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Background information

HiT Entertainment is a British-American children's television company established in 1983 originally as the international distribution arm of Jim Henson Productions called "Henson International Television" (later reincorporated as "HiT Communications plc."). However, following the death of Jim Henson in 1990, the business was sold to several members of the company's management, led by Peter Orton, and reincorporated to its current name to prevent any future confusion between the two companies. Today, HiT Entertainment is owned by Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc.


1st Logo
(1983-1989)

Logo: Same as the Henson Associates in credit logo only the "ha!" text is replaced with "hit!" and the lower text is replaced with "HENSON INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION" sandwiched between two lines. Copyright information is Henson International Television listed below.

FX/SFX: Same as the Henson Associates in credit logo.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the program.

Availability: Seen on international prints of The Muppet Show.

Scare Factor: Same as the Henson Associates logo.


2nd Logo
(1989-1996)

Logo: On a gray marble-like background, a silver disc rotates into place. Then four blue lasers strike it from different directions. Then the camera pans to an aerial view as the word "HiT", in a tall silver font, zooms out from the center from an angle, then rotates to face the viewers. As it does so, the four lasers rotate clockwise and "COMMUNICATIONS PLC." types itself in in blue.

FX/SFX: The disc, the lasers, and the word "HiT" coming into place, which are CGI effects that hold up very well today.

Music/Sounds: A gong leading into a catchy synth theme with bells and drums.

Availability: Can be seen on old Where's Waldo/Wally? tapes from the era.

Scare Factor: None. This logo is a HUGE favorite, thanks to the music and beautiful animation.


3rd Logo
(1996-2001)

Nicknames: "HiT Globe", "'90s HiT Globe"

Logo: On a shady gray background, we see the word "HiT" in the same font as before in blue, with "ENTERTAINMENT PLC" written vertically next to the T in white. A hole is cut out in between the letters above the I, which contains a spinning globe. Under that reads "www.hitentertainment.com" and "DISTRIBUTED WORLDWIDE BY HIT ENTERTAINMENT PLC". There is a spotlight from the top left of the screen, casting a shadow of the logo on the floor.

Variant:

  • A still version of this is seen on VHS releases.
  • An in-credit variant was seen on Archibald the Koala.


FX/SFX: The globe spinning.

Music/Sounds: None. In other cases, the end theme of the show would be used.

Availability: It's available on Kipper, Sheeep and GoodTimes VHS releases of The Wind in the Willows and The Willows in Winter. Pablo, the Little Red Fox also had this logo, especially when it was shown on the Disney Channel in the early 2000s in the United States. It was also used for at least seasons 1-3 of Bob the Builder in the UK.

Scare Factor: None.


4th Logo (UK)
(1997-2003)

HiT Entertainment Plc. (1997) Logo

Nickname: "The Fireworks", "Psychedelic Ribbons"

Logo: On a striped-blue background we see a yellow/orange gradient ribbon flying from the right edge of the screen. Then the ribbon makes its way to form the spring (or tunnel) and an explosion occurs. After that we see more colorful ribbons but smaller and some fireworks. Later, the camera moves into the center of tunnel, then the tunnel disappears and from its place comes the globe which is zooming into the hole in the HiT logo in light blue, which fades in the same time as the globe comes. As it does so, the globe spins. The word "ENTERTAINMENT PLC" is written vertically next to the "T" in white, just like the 2nd logo.

Variant: There is a short version which shows only the last part of logo.

FX/SFX: The globe, fireworks, the ribbon and the small ribbons, early CGI.

Music/Sounds: For the long version at the beginning is a big whoosh, then a variety of cartoon sound effects are heard whilst the items come out of the ribbon tunnel, then a grand fanfare.

Availability: The long version is available on most VHS and DVDs by HiT Entertainment only in the UK. The short version was used only on the television series Anthony Ant. Surprisingly, this appeared on most Thomas & Friends releases beyond 2003.

Scare Factor: Low to medium. The animation and the music may have caused a couple of spooks there. But it isn't too bad for most people and is a nostalgic favourite of many.


5th Logo
(2001-2006)


Nicknames: "HiT Globe II", "2000s HiT Globe", "Cheesy Glow" "The Calm After the Hype"

Logo: On a blue background, we see the HiT logo (as seen in the previous logo) from before, but less shiny, and with "ENTERTAINMENT" replacing "ENTERTAINMENT PLC". A glow of light surrounds the globe. Sometimes, a copyright notice appears below.

Trivia: Although it debuted in the US in 2001, this logo did not appear on UK VHS & DVD releases until January 2004, kicking off with the following releases:

  • The "Classic Collection" range (earlier VHS prints from December 2003 carry the 4th logo instead)
  • The DVD releases of the first 2 Angelina Ballerina titles (The Gift & Rose Fairy Princess)
  • Superstar Children's Favourites (earlier VHS prints carry the 4th logo instead)
  • Christmas Children's Favourites

Variants:

  • A still version of the logo exists.
  • Sometimes, "ENTERTAINMENT PLC" can be replacing "ENTERTAINMENT".


FX/SFX: The globe spinning, and the glow surrounding the globe.

Music/Sounds: The ending theme of the show.

Availability: Very common. Seen on HiT shows from the period including Barney & Friends from the 2002-2007 seasons, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine. This can also been seen on Oswald re-runs on Nick Jr.

Scare Factor: None.


6th Logo
(2006- )

Nicknames: "HiT Block", "Jumping Blocks", "Dancing Blocks", "Bouncy Blocks", "Annoying Blocks", "Blocks of Boredom", "Globeless HiT Logo", "Cute Blocks", "Where Did The Globe Go?"

Logo: On a white background, we see a CGI block with "Hwhite on red, "iblue on yellow, and "Twhite on blue, with "HiT Entertainment" below it. Then, all of a sudden, two more of the same blocks come out from behind the main block, and they all jump around as the name fades out. The blocks stack to reveal the "HiT" name before the two blocks (left and right) disappear. As it leaves only one block, the block looks around before becoming still, and "HiT Entertainment" fades in below.

Variants:

  • There is a long version with "HiT entertainment" already seen below the blocks at the beginning, then fading out and the two blocks appearing.
  • There is a short version which only shows the ending part after the blocks walk away. It can be seen on post-2008 episodes of Fireman Sam and Thomas & Friends.
  • Another even shorter variant shows two spare blocks jump into the screen, making the existing one jump around too, then the two leave.
  • Yet another alternative short variant shows the blocks jumping before the middle one rolls closer to the screen. The music is also lower-pitched on here, too.
  • There exists a still version, as well, with a plain white background. It was seen on games and some shows on Sprout.
  • On many DVD releases of HiT Entertainment shows, such as Lionsgate releases of the CGI Thomas and Friends, the still variant is shown with two blue buttons below it, one reading "Auto Play" and the other reading "Main Menu" (à la Disney's FastPlay).
  • Little People and the Bob the Builder reboot have a copyright notice on the bottom of the Hit Entertainment text.

FX/SFX: The blocks dancing.

Music/Sounds: An upbeat flute tune, or the end theme of the show.

Availability: Common. Seen on shows such as Barney & Friends, Bob the Builder and Thomas & Friends. The still logo began to plaster the Big Feats! Entertainment logo on PBS Kids' Wishbone repeats. The long version most commonly appears on the UK DVDs. Fraggle Rockand Shaun the Sheep DVDs also contain it. The third variant can be found on several shows such as Mike the Knight.

Scare Factor: None at all. It's a cute logo, but may be annoying for people who are fans of the older logos.

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