Saban was an independent television production company formed in 1980 by music and television producers Haim Saban and Shuki Levy (who also reached the bottom line with the edition of Nippon Animation Grimm's Fairy Tales) as "Saban Records", a U.S. subsidiary of "Saban International Paris" (later "SIP Animation") who provided music soundtracks to shows made by other companies (most notably DiC). In 1984, the company expanded in television production of its own, and was renamed "Saban Productions". In 1988, the company also established "Saban International N.V." (now part of "Disney Media Distribution") for international distribution of its shows (Note: Though used interchangeably with "Saban International Paris", they were technically two different entities). Around the early 1990s, the company was reincorporated as "Saban Entertainment, Inc.". In October 2001, Saban Entertainment was renamed to "BVS Entertainment, Inc." when Saban and News Corp. sold it to the Walt Disney Company. Likewise, Saban International became "BVS International N.V.". Today, most of the Saban library is held by The Walt Disney Company through Buena Vista Studios (BVS Entertainment), except for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, and Digimon: The Movie, which are held by 20th Century Fox. The Power Rangers and Power Rangers-related series (VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs, Masked Rider, The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation) were reacquired on May 15, 2010, and are currently held by the newly-formed "Saban Brands" through "SCG Power Rangers, Inc.", both subsidiaries of "Saban Capital Group, Inc", a private investment firm here.
1st Logo (1984-1988)
Nicknames: "Rings of Saturn", "Pac-Man's Planet", "Pac-Man's World", "The Saban Planet"
Logo: Against a light indigo/white gradient background (in which a few stars can be faintly seen), we see a static shot of a purple Saturn-like planet, with a ring. In the middle of the planet and the ring, the word "S A B A N" is seen in a pac man font. Below it is the word "P R O D U C T I O N S". On the bottom half of the planet to the left, there are five lines.
Variant: On Kidd Video, the Saban logo is seen in a box in the upper left corner of the screen, and the DiC logo in the bottom right. The corner of the Saban logo overlaps the DiC logo, and this is up against an orange background with a streak in the middle.
Music/Sounds: A dramatic synthesized theme.
- The theme was sped-up and played on different notes on Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling.
- On ALF: The Animated Series, the theme is shortened to the last few notes.
Availability: Very rare. This will probably be intact if any shows produced by Saban during this time are reran in the future, such as Maple Town and I'm Telling. It was also seen on The New Archies during its original run on NBC, and is preserved on DVDs of ALF: The Animated Series and ALF Tales.
Scare Factor: Low. The music may startle some.
2nd Logo (1988-1996, 2010)
Nicknames: "Gold Circle", "Gold Coin", "Gold Plate", "Coin in Space", "The Saban Plate"
Logo: On a background with stars, a white marble rectangle with a round hole in the middle moves slowly from the left-hand side of the screen towards the middle of the screen, growing as it does so. In the hole, "glowing" but in black lettering, is the word "SABAN" and below the circle-shaped hole is the word "PRODUCTIONS" (in later years "ENTERTAINMENT"), or "INTERNATIONAL" for international distribution, with a gold line underneath. On the right side of the screen, a gold "coin" (or plate) twirls towards the middle of the screen as well. As the coin gets closer to the rectangle and the middle of the screen, it starts twirling faster and faster until it is affixed firmly in the hole in the center of the rectangle like a magnet attracting metal. Three white lines form on the bottom-left of the circle.
Variant: There is a very rare variant without the spinning coin.
FX/SFX: Primitive computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A short synthesized theme ending in what sounds like a jail door slamming shut.
- Most shows, like Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, had the closing theme ending over it.
- There are two short versions. The first one is the 2nd half of the logo theme. The other has the first three notes followed by the slamming jail door sound.
- Sometimes, the "slamming door" sound is omitted, which was probably the variant used on the coinless variant.
- On the 2010 remastered version of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on ABC Kids, it consists of a series of loud whooshes that culminate in a different "slamming door" sound.
Availability: Uncommon. The "PRODUCTIONS" variant can be seen on Noozles and VHS releases of Bumpety Boo. The "INTERNATIONAL" variant was seen on international prints of various Saban shows from the era, most notably on English-dubbed anime shows and co-produced shows. This can also be seen on the ClearVision UK DVD releases of X-Men (as well as the complete series boxset) starting in 2009. Despite showing the print logo on some promotional material, it doesn't appear of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- Low. The "jail door slamming shut" may unnerve some people or even make them laugh, but the logo is otherwise tame.
- Minimal for the closing theme variant.
3rd Logo (1996-2002)
Nickname: "The (Saban) Twirly-Doo"
Logo: A group of children are shown in a circle, looking upward as the camera revolves around and zooms out for a second. Then, it fades to a shot of the children from above as they take a piece of orange-yellow cloth with a globe pattern imprinted on it and throw it in the air as they are standing on opposite ends of a small "orb". Then, it fades to another shot of the children, who are shown raising their hands up and releasing brown, spherical objects into the air as they fade out as the orb (which resembles an Earth globe with yellow water and red and green continents) "transforms" into the Saban logo, which resembles a shiny gold crescent moon on the right with 3 "swishing" lines on the left. The word "SABAN" appears below the logo. The Saban logo zooms-in slightly. This is done on a cloudy sky background that seems to converge towards the center.
- A "short" version that only has the "hands-up" part of the animation with an abridged version of the music (two different versions were used).
- A "medium" version that lacks the close-up shot of the children. The music plays in its entirety (though sometimes only the first six notes and the last note of the jingle plays).
- The logo was still on the game Power Rangers Zeo.
- Some Saban Entertainment shows distributed outside North America have "INTERNATIONAL" at the bottom.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: A mix of live action and CG effects.
Music/Sounds: The children are laughing throughout. Part way, Ferbus' theme from the English version of Kamen Rider/Masked Rider (a 13-note flute/xylophone-like jingle that eventually coalesces into a trumpet) is heard.
- On Goosebumps (at least), the music was shortened to 7 notes.
- On Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the opening wind sound is heard with the custom 3-note tune leaving to the opening.
- Sometimes, the "INTERNATIONAL" version uses 10 notes that are rearranged.
- A low tone version exists using the same 10 rearranged notes.
- On television airings of Digimon: Digital Monsters - The Movie (Plastering the Fox Kids logo), the show's theme song starts playing leading into the opening titles.
Availability: Uncommon. The normal version is seen on the Power Rangers seasons of the era and the English version of Digimon: Digital Monsters. It still preserved on all Saban shows from the era, such as Flint the Time Detective and Mon Colle Knights, as well on most series from Saban's library, including some of the 1980s and 1990s Marvel Productions shows it owns (Dungeons and Dragons) among others. It was last seen on Inspector Gadget on This TV. It also appears on the Revelation Media UK DVD releases of Goosebumps from 2012 onward starting with the first season, as well as the US DVD releases from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. It was also seen at the end of Digimon: Digital Monsters - The Movie.
Scare Factor: None to minimal. The music and the children may catch someone off-guard, but it may quickly become annoying to some.