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Cinar

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Background

Cinar was founded from offices in New York City by the married couple Ronald Weinberg & Micheline Charest in 1976, as a distribution company which distributed international/foreign films from the 1970s to the early 1980s. In 1984, things were changing for Cinar as the couple moved the company to Montreal, Quebec and began to focus on children's TV programming. Between 1985 and 2004, Cinar produced a number of successful shows such as Arthur, Caillou, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Adventures of David the Gnome, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, and Zoboomafoo, among others. In March 2004, after a financial scandal which brought down the company's founders several years earlier, the company was bought out by Michael Hirsh and the company was renamed and rebranded as "Cookie Jar Entertainment" (now an in-name-only unit of "DHX Media").

1st Logo
(1985-1994)

Nickname: "Rotating Blue Bars"

Logo: On the dark blue gradient background, a blue line draws in, revealing many bright blue 3D bars interlocking with each other. The bars rotate up and zoom-out, revealing the text:

CiNAR

which consists with the red square on the "i", and the letters "N", "A", and "R" connected together, glittering with stars.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, "A" and "PRODUCTION" (or "PRESENTATION") are shown above and below the logo, respectively.
  • On the first season of Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1992-93), the Cinar logo is in-credit on a black background, bypassing this logo.
  • A 2D still of this logo with "A" above and "PRODUCTION" below was seen on Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1993-94 season, before the 2nd logo was introduced).
  • At the beginning all episodes of David the Gnome, an animated variant of the "PRODUCTION" variant exists, the background is a black-grey gradient,"CINAR" turns upward and the "A" & "PRODUCTION" text wipes in.
  • The logo may be shorter so that it starts fading into the zoom-out.
  • On A Bunch of Munsch, the logo is shortened, beginning with the zooming out, and it fades from the ending sequence from the closing credits. The tail end of the theme plays over it.

FX/SFX: The bars interlocking, the glittering stars.

Cheesy Factor: Rather primitive computer graphics and cheesy "glittering" effects, although the animation itself is pretty cool (kinda resembling Marvel Productions "CGI Spidey" logo).

Music/Sounds: A synth note, then a whoosh, and finally an 8-note theme that sounds like it's on the SNES.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On most shows, it plays over the ending theme.
  • The David the Gnome variant has a soothing synth-piano theme (Similar to Gino Vannelli's "Hurts to Be in Love", and The Mission's "Butterfly on a Wheel") playing over the opening logo combo.

Availability: Extremely rare. Can be seen on Cinar shows of the period on VHS releases by Golden Book Video, such as Madeline. The musical variant can be found on the Just for Kids VHS release of John the Fearless (At the beginning with the full logo; the end has the full logo with the tail end of the closing theme playing over it) and was found on reruns of Maya the Bee on YTV during the 1990's (Just the glittering part with the 8-note theme). Last seen in the U.S. when Boomerang reran Young Robin Hood.

Scare Factor: None.

2nd Logo
(1993-2004)

Nickname: "Cinar in Space"

Logo: On a space background, various glowing line blocks zoom-out from the bottom of the screen, forming a redesigned Cinar logo. Most of the differences are subtle, but the most obvious is that the letters "N", "A", and "R" are separate. The logo flashes and the disclaimer "CINAR is a registered trademark of CINAR Corporation" appears below. Starting in 1998, the URL "www.cinar.com" appears below that (this variant may have plastered the URL-less logos on newer prints of Cinar’s classics).

Variants:

  • Sometimes, there is no byline.
  • Most of the time, the byline is used in different forms, like on Caillou and Arthur.
  • Sometimes, a byline would say: "CINAR is a registered trademark of CINAR Films Inc.".
  • A still version of this logo exists on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Wimzie's House and Zoboomafoo.
  • Another still version with "A" above and "PRODUCTION" below was seen on the second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

FX/SFX: The zooming line blocks, the flash.

Music/Sounds: A whooshing sound with a calm new age synth tune, which is rarely heard.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • It most commonly used the ending theme of the show.
  • On some shows, like Night Hood and The Busy World of Richard Scarry (Except for one VHS promo for the latter), it is silent.

Availability: Rare now, though it was common back in the '90s. It survives on some pre-2004 Arthur episodes on both DVD and VHS, as most PBS affiliates have now replaced it with a Cookie Jar Entertainment logo. It is also seen at the end of the 1996 television movie Wish Upon a Star. Also seen on early episodes of Caillou. In Canada, this logo remains intact on 1997-2000 episodes on Treehouse. Recent prints of former Cinar shows had this logo plastered with the Cookie Jar logo. It is also preserved on the Time-Life DVD of The Adventures of Paddington Bear, released in 2002. Also seen at the end of The Little Lulu Show. Recent reruns of The Busy World of Richard Scarry kept the Paramount logo, but replaced "A CINAR Presentation" in the in-credit logo with "A COOKIE JAR Presentation".

Scare Factor: None.

3rd Logo
(2003-2004)

Nickname: "Bland CGI"

Logo: On a variable background, we see the Cinar logo, in white, zooming out on a blue oval, with the same copyright stamp and URL from the previous logo fading-in at the bottom.

Variant:

  • On the last season of Mona the Vampire, it was a town at nighttime with a bat flying. The closing theme plays over it.
  • Sometimes, the trademark stamp and URL doesn't appear. This is seen at the beginning of the 2003 Warner Home Video VHS/DVD release of Caillou's Holiday Movie with the rarely heard music.
  • On Zoboomafoo: Playtime and Zobooland games for GBC, the logo is white.

FX/SFX: The CGI logo zooming out.

Music/Sounds: A whooshing sound followed by a someone (Usually Caillou [From his show]) laughing, which is rarely heard. It still can be found at the beginning of Sony Wonder releases of Cinar shows from the period.

Availability: Extremely rare. After Michael Hirsh acquired Cinar because of their 1999 scandal (as well as debts and losing worth) in 2004, Cinar became kaput. Expect this logo to be replaced with a Cookie Jar or as of 2012 the DHX Media logo these days. This logo was also seen on season 2 of Simon In The Land of Chalk Drawings. Ironically, neither Arthur, Caillou (With the exceptation of Calliou's Holiday Movie), or even Zoboomafoo for that matter used this logo as those shows continued to use the 2nd logo. Mona The Vampire's reruns had this logo plastered with the Cookie Jar logo.

Scare Factor: None.

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