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Logo descriptions by Jason Jones, Jeffrey Gray, and James Fabiano Logo captures by Logoboy95, Eric S., V of Doom, Shadeed A. Kelly, and Bob Fish Editions by Shadeed A. Kelly, Logoboy95, The Twenty Thousand Tonne Bomb (aka, 20000), and Nathan B. Video captures courtesy of phasicblu and cruiseshipz 

Background: The men named in the company are Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. The pre-1974 is currently owned by DreamWorks Classics under DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., the post-1974 library is owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., and The Jackson 5ive is distributed by CBS Television Distribution.


Videocraft International, Limited


1st Logo (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. The company byline appears as "A VIDEOCRAFT INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION" or "A VIDEOCRAFT PRODUCTION".

Variants: There are a few variants, which will be described later.

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

Music/Sounds: Usually the outro of a TV 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 PinocchioThe Tales of the Wizard of Oz, and the 1964 TV Christmas special Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Scare Factor: None.


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, as in the infamous "V" design from the previous logo. The names of the producers pop up 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 (which is red) on the bottom 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.

Cheesy Factor: Pretty simple but effective animation.

Music/Sounds: Three ascending notes (the majority of which are produced by a horn) herald the appearance of the Rankin and Bass credit popping in, followed by a brief flute melody during the pan-out, and then a one-note abrupt end. A piano and drum also seem to be part of the music, and all the while, a set ofbongo drums play in the background. The music was composed by Maury Laws and Jules Bass. Availability: Extinct. Was last seen on The King Kong Show, and possibly The Cricket from The Hearth special, aired in 1967. Don't expect this on the DVD release of The King Kong Showbecause the logo wasn't intact there. Very strange, though; on recent showings of The Cricket from the Hearth special (on UNC-TV), this logo was replaced by the 1968 Rankin-Bass logo!

Scare Factor: Minimal. The dramatic music might get to some viewers. _______________________________________________________________

Rankin-Bass Productions


1st Logo (December 19, 1968-December 7, 1969)

Nicknames: "The Christmas Special Logo", "That Loud Logo at the End of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Logo: On a white screen, the symbol is a vertical rectangle with two dots along its right side, and the rectangle and top dot are dark shades of blue while the bottom dot is a shade of purple (forming a stylized R-B, you can make out the "r" using the dark shapes, and add that last dot to make a "B"). To the logo's music, the symbol forms one shape at a time on the left side of the "monitor;" the rectangle "slides" in, then the two dots appear. Alongside that appears the words "A Rankin-Bass Production". A Videocraft copyright notice appears on the bottom.

FX/SFX: Symbols and words appearing.

Cheesy Factor: Simple animation.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1966 Videocraft International logo. Sometimes, it is silent.

Availability: The CBS reruns of Frosty the Snowman now has its closing logo intact, since Classic Media bought out the pre-1974 Rankin-Bass material (it originally had the logo replaced with a Golden Books Family Entertainment closing logo). Similarly, cable reruns of some holiday specials (particularly on ABC Family Channel) retained the R-B ID. Strangely enough, on one airing ofThe Little Drummer Boy, this logo was replaced with the "Blues" logo!. 

Scare Factor: Minimal. As usual, the dramatic music may unnerve some.


2nd Logo (April 7, 1970-December 10, 1974)     Nicknames: "The Christmas Special Logo II", "RB-TV Monitor", "Rankin-Bass on TV", "That Loud Logo at the End of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer II"

Logo: Same as before, expect with a TV set over a blue background. The 2nd dot is now light blue. The letters is in a different font.

Bylines:

  • 1970-1971: "©Videocraft International Limited (year in Roman numerals)"
  • 1971-1973: "A DIVISION OF TOMMOROW ENTERTAINMENT, INC."
  • 1973-1974: Bylineless.

FX/SFX: Same as before.

Cheesy Factor: Same as before.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1966 Videocraft International logo. Sometimes, it is silent.

Music/Sounds Variant: There is a variant in which the bongos come in early.

Availability: Cable reruns of some holiday specials (particularly on ABC Family Channel) retained the R-B ID. The logo can also be found on DVD. It was plastered by the 1984 WBTV shield on the 2000 DVD of The Year Without a Santa Claus, but on the 2007 "Deluxe Edition" DVD, the logo is intact. It was first seen on The Mad, Mad, Mad Comedians

Scare Factor: Minimal. As usual, the dramatic music may unnerve some.


3rd Logo (September 11, 1971-September 1, 1973)

Nickname: "The One Before the Flashing M"[1]

Logo: Just a dark background with the words "Rankin/Bass" in a script font superimposed onto it with a "In Association With" text.

FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The fade-in.

Music/Sounds: Same as Motown Productions logo.

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

Scare Factor: Medium The dark background and music, plus the sudden transition into the Motown Productions logo may turn some people off.


4th 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. It looks like the first logo without the TV monitor.

Variants:

  • On The Hobbit, it's silent and the background is carrot orange, while on Nestor the Christmas Donkey, the music is sped-up and the background is orange-yellow (though both of these could be from film deterioration).
  • There's another variant found on a different print of The Hobbit (preferably an early printing) retained from a Xenon VHS release. The music is left intact and the background is slightly pink. The film quality is also horrendous.
  • On Leperchaun's Christmas Gold, the logo is in a shade of green.

FX/SFX: The blues getting sucked in, the circles "growing".

Cheesy Factor: Simple animation. The Hobbit variant looks ugly.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1966 Videocraft International logo. For the later years, it was re-arranged.

Music/Sound Variant: On the 1983 TV special The Coneheads, the jingle was mixed with the drum roll and end chime of the Telepictures logo that followed.

Availability: Still saved on most holiday specials from the period by Rankin-Bass when rerun on ABC Family. A sped-up version appears on Nestor the Christmas Donkey (film deteriorated), followed by the 1984 Warner Bros. Television logo. The logo has also often been cut short on ABC Family where it fades out as the music continues and a Warner Bros. logo follows (usually the \\' "Distributed By" logo). A silent version also appears on The Hobbit (film deteriorated). The last special with this logo was The Wind in the Willows in 1987.

Scare Factor: Low to medium. The dramatic cheesy special effects added to the dramatic music may scare some. _______________________________________________________________

Rankin-Bass Animated Entertainment


1st Logo (January 23, 1985-December 5, 1989)

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.

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

Music/Sounds: A bouncy, synthesized oboe theme (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.

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

Scare Factor: None. The logo is clean.


2nd Logo (December 17, 2001)

Nickname: "The Flipping 3-D RB"

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

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

Music/Sounds: None. Just the end title theme playing over the logo.

Availability: Seen on the animated cartoon Santa Baby on TV One during the holiday season.

Scare Factor: None.

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