Logo descriptions by Gene Snitsky, Matt Williams and Stephen Cezar 'Logo captures by Eric S., Stephen Cezar, Mr. Logo Lord and V of Doom Editions by Mr. Logo Lord, V of Doom, Shadeed A. Kelly, 'WileE2005, Hoa, Bob Fish,' sega3dmm and Stephen Cezar
Southern Star Entertainment began in 1972 as an Australian subsidiary of Hanna-Barbera, aptly named as Hanna-Barbera Pty. Ltd. In 1974, half of Hanna-Barbera Australia was purchased by The Hamlyn Group, which in turn was purchased by James Hardie Industries. Hanna Barbera Pty. Ltd. was reorganized in 1983 as Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Ltd., and an American division was eventually established in 1984, known as Southern Star Productions. Programs produced by Southern Star would be animated by the Hanna Barbera Studios in Sydney, Australia, which gave the division the name of Southern Star/Hanna Barbera Australia. Southern Star produced shows mainly for CBS, such asThe Berenstain Bears, Teen Wolf, and the CBS Storybreak. In 1988, the Managing Director of Taft-Hardie, Neil Balnaves acquired Taft-Hardie and reorganized it as The Southern Star Group. The animation studio continued to operate until it was eventually sold to the Turner Broadcasting System, although The Southern Star Group kept the rights to its properties. Southern Star would eventually be acquired by Southern Cross Broadcasting in 2004, Fairfax Media in 2007, and Endemol in 2009. In December 11, 2013, Endemol announced that Southern Star Entertainment will be renamed to Endemol Australia, thus ending the 30-year legacy of Southern Star.
1st Logo (1985-1989)
Nicknames: "Lightning Star", "Cheesy Lightning", "The Thunderclap", "Bad Weather in Space", "(The Other) Thunder from Hell", "A Southern Thunderclap from Australia"
Logo: On a blue space background, a magenta star quickly zooms out. It plasters itself firmly at the center of the screen, while a yellow lightning bolt slides in from the top-left behind the star, landing so that the star is in the middle of the lightning bolt. The star rotates a little as the bolt moves to the middle. The screen flashes white a few times at high speed, changing the star to blue and the bolt to gray, and two rectangles slide in from the top and bottom of the screen, behind the star and lightning bolt, the top one yellow, the bottom one magenta. When they connect with each other, the colors suddenly swap so that the top one is magenta and the bottom one is yellow. In the magenta rectangle, to the right of the star/bolt shape, is "A SOUTHERN STAR" in a yellow-colored thin Italic font (usually Futura), and in the yellow bottom rectangle is "Hanna-Barbera Australia Production" in magenta and the font normally used for "Hanna-Barbera Productions" on the 1979 H-B Swirling Star logo.
- On The Berenstain Bears, a copyright for the Taft-Hardie Group Pty. Limited appears under the logo. The copyright stamp appears in black or pink, depending on the episode, although sometimes a chyroned-in copyright stamp may appear. The stamp may also last the entire duration of the logo.
- On Teen Wolf and CBS Storybreak, the star zooming out is cut, so that it starts on the bolt sliding into shape.
- Late in this logo's life, a variant was seen omitting all mentions of Hanna-Barbera, and had "SOUTHERN STAR PRODUCTIONS" in place of the original name. Also, the yellow and purple colors do not switch positions at the end, but shown darker. It additionally lacks the copyright. This variant was introduced in late 1987, when Southern Star became an independent company, having previously been owned by Hanna-Barbera and Taft.
FX/SFX: The star zooming out, the bolt, the rapid flashing, and the rectangles.
Cheesy Factor: Very poor 1980s computer effects abound. The star zooming out is cheesy, the animation for the bolt is too simple, the flashing is seizure-inducing and just plain awful, the thunderclap goes insane with pitch and it blends in horribly with the end theme, and the sudden swapping colors for the star-bolt and rectangle is very cheesy too.
Music/Sounds: The ending of the show's theme, but with a very loud thunderclap sound effect (not sampled from Hanna-Barbera's sound library) edited in with the flash, nearly drowning out the music. On the first season of Teen Wolf and at least two Berenstain Bears episodes, there is no thunder crashing. The thunderclap sound was sped up beginning in 1986. This version can be heard on the second seasons of The Berenstain Bears and Teen Wolf, in addition to later episodes of CBS Storybreak. One 1986 episode of The Berenstain Bears had a completely different, sped-up lightning strike sound, and another had the regular thunderclap played at normal speed like in the 1985 version.
Availability: Rare. The logo was seen on the original Berenstain Bears cartoon, as well as the animated Teen Wolf (a few VHS tapes of this series have no logos, and it is unknown if the upcoming Shout! Factory DVD set will retain this) and later episodes of CBS Storybreak (earlier episodes only had a credit for Hanna-Barbera Australia, followed by theCBS Entertainment Productions logo). On reruns of The Berenstain Bears shown as part of DiC's syndicated programming package from 2003 to 2006, it was plastered by "The Incredible World of DiC" and the 1994-2005 Southern Star logo. The logo has been preserved on the recent Berenstain Bears DVDs from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (followed by the 2005 Sony Pictures Television logo), and can also be found on the 1990s Berenstain Bears videos from Random House Home Video and Columbia TriStar Home Video.
Scare Factor: Medium to high. The sudden "thunder" effect and flashing may scare more than a few. Low to medium for the version with no thunderclap but the flashing can still get to some.
Note: From here on, Southern Star became an independent company from Hanna-Barbera/Taft.
2nd Logo (1989-1994)
Logo: On a starfield background, we see 2 sets of numerous lines move to the center to merge and form a turquoise star. The name SOUTHERN STAR appears below, with an underline colored in the same color as the star. FX/SFX: The lines move.
Music/Sounds: Silence or the ending theme of the show.
Availability: Was seen on the first season of Blue Heelers, as well as prints of former Hanna Barbera co-productions, such as Drak Pack.
Scare Factor: Minimal.
3rd Logo (1994-2005)
Nickname: "The Segmented Star"
Logo: On a black background, we see 2 sets of 9 blue lines curve toward the center to form one set. As this happens, a light appears, and a 7-pointed segmented blue star is formed by the lines.
SOUTHERN S T A R
with a blue line underneath, is formed below.
Variant: A still variant exists, as well as international version with "SALES" below.
FX/SFX: The formation of the star and company name.
Music/Sounds: A deep synth drone followed by a light, airy synth sounder.
Availability: Seen on 1990s prints of Skippy, as well as Blue Heeler and early seasons of McLeod's Daughters when they run on air. It was also seen on Tracey McBean when it ran on Discovery Kids around 2005.
Scare Factor: Low. This logo is much better than the first.
4th Logo (2005-2013)
Logo: Against a dark blue starry sky with mountains below, we see stars forming several ring shapes, causing the Southern Star logo from before, but in a blue tint, to blur in. Copyright info is shown just below it. The sky darkens around it.
FX/SFX: The stars forming the company logo, the darkening sky.
Music/Sounds: A gentle synth sounder with some "whooshes".
Availability: It's seen on shows such as RAGGS Kids Club Band and McLeod's Daughters.
Scare Factor: None.
7th Logo (2013)
Logo: On a dark background, light blue and some multicolored lines emerge from the bottom right corner and form the familiar Southern Star logo. The Endemol logo, animated, appears directly below it.
FX/SFX: The lines forming, the Endemol logo appearing.
Music/Sounds: The music from the current Endemol logo.
Availability: Seen on many programs produced by Southern Star until it was renamed Endemol Australia.
Scare Factor: Minimal to low. The lines may startle some.