THX

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

THX is a motion picture quality certification system (despite being branded as a "sound system" until 1997) founded by Tomlinson Holman and George Lucas in 1983 (in turn was then-owned by Lucasfilm Ltd. until June 2002, when spun-off as its present-day company - THX Ltd.), named after the first film Lucas directed, THX 1138. The first THX film was 1983's Return of the Jedi. THX officially stands for "Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment". THX certifies fine-tuned home theater equipment, TiVo DVRs, and some PCs. They have previously certified physical media such as VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and Blu-ray (and HD-DVD; Brave Story in Japan and Pan's Labyrinth in France only) until around late 2012, as well as video games until 2010. Previously owned by sound card manufacturer Creative Technology, THX was acquired by gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer on October 17, 2016.



1st Trailer (Wings) (May 25, 1983)

Visuals: The sequence starts with a black screen before the following white text fades in:
For the past 35 years,
motion picture loudspeaker
systems have not changed...
Later it fades out, and more white text appears reading:
Lucasfilm Ltd. and this theatre
are pleased to introduce a new
motion picture sound system.
That text fades out, and after a few seconds, the letters "THX", underlined and which have the slightly taller "T" stem extend over the other two letters, appear in a glassy sky blue color. "THX" has a shining effect that stays still throughout the duration of the trailer. Above the logo is "LUCASFILM LTD", and "SOUND SYSTEM" below, both in small, spaced-out text. The logo stays on screen for about 10 seconds, then slowly fades out with the text above and below the logo.

Trivia: The names given by Lucasfilm to some of the early THX trailers are derived from the earliest winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture, such as Wings, Cavalcade, and Cimarron.

Variant: In a Movie Television report on THX's 10th anniversary, the trailer was in black and white.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation effects.

Audio: A synthesized crescendo sound effect known as the "Deep Note", coded by James Andy Moorer. It starts off with a group of 30 descending synthesized voices reminiscent of the sound of an airplane flying. Each voice moves slowly and randomly in a frequency sweep between 200hz and 400hz. This part of the Deep Note then repeats, and eventually, the voices proceed to their target notes, a drastic change of three octaves. The lower notes grow deeper, and the higher voices grow more shrill, becoming an ascending dramatic sound until the sounds stop in one pitch. Three voices are heard per note, slightly detuned, and two more voices are heard in the bass.

Availability: This only appeared on the theatrical premiere of Return of the Jedi in theaters in Dallas and Hollywood, and was never used on THX-certified video releases. However, it can still be seen on select Demo DVDs and at THX's website (plus their official Vimeo and YouTube). The alternate variant appears on one of the Return of the Jedi featurettes made exclusively for the Star Wars Trilogy: The Definitive Collection LaserDisc set.

Legacy: The Deep Note, being introduced in this trailer, is known to be one of the most notorious movie sound marks in history, thanks to its often frightening nature for younger viewers.

2nd Trailer (Broadway) (Late 1983-October 24, 2006, March 19, 2010-September 17, 2012)

EmbedVideo is missing a required parameter.

Visuals: On a black background, there is a blue outline of a rectangle. The gray text "The Audience is Listening" (in the Archive Modern II Open font) fades inside the outline, then fades out. A few seconds later, the THX logo in silver appears, The blue rectangle outline fades out, and the Lucasfilm Ltd. tagline from before (now in Futura) appears in their respective positions above and below. The THX logo shines.

Variants: Throughout the years, this trailer had many different variants:

  • 1994: The audio was remixed digitally in Dolby Digital, DTS (believed to be the first format for which this was remixed), and SDDS with new technology (with the latter two systems even having a special end card).
    • For SDDS, the end card reads:
      This THX Trailer
      Recorded and Presented
      in
      , with the SDDS logo below.
    • For DTS, there is a card also at the beginning reading "dts Digital Sound In A THX Theatre" (with "dts" in its respective font). The rectangle then fades in, but with the "The Audience Is Listening" text now moved up to the center and in Times New Roman. After the THX logo fades out, an end card appears, containing the text "Recorded in", and the DTS Digital sound logo below.
  • 1995 A: As arguably the most recognizable Broadway variant, this was exclusive to home video releases. "The Audience Is Listening" text now reads:
    Digitally mastered
    for optimal video
    and audio performance
    in a rounded Arial Light font in white and arranged in the center of the outline. That text appears longer than the regular version, and "DIGITALLY" appears above the THX logo and "MASTERED" appears below that logo. Those texts fade in with the THX logo instead of appearing after the blue outline disappears, and they sparkle while the THX logo shines.
  • 1995 B: Both the audio and the trailer is shorter than the standard 1984-1997 theatrical version. The audio (in this, and both 1994 & 1995 A variants) is also in +2 higher (on VHS & LD; +3 on PAL releases), or -1.5 lower on DVDs.
  • On LaserDisc releases from THX, the blue rectangle appears as usual, but with a difference: the message reads:
    Mastered and duplicated
    for optimal video
    and audio performance
    in the Univers Light Condensed font (stretched a bit outwards). When the THX logo appears, [LASER I/ DISC], in a Copperplate font, appears under THX. The logo shines after the blue rectangle fades out. The pitch is +2 pitches higher (an E note) on analog tracks, like the VHS variant; though on AC-3 tracks, various pitches are used (see below).
  • From 1997-2003, an alternate version appeared where the original text above (and above only) the THX logo was "LUCASFILM LTD". This appeared only on Buena Vista releases until it was officially replaced with the "DIGITALLY MASTERED" (as described above) text when Lucasfilm Ltd. spun off THX into its present-day company.
  • For the Dell PC's THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, "The Audience is Listening" tagline is replaced with "Your DELL PC is THX Certified.", with "DELL" being in its corporate logo font. "SOUND SYSTEM" is replaced with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." Afterward, the URL "www.thx.com" is seen with a trademark disclaimer at the bottom.
  • 2010: The trailer was remastered in high definition. The blue rectangle is wider and glows, "The Audience Is Listening" text is in a white Imprint Shadow font and the THX logo glows and shines slowly. Below is a THX Ltd. copyright notice.
  • 2010 A: "The Audience Is Listening" text is replaced with
    Digitally mastered
    for superior sound
    and picture quality
    in the same Arial font (à la 1995 A). It debuted on home entertainment releases starting with Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Blu-ray.
  • On the 1997 Mexican VHS releases of the Star Wars films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the "Digitally mastered for optimal video and audio performance" text is translated in Spanish, reading:
    Masterizada digitalmente para una
    óptima reproducción de audio y video
    The latter two films have slight differences, with The Empire Strikes Back having the words "óptima" and "reproducción" switched, and Return of the Jedi having a period at the end of the sentence.

Technique: Camera-controlled shine animations. The remastered version uses computer animation by Van Ling, a prolific visual effects supervisor and DVD menu creator for several of James Cameron's films (including Terminator 2), all of the Star Wars DVDs, and three official THX demo discs.

Audio:

  • The theatrical version uses a louder version of the Deep Note which excludes the looped portion of the beginning.
  • The DVD/VHS/LaserDisc version has a shorter and quicker version of the Deep Note that starts at the rapid pitch change. The VHS versions have a +2/higher-pitched (E note) Deep Note. The DVD version has a -1.5/lower-pitched (C♯ note) version that is often re-used in some of the future logos listed below.
  • LaserDisc releases sometimes contain multiple pitches on discs, depending on the audio channel and equipment used:
    • Almost all analog and digital stereo tracks feature the +2 pitch VHS variation of the Deep Note.
    • Dolby Digital AC-3 tracks, meanwhile, contain one of two different variations: they either contain the C#/-1.5 pitch DVD/Tex version, or a truncated theatrical Deep Note variation in D.
    • Some copies of Stargate and Species contain the theatrical Deep Note even on the analog tracks, though others use the +2 pitch versions instead.
    • The Japanese LaserDisc of Species uses the theatrical Deep Note even on the analog tracks.
    • Discs 1, 4, 5 and 8 of the LaserDisc release of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-oh-ki use the C#/-1.5 pitch DVD/Tex version of the Deep Note even on the analog tracks.
    • DTS-encoded THX-certified LaserDiscs normally default to the +2 pitch versions as well, though the DTS release of Apollo 13 instead uses the -1.5 pitch DVD/Tex version. (On the 1998 Japanese DTS LaserDisc of said film, the analog stereo track uses the E note)
  • PAL THX-certified releases normally have the +2 pitch Deep Note; however, a couple of PAL releases (mentioned below) have it at a higher pitch (+2.68, at an F note).
  • The HD version, or "Broadway Classic (Restored)", has the remastered Deep Note used in the "Science of Sensation" trailer.
  • On international prints of the 2000 DVD of Alien, there are some unique sound variants:
    • The PAL discs feature a +0.68 PAL pitch of the -1.5 (DVD/Tex) Deep Note.
    • On the Japanese disc, two audio tracks are present, each containing different pitches:
      • The English surround track features the same audio from the PAL releases.
      • However, the Japanese audio track features the VHS pitch of the Deep Note (E key).
  • An odd fusion of the LaserDisc variant (the "Mastered and duplicated..." text) and the 1995 variant (the "DIGITALLY MASTERED" text), with it also using the former's Deep Note pitch (in E), appeared on the 1997 DVD release of Night of the Living Dead, due to it being based off the LaserDisc release from 1994.

Availability: This debuted on an unknown film in late 1983, and was last seen on the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray.

  • The 1994 remixed variant is believed to have debuted on Radioland Murders.
  • The original theatrical variant is very hard to come by, but it appears on the 1990 THX Wow! LaserDisc, which was a sound test disc that predated the THX certification process and one that is difficult to find; as well as its 2002 reissue on The THX Ultimate Demo Disc DVD.
  • The 1995 variant appears on THX-certified DVDs and VHS tapes from various distributors from 1995 to 2006, as well as the Lucasfilm THX Theatrical Trailers: The Audience is Listening DVD, and on the DVD that came with the first edition of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor.
  • On Disney releases:
    • The LaserDisc variant was first used with the May 1994 LaserDisc release of The Three Musketeers (1993), and on an animated film for the first time that September with Aladdin.
    • It debuted on VHS with the Masterpiece Collection edition of Bambi, which used the Digitally Mastered variant.
    • The first release to use the Lucasfilm Ltd. variant was the Masterpiece Collection edition of Fun & Fancy Free. All THX certified Disney tapes would use this variant until around late 2001, and then alternated with the Digitally Mastered variant until December 2003, ending with Freaky Friday (2003).
    • The 2002 VHS release of Atlantis: The Lost Empire uses the standard logo, but Spanish-translated and French-Canadian releases have the Lucasfilm Ltd. variant instead.
    • It was also seen with the -1.5 lower pitch on Disney DVDs starting in late 1999, beginning with the Limited Issue release of Pinocchio. Early releases from 1999-2001 would also feature the Lucasfilm Ltd. credit, and would switch to the Digitally Mastered variant in late 2001, with its final US appearance being on the 2001 DVD of Pearl Harbor in December, although it appeared a final time the following year on the French DVD release of James and the Giant Peach (James et la pêche géante) as the sole non-US appearance.
    • The DVD variant appeared on an April 16, 2011 Starz airing of Toy Story 3 (or 2).
    • The VHS variant of the standard logo appeared on the Disney Channel airings of Monsters, Inc. prior to the special movie events.
    • The Lucasfilm Ltd. variant also makes a surprise appearance on the 1998 Japanese VHS of The Little Mermaid (リトル・マーメイド ) and the 2002 French DVD of James and the Giant Peach (James et la pêche géante).
  • The last Disney releases with this logo:
    • VHS: The Special Edition release of Aladdin on October 5, 2004 (however, the logo appears on the packaging and tape of the 2005 Special Edition release of Bambi, but not on the movie itself).
    • LaserDisc: The Masterpiece Collection release of The Little Mermaid on November 3, 1998.
    • DVD: On an animated film, the 2005 10th Anniversary release of Pocahontas on May 3, 2005. Overall, the DVD of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, released on September 13, 2005. Only Disney's Pixar releases had THX after this point, and they used the Tex trailer through November 2006.
  • The LaserDisc variant can be found on select LaserDisc releases from 1993-2000, starting with The Abyss, released on April 7th, 1993.
    • Two Paramount releases, Apocalypse Now and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, were released on December 29, 1991 and July 1, 1992 respectively, and were the first THX-certified LaserDisc titles (and home media titles if demo releases are excluded), despite not being shown on the case. However, since these were part of the test program, no trailers were used.
    • Starting in late 1996 with Highlander, the 3rd logo would be used in tandem with this one (though every Buena Vista release and the majority of Sony titles used this trailer).
    • The last LaserDiscs with this logo would be Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and a re-release of the original Star Wars Trilogy's Special Edition, both released in 2000 in Japan only. In the United States, the last release with this trailer (and the last THX-certified release there) was Amistad, released in August 1999.
  • Some tapes and DVDs don't have this logo on the cover or tape but feature it on the movie itself, and vice versa.
  • The "restored" variant debuted on Blu-ray with Star Wars: The Original Trilogy and on DVD with the 2012 re-release of Titanic, before being moved to the beginning with the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray on September 17, 2012. It was also available online and on the THX Calibrator disc.
  • The "DELL PC" version is exclusive to the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc.
  • The DVD variant was also seen on the Pioneer DVD releases of Akira and Tenchi Muyo In Love (The LaserDisc variant also appears on the LaserDisc release of the latter), among other anime titles. It debuted with the first release of the format in the U.S., Twister, on March 24, 1997. Early DVDs from 1997-2000 that were THX-certified play this trailer either as soon as the disc is read or right after the relevant home video logos, but before any menus.
  • The last US film release of this variant was on May 23, 2006 with the uncut DVD release of The Boondock Saints, though this variant continued to appear on international releases past this release, namely the Japanese DVD of The Uchoten Hotel (THE 有頂天ホテル) (released on August 11, 2006), the French DVD of Underworld: Evolution (released on October 11, 2006), and the Monster Music SuperDisc DVD of George Benson & Al Jarreau: Givin' it Up (when the THX Optimizer option is selected) as well as at the beginning of the CEDIA exclusive promotional version of said disc, both releasing on October 24, 2006 - marking the final release of any kind to use the original variant.
  • The high-pitched PAL variant can be found on PAL VHS releases of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and the 2000 releases of the Indiana Jones trilogy, as well as the 2004 Indonesian VCD of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Special Edition. It may have appeared on other PAL tapes and/or VCDs as well, but these are unconfirmed.
  • The remastered version can be seen before every showing of Aerosmith's Deuces are Wild concert residency.
  • It appears at the end of the Pioneer LaserDisc release of Platoon due to time constraints.
  • The DVD variant (both 16:9 and 4:3 versions) makes a hidden appearance on the DVD release of Kiss the Girls in titles 5 and 6 respectively.
  • It is unknown if this appears on the Disney-distributed Spanish DVD release of Princess Mononoke, considering that the print logo was spotted on packaging.

Legacy:

  • This trailer's rendition of the Deep Note, cited as "the most awesome, powerful, and terrifying audio trademark in the film industry" by No Film School, is frequently referenced and parodied for its capability to be perceived as loud and menacing. This is an aural illusion; the spectrum of frequencies used in the sound, which Gary Rydstrom says makes it "just feel loud", are of sufficient volume for theaters.[1] [2]
  • The VHS and DVD variants of this logo are particularly infamous for its omnipresence on Disney releases from the era as well as other titles from Fox throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.

3rd Trailer (Cimarron) (May 20, 1988-2002)

Original variant

 

LaserDisc variant

Visuals: On a black background, a small, white-outlined box containing a gray gradient background appears in the center of the screen. Then, the hand of a conductor, holding a baton, moves up in the box. The hand flicks the baton, blasting out a blue "hyperspace" far larger than the box that slowly turns red. Once the screen zooms through the other end of the wormhole, there is a silver THX logo slowly zoom towards the camera, against a dark red abyss. After a cooldown for a few seconds, text reading "The Audience is Listening" fades in, in the same font and color used in "Broadway"; followed by a subtitle reading "Lucasfilm Ltd. Sound System", along with a copyright notice at the bottom right of the screen, and what appears to be the Dolby "Spectral Recording" logo at the bottom left.

Trivia: The copyright notice has a 1987 date on it, indicating it was completed by then.

Variants:

  • This trailer was remixed in Dolby Digital in 1995. This variant had slight changes. At the start is the Dolby logo, alongside the text "Dolby Digital Sound In A THX Theatre" (in Caslon Open Face font). Later, in the end, the "Recorded in Dolby Digital" logo was added at the left-bottom of the screen (similar to the "Recorded in DTS" end card from Broadway).
  • On THX WOW!, the logo starts at the hyperspeed boost, and the Dolby logo at the end is blacked out.
  • On LaserDisc releases starting with Highlander: Director's Cut, the hyperspeed boost is removed. The text "Mastered and duplicated for optimal video and audio performance" fades in on the dark red abyss, which transitions to the THX logo zooming in. Once the logo moves past the camera, the THX LaserDisc logo from "Broadway" fades and zooms inside the silver outlined rectangle. The THX LaserDisc logo and the silver outlined rectangle shine. This was used until 1999.

Technique: CGI animation, mixed with live action for the hand, done by Industrial Light and Magic using Alias Research.

Audio:

  • 1988-1990: The appearance of the box is accompanied by the sound of an orchestra warming up, which fades out as the conductor's hand appears. Once it flicks the baton, a booming, descending synth note accompanies the hyperspeed boost, overlapped by an orchestra crescendo as it reaches its peak. When the THX logo appears in the abyss, the descending synth is played again, but this time at a slower speed and with less distortion. As the THX logo gets closer to the camera, the synth note gets more intense, and an ascending string crescendo slowly becomes prominent before replacing the synth entirely. Once the THX logo completely moves past, the strings reach its highest point, culminating in a majestic chord representing the Deep Note. The strings get quieter, and twinkling sounds play as the "The Audience is Listening" text appears, and echo until a few seconds after the visuals fade out.
  • 1990-2002: The trailer still begins with an orchestra warming up, but the loud descending note following the conductor flicking his baton is replaced with a rousing orchestral cue composed by James Horner; whistling sounds accompany the hyperspeed boost as the cue reaches a crescendo before abruptly fading out. As the THX logo appears, a slightly quieter series of ascending string notes is heard, representing the Deep Note; twinkling sounds were also heard as well as a loud whoosh accompanying the THX logo zooming in. Afterwards, there is a low-pitched bell, segueing into an ending consisting of quiet strings/twinkling sounds (not unlike the original mix's ending), to accompany the appearance of the "The Audience is Listening" text.
    • This music variant debuted on the LaserDisc, THX WOW!. The music on this release seems to be unfinished, as the whistling sounds at the start are absent, as is the "whoosh" that accompanies the THX logo zooming in.
    • The LaserDisc variant also starts with a thunderclap, transitioning into the ascending string notes from the 1990 music variant. The theme is condensed and slightly shorter (particularly after the THX logo zooms past the camera).

Availability: This is the first alternate THX trailer, introduced in 1988 with the original theatrical release of Willow in THX certified theaters.

  • The original version only survives in the hands of a few home projectionists. Footage of the logo in action, seen before a British theatrical showing of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at the Empire Leicester Square cinema in London, was discovered in mid-February 2022.
  • The Dolby Digital variant was seen in THX-certified theaters from 1995-2000, and is also available on THX demo discs.
  • The LaserDisc variant can be seen on LaserDiscs from 1996-1999 such as The Blues Brothers, Volcano, Independence Day, and others (namely Fox, Paramount, and Universal flicks).
  • It was also seen on LaserDiscs from other major film companies, except for Disney's labels, Columbia (except for the 1998 LD release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which uses this logo) and some Fox releases which used the Broadway trailer instead. Warner Bros. would also use this logo for LaserDiscs, but only for the Twister LD release. The last release that used this trailer was Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Distant Thoughts, released August 25, 1999.
  • Earlier prints of the 1996 Signature Collection edition LaserDisc of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial use Broadway, while later prints use this logo instead.

Legacy: This is one of three trailers that used a theme other than the original Deep Note, the others being "Grand" (the 4th trailer) and "Tex 2: Moo Can" (the 7th trailer). It proved to be unpopular among viewers. Andy Moorer, in an interview with Twenty Thousand Hertz, recalled that "Nobody liked [the sounds], nobody remembered them".[3] The original version is infamous for its extreme rarity. Various reconstructions have been made, and some audio had resurfaced, but no one was exactly sure what the original version sounded like beyond a general idea until video footage of the logo was uploaded in mid-February 2022.

4th Trailer (Grand) (June 11, 1993-1997)

Visuals: On a black background is some white text that reads "This auditorium is equipped with a THX sound system." A few seconds later, the background turns into a dark red cloudy background. There are some white text that reads "The Audience Is Listening." After that, the red-black background slowly turns dark blue, somewhat similar to the previous background. Seconds after, a light with lens flares moves upward and a 90° turned THX logo rotates to its front in a blue gradient background, with "LUCASFILM LTD" over and "SOUND SYSTEM" below.

Variants:

  • The 2002 Fox Five-Star Collection DVD of Speed replaces "The Audience Is Listening" text with "Best Picture. Best Sound. You're watching a THX Certified Feature." and "SOUND SYSTEM" with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." appearing below the logo at the end.
  • The Dell PC DVD version replaces "The Audience Is Listening" with "Your Dell PC is THX Certified." and "SOUND SYSTEM" with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." "Dell" is in its usual font and the www.thx.com URL appears at the end with a copyright notice.
  • On The THX Ultimate Demo Disc (the THX Ultra 2 and THX Story featurettes), a digital 4:3 version of this trailer can be spotted.
  • A prototype version exists, in which the text is set in a different font written in all capital letters. "The Audience is Listening" is also punctuated with an ellipsis, unlike the final version. The cloudy background appears very choppy and incomplete and the THX logo at the end appears to be the print version of the time in silver, likely a placeholder until the CGI of the logo was complete. This version can also be briefly glimpsed in the THX Story featurette seen on the aforementioned demo disc.
  • The logo exists in scope and flat variants.
  • A DTS end variant exists where the text "Recorded in dts Digital Sound." appears, with the "Digital Experience" print logo below. This was seen primarily in theaters with DTS systems (including the aforementioned Jurassic Park) for a short time.

Technique: CGI animation created by Industrial Light and Magic using Alias Research (like the previous logo) according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc.

Audio: Some chimes and wind howling. When the background opens, wind whistles, then various ascending notes and sounds, until a Star Wars laser-gun sound and a whooshing sound occurs as the THX logo appears and ends with a choir-like version of the Deep Note. The sound for this trailer was apparently created at Skywalker Sound and, according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc, designed by David Slusser and Marco d'Ambrosio.

Availability: Alongside DTS's "Stand Alone" trailer, this debuted on the original theatrical release of Jurassic Park (according to the 1998 Lucasfilm THX "The Audience is Listening on DVD" disc and the THX Ultimate Demo Disc), and then it was seen in all THX-certified theaters from 1993 until 1997, as well as online, on the DVDs that came with second-edition and third-edition copies of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor and on the 2002 Fox Five-Star Collection DVD release of Speed. The "DELL PC" version is exclusive to the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc. The DTS version was only being used on early DTS films such as the aforementioned Jurassic Park; and it took until May 2022 for this variant to be discovered.

5th Trailer (Simpsons) (April 14, 1994-1997)

Note: The video on the left is the original parody from the Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir." The video on the right is the official reanimated version of the trailer.

Visuals: On a black background, the familiar rectangle from the Brodway trailer fades in. It then crossfades to the front of the fictional Springfield Aztec Theatre, complete with a film marquee with the text "SISKEL & EBERT: THE MOVIE" on it, with "TWO THUMBS UP" - SISKEL & EBERT" below it (a reference to the show Siskel & Ebert [later At the Movies], hosted by movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert). The screen then cuts to many Simpsons characters in theater seats, including Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Abe (Grampa) Simpson. The light dims and then brightens a bit. Then it cuts to the movie screen, then a white screen with "THX" on it (not the same as the other trailers, obviously to avoid any legal trouble) appears, with "SOUND SYSTEM" and "THE AUDIENCE IS LISTENING" under it. The Deep Note shakes the theater/cinema, as several moviegoers, including Hans Moleman, coil back in their seats. Chaos then ensues, with Moleman's glasses breaking, another man having his teeth shatter in a close-up shot, an exit sign exploding, the ceiling beginning to crumble and fall, and a man's head exploding (a reference to the film Scanners). After the chaos, the screen cuts back to the screen as the audience cheers for the logo. The theatre screen fades to black and the scene then cuts to Grampa (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) who, with his hand cupped to his ear, yells "Turn it up! TURN IT UP!".

Variant: Compared to the scene from the original episode, the pacing of the trailer is slightly slower to fit in with the full version of the Deep Note. The colors are also more vivid, and the animation is more detailed and slightly less rough. Despite now being an official trailer, this version retains the legally distinct logo from the original scene.

Technique: Cel animation by Film Roman, with Anivision helping with the reanimated variant. The show, however, was produced by Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox Television (now 20th Television Animation).

Audio: The atmosphere, Grampa's dialogue, and the Deep Note. In the original scene, car horns are heard during the establishing shot of the theatre.

Availability: This was originally a scene from The Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir" (which originally aired on April 14, 1994), but Lucasfilm executives liked the parody so much that they asked to use the scene as an official trailer.

  • The scene was reanimated for THX in widescreen, and made its debut in cinemas sometime after the airing of the episode in 1994, and also appeared on demo discs of the time (remixed in the three major digital audio formats no less), it also appears on The THX Ultimate Demo Disc.
    • Additionally, the reanimated version can be found as a special feature on disc 1 of The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season DVD boxset since "Burns' Heir" is a season five episode.
  • This trailer was originally released in Dolby A, but it was later rereleased in 1996 as a single inventory print with Dolby Digital, DTS and SDDS.

6th Trailer (Tex) (July 3, 1996-November 7, 2006)

Visuals: The THX logo fades in as it usually would. All of a sudden, the logo sputters and then breaks down as if due to an electrical failure. A light is switched on a light blue background as a red robot named Tex rolls in from off-camera. Tex opens a panel on the "X", grabs a rocket pack, and flies off-screen, pulling out a hammer just before he goes off-screen, muttering "Oh, George..." (referring to George Lucas). Tex hammers at something on the right side of the screen, drills at something on the left side and then flies over to between the "T" and the "H", bumps the "H" out of the way, and opens another panel inside the "T". He moves a large switch inside it, causing the logo to re-activate and complete its usual sequence with the "LUCASFILM LTD." and "SOUND SYSTEM" text as the background fades back to black. Tex notices that the panel in the "X" is still open and kicks the logo, which closes it. A black screen falls, reading "The Audience Is Listening".

Trivia: John Lasseter, then-CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, created and voiced the character Tex, who has become the company's mascot.

Variants:

  • The original film print of the trailer was produced in full matte; however, it would be cropped when projected and is present in digital versions of the trailer. A clip of the full matte version was seen in Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery.
  • There is a slightly extended version in which after Tex drills something, he starts to saw and then hits something and yells "Ow!" (implying that he hurt himself), muttering afterward. The rest of the trailer plays like normal. This only appears on Fox Demo Disc #1, disc 2 of the North American DVD release of Finding Nemo, the French-exclusive Les Années Laser THX Trailers DVD, and the Lucasfilm THX Surround EX Demonstration Disc, with these selections implying this was meant for Dolby Digital Surround EX releases.
  • On the THX Vimeo page and DVD releases starting in 2005, such as Toy Story 2 Special Edition, the logo was remastered slightly. As a result, the black screen that reads "The Audience is Listening" is replaced with the THX website URL, and the "LUCASFILM LTD." and "SOUND SYSTEM" text are absent.
    • This version also appears on Cars, except here, the screen that reads "The Audience is Listening" is intact. On that same DVD, bits of the "SOUND SYSTEM" text can be seen as this screen falls.
  • On the Toy Story CAV LaserDisc, the only LD release to use this trailer, [ LASER I/ DISC ] from the Broadway LaserDisc trailer shines under THX. The "Mastered and Duplicated for Optimal Video and Audio Performance" message appears prior to the THX logo appearing. The DTS and standard Dolby Laserdiscs of Toy Story just use the "Broadway" trailer. On the DVDs of Toy Story (the 2000/2001 releases), A Bug's Life (the 2003 release) and the Pixar employees only Made in Point Richmond DVD, as well as the discs from the second and third editions of DVD Demystified, the version shown is recycled from the LaserDisc version, except the [ LASER I/ DISC ] bit is blacked out.
  • On the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, the "SOUND SYSTEM" text isn't present and the "The Audience Is Listening" text is replaced with "Best Picture. Best Sound."
  • The logo appeared in Variety magazine as a promotional image, with the lights already on and Tex flying in the air.

Technique: CGI animation by Pixar Animation Studios.

Audio: The Deep Note in -1.5 lower pitch (from the Broadway DVD variant), Tex's dialogue, and sounds corresponding to the animation. Sound design was done by Gary Rydstrom, according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc.

Audio Variants:

  • On the LaserDisc version's analog left track, the first second of the Deep Note is cut. However, it is present on the AC-3 track.
  • On the DVD that came with the first edition of DVD Demystified, some of the audio channels were switched around.

Audio Trivia: The sound when a piece of metal hits the ground after hitting Tex in the extended version was actually re-used from the sound effects created for Toy Story. The sound effect in question is in the scene when Buzz Lightyear drops a toy jack he's holding while Woody is confronting him.

Availability: It can be found on most Pixar movies on DVD, such as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, and Cars (the last THX-certified Disney DVD as no other format of Cars uses THX), as well as some THX demo DVDs and the DVDs that come with all three editions of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor. According to the THX Ultimate Demo Disc, the 1998 "The Audience is Listening on DVD" disc and the insert on the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, this trailer was released in time for the film Independence Day.

7th Trailer (Tex 2: Moo Can) (November 26, 1997-August 31, 2007)

Visuals: There is a gray, lifeless THX logo. Tex the robot, from the previous trailer, drops down from the top of the screen, and shows the viewer a cow-in-a-can toy. He flips it over, but the mooing sound is very faint, and he shrugs. He flies to the THX logo in the background, opens the same hatch in the "X" as his previous trailer, and then pulls out a cable from it. He then returns with the can and holds the cable up with his opposite hand, revealing it to have a plug, and plugs it into the can. Tex flips the can again and more realistic mooing sounds were heard, as the THX logo turns silver and starts to rise up from the middle of the screen to its usual position nearly at the top and shines. Tex smiles and nods when suddenly the THX logo begins to rumble and shake, as if a stampede of cows were heard. Tex sees this, jumps back in surprise, and he nervously flies off with the can and the plug. The cable causes the logo to jolt to its left side for a moment before the plug disconnects from the can, putting the logo back to its normal position. The cable is pulled back into the logo, the hatch closes, and like the last trailer, the black screen with the text "The Audience is Listening" and a copyright info under it falls to the screen.

Trivia: This trailer's original name was "Stampede", which was revealed in the DVD menu of Pixar's employee exclusive "Made in Point Richmond" DVD.

Variants:

  • On a few alternate occasions between 1997 and 2005, the Lucasfilm Ltd. name was seen on top of THX; then the screen falls as usual but replaces "The Audience Is Listening" with "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature." (as seen in the "Cavalcade" trailer).
  • In late 2005, this trailer, the previous one, and Cavalcade were remastered and removed any mention of the Lucasfilm name (due to these trailers being made before the 2002 spinoff), the tagline is replaced with "WWW.THX.COM". It is currently used on the THX website and their official uploads of the trailer on Vimeo and YouTube.
  • In 2009, when Monster joined THX, the trailer became slightly updated. When Tex gets the cord, the camera zooms in to reveal a Monster HDMI cable. When he plugs it in, the graphics on the moo can change it into a Monster Moo Can. "Monster" in 3-D font fades and slides up to the top at the same time as the THX logo. When the THX logo rumbles, the Monster logo rumbles and the black screen shows the THX Monster logo in white and the THX Monster trademark in white.
  • On the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, the "The Audience Is Listening" text is replaced with "Best Picture. Best Sound."
  • The video game Lair for PlayStation 3 uses the same variant from 2005 until the logo finishes, the creatures from the game run under the URL for THX (www.THX.com), and this trailer immediately segues into the Factor 5 logo. During said Factor 5 logo, the last "Moo" sound can still be heard.
  • A fullscreen version exists (the entire trailer is letterboxed except for the tagline card "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature." is in fullscreen), this is only used for both the US VHS, the United Kingdom (Region 2) & the Australian (Region 4) rental DVD release for Monsters, Inc. (featuring no copyright text and a PAL pitch) and the discs from the second and third editions of DVD Demystified.
  • On the THX Theatrical Trailers: The Audience is Listening and the French-exclusive Les Années Laser THX Trailers DVDs, as the tagline cuts to black, a piece of text "www.thx.com" appears fading in and out. It was apparently the same one used in all of the trailers featured in the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc albeit the copyright info being blacked out.

Technique: CGI animation; like before, this was done by Pixar.

Audio: Same as the previous trailer, except the Deep Note is replaced by cows mooing it (if one listens carefully, a high-pitched voice is heard towards the end of the mooing, which sounds like someone yelling "STOP!" before the sound of rumbling and cracking). The sound design is by Gary Rydstrom and Marco d'Ambrosio (who did the cow chord) according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. A variant of the Monster THX logo (website intro only) uses some electrical sounds from the Terminator 2 THX trailer, of which Rydstrom also did the sound design. Like the previous two logos, prints existed in all three digital sound formats.

Audio Variant: On some earlier home video releases that feature this trailer (like the aforementioned Monsters, Inc. VHS, Toy Story 2 Ultimate Toy Box DVD and the version on the Made in Point Richmond DVD, as well as both versions on the discs from the second and third editions of DVD Demystified), the logo is slightly louder, and more mooing sounds are added in, and the moo noise heard at the end is heard later.

Availability: Seen in THX-certified theaters for some time, though for how long remains a mystery. It debuted likely in front of Alien Resurrection, as the logo debuted on Thanksgiving weekend (in the U.S.) of that year according to several THX demo discs. The Lucasfilm byline variant can be seen on various THX-certified DVDs from 2000 to 2005, mostly on films from Pixar (such as Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 10th Anniversary Edition, and Finding Nemo) and Fox (such as Speed 2 and The Day The Earth Stood Still), as well as THX Demo discs, the DVDs that came with second-edition and third-edition copies of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor, and even the VHS of Monsters, Inc., although Disney Channel's original print of the film plastered this with the VHS version of Broadway instead, possibly due to time compression. The remastered variant without the Lucasfilm byline debuted in the US on Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two on December 6, 2005. (internationally, it debuted on Toy Story 2 Special Edition on November 28, 2005) A variant is also on the Lair video game for PlayStation 3. This was also seen online as well. This trailer also appears in the Pixar employees only Made in Point Richmond DVD along with the Tex logo. It was also seen on the French (2 disc) Ultimate Edition DVD release of The Transporter (Le Transporteur) and the Japanese DVD releases of Waterboys (ウォーターボーイズ), Check it Out, Yo!! (チェケラッチョ!!), and Swing Girls (スウィングガールズ).

8th Trailer (Broadway 2000) (May 19, 1999-October 21, 2003)

Visuals: On a black background, the phrase "LET'S SEE IT IN" zooms in word-by-word at the center of the screen. Then the THX logo fades in and shines, followed by "LUCASFILM" fading in above.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: A shorter version of the Deep Note that begins right before the rapid pitch change. However, new voices are added to the Deep Note and drown out most of the original voices except for the lower ones.

Availability: Seen in THX-certified theaters at the time. Although the THX Ultimate Demo Disc claims the trailer debuted in late 1999, this trailer did indeed debut on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in May of that year. This also appears on The Adventures of Indiana Jones (2003 release only), The THX Ultimate Demo Disc and the Lucasfilm THX Surround EX Demonstration Disc.

9th Trailer (Cavalcade) (August 29, 2000, May 25, 2001-May 19, 2009)

Visuals: In a darkly-lit environment, the camera zooms in toward a glassy light blue sphere, which has clouds rolling and lightning flickering. The environment illuminates, showing that the sphere is barely hovering over a textured blue floor. Suddenly, the sphere shatters, and the sky is revealed to contain several rolling gray clouds. The glass then liquefies and gathers in the center. Some lightning strikes it and is forms a silver THX logo. If one looks closely while the logo forms, one can see rain pouring down. Then, the environment fades to black as "LUCASFILM", spaced out to fit the width of the THX logo, fades in on top of it and a shimmering blue rectangle (the same one from "Broadway") is drawn clockwise around the logo (like a laser).

Variants:

  • On DVDs, the logo fades out as the text "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" fades in.
  • In late 2005, the "LUCASFILM" text was removed due to the 2002 split from Lucasfilm as mentioned above. A www.thx.com web address and copyright info now appear at the end of the trailer in place of the Digitally Mastered message.
  • For the scope version of this trailer, the glass pieces look more stretched out.
  • On the DVD release of Terminator 2, a metallic rectangle with the T2 logo carved out appears from the Time Sphere, zooming toward the camera. Then, the rectangle gets shot into pieces by the T-800 with the shotgun, as seen on the reflection. The pieces then turn into liquid metal like the T-1000 and form the THX logo. After that, the THX logo fades out, and then it contains a message reading "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature" appears one by one as each text fades out before the other. Also, the Deep Note in this variant (the Terminator 2 variant) is the same as the Broadway 2000 version. This is also on the Blu-ray releases with some differences: the THX logo fades into the standard logo, the "DIGITALLY" and "MASTERED" (à la Broadway '95) are replaced with "CERTIFIED," and the www.thx.com URL with a copyright notice appears; which served as the basis of Cavalcade. It appears on the Ultimate, eXtreme, initial Blu-ray, and Skynet editions of this film, but not the 2015 remastered or 4K Blu-ray releases.
  • On the DVDs of The Final Countdown, Fox Demo Disc #1, and The THX Ultimate Demo Disc, the logo fades out before it gets to the "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" text. The THX Ultimate Demo Disc also has the framing of 1.85:1. This is also on the original theatrical version of that trailer.
  • On the intro to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc menu, as the rectangle is drawn, the logo moves far away to fit room for the menu options.
  • A 4:3 matted version exists on fullscreen DVDs.
  • A still frame of the bylineless variant is used on the opening of the 2007 PlayStation 3 game flOw.

Technique: CGI animation by Van Ling.

Audio: First, there is the sounds of rainfall, and then thunderclaps/electric shocking sounds, followed by glass shattering, then the Deep Note. A laser-like sound is heard as the rectangle is formed.

Audio Trivia:

  • The sound of the thunderclap heard before the pieces turn into liquid is the same one that was heard from the Dolby "City" trailer.
  • Also, if one listens closely just as the Deep Note starts playing up to when the logo is formed, one can almost hear the Deep Note used in the "Broadway 2000" trailer being mixed together, meaning that this version of it was originally going to be included in this trailer, similar to the Terminator 2 variant.

Audio Variant: In the T2 variant, music from Terminator 2 is heard which fades into the Deep Note used in Broadway 2000; the sound design and mix are by Gary Rydstrom at Skywalker Sound according to the credits of the T2 Ultimate Edition DVD.

Availability: The T2 version was first seen on the Terminator 2: Judgment Day "Ultimate Edition" DVD, released on August 29, 2000, with the regular version appearing in most THX-certified theaters starting on May 25, 2001 with Pearl Harbor.[4] Seen on several THX DVDs, such as Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Alien Quadrilogy, From Hell, Re-Animator, La Mentale, 36th Precinct (36 Quai des Orfèvres), The Incredibles, Bayside Shakedown 2, THX 1138, the 2004 Star Wars Trilogy DVD set, and X-Men 1.5; in THX-certified theaters, and on the video games NBA 09: The Inside, MLB 08: The Show, and MLB 09: The Show. It's also the intro to the menu of The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. The final appearance of the Lucasfilm byline variant was Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume One, released on March 22, 2005, and the remastered variant with the THX website URL but no Lucasfilm byline appears on the French DVD releases of Ghost Rider and L'Ennemi Intime, as well as most THX certified DVDs released by Wild Side Video, and even the HD DVD release of Pan's Labyrinth (Le Labyrinthe de Pan).

10th Trailer (Bounty/20th anniversary variant) (October 7, 2003-2004)

Visuals: On a black background, there are out-of-focus movie clips on a THX logo. Some of these clips include Star Wars: Episode I, Alien and Jurassic Park. The logo then starts to shine as the blue outline from the Broadway trailer appears around the screen and the words "CERTIFIED CINEMA" appear under the THX logo. Everything except the blue outline fades out and is replaced by the THX website URL on the top, copyright information on the bottom, and the phrase "20 Years of Making Great Movies Come Alive."

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: In this order, sound/dialogue clips from the following movies are heard:

  • Apocalypse Now Redux
  • Jurassic Park*1 *2
  • Die Hard*2 (John McClane (Bruce Willis): "Well, well, well.")
  • Jurassic Park (again)*1 *2 (the T-Rex's roar)
  • Nightmare on Elm Street*2 (LD)
  • Star Wars: Episode I*1 *2 (Sebulba's podracer)
  • Fight Club*1 *2
  • Alien*2
  • Star Wars: Episode I (again) *1 *2 (the clashing of lightsabers)
  • Pulp Fiction *2 (LD) (Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson): "And I will strike down upon thee with-")
  • Back To The Future trilogy (Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd): "1.21 gigawatts!")
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy *1 (the Nazgul's screech)
  • The Fast and the Furious
  • Speed *1 *2

After this, the -1.5/low-pitched Deep Note from the "Tex" and "Broadway" (DVD variant) trailers starts playing as the final sound clips play from:

  • Alien (again)*2
  • Ghost (Molly Jensen (Demi Moore): "Now, just let the clay slide between your fingers.")
  • The Mask*2 (LD) (The Mask (Jim Carrey): "Sssssssssmokin'!")

Sound design was by Gary Rydstrom and Steve Boeddeker of Skywalker Sound.

*1 denotes Skywalker Sound title *2 denotes THX-certified title

Availability: This was only seen in THX-certified theaters in 2003 and early 2004 when THX celebrated its 20th anniversary; licensing issues have probably prevented this trailer from being used again, as THX doesn't own the rights to the clips featured.

11th Trailer (Science) (May 11, 2005-January 26, 2010)

Visuals: On a black background, the white text "THE SCIENCE" fades in, the letters of which slowly come together. As that text turns black with a white drop shadow, "OF SENSATION" blurs in below and zooms in, with a purple flare appearing under the "O" in "OF". The text fades out, leaving the flare behind. Then, the THX logo appears with the text "CERTIFIED CINEMA" below, with the flare moving along the bottom of the logo. The logo then fades out, with the flare following suit a second later. The URL "WWW.THX.COM" fades in as copyright information is seen below.

Trivia: This trailer was originally created for use with digital cinema projectors, not only for the use of the tagline, but also including a flare so it can immerse the viewer with a sharper and cleaner picture in the auditorium before a film would start.

Variants:

  • A 4:3 version is used on fullscreen DVDs and on the international VHS releases of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, which simply shows "CERTIFIED" under the logo.
  • Certified DVDs show "CERTIFIED DVD" under the logo.
  • On select certified games, the trailer is abridged, and "GAME" replaces "CINEMA".
  • Despite this trailer's objective, a 35mm version was still created, as the transition to digital cinema was still underway at the time of its release.

Technique: CGI animation.

Audio: A remastered Deep Note, some shining sounds, and whooshes. In this remastered Deep Note, some voices are reminiscent of the newer ones from the Broadway 2000 version, and some of the voices reach their final pitches before the others do.

Audio Trivia: The audio used in this trailer made an appearance in a parody in Over the Hedge. (the glimmer is heard briefly, if one listen closely.)

Audio Variants:

  • The Deep Note is abridged on the game variant.
    • Additionally, on Scarface: The World is Yours, the Deep Note starts after the sound of a chainsaw is played. This same version appears on MAG for PlayStation 3, but without the chainsaw sound.

Availability: After the logo first appeared to THX newsletter subscribers on May 11, 2005, it officially premiered on the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith due to it being an all-digital production, and seen in some theaters for some time after.

  • It can be seen on many DVD releases as well such as Titanic: Special Collector's Edition, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and the Japanese DVD of Lorelei: The Witch of The Pacific Ocean (debut).
  • The game variant appeared on Jak X: Combat Racing, NBA 07 (PlayStation 3 only), Scarface: The World is Yours, MLB 06: The Show, and MAG (at an even more abridged pace).
  • The VHS version only appears on international VHS releases of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, mostly in PAL regions; but a Mexican-Spanish release has it in NTSC encoding.
  • It was also used on the Monster Music DVDs of 3 Doors Down Away from the Sun and Peter Cincotti: Live in New York as well as the French DVD releases of Land of the Dead, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Ong-Bak (2 Disc Ultimate Edition), Banlieue 13 (2 Disc Ultimate Edition), Danny the Dog (2 Disc Ultimate Edition) and Sin City. This also appears on the Monster Music SuperDisc DVDs of Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company, A Charlie Brown Christmas: Vince Guaraldi Trio and 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas when the THX Optimizer option is selection.
  • This also makes a surprise appearance on the French DVD of Cinderella Special Edition.

12th Trailer (Ziegfeld) (May 26, 2006-August 10, 2008, September 11, 2018)

Visuals: On a black background, the metallic of the THX logo fades in. Then the shiny silver color fades inside the logo. The logo glows and makes a big shine with some sparkles. Below, the following disclaimer fades in: "THX and the THX logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All Rights Reserved."

Variants:

  • Sometimes, a copyright notice appears under the logo.
    • A variant of the copyright variant exists on a THX Spartial Audio demo, with "CG animation video clips courtesy of Beepie" appearing below the copyright.
  • A zoomed out variant exists.
  • At the beginning of a retail demo video on THX-certified LG TVs, the metallic outlines fade in quicker, the shiny silver color fades in slower, and the shine of the THX logo isn't as bright. On the alternate HD variant, the logo is light green, mostly due to color grading from the digital intermediate process.
  • On the PlayStation 3 game Warhawk, the logo is still and the disclaimer is absent.

Technique: CGI animation produced by Eyestorm Productions.

Audio: The -1.5/low-pitched Deep Note from the "Tex" and "Broadway" (DVD variant) trailers. None for the still variant.

Audio Variant: On a THX Spartial Audio demo from 2018, the logo uses the audio from the Eclipse trailer.

Availability: Can be seen on THX Demo Disc II, in HD on the games NBA 08 and MLB 07: The Show (PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3), The Bourne Conspiracy, and whenever a THX-Certified TiVo is turned on. The alternate HD variant seen on a promotional disc on the HD-DVD side for the French HD-DVD release of Pan's Labyrinth (Le Labyrinthe de Pan) (also in SD on the DVD side), the Japanese DVD of I Just Didn't Do It (それでもボクはやってない), the French DVDs of L'Ennemi Intime (hidden in title 7) and Shine a Light (hidden in title 13), as well as the French (2-disc) DVD of Hot Fuzz.

13th Trailer (Shrek) (May 2006, May 18, 2007)

Visuals: The THX logo starts up as normal, but just as the Deep Note starts to intensify, the logo suddenly falls down revealing Shrek and Donkey creating the Deep Note with a wind chime, an xylophone, a bagpipe, a kazoo and an accordion. The two realize they've been exposed, before looking at each other and smiling awkwardly as Shrek raises the logo (which is apparently a cardboard cut-out) back up. The Deep Note starts back up and the logo shimmers in green from left to right. While the Deep Note is playing, Donkey comes out and plays the kazoo over the last few seconds. Shrek whispers at him, and the two walk off-screen. The screen fades to black as the words "illuminate your senses" fade in on the top and shine, a smaller THX Certified Cinema logo in the middle, and copyright info on the bottom.

Trivia: The "LUCASFILM" text above the THX logo is visible for a split second when Shrek lifts it up. This is an editing mistake that made it to the final trailer, as this trailer was initially supposed to premiere in late 2001 when THX was still part of Lucasfilm.

Technique: CGI animation by Pacific Data Images and DreamWorks Animation.

Audio: The Deep Note (the descending part at first with it falling over), the instruments, Donkey saying "Uh-oh...", Shrek whispering "Donkey!", and Donkey's response: "Okay, okay! Chill, Shrek...". Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy reprise their respective roles as Shrek and Donkey from the film.

Audio Trivia: Donkey's "Uh-oh..." is taken from an early part of the first Shrek film when he realizes he ran out of fairy dust while he is trying to escape Lord Farquaad's guards.

Availability: This was initially supposed to premiere on November 2, 2001, the date of Shrek's home video release, but was pulled at the last second. It was theorized that Disney threatened to cut ties with THX over the trailer since this was the same day their film Monsters, Inc. opened in theaters (Disney has denied this), but THX themselves stated it was due to not wanting to be associated with a specific film. It eventually debuted online in 2006 to promote Shrek the Third[5], with the trailer also appearing theatrically on the film itself (and possibly other films). It was later uploaded to the company's YouTube channel as well.

14th Trailer (Tex 3: Action) (June 9, 2006-2007)

Visuals: On a gray background, there is a clapperboard on screen. The clapperboard claps and then disappears off-screen. The camera then zooms out and turns, revealing the background to be a gray BMW car with the iconic "kidney grille". Tex flies on-screen and stops in front of the car, giving a "stop" signal. Tex mutters "Uh oh..." then tries to fly away but ends up getting sucked into the car. He gets flung around the car's engine uncontrollably and is eventually able to stop and regain his balance. He then looks up and sees part of the engine spraying. After spraying for a few seconds, it explodes, and Tex gets covered in black ash. Another part of the engine then pushes Tex up, and he gets chased by another explosion. He manages to escape from the car just in time, but then he loses control and hits the THX logo off-screen. He then stands back up, shakes his arms and foot, looks back at the THX logo, and does a "Ta-dah!" pose. A copyright notice fades in and out on the bottom right.

Variants:

  • On the 2006 DVD and HD-DVD of Brave Story, this logo is formatted in 1.78:1, whereas the Blu-ray is 1.85:1, as compared to the version in District B13 and THX Demo Disc II, which is in scope.
  • A 35mm variant exists for theaters using 35mm projectors.

Technique: CGI animation.

Audio: A man saying "And...action!" when the clapperboard is on-screen, Tex's voice, some car sounds, and other sound effects, and the -1.5/low-pitched Deep Note from before.

Availability: Seen on THX-certified DVD players in some cars, and seen in theaters during this time period; it's said to have premiered before Cars. This was spotted on the 2006 DVD of District B13 and THX Demo Disc II, as well as the 2006 Japanese releases of Brave Story on DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray.

15th Trailer (Amazing Life) (November 28, 2007-May 22, 2012)

Visuals: The sequence starts out with an octagon shape figure rising out of a silver surface (à la a ripple effect), and forms into another figure, which looks like petals from a flower (it in fact is a blue passion flower) because we're looking at it from the top. Inside the "flower" is a crown shape figure that has wings on top of it, slowly spinning around, producing the held organ note sound, as the screen zooms in on it. Then, the scene changes. Following this is another set of wings that also spin around, but faster. A ring is spinning around with it and goes down towards the bottom of the screen, producing the buzzer. And the scene changes again. The same set of wings from the first scene is shown, once again spinning slowly, with shades seen on the left side of the screen. As the scene changes again, a tulip is seen zooming in towards the camera as it opens up its front, producing the deep brass sound. Then the screen zooms in on a mushroom as it bumps up a bit and makes drum beats. Then a set of butterflies fly by (with some stopping in the front center of the screen), producing some flapping sound is the flowerhead-like plant with dragonfly wings as petals, it pushes one-by-one clockwise, making dolphin chirping sounds, then there is a lotus seed head opening and closing its holes as it makes a melody played on a glockenspiel. Intact with the drumbeats of the jingle, there is a variety of mushrooms as they "beat" and bump up the drumbeats, and then the scene changes to swirly-like circles that vibrate, as the screen zooms from one to another, making the bass horn stab. The screen zooms into another tulip, making another deep brass sound, and suddenly, the camera flies over all of the above-mentioned items. As the camera tilts toward the front and zooms back is that the plant-covered structure is actually the THX logo. The plants then retract back, revealing the silver color of the logo; this version looks slightly (but also noticeably) different than the other trailers of the past. The logo zooms back as the copyright info fades in on the bottom.

Trivia:

  • This trailer was chosen by THX themselves as the final test on both the THX Optimizer video on THX-certified TiVo DVRs and on the THX Calibrator disc.
  • On the Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this trailer bizarrely plastered the Warner Home Video logo. This, along with the earliest DVD release of Terminator 2 from 1997, are the rare occasions where a THX trailer would play before the menu.

Variant: On the 2008 DVD of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (and the 2008 DVD reprints of the other three Indiana Jones films), the Japanese Blu-ray of The Magic Hour, and the Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy, this logo is formatted in 2.35:1 as compared to most other releases (2008 Blu-ray of Crystal Skull, Avatar, etc.) containing the trailer in 1.78:1.

Technique: CGI animated, designed and produced by Eyestorm Productions.

Audio: A variety of instruments playing in sync with each plant, performed by Low in the Sky. This ends with a less noisy version of the 2005 Deep Note, accompanied by the swoosh. Unlike the previous THX trailers, the music starts at the ending note (blended into the background instrumentation at first) and comes to a quick end rather than fading out smoothly. Mixed by Gary A. Rizzo at Skywalker Sound.

Availability: Seen in most THX-certified theaters starting in late November 2007, and THX DVDs/Blu-rays from 2008-2012 such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Magic Hour (ザ・マジックアワー) (Japan only), Shine a Light (France only), Outlander: Le Dernier Viking (Outlander) (France only), Largo Winch (France only), Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection (2008 reprints of the 2003 DVDs originally containing Broadway 2000, as well as the first home release to feature this trailer), and the 2008 Blu-ray of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. On Avatar, Red Tails, and Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy (Blu-ray only), it appears at the end. It was also seen online as well. Also seen at the end of the THX Optimizer video on THX-certified TiVo DVRs, which are no longer manufactured as of 2013.

16th Trailer (Horton) (December 2007-March 14, 2008)

Visuals: On a black background is this odd speck that talks in a familiar voice to Horton (from Horton Hears a Who; voiced by Jim Carrey). It turns out to be Mayor Ned McDodd (voiced by Steve Carell), the mayor of Whoville, trying to hear him.

Horton: "Come in, Mr. Mayor. Can you hear me?"
Mayor: "Uh, not quite!"
Horton: "How about now? Is this better?"
Mayor: "Ye-yeah... Yeah, sort of."
Horton: "Hello? Am I getting through?"

Then, the mayor says, "Kinda losing you...", causing Horton to drop the THX logo, and he appears while shouting "How about this?! If I get up real close, can you read me?!" knocking the mayor off-screen, then followed by the Deep Note. Horton then turns to the audience laughing, winks, and then goes off-screen. The THX logo shines as usual. Then the screen transitions to a message reading "THE AUDIENCE IS HEARING" (spoofing the "The Audience is Listening" motto, with "HEAR" in the same font as the movie's title treatment). The mayor peeks out of the left side of the screen with his clothes blowing.

Trivia: Horton's line "How about this?! If I get up real close, can you read me?!" was also used in the film.

Technique: CGI animation by the now-defunct Blue Sky Studios using Autodesk Maya.

Audio: The dialogue, sound effects corresponding to the animation, and the 2005 Deep Note (if one listens closely).

Availability: It was only seen in THX-certified theaters to help promote Horton Hears a Who!, and also appeared in front of the film itself in said theaters. Also seen on the THX website.

17th Trailer (Broadway 3D) (December 17, 2010-October 16, 2012)

Visuals: On a deep cloudy background, there is a light tunnel of many rainbow colors as well as a shadow in the distance. The shadow then emerges to reveal a silver and shining THX logo as well as a crystal blue rectangle outline from the Broadway trailers, which zoom slowly at us. A small copyright notice is seen below the THX logo.

Technique: CGI animation by Van Ling.

Audio: The 2005 Deep Note.

Availability: Can be found on the THX Calibrator disc, 3D movies in cinemas and 3D Blu-ray releases, like the 3D Blu-ray of Avatar (to date, the very last certified THX home media release with logos on it) and the theatrical premiere of Tron: Legacy.

18th Trailer (Musical Wisps) (2012)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a blue trail of light fly around. It flies to an atmosphere with a purple hue. A pink, blue, purple and green trail of light follows the blue trail and flies around with it. A closeup shot of the two trails of light flying is then seen. The rainbow trail of light makes some shapes with its light, while the blue trail flies around the shapes and makes some mini shockwaves. The screen then cuts to a white background but is revealed to be the back of the blue trail of light in the purple atmosphere. The rainbow trail of light joins the blue trail and the two trails fly towards the THX logo, which is seen in the distance. Everything is in slow motion for a split-second, and then the two trails quickly charge towards the THX logo and reveal it. This version looks noticeably different from the other trailers of the past, due to the THX logo being noticeably thinner than normal. The THX logo shines as the two trails of light into the bottom line of the logo and causes a bright light to appear. This bright light takes up the entire screen.

Technique: CGI animation.

Audio: Sound effects accompanying the atmosphere, followed by the Deep Note.

Availability: It was a prototype logo that was found on THX's website for a short time.

19th Trailer (Eclipse) (April 4, 2015-)



Visuals: The sequence starts in a shooting starfield. Then, a large black eclipse fades in, glows, and spins. Then, many shiny white/black sticks and veins appear all over the eclipse, representing the iris of the human eye, and the screen zooms further into it as the sticks and veins move around and form in different ways. Suddenly, a large shock wave appears in the middle and the screen zooms through it, revealing the THX logo, which is black and has a dark shine on it. The text "see you on the other side" wipes in underneath the THX logo.

Variants:

  • There is also a longer 45-second version in which some of the sticks and veins move around slower, and the screen zooms through the large ring faster. It can be seen here.
  • There's an even longer 60-second version, which is preceded by a "Warren Cinemas presents" card. It is similar to the 45-second version, except much slower.
  • A 4K resolution version exists.
  • With Razer's acquisition of THX, a few modifications were made to this trailer. First is the text "THX IS EVOLVING" fade in at the beginning of the logo. A few seconds later the text fades out. Another line of text fades in, this time saying "HELLO". Below is Razer's print logo. After the text fades out the trailer continues as normal until the THX logo zooms in to the screen. The text "CERTIFIED BY" wipes in above the logo. The "see you on the other side" slogan is omitted, and the copyright notice fades in during the logo and not after the logo.
  • A variant of the "CERTIFIED BY" version was spotted before every show of Beyoncé's "Formation World Tour".

Technique: CGI animation by independent Norwegian design studio Two-Shots Production (now "Vortex Film").

Audio: A redone version of the Deep Note, also done by James Andy Moorer. It sounds more synthesized than before, and is even louder than before. It starts off with the synths ascending and descending over and over again until they rapidly change their pitches. During the rapid pitch change, the clashing pitches of the lower synths cause a "rumbling" sound as the Deep Note gets louder, and the final pitch gets louder and louder as more and more synths join them at the final chord. The highest synths on the final chord create a synth organ-like sound, while the lowest synths create a deep humming sound. Mixed by Lora Hirschberg (with assistance by Gary Rydstrom) at Skywalker Sound.

Audio Variant: In the longer versions, after the synths switch back and forth between ascending and descending, the louder synths are stretched out until the final chord.

Availability: This made its debut online and has been seen in theaters. The normal 30-second variant has been reported to have been seen on Terminator Genisys. The Razer variant was only seen as a promotional video on Vimeo titled "THX Is Evolving". The 60-second variant was only used in the Warren chain of cinemas.

Legacy: The logo gained infamy for the much louder Deep Note, and thus is sometimes thought to be the among the scariest of the THX trailers due to this fact.

20th Trailer (Sphere) (December 5, 2014; May 16, 2015-2018?)

Visuals: On a black background, the phrase "The Audience is Listening" fades in. It disappears by sliding to the right. The background becomes a bluish green gradient. A black line with light blue marks slides to the right of the screen and starts to gently shake. It becomes liquid and breaks up into small circles. The screen zooms through the liquid. Multiple grouped lines start swirling around in a circular motion, then forms into a 4-layered sphere. A light blue glow surrounds the sphere. It becomes liquid and opens up, revealing blue electric lines. It later explodes to fill the background with black, then zooms out in the form of the THX logo. It later fills up with metallic material, making it look normal. Some of the light blue lines remain, then later disappear completely. Finally, two copyright notices appear:

  • THX and the Deep Note sound are trademarks of THX Ltd. registered in certain jurisdictions. All rights reserved.
  • This THX trailer is the property of THX Ltd. All rights reserved.

Variants:

  • 4K releases show the THX 4K logo instead of the "Audience is Listening" phrase.
  • One version seen during a behind-the-scenes making of the trailer shows the words "see you on the other side" in place of the copyright notice.

Technique: CGI animation by Uwe Schweer-Lambers of Human Workshop, all created in the span of one month.

Audio: First, the beginning half of the 2005 Deep Note plays, then gets interrupted by whooshes, liquid sound effects, and a low synth note, followed by a choir. During the glow, the Deep Note resumes, followed by another whoosh, and an explosion.

Audio Trivia:

  • Most of the sound effects for the trailer were recorded by Gerrit Elbrink of Human Workshop using real-life objects and instruments.
  • The trailer's audio was originally recorded in low resolution stereo, and later mixed in Dolby 7.1 by Herman Piette of Cinemeta in Amsterdam. The Deep Note was added in post-production.

Audio Variant: During the "making of" video, there was no Deep Note.

Availability: First seen on the Human Workshop website. It's currently unknown if this trailer has been used in other places as of this writing.

21st Trailer (Genesis) (August 20, 2019-)

Visuals: A large purple smoke cloud explodes on the screen, and the camera zooms out to reveal a nebula. The sequence continues to zoom out through the space-like background as a mountain range appears below. The mountains then appear reflected in a waterdrop on a dragonfly's wings. The dragonfly beats its wings in slow-motion clearing the waterdrops, and flies through a new background, featuring some plants that appeared in the "Amazing Life" trailer. The camera dips down into a pool of water and emerges to reveal a city at night, as a helicopter flies past. The city is revealed to be inside a snowglobe on a table of various items. The camera pans back to reveal two similar tables with blue holographic domes on them. Then, Tex appears from the left and flies to a table in the front and loads up a similar holographic dome over the table and flies off. The camera continues to zoom out, revealing that Tex is aboard a star cruiser of some sort. The ship makes a light-speed jump, and the camera pans through the space station the ship was docked at. It is then revealed that the space station is in the shape of the THX logo, which becomes a more traditional silver color. The space background fades to blue, and then everything gradually fades out.

Trivia:

  • This trailer was created to commemorate THX's 35th anniversary; production began in April 2018.
  • THX chose the official name for this trailer in a X poll. "Genesis" won with 43% of the vote; the other three options were "Emerge", "Transform" and "Evolve".
  • If one looks closely on the right side of the city scene, there are three billboards:
    • One has the THX logo in a blue rectangle outline (à la Broadway), accompanied by "THE AUDIENCE IS LISTENING" text below it.
    • Another has Tex with "Get Certified" written on the right, a parody/homage to GEICO's billboard advertisements.
    • Yet another has a white THX text accompanied by a white wavy ribbon on a red background, which is a parody / homage to Coca-Cola's advertising.
  • A book on the right of the snowglobe contains the original score of the Deep Note written by James Andy Moorer.

Variant: At the THX Ultimate Cinema, once the THX logo is shown it continues to zoom away and a blue box (similar to the Broadway rectangle) surrounds it, the text "ULTIMATE CINEMA" fades in, then it fades to black.

Technique: CGI animation by Andrew Kramer (who also owns Video Copilot) and American Meme.

Audio: Sounds accompanying the environments, along with descending sounds invoking the Deep Note. When the sequence starts panning through the space station, there is the Deep Note, with multiple stop-starts during the early stages. The stop-starts get faster and faster until the Deep Note converges into a single sound.

Audio Variants:

  • There is a reworked version composed by Loud Color in Los Angeles. On the THX section, it says that they crafted original sounds with synthesizers, foley, granular synthesis and complex effects. They also utilized immersive VR and 3D mixing techniques to give a clear sense of space and environment.
  • On the THX Ultimate Cinema variant, the 2005 Deep Note is used.

Availability: It debuted on THX's YouTube and X pages, and also appears in THX-certified theaters such as the THX Ultimate Cinema.

22nd Trailer (Tex vs. the Robot) (June 25, 2020-)

Visuals: In a glassy room in the same spaceship from the "Genesis" trailer, Tex and a drone named Bob attempt to place an orb in a socket, in front of a window with a floating THX logo in the background. When Tex tries inserting the orb the first time, the THX logo flashes a little, and the orb pops out of the socket. When Tex is distracted trying to fix a small door that has somehow opened, Bob starts playing with the orb like a basketball right before Tex tries to grab it. Bob finally loses the orb as it rolls towards the screen, while he follows it off, hitting the camera in the process. The camera then topples and various things fall off-screen, such as a ladder, while Tex is noticeably shocked. Tex flies over and fixes the camera as what appears to be a fire extinguisher-like object flies over him and hits the floor. The orb then rolls towards him as Bob then falls to the floor beside him and loses power. Tex flies over and fixes Bob back up. Tex is about to place the orb into the socket, but notices Bob is visibly sad. They compromise and Tex lets the drone slam dunk the orb into the socket, which causes the THX logo to power up and light up. Both robots move to the side as the camera zooms up to the THX logo. They then fist pump. the screen fades to the THX print logo, the text "SPATIAL AUDIO" fades underneath it.

Variant: A prototype or alternate version appears on EyeBelieve's Vimeo channel. The ending of the trailer is slightly different, with the Deep Note being the 2005 version instead of the low-pitched/-1.5 Deep Note. After that, a strange "powering off" sound effect plays, cutting it off.

Technique: CGI animation by EyeBelieve.

Audio: Whirring of the flying drones, pinging, balls flying and hitting things, robotic grunts, a slamming noise and then the Deep Note (-1.5/low-pitched).

Availability: Premiered on THX's YouTube channel, used as a demo of THX's Spatial Audio technology.

References

  1. No Film School, May 2018, updated in October 2018
  2. Fast Company, March 2014
  3. Twenty Thousand Hertz, June 2018 (part 1 and part 2)
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20020802072052/http://marcoco.com:80/index2.html
  5. https://www.bbfc.co.uk/release/shrek-the-third-q29sbgvjdglvbjpwwc0zndgynjm
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.