Closing Logo Group
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Background: Rankin-Bass was formed in September 1960 by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass as Videocraft International; it was renamed to Rankin-Bass in 1968. In 1971, the company was acquired by Tomorrow Entertainment, and distributed by Viacom Enterprises (now "CBS Television Distribution"), while Broadway Video acquired the rights to the pre-1973 library in 1988. It was later acquired by Telepictures on January 24, 1983 and then became a subsidiary of Lorimar-Telepictures. Nowadays, the pre-1974 library is currently owned by NBCUniversal on behalf of DreamWorks Animation, 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[]

1st Logo (In-Credit Variant; 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.

Variants:

  • Depending on the show or special, the TV tube logo would either have an outline or be filled in. The company name would also be read as "A VIDEOCRAFT INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION" or "A VIDEOCRAFT PRODUCTION".
  • On The New Adventures of Pinocchio, several variants were seen:
    • Two variants took place in front of a red curtain. One had the TV tube logo in a large size with the "VIDEOCRAFT" text inside the middle tube, while the other had it in a much smaller size with the text just to the right of it. The latter variant would also apply for the rest of the sub-variants:
      • One had the logo on a dark gray background with yellow text.
      • Another had it on a black background with white text, with the TV tube logo in red.
      • Yet another had it on a blue background with white text. The TV tube logo is yellow.
  • On the original 1964 black-and-white print of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the logo is featured on a present held by an elf. The 1965 color print (as well as almost all future prints) had the logo presented over Santa in the sky with his sleigh.

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

Music/Sounds: The end theme of the 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 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

2nd Logo (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 in the infamous "V" design from the previous logo. The names of the producers 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 on the bottom (which is red) 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: The name pop-in, the pan-out.

Music/Sounds: A strum and two horn notes, followed by a short flute tune and a dramatic finish. Bongos play throughout the whole thing. The music was composed by Maury Laws and Jules Bass.

Availability: Ultra rare, maybe extinct.

  • Was last seen on The King Kong Show, and possibly Cricket on the Hearth. Don't expect this on current TV airings and home video releases of both, as they plaster over it with the below logo. As such, you'll have to look very, VERY hard for this one.

Editor's Note: Pretty simple animation. The lone lowercase "r" in "VIDEOCrAFT" is an eyesore, however.

The music used here would become much more infamous when the company was renamed to Rankin-Bass Productions.

Rankin-Bass Productions[]

1st Logo (December 19, 1968 - December 10, 1974)[]

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

Logo: On a white background with a large blue border (resembling a TV monitor), a blue rectangle appears like a door shutting and 2 circles appear, one blue and the other light blue. The light blue and blue text "A ranKin bass PRODUCTION" then appear all stacked up next to the logo.

Trivia: The logo itself is suppose to represent an abstract "RB", with the "R" formed up with the darker colored parts and the "B" made up of all the shapes. When Tomorrow Entertainment took over the company, the rectangle was slightly modified so that the height of it perfectly matched the stacked circles. This version would be used on all the future logos.

Bylines:

  • 1968-1971: Videocraft Copyright Notice
  • 1971-1974: A Division of Tomorrow Entertainment
  • 1974-1975: Bylineless

Variants:

  • In the first few years of this logo's use, it lacked the blue outline, making the background completely white. This was mostly seen on The Little Drummer Boy and Frosty the Snowman. The finished product resembles the 1975 logo.
  • Some versions of the Videocraft variant either had the copyright year in numbers or roman numerals.
  • Film deteriorated variants exist where the white background is yellowed.

FX/SFX: The shapes and text appearing.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1966 Videocraft International logo, though it became much more well-known here.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Sometimes, it is silent.
  • There is a variant in which the bongos come in early.
  • Recent prints of Frosty the Snowman have either the closing theme or no audio, while earlier prints and Family Home Entertainment releases retain the music.
  • Canadian prints of The Little Drummer Boy have the CBC music.

Availability: Common around the Christmas season.

  • It appears at the end of most of Rankin-Bass's Christmas output when aired by CBS, ABC Family (now Freeform) and other channels, as well as on DVD, most VHS releases, and on Blu-ray (at least in the case of the Vivendi Entertainment BD of Santa Claus is Comin' to Town). In fact, this is how the logo became popular.
  • On one airing of The Little Drummer Boy, it was plastered by the 1975 logo.
  • It was plastered by the 1984 WBTV shield on the 2000 DVD of The Year Without a Santa Claus, while its 2007 Deluxe Edition reissue retains it.

Editor's Note: Simple animation for 1968. The Videocraft music - which first gathered infamy here - can turn off some viewers, but it has its fans. Also, on some versions of the logo with the Videocraft byline, the logo looks pretty crudely drawn.

2nd Logo (The Jackson 5ive Variant; September 11, 1971 - September 1, 1973)[]

Rankin-Bass The Jackson 5ive

Nickname: "The One Before the Flashing M"

Logo: Just a dark blue background with the words "Rankin/Bass" in a script font superimposed onto it with the text "IN ASSOCIATION WITH".

FX/SFX: The fade in.

Music/Sounds: Same as the Motown Productions logo.

Availability: Rare. It was only seen on The Jackson 5ive.

Editor's Note: This is a notable detour from the familiar Rankin-Bass abstract "RB" logo.

3rd Logo (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 a 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 appear the words "A Rankin-Bass PRODUCTION" as usual. The end result looks like the early variant of the 1st logo.

Variants:

  • On earlier prints of The Hobbit, the background is carrot orange, while on Nestor the Christmas Donkey, the background is orange-yellow (though both of these could be from film deterioration; the music also differs on both, as explained in "Music/Sounds Variants"). On the Xenon VHS release and 2014 Warner Bros. Deluxe Edition DVD of the former, the background is brighter with a slight pink tinge.
  • On Leprechaun's Christmas Gold, the logo is in a shade of green.
  • On The First Easter Rabbit, the logo is far more deteriorated than on The Hobbit. This variant has a dark brown background, and the text and shapes are hardly legible.
  • On some airings of Rankin-Bass specials, 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".

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1966 Videocraft International logo, but in a slightly lower tone.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The theme was later rearranged.
  • On the 1983 TV special The Coneheads, the jingle was mixed with the drum roll and end chime of the Telepictures logo that followed.
  • On the WB DVD release of The First Easter Rabbit, the film deteriorated variant uses the fanfare from the 1986 Lorimar-Telepictures logo! This is likely another case of the sloppy reverse plaster syndrome.
  • On earlier prints of The Hobbit and the Vivendi Blu-ray of Frosty the Snowman, the logo is silent. In the case of the former, the music is intact on the Xenon and 2014 WB releases, while in the case of the latter, the theme can only be heard if one switches to the Spanish mono track.
  • On Nestor the Christmas Donkey, the music is sped-up.
  • Most current prints of Frosty's Winter Wonderland have the music off-sync with the logo. The music comes in during the closing shot of the end credits, resulting in half of the logo being silent.

Availability: Common. Retained on the ending of most Rankin-Bass TV specials from this period on DVD and in TV reruns. It plasters the 1st R-B logo on the Vivendi Blu-ray of Frosty the Snowman. The last special with this logo was The Wind in the Willows in 1987.

Editor's Note: More simple animation, this time looking a bit more complex than the 1968 logo. The film deteriorated variants look ugly.

Rankin-Bass Animated Entertainment[]

1st Logo (January 23, 1985)[]

Rankinbass85

Nickname: "The Jazz Blues"

Logo: On a black background, we see the logo and the "Rankin Bass" text from in the same way as the 1975 logo. The word "Animated" in a script like font flashes and appears. The words "Entertainment from" then appears. We then cut to a sped-up Telepictures "Linecoaster".

FX/SFX: Same as the 1975 logo, sans the flashing of the text.

Music/Sounds: A jazzy drum break is heard, followed by an abridged version of Cheetara's leitmotif (a triumphant horn fanfare, with a funk flare to it). When the Telepictures logo appears, we hear an abridged version of the drum roll and a ding from the said logo.

Music/Sounds Variant: On one print of S4EP5 of ThunderCats ("Return to Thundera Episode V"), this had the music from the next logo with the Lorimar-Telepictures "Crashing Comets" logo in a high pitch (likely due to NTSC to PAL conversion).

Availability: This logo only appeared on the broadcast pilot for ThunderCats ("Exodus" and "The Unholy Alliance"), so it's likely a prototype for the next logo below. It was then plastered by the next logo when repeated on the show's fall premiere on that same year. This logo miraculously (and very strangely) survived on PAL DVD prints of ThunderCats, even plastering the 2nd logo on the rest of the series.

2nd Logo (September 9, 1985 - December 5, 1989)[]

Rankin-Bass Animated Entertainment (1985) 1

Nicknames: "'80s RB", "3D-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: A shortened version exists that ends after the company name forms. This was spotted on a post-1989 Russian print of the ThunderCats season 1 episode "Return to Thundera" appearing before the 1984 WBTD logo, and on all episodes of the aforementioned show when they first aired on Cartoon Network’s Toonami action block in 1997.

FX/SFX: The "Animated Entertainment" "spring" effect.

Music/Sounds: A bouncy, synthesized oboe theme followed by a harp glissando (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.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • A low tone variant exists.
  • On the short version, the logo is silent due to the Telepictures logo being plastered.

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

Editor's Note: Though the animation is simple yet again, it's much better than their 70's logo.

3rd Logo (December 17, 2001)[]

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Nickname: "The Flipping 3-D RB"

Logo: Same as the last logo, but the RB logo and "Rankin Bass" flips quite a few times in the start.

FX/SFX: The CGI RB logo flipping, and the "Animated Entertainment "spring" effect.

Music/Sounds: The end theme.

Availability: Seen on the animated cartoon Santa Baby, the last film from Rankin Bass before their closure.

Editor's Note: A simple update of the previous logo. With this, Rankin-Bass closed out over 40 years of memorable holiday specials. Some of their Christmas specials have been cherished by many, and will continue to be re-aired to new generations for decades to come.

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