Background: "The Audience Is Listening"
THX is a motion picture quality certification system (despite being branded as a "sound system" until 1997) founded by Tomlinson Holman and George Lucas in 1982 ( which in turn was then owned by Lucasfilm Ltd. until 2001, when it was spun-off into its present day company, THX Ltd.), named after Lucas' directorial debut, THX 1138. The first THX-certified film was the 1983 hit Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. THX officially stands for "Tomlinson Holman's EXperiment". THX has provided certified VHS, DVD, LaserDisc, and Blu-ray films from major studios such as Walt Disney Pictures, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), United Artists Pictures (UA), Columbia Pictures, among other studios, also when this was seen in theaters. They have certified video games as well.
(May 25, 1983)
Logo: We see a pitch-black screen. Then we see white text on the screen that reads "For the past 35 years, motion picture loudspeaker systems have not changed...". When it has been on the screen for a while, it fades out and new white text appears reading "Lucasfilm, Ltd. and this theatre are pleased to introduce a new motion picture sound system.". That text fades out and we wait for a while and then, the letters "THX", which have a line under them and have the "T" slightly taller whose stem extends over the other two letters, appears in a glassy sky blue color. The color fades in majestically with "LUCASFILM LTD." above it and "SOUND SYSTEM" below it, both in small text. It stays on screen for about 10 seconds, then slowly fades out with the text above and below the logo.
Trivia: The nicknames for some of the early THX trailers given by Lucasfilm, Ltd. derive from the earliest Academy Award winners for Best Picture, like Wings, Cavalcade, and Cimmaron.
FX/SFX: The text and THX logo fading-in and out.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized chord crescendo sound effect known as "Deep Note". It starts off with a deep airplane-like sound (the same sound that you would hear as if an airplane were flying), which sounds steady in sound, although it begins to slowly and slightly deepen in pitch, and eventually gets even deeper and slows down in tone. At the exact same time, a higher synth sound-effect begins to get higher (and louder) in tone until both sounds stop and stay in one pitch. It was coded by James Andy Morrer and became one of the world's most recognized (and scariest) sound trademarks.
Availability: Extinct, as this was only ever shown on the theatrical premiere of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Can be seen on select Demo DVDs and at THX's official website.
Scare Factor: Minimal to low, because of the dark atmosphere & the Deep Note.
(Summer 1983-2005, 2010- )
Logo: On a black blackground, we see a blue outline of a rectangle. The gray text "The Audience is Listening" fades inside the outline, then fades out. A few seconds later, the THX logo in silver appears, The blue rectangle outline fades out, and "LUCASFILM LTD. SOUND SYSTEM" appears and the THX logo shines.
Variants: Throughout the years, this trailer had many different variants:
- Early 1990s-present: Probably the most recognizable THX trailer variant. It appears exclusively on home video releases. The gray text reading "The Audience is Listening" is replaced with "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" in Arial font in white and arranged in the center of the outline. That text appears longer than the regular version, and "DIGITALLY" appears above the THX logo and "MASTERED" appears below that logo. Those texts fade in with the THX logo instead of appearing after the blue outline disappears.
- 1995: The logo is shorter than the standard 1983-1997 theatrical version. The audio (in this, and both 1997 A & B variants) is also in a higher (or sometimes lower) pitch.
- On Laserdisc releases from THX, the blue rectangle appears as usual, but with a difference: the message reads "Mastered and Duplicated for Audio and Video Performance", then the text fades out, the THX logo appears, but the Laserdisc logo appears under THX. The logo shines, and the blue rectangle fades out.
- From 1997-2001, an alternate version appeared where the original text above (and above only) the THX logo was "LUCASFILM LTD." This was officially replaced with the "DIGITALY MASTERED" (as described above) text when Lucasfilm Ltd. spun off THX into its present-day company.
- 1997 A: Same as the 1995 B variant, but uses the lower pitch Deep Note from the "Tex" trailer. This was only on DVD releases.
- On Dell PC DVD Releases it is the same as the cinema logo but "The Audience is Listening" tagline is replaced with "Your Dell PC is THX Certified". "Dell" is in its then-corporate logo. "SOUND SYSTEM" is replaced with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." The URL www.thx.com is seen with the trademark.
- 1997 B: As with THX being no longer known as a "sound system", the logo was altered, with the "SOUND SYSTEM" text removed, and when THX spun-off from Lucasfilm Ltd. in 2001, the logo was altered again, with both "LUCASFILM LTD." and "SOUND SYSTEM" texts removed, and has a URL address for www.thx.com below the THX logo when it shines.
- 2010: The logo has been remastered, or recreated, in high definition. The blue rectangle is wider and glows, "The Audience Is Listening" text is in a white Imprint shadow font and the THX logo glows and shines slowly. Below is a THX Ltd. copyright notice.
- 2011: A home video version of the 2010 variant. "The Audience is Listening" text is replaced with "Digitally mastered for superior sound and picture quality," in the same Arial font (a la 1995 B).
- On the DTS Laserdisc of Apollo 13, the Deep Note on the Laserdisc variant is the low-pitched version.
- On some prints of the widescreen AC-3 Laserdisc of Stargate, the Deep Note on the THX Laserdisc logo is a short version of the 1983 Deep Note, though other prints use the high-pitched Deep Note.
FX/SFX: See variants above.
- The theatrical version uses the louder & shorter version of the Deep Note.
- The DVD/VHS/Laserdisc version has a shorter & quicker version of the Deep Note.
- The HD version, or "Broadway Classic (Restored)," has the 15th logo's rearrangement. (said to be the 13th logo's rearrangement)
- Buena Vista releases had a higher-pitched version of the Deep Note.
- The Video CD/UK variant had an even higher-pitched (and 10 times louder) version of the Deep Note.
Availability: One of the most common THX logos ever. It appears on many THX-certified DVDs and VHSs, including Disney releases prior to 2001. Also available online. The 1997 variant made a surprise appearance when Starz aired Toy Story 2 on April 16th & 17th, 2011, due to their using the VHS master. The early 1990s version appeared on Disney Channel's earlier airings of Monsters, Inc., which plastered the Tex Moo Can trailer used on the original VHS/DVD releases. On home entertainment releases, the "Broadway Classic (Restored)" trailer debuted on Blu-ray with Star Wars: The Original Trilogy and on DVD with the 2012 re-release of Titanic. "Broadway Classic (Restored)" was moved to the beginning of THX-Certified releases starting with Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on Blu-ray.
Scare Factor: See 1st logo.
Logo: A small gray box appears in the center of the screen, then a conductor's hand appears in that box and flicks his baton, blasting out a blue "hyperspace/wormhole". It turns red, and when it fully turns red, we see a 3D THX logo zoom towards us against a black screen with red dots. Then, we see some text saying "The Audience is Listening" in the same font and color used in "Broadway". A few seconds, a subtitle reading "Lucasfilm, Ltd. Sound System" fades in too.
- This trailer was remixed in Dolby Digital in 1998. This variant had slight changes. At the start, text fades in reading "Dolby Digital sound in a THX Theatre," and at the end the Dolby logo was added at the left-bottom of the screen.
- On Laserdisc releases starting with Twister, the words "Mastered and duplicated for optimal video and audio performance" fades with the 1,000 red dots. Then, it fades to the 3D THX logo. Once it's finished zooming, the THX Laserdisc logo from "Broadway" fades and zooms as well as the silver outlined rectangle. The THX Laserdisc logo and the silver outlined rectangle shine.
FX/SFX: CGI that was done at ILM.
- An orchestra warms up, then a big descending synth note followed by an orchestra crescendo. When the THX logo appears the descending synth is played again, followed by a rising string note for the THX logo.
- For the Dolby Digital remix, a nice orchestral piece done by James Horner. We hear an orchestra warm up at the start, then a rousing orchestral cue with some firework-esque noises(not in the original version of WOW!except for the 2002 & Vimeo releases), and then a beautiful composition of twinkles and ascending notes when the THX logo appears (representing the Deep Note). A whoosh is heard as the THX logo zooms in (not in the original version of WOW!), followed by twinkles. This music debuted in the Cimarron trailer shown at the end of the THX WOW! (1990) LaserDisc.
- The Laserdisc variant uses thunder sounds and a shorter version of the Dolby remix music and sounds.
Availability: This became the first alternate THX trailer to be used in 1988, beginning with the original theatrical release of Willow in THX theaters. This probably no longer plays in THX theaters. The original version is long out of print and may only survive in the hands of a few home projectionists. The second version is only available on THX-demo discs. The Laserdisc variant can be seen on Saving Private Ryan, Volcano, Independence Day, Vertigo, and others (namely Fox films).
Scare Factor: Low. The Deep Note sounds much calmer in the remix version, but the thunder sound in the Laserdisc variant could up the scare factor a little.
Logo: On a black background, we see some white text that reads "This auditorium is equipped with a THX sound system." A few seconds later, the background turns into a red-black cloudy background. We see some white text that reads "The Audience Is Listening." After that, the red-black background turns slowly turns blue, somewhat similar to the previous background. Seconds after, a light with lens flares moves upward and a 90° turned THX logo rotates to its front in a blue-black gradient background, with "LUCASFILM LTD" over and "SOUND SYSTEM" below.
- The DVD of Speed replaces the opening text with "Best Picture. Best Sound. You're watching a THX Certified Feature." and "SOUND SYSTEM" with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND".
- The Dell PC DVD version replaces "The Audience Is Listening" with "Your Dell PC is THX Certified." and "SOUND SYSTEM" with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." "Dell" is in its then-corporate logo and the [www.thx.com] url appears at the end.
- On The THX Ultimate Demo Disc (the THX Ultra 2 and THX story featurettes), a full screen (4:3) version of this logo can be spotted.
FX/SFX: The background changing, the texts fading, and "THX" is completely in silver 3D. The visuals were created by ILM according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc.
Cheesy Factor: The red background looks very dated, which is in sharp contrast with the beautiful CGI rotating of the THX logo.
Music/Sounds: Some chimes. When the background opens, wind whistles, then various ascending notes and sounds, until a Star Wars laser-gun sound and a whooshing sound occur as the THX logo appears and ends with a choir-like version of the Deep Note. The sound for this trailer was apparently created at Skywalker Sound and, according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc, designed by David Slusser & Marco d'Ambrosio.
Availability: Seen in all THX theaters during 1993 until 1997, as well as online and on the 2002 DVD release of Speed.
Scare Factor: Low to medium. The ascending sounds are ear-piercing, but the Deep Note sounds much more calmer on this logo.
(April 14, 1994, 1996-1997)
Nickname: "The Simpsons", "Burns' Heir" "What Happened to the Simpsons?" "Turn It Up! Turn It Up!"
Logo: We see the Siskel and Elbert film sign, before the Simpsons sit in their seats. The light dims, and then brightens a bit. Then we cut to the movie screen, then a white screen with "THX" on it (not the same as the other logos) appears, with "SOUND SYSTEM" and "THE AUDIENCE IS LISTENING" under it. The sound shakes the theater/cinema, breaking many peoples' glasses and teeth, an exit sign, the ceiling of the theatre and even a head exploding in a brief amount of time. We cut to the same film screen, with the logo on it. The audience whoops, and the screen fades out. Grandpa finally yells "Turn it up!" twice.
Variant: A variant was shown where we see the Broadway rectangle, then it fades to the film sign and the logo animates as normal.
FX/SFX: Traditional animation from Film Roman.
Music/Sounds: The atmosphere, dialogue, and the Deep Note.
Availability: This was a trailer adapted from a scene from the season 5 Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir". Likely found in theaters and demo discs of the time.
Scare Factor: Medium because of the Deep Note, but it's a hilarious logo.
Nickname: "Tex" "THX.exe has stopped working" "Tex the THX Fixer" "Every Old Pixar Movie Ever"
Logo: The THX trailer starts as usual, which then breaks down as if due to an electrical failure. A light is switched on as a robot named Tex rolls in from off-camera. Tex opens a panel on the "X", grabs a rocket pack, and flies off screen, pulling out a hammer just before he goes off screen, muttering "Oh, George.".. Tex hammers at something on the right side of the screen, drills at something on the left side (On the extended version, then starts to saw and then yells "Ow") and then flies over to the T and moves a large switch. The switch causes the logo to re-activate and complete its usual sequence with the "LUCASFILM LTD." and "SOUND SYSTEM" text. Tex realizes the door in "X" is still open. Tex kicks the logo, which shuts the door, causing a black screen to fall reading "The Audience Is Listening".
Trivia: When Tex mutters, "Oh, George..." it is a reference to George Lucas.
- On DVD or Laserdisc releases, the messages from the Broadway Trailer, which are "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance", or "Mastered and Duplicated for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" appears WITHOUT the blue rectangle outline. Then, the animation plays as usual. Between 1996 and 1997, the "sound system" title appears under THX (as well as Lucasfilm Ltd. on the top). Once after 1997, the "sound system" name was no longer seen.
- There is an extended version. This only appears on Fox Demo Disc #1 and disc 2 of the North American DVD release of Finding Nemo.
- On the THX Vimeo page and DVD releases such as Toy Story 2: Special Edition, the black screen that reads "The Audience is Listening." is replaced with the THX website URL. The "LUCASFILM LTD." and "SOUND SYSTEM" text are absent.
FX/SFX: Nice CGI for 1996, which was done at Pixar Animation Studios.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note in a lower pitch, Tex's dialogue, and sounds corresponding to the animation. The sound design is by Gary Rydstrom, according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. See "Logo" for the rest.
Availability: Might have been common in THX theaters during its heyday, but it is available on some Pixar movies on DVD such as the 2005 edition of Toy Story 2 and A Bug's Life, and some THX demo DVDs. Seen online as well.
Scare Factor: Low to high yet again, though some might consider the subject matter funny.
Nicknames: "Tex 2", "Moo Can", "Cow", "Tex Strikes Again" "MOOOOOOOO!" "The Cows Are Listening"
Logo: We see Tex the robot from the previous logo, as he appears out of nowhere right in front of us. He has a can in his hand which has a picture of a cow on a field and says "moo"(which is in a bubble cloud, as if the cow were saying it), and the only way we see it is that Tex zooms it up towards us closer. He takes it back, and turns it upside down, and dips it, realizing the can is empty. After flipping it right side up again, Tex gives us a "one minute" signal, and flies away. In the meantime, while we see nothing but the background, we hear him gathering something as he then returns with the "moo can". This time, however, he also has a plug in his opposite hand, and plugs it into the can. After that, we hear the sound of cows mooing, and, beside that, the THX logo appears sliding up from the middle of the screen to nearly the top. Tex points to the text, but suddenly the THX logo begins to rumble and shake. Tex sees this, and he nervously flies off with the can and the plug. The THX logo jolts to the left side for a moment before going back to it's normal position. And, like the last logo, the black screen with the text "The Audience is Listening" falls to the screen.
- On some occasions, the THX logo is already seen at the very beginning of the logo before the animation begins, which means that in this variant, Tex is basically doing all of his animation right in front of the company's text. And, on a few alternate occasions between 1997 and 2005, the Lucasfilm Ltd. name was seen on top of THX; then the screen falls as usual, but replaces "The Audience Is Listening" with "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature." (as seen in the "Cavalcade" logo)
- In 2009, when Monster joined THX, it's exactly the same trailer. When Tex gets the cord, the camera zooms in to reveal a Monster cable. When he plugs it in, the graphics on the moo can change it into a Monster Moo Can. "Monster" in 3-D font fades and slides up to the top at the same time as the THX logo. When the THX Logo rumbles, the Monster logo rumbles and the black screen shows the THX Monster logo in white and the THX Monster trademark in white.
FX/SFX: Same as 5th trailer.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo, except the Deep Note is replaced by cows mooing it (if you really listen carefully, a high pitched voice is heard towards the end of the mooing, which sounds like someone yelling "STOP!" before the sound of rumbling and cracking). The sound design is by Gary Rydstrom and Marco d'Ambrosio (who did the cow chord) according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. A variant of the Monster THX version uses some electrical sounds from Terminator 2, which Gary Rydstrom also did the sound design of.
Availability: Maybe still seen in theaters. Can be seen on Pixar films (such as Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 10th Anniversary Edition, and Finding Nemo disc 1 US), Fox films (such as Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 2, Speed 2, and The Day The Earth Stood Still), THX Demo discs, and even the VHS of Monsters, Inc. (plastered by the VHS version of Broadway on the first televised print of Monsters, Inc. on Disney Channel). A variant is also on the Lair video game for PS3. Seen online as well.
Scare Factor: Low to medium (at least perhaps for those with THX-phobia), although it's meant to be funny. There's nothing funny about the next logo...
Nickname: "Cavalcade" "The Sphere" "THX Sphere Of Doom" "Terminator 2 Logo"
Logo: In a darkly-lit environment, we zoom in toward a glassy blue sphere, which has clouds rolling and lightning flickering. As the environment illuminates, we see that the sphere is barely hovering over a textured blue floor. Suddenly, the sphere shatters, and the sky is revealed to contain several rolling gray clouds. The glass then liquifies and gathers in the center. Some lightning strikes it and forms a silver THX logo. Then, the environment fades to black as a shimmering blue rectangle is drawn clockwise around it. The logo fades out as the URL www.thx.com fades in.
- There is an early variant where the THX web address is absent.
- On some releases, after the THX logo fades out, the text "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" (from the Broadway logo) appears in the blue line. At one point from 1998-2001 (when Lucasfilm still owned it), "Lucasfilm Ltd." was seen (exactly the way it was in the 1995 Broadway variant) above the THX logo.
- On the DVD release of Terminator 2, the T2 logo appears in a box as it zooms to us. Then, as the usual animation for this logo, the box shatters. Water erodes from the ground, and the THX logo appears as usual, forming from the water. After that, the THX logo fades out, and then it contains a message reading "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature" appears one by one as each text fades out before the other. Also, the Deep Note in this variant (the Terminator 2 variant) is the same as Broadway 2000 version. This is also on the Blu-ray release with some differences: the THX logo looks slightly different, the "DIGITALLY" and "MASTERED" (a la Broadway '87) are replaced with "CERTIFIED," and the www.thx.com URL with a copyright notice appears. The Sound design and mix is by Gary Rydstrom at Skywalker Sound according to the credits of the T2 Ultimate Edition DVD.
- On the DVDs of The Final Countdown, Fox Demo Disc #1, and The THX Ultimate Demo Disc, the logo fades out before we get to the "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" text.
FX/SFX: Just top-notch CGI for 2000.
Music/Sounds: Thunderclaps/electric shocking sounds, followed by glass shattering, then the Deep Note. A laser-like sound is heard as the rectangle is formed. On the T2 variant, music from Terminator 2 fades to the Broadway 2000 Deep Note.
Availability: Very common, as THX is much better at keeping their trailers intact. You can spot it on THX certified products, such as theaters, Dell computers, and cars. Also seen online as well. You can even spot it on several THX DVDs such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Meanace, Star Wars: Clone Wars: Volume One, The Incredibles, Bayside Shakedown 2, Fox Demo Disc #1, the 2004 releases of the original Star Wars trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), and X-Men 1.5; in THX theaters, and on the video game MLB 09: The Show. It's also the intro to the menu of The THX Ultimate Demo Disc.
Scare Factor: Nightmare, due to the sphere shattering all of a sudden, in addition to the presence of the Deep Note, but it's pretty cool.
Nickname: "Broadway 2000" "Lets See It In" "The Audience Is Listening 2000" "Deep Note Of The Millennium"
Logo: We see a pitch black screen (ala the 1983 "Broadway" logo), then we see the text "Let's see it in......" appearing in separate words zooming in the center of the screen. Then we see the THX logo with the Lucasfilm Ltd. notice at the top of THX. The logo shines and we fade-out.
FX/SFX: The words zooming-in at the screen.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note, of course. However, the longer version (and one of the abridged variants of the 1983 logo's theme) is being played (around this time for home video and DVD releases, the logo and music was cut short).
Availability: Seen in THX theaters of the time. Also can be seen on The Indiana Jones Trilogy (2003 release) and The THX Ultimate Demo Disc.
Scare Factor: Medium to high because of the dark atmosphere and the Deep Note.
Nickname: "Shrek" "illuminate your senses" "Somebody once told me there is a THX Logo"
Logo: The THX logo starts up like any other, but the logo suddenly crashes down revealing Shrek and Donkey creating the deep note with many instruments. The two stare at each other awkwardly, then raise the logo back up. The Deep Note starts again and the logo shimmers in green from left to right. While the Deep Note is playing, Donkey comes out and plays a kazoo over it. Shrek yells "Donkey!" at him, and the two walk off-screen. The screen fades to black as the words "illuminate your senses" fades in on the top, a smaller THX logo in the middle, and copyright info on the bottom.
FX/SFX: The logo itself, and the animation involving Shrek and Donkey.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note, the instruments, and the dialogue.
Availability: Extinct. It was not seen on the original theatrical release of Shrek (as Disney/Pixar blocked THX from showing it for some weird and unknown reason), however it eventually debuted in 2006. It was seen on an original international DVD release of Shrek and is also available on the THX website.
Scare Factor: Low to medium, as this is a hilarious logo.
Nickname: "Bounty" "20 Years Of Making Great Movies Come Alive" "Happy 20th, THX!"
Logo: On a black background we see out-of-focus movie clips on a THX logo. Some of these clips include Star Wars: Episode I, Alien and Jurassic Park. The logo then starts to shine as the blue outline from the Broadway logo appears around the screen and the words "CERTIFIED CINEMA" appear under the THX logo. Everything except the blue outline fades out and is replaced by the THX website URL on the top, copyright notices on the bottom and the phase "20 Years of Making Great Movies Come Alive"
FX/SFX: The clips playing on the THX logo, the shining at the end.
Music/Sounds: In this order, sound clips from the following movies are heard:
- Apocalypse Now Redux
- Jurassic Park
- Die Hard
- Jurassic Park (again)
- Nightmare on Elm Street
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
- Fight Club
- Star Wars: Episode I (again)
- Pulp Fiction
- Back to the Future
- Lord of the Rings trilogy
- The Fast and the Furious
After this the THX Deep Note starts playing as the final sound clips play from:
- Alien (again)
- The Mask
Availability: Exclusive to THX theaters during 2003. THX doesn't own the rights to the sound clips in the logo, so it remains ultra rare.
Scare Factor: Medium to high. It can cause THX-phobia.
Nicknames: "Tex 3", "TEX Action", "The Car", "Tex Strikes Yet Again" "And Action!" "Tex and the BMW" "Tex's Amazing Journey"
Logo: On a gray background, we see a clapperboard on screen. The clapperboard claps, and then disappears off-screen. The camera then zooms out and turns, revealing the background to be a gray car. Tex flies on screen and stops in front of the car, giving a "stop" signal. Tex then tries to fly away, but ends up getting sucked into the car. He gets flung around the car's engine uncontrollably, and is eventually able to stop and regain his balance. He then looks up, and sees part of the engine spraying. After spraying for a few seconds, it explodes, and Tex gets covered in black ash. Another part of the engine then pushes Tex up, and he gets chased by another explosion. He manages to escape from the car just in time, but then he loses control, and hits the THX logo. He then stands back up, shakes his arms and foot, looks back at the THX logo, and does a pose.
FX/SFX: Same as the 5th and 6th trailers.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 5th and 6th trailers, with the addition of some car sounds, and a guy saying "And...action!" when the clapperboard is on screen.
Availability: Seen on THX certified cars. Possibly seen in theaters too. It was spotted on the 2006 DVD of District B13.
Scare Factor: Low to medium. Like the 6th trailer, it's intended to be funny but it can scare those with "THXphobia."
Nickname: "Amazing Life" "How the Deep Note Sounds" "The Plants are Listening" "How THX Is Recorded"
Logo: We start out with an octagon shape figure rising out of liquid (a la a ripple effect), and forms into another figure, which looks like petals from a flower because we're looking at it from the top. Inside the "flower" is a crown shape figure that has wings on top of it, slowly spinning around, producing the held organ note sound, as we zoom in on it. Then, the scene changes. We now see another set of wings that also spin around, but faster. A ring is spinning around with it and goes down towards the bottom of the screen, producing the buzzer. And the scene changes again. The same set of wings from the first scene is shown, once again spinning slowly, with shades seen on the left side of the screen. As the scene changes again, a tulip is seen zooming in towards us as it opens up it's front, producing the deep brass sound. Then we zoom in on a mushroom as it bumps up a bit and makes drum beats. Then a set of butterflies fly by (with some stopping in front center of the screen), producing some flapping sound, we see the flowerhead-like plant with dragonfly wings as petals, it pushes one-by-one clockwise, making dolphin chirping sounds, then we see something with 14 metallic spheres opening and closing as it makes a melody played on glockenspiel. Intact with the drumbeats of the jingle, we see a variety of mushrooms as they "beat" and bump up the the drumbeats, and then the scene changes to swirly-like circles which vibrate, as we zoom from one to another, making the bass horn stab. We zoom into another tulip, making another deep brass sound, and suddenly, we fly over all of the above mentioned items. As the camera tilts toward the front and zooms back, we see the plant-covered structure evolve to the THX logo. This version looks slightly (but also noticeably) different than the other logos of the past. The text zooms back.
Trivia: This was designed by Eyestorm Productions.
FX/SFX: Everything in amazing CGI.
Music/Sounds: A variety of instruments playing in sync with each plant, performed by Lost in the Sky. This ends with a less noisy/less scary version of the Deep Note, accompanied by the swoosh. Unlike the previous THX logos, the music comes to a quick end rather than fading out smoothly.
Availability: Seen in most THX theaters and new THX DVDs/Blu-rays such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Red Tails. Starting with Avatar, it appears at the end of THX-certified releases. Available online as well.
Scare Factor: Low to high, once again, although some with THXphobia might even like this one for its wonderful animation and somewhat tame Deep Note.
(March 14, 2008)
Nickname: "Horton" "The Audience Is HEARing" "Horton Hears A Deep Note"
Logo: On a black background, we see this odd speck that talks in a familiar voice to Horton (from Horton Hears a Who). It gets closer.... and... closer... OH! It's just the mayor. They talk about if they can hear each other. Then, the mayor says "Kinda losing ya", causing Horton to drop the THX logo, and he shouts "HOW ABOUT THIS?!?! I'VE GOT HIM REAL CLOSE!!! CAN YOU READ ME?!?!" knocking the mayor off-screen, then followed by the infamous THX Deep Note, then the screen transitions to a message reading "THE AUDIENCE IS HEARING" (spoofing the "The Audience is Listening" motto, with "HEAR" in the same font as the movie). On the side of the screen we see the mayor peeking out of the side of the screen, with cloths blowing from the Deep Note.
FX/SFX: The characters moving, and the THX logo dropping.
Cheesy Factor: The characters' voices are ripped from the movie.
Music/Sounds: The characters talking, a crash, and the Deep Note.
Availability: Extinct. It was only seen at THX theaters that showed Horton Hears A Who.
Scare Factor: Medium. The "CRASH!" sound and the Deep Note might startle a few, but it's intended to be funny.
Nickname: "The Science of Sensation" "The Science of THX" "The Audience Is Seeing"
Logo: We first see a pitch black screen, but then we see the words "THE SCIENCE OF SENSATION" (in capital letters) coming at us each two words at a time (like the "Broadway 2000" logo), then suddenly fading out by spreading the words apart. Then, the THX logo appears. With its usual gray color, the logo shines with a "shinemark" coming down on the "T".
FX/SFX: "THE SCIENCE OF SENSATION" text spreading out, the shinemark, and the THX logo shining.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note and some shining sounds. When the Deep Note grows, it then has a reverb effect (said to use the "Cavalcade" Terminator 2 variant).
Music/Sound variant: A higher pitched version exists.
Availability: Can be seen on the DVDs of Titanic: Special Collector's Edition (on which it debuted), Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and Lorelei: The Witch of The Pacific Ocean. It's also seen in some THX theaters.
Scare Factor: Medium to high because of the long, dark atmosphere and the Deep Note.
Nickname: "Ziegfeld", "Uninteresting THX"
Logo: On a black background, we see the metallic outlines of the THX logo fade in. Then the shiny silver color fades inside the THX logo. The THX logo glows and makes a big shine with some sparkles. Then below the THX logo is the disclaimer: "THX and the THX logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All Rights Reserved."
Variant: At the beginning of an LG video on THX-certified TVs, the metallic outlines fade in quicker, the shiny silver color fades in slower, and the shine of the THX logo isn't as bright.
FX/SFX: The glowing, sparkling, and shining of the THX logo.
Cheesy Factor: Minimal animation.
Music/Sounds: The low-pitched Deep Note from the Tex and Broadway (DVD variant) trailers.
Availability: TBA. Can be seen on THX Demo Disc II, MLB 07: The Show, and whenever you start up a THX-Certified TiVo.
Scare Factor: Low to medium.
Nickname: "Broadway 3D", "The Audience Is Listening... IN 3D!" "3 Dimensional Deep Note"
Logo: On a deep cloudy background, we see a light tunnel of many colors as well as a shadow in the distance. The shadow then emerges to reveal a silver and shining THX logo as well as a crystal blue rectangle outline from the Broadway trailers, which zoom slowly at us. A small copyright notice is seen below the THX logo.
FX/SFX: The colorful light tunnel, the emerging of the logo.
Cheesy Factor: The whole logo has way too much shining and color clashes, but it may look better in 3D than it does in 2D.
Music/Sounds: Same as Broadway Classic (Restored).
Availability: Can be found on the THX Calibrator disc, 3D movies in cinemas and 3D Blu-ray releases, like the 3-disc special edition 3D Blu-ray of Avatar.
Scare Factor: High, possibly bordering on nightmare. This logo may cause "THXphobia" which could worsen now that it's in 3D. The lights don't look very friendly, either, but despite the high rating, it's MUCH tamer than the next logo...
(April 4, 2015- )
Nickname: "Eclipse", "The Other Side", "Dark THX" "See you on the other side" "The Audience Has Nightmares" "Deep Note 2.0"
Logo: We start off in a shooting starfield. Then, a large black eclipse fades in, glows and spins. Then, many shiny white/black sticks and veins appear all over the eclipse, representing the iris of the human eye, and we zoom further into it as the sticks and veins move around and form in different ways. Suddenly, a large "O" appears in the middle, a la the Orion Pictures logo, and we zoom through it, revealing the THX logo, which is black and has dark shines on it. The text "see you on the other side" wipes in underneath the THX logo.
FX/SFX: The zooming in of the eclipse, done by Two-Shots Production. Extraordinary CGI.
Music/Sounds: A redone version of the THX Deep Note, also done by James Andy Morrer. It sounds more synthesized than before, and is even louder and higher-pitched.
Availability: Brand new. Debuted online in April 2015, and might be seen at THX-certified theaters.
Scare Factor: Nightmare. Due to the reconstructed Deep Note, the eclipse suddenly becoming a vortex, and the near- black darkness, this is most likely the scariest logo, but it is also the most extraordinary even with those with THXphobia.
Nickname: "Sphere" "THX 2k15" "Sphere of Audience"
Logo: On a black background, we see either the slogan "The Audience is Listening" or the THX 4K logo. It then disappears by sliding to the right. The background becomes black-gray-green gradient. A black line with blue marks slides to the right of the screen and starts to gently shake. It becomes liquid and breaks up into small circles. We zoom through the liquid. Multiple grouped lines start swirling around in a circular motion, then forms into a 4-layered sphere, hence the nickname. A blue glow surrounds the sphere. It becomes liquid and opens up, revealing blue electric lines. It later explodes to fill the background with black, then zooms out in the form of the THX logo. It later fills up with metallic material, making it look normal. Some of the blue lines remain, then later disappear completely. Finally, we see 2 copyright notices "THX and the Deep Note sound are trademarks of THX Ltd. registered in certain jurisdictions. All rights reserved." "This THX trailer is the property of THX Ltd. All rights reserved".
FX-SFX: Awesome CGI by Human Workshop.
Music/Sounds: The original Deep Note mixed with sound effects like a synth choir, zaps, etc.
Availability: Brand new.
Scare Factor: Medium because of the various movements, but this is a lot tamer than the last trailer.
Nicknames: "River" "What happens when you start The Crimson River" "A Flight Through THX" "The Audience is In France"
Logo: On the DVD menu of The Crimson Rivers, we zoom into the temple. Then, a symbol is drawn and turns red and black. We zoom into the symbol and it turns into an island with mountains. Then it goes into one of the mountains' core, and we see a glacier inside it with the THX logo in it. Then it melts, and the blue rectangle from the 1st logo appears and the words "LUCASFILM" appears above the logo.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note and sounds related to the action going on.
Availability: Only seen on the French THX-certified DVD of The Crimson Rivers, except for custom demo DVDs featuring this trailer.
Scare Factor: Medium because of the Deep Note, although it's intended to be funny.
Nickname: "Le Raid" "THX is a good mosquito killer" "EXTHXMINATE" "The Mosquitoes Are Listening" "Le meilleur son, la meilleure image"
Logo: We observe many glowing particles coming up from a salty ocean below. Then we rapidly zoom out through the trees and see five mosquitoes
sleeping mid-air above the swamp. They are equipped with yellow "Le Raid" titled helmets and shells, though one wears a knitted hat, and other wears nothing. The mosquitoes wake up, get angry and rush forward. One of them gets first and sticks out his tongue to taunt others. However he misses the tree, hits it and falls into the swamp. Then the rest of the mosquitoes fly past the trees, one of them briefly shown from his backpack, also titled "Le Raid". They proceed to the large gathering of particles above the water and three of them are thrown out, the last one hitting the screen. The THX logo is formed from the particles, while the background turns black and the blue rectangle from the 2nd THX logo appears. The fourth mosquito is thrown out. Then the words Le meilleur son, la meilleure image (French for "The best sound, the best picture") form.
FX/SFX: Good animation.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note and the sounds of insect buzzing and other sounds produced by them (such as gulping sounds, ricochets, and an airplane or jet-like engine whir as one of them is blown away).
Availability: Only seen on the French THX-certified DVD of Le Raid, except for custom demo DVDs featuring this trailer.
Scare Factor: Same as the 1st logo.
Nickname: "French Broadway" "Deep Note In France" "The Audience Is Listening in a french cinema"
Logo: We see two silver bars zooming in, in a grainy film quality. Their borders tremble. Another bar follows them rotating, joins them and the figure starts
rotating, forming the "H" in the process. Then the letters unfold into the 3D THX logo, sending other letters at the sides, and the grainy quality gets lost. Then the "T" grows its usual elongated bar and the small bar comes from the right, expanding below. Then "Lucasfilm" and the copyright symbol rise in the logo; the blue box appears.
Music/Sounds: Starts with silence and proceeds to the Deep Note.
Availability: Only seen on the French THX-certified DVD of Les Tontons Flingueurs.
Scare Factor: Same as the 1st logo.
THX Certified Games
(Mid 2000s- )
Nickname: "The Gaming Experience" "The Gamers Are Listening" "The Best Gaming Sounds" "Gamer's Best Friend"
Logo: We see the words "Experience THX", which dissolve and the THX logo appears. It shines as usual showing the text "CERTIFIED GAME" below.
- There is a version where the flash is purple, and the Deep Note starts from the ignition sound.
- In The Matrix: Path of Neo, the logo zooms in as Matrix lines, then turns, and the flash appears.
- In Need for Speed: Shift, the words "EXPERIENCE THX" appear below the complete logo.
- In Need for Speed Underground, the only word below THX is "GAME".
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note.
Availability: Rare. Seen in THX-certified games. The original variant was spotted on Shadow Ops: Red Mercury.
Scare Factor: Medium to high because of the dark atmosphere and the Deep Note.
Nicknames: "Galaga", "8-Bit", "Soul Calibur III THX", "Galaga Meets the Deep Note" "The 8-bit Is Listening" "GalaTHX" "Insert THX Coin"
Logo: On a white background, we see the words "PLAY GAME!?" in a regular video game font flashing in red. Two lines of all-red aliens from the arcade game Galaga come from the top of the screen, cross each other, make a U-turn, and merge into one big section. A third section comes from the bottom of the screen, spins around, and goes into the big section. A fourth section does the same thing. A fifth section of aliens comes from the top of screen and makes a U-turn. It goes into the big section too. Two or three more sections go into the big section. As the aliens get in their place, an all-red starfighter comes from the bottom of the screen and stops. One of its guns moves a little bit like an arm. Then its guns all bend over, signaling the beginning of an 8-bit rendition of the THX "Deep Note". However, one of the aliens gets mad, and the others run away, prompting the starfighter to shoot it, and it does. The aliens then get back together, and the stafighter's guns all bend over once again, which signals the beginning of a regular "Deep Note". A red "THX" logo with a "CERTIFIED GAME" byline (in the same font as "PLAY GAME?!" earlier) moves the aliens out of the way while the spaceship's guns "wave" to the aliens. When the "THX" logo is in the middle of the screen, the starfighter is on top of it and zooms off. The entire logo then pixelates into a black background, a shiny "THX" logo, and the byline "CERTIFIED GAME" in Arial. The finished logo shines.
FX/SFX: Too much to mention in delightfully retro 8-bit graphics (except after the pixelation).
Music/Sounds: The opening theme of Galaga, various 8-bit sounds (including sounds from Galaga and the beginning of an 8-bit rendition of the Deep Note), and finally the Deep Note.
Availability: This only appeared on Soul Calibur III for the PS2.
Scare Factor: Minimal to medium. Even if you have "THXphobia", this THX trailer is a favorite of those who have seen it because of its retro theme.