Closing Logo Group
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Logo descriptions by Bob Fish and Eric S.
Logo captures by Eric S. and V of Doom
Video captures courtesy of TiMeCapsule123 and Eric S.

Background[]

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr. decided to expand his very successful record company into film and TV production in 1967 (debuting with TCB: Takin' Care of Business, a highly-rated MNC television special starring Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Temptations). Motown also co-produced movies with Paramount (Lady Sings the Blues) and Universal (The Wiz, The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars and Motor Kings) in the 1970s, but its logo does not appear in feature films (only in-credit mentions). This page describes the best-known logos from Motown Productions.

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(September 11, 1971-1978)

Nicknames: "M of Doom", "Flashing M"

Logo: On a black background, An abstract, trapezoid-shaped white M from the Motown logo flashes in the center of the screen, while multicolored lines and polygons gradually converge on the M. As the colored lines fill the M, the M turns sky blue and zooms-in the reveal a blue background. Finally, the the Motown M reappears in center with the words "MOTOWN Productions Inc." with Motown in a larger font.

Variant: On Jackson 5ive (the Jackson Five's 1971-73 Saturday morning cartoon series), the logo is tinted in blue and the opening animation is speed up, with a Rankin/Bass script logo and co-production/IAW credit fading in and out.

FX/SFX: The flashing "M", the multicolored lines, the zooming "M". All are typical effects of the Scanimate era.

Music/Sounds: A somewhat dramatic disco fanfare, accompanied by "beeps" for each time the M flashes.

Availability:

  • Original: Extinct.
  • Jackson 5ive Variant: It is retained on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Jackson 5ive.

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(1983)

Nickname: "CGI M25"

Logo: TBA

FX/SFX: TBA

Music/Sounds: TBA

Availability: Extinct. Only seen on the Motown 25 TV special. Recordings circulate.

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(1983-1989)

Nickname: "Flying Parallelograms"

Logo: On a black background, we see nine neon parallelograms-- three red, three blue, and three green-- zoom-out toward the screen to form the Motown logo, which turns a golden color. A glowing blue square surrounds it, and "MOTOWN PRODUCTIONS" appears below in white.

FX/SFX: The parallelograms flying to form the logo; nice '80s computer effects. It's also reminiscent of the Avco Embassy logo.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme plays throughout.

Availability: Rare. Intact on the Lonesome Dove miniseries. Was also seen on the Motown special Yesterday, Today, Forever, which was issued on VHS by MGM/UA Home Video.

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(1992)

Nickname: "Marble M"

Logo: Ee see a large, gray marble brick with the same abstract M as before with "MOTOWN Productions inc." underneath it. The marble brick simultaneously turns away from us while light is being emitted from the abstract "M".

FX/SFX: The marble brick turning, the light coming from the "M".

Music/Sounds: The closing theme plays throughout.

Availability: Only appeared on the miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream.

Final Note: In 1992, Motown Productions was merged into De Passe Entertainment.

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