'd have this instead of the black-and-white variant of the previous logo.

References

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