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Background

The men named in the company are Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. The pre-1974 library is currently owned by DreamWorks Classics under DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., the post-1974 library is owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., The Jackson 5ive is distributed by CBS Television Distribution, and Rankin-Bass's theatrical film library is owned by StudioCanal.

Videocraft International, Limited

(September 1, 1961-November 24, 1966)

Logo: This superimposed logo features three TV tube-like shapes. One is at the bottom, and the other two are stacked on the left and right corners of the bottom tube, which, when together, resemble Mickey Mouse's head or a water molecule. The company byline appears as "A VIDEOCRAFT INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION" or "A VIDEOCRAFT PRODUCTION".

Variants: There are a few variants, which will be described later.

FX/SFX: The scrolling of the credits or the fade-in of the logo.

Music/Sounds: Usually the outro of a TV show.

Availability: Not quite uncommon, but not recent either. Can be found on TV shows or specials from the time that used it, such as The New Adventures of Pinocchio, The Tales of the Wizard of Oz, and the 1964 TV Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Scare Factor: None.


(June 1966-November 23, 1968)

Nicknames: "Tri-Colored V", "Tri-Colored TV Monitors"

Logo: Over a white background, we see three colorized TV tubes aside each other, as in the infamous "V" design from the previous logo. The names of the producer appears on both tubes:

  • ARTHUR RANKIN, Jr. (in the blue tube on the left)
  • Jules Bass (in the green tube on the right)

The third tube (which is red) on the bottom has "Production" appear in it and "AN" above the logo, revealing the phrase as "AN ARTHUR RANKIN, Jr.-JULES BASS Production." We pan out to reveal the words "VIDEOCrAFT International, Limited" appearing in black underneath the logo.

FX/SFX: Simple, but effective.

Cheesy Factor: Why is the "r" in "VIDEOCrAFT" lowercase when the rest of the letters are uppercase?

Music/Sounds: While a bongo drum is being heard throughout, the following happens: An electric guitar note and three ascending trombone notes herald the appearance of the Rankin and Bass credit popping in, followed by a brief flute melody during the pan-out with the last note of the melody being held for a second, a piano note is heard if you listen closely, and it then culminates in a one-note abrupt end. The music was composed by Maury Laws and Jules Bass.

Availability: Ultra rare. Was last seen on The King Kong Show, and possibly the 1967 Cricket on The Hearth special. Don't expect this on the current TV airings and DVD/Blu-Ray releases of both, as they are plastered over with the next logo below. If not, you'll have to look very, VERY hard for this one.

Scare Factor: Minimal. The dramatic music might get to some viewers.

Rankin-Bass Productions

1st Logo

(December 19, 1968-December 10, 1974)

Nicknames: "RB-TV Monitor", "Rankin-Bass on TV"

Logo:

  • Early: On the white background, the blue rectangle flips in from the right. Then two blue circle appears one-by-one, with the words "Rankin" and "Bass". The words "A" and "PRODUCTION" appears at the top and bottom of the text, along with the copyright info below. The whole thing fades to black after a while.
  • Later: Very similiar to the previous version, but the blue think boarder surrounds it to represent the TV monitor.

Bylines:

  • "A Division of Tomorrow Entertainment"
  • Videocraft Copyright Notice
  • Bylineless

FX/SFX: Simple animation.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1966 Videocraft International logo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Sometimes (Like in The Little Drummer Boy), it is silent.
  • On current CBS airings (Around the winter holiday season) of Frosty the Snowman, the closing theme ends over it.
  • Sometimes, the bongos come in early, before the music begins.

Availability: Common around the Christmas season. It appears on most of Rankin-Bass's Christmas output when aired by CBS, ABC Family and other channels, as well as on DVD and most VHS releases.

  • Early: Seen on Frosty the Snowman and The Little Drummer Boy (Except one airing which replaced it with the thrid logo).
  • Later: Seen on most specials, including The Year Without a Santa Claus (Including the 2007 "Deluxe Edition" DVD; On the 2000 DVD it was plastered by the 1984 WBTV logo).

Scare Factor: See the 2nd Videocraft International logo.


2nd Logo

(September 11, 1971-September 1, 1973)

See Motown Productions first logo for the variation


(December 19, 1975-July 5, 1987)

Nickname: "The Blues"

Logo: The screen flashes three different shades of blue, with the effect that they're getting sucked inwards, into same rectangle at the left of the screen. Every time they go through a shade, that's the color the rectangle is until all three have been done and the screen is white. Then the circles appear to complete the stylized "R-B," except instead of just appearing they sort of "grow" in their places. To the right of the logo the words 'Rankin" and "Bass" appears by wiping in. The words "A" and "Production" appears at the top and bottom of the text respectively. It looks like the early version of the first logo, without copyright info.

Variants:

  • On earlier prints of The Hobbit, it's silent and the background is carrot orange, while on Nestor the Christmas Donkey, the music is sped-up and the background is orange-yellow (though both of these could be from film deterioration).
    • On the Xenon VHS release (With the music) and 2014 Remastered WB DVD (Silent) of the former, the background is brighter with a slight pink tinge.
  • On Leprechaun's Christmas Gold, it is in a shade of green.
    • On ABC Family airings, it cuts to the Warner Bros. closing logo.
  • On The First Easter Rabbit, the logo is far more deteriorated than the one on The Hobbit. This variant has a dark brown background, and the text and shapes are hardly legible.
    • On the WB DVD release, due to the sloppy reverse plaster syndrone, the 1986 Lorimar-Telepictures logo music is heard.
  • On certain airings of Rankin-Bass specials (Like ABC Family), it fades to black after it is formed to make way for either the \\' "Distributed By" logo, or the WBT "75 Years" logo.


FX/SFX: The blues getting sucked in, the circles "growing".

Cheesy Factor: Simple animation. The film deteriorated variants looks ugly.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1966 Videocraft International logo, but in a slightly lower tone. For the later years, it was re-arranged.

Music/Sound Variant:

  • On the 1983 TV special The Coneheads, the jingle was mixed with the drum roll and end chime of the Telepictures logo that followed.


Availability: Common. Retained on most Rankin-Bass holiday specials from this period on DVD releases and reruns on ABC Family. The last special with this logo was The Wind in the Willows in 1987.

Scare Factor: Low to medium for both the original and later variants. The dramatic cheesy special effects added to the dramatic music may scare some. Raised to medium for the film deteriorated variant with the Lorimar-Telepictures jingle.

Rankin-Bass Animated Entertainment

(January 23, 1985-December 5, 1989, December 17, 2001)

Nicknames: "'80s RB", "3D-RB" (For Santa, Baby! Variant: "The Flipping 3-D RB")

Logo: We see the classic Rankin-Bass logo, except made completely three-dimensional, with the text in royal blue, in the corporate font of then-current parent company Telepictures. A white line forms under the logo, and that line "springs" into a cursive "Animated Entertainment". Then, the "R-B" zooms up, and the shapes slide apart as they come closer to the screen, revealing a white "from". As the "O" overtakes the screen, we see the animation of the Telepictures or Lorimar-Telepictures animation, which eventually fills the entire screen.

Variant: On Santa, Baby!, the logo flips quite a few times in the start, and the transition to the Telepictures/Lorimar-Telepictures logos have been removed. As a result, the logo fades out. The closing theme plays throughout.

FX/SFX:

  • Original Version: The "Animated Entertainment" "spring" effect.
  • Santa, Baby! Variant: Same as above, plus the CGI RB logo flipping.

Music/Sounds: A bouncy, synthesized oboe theme (composed by Bernard Hoffer). On the first season of ThunderCats, the music segues into a custom fanfare for the Telepictures logo (also by Hoffer) and from 1986 onward, it segues into the end of the Lorimar-Telepictures theme when the logo appears.

Availability: Appears on 1980s Rankin-Bass productions, including ThunderCats and SilverHawks on DVD.

Scare Factor: None. The logo is clean.

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