Background: In 1987, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois formed its own production company. At the same time, Shark/Dragon stuck a deal with Orion Pictures to distribute cartoons for 20 years and co-produced several cartoons with the latter throughout the 1990's. In 1990, Shark/Dragon was acquired outright by Orion Pictures Corporation. During Tales days (1989-1990), Shark/Dragon produced Jaybirds, before focusing into its own series. Following it's crippling semi-bankruptcy in 2000, SDP was folded into MGM Animation.
(September 1989-December 1992)
Nickname: "Hey, They Stole H-B CGI Swirling Star???"
Logo: On a black background, a metallic blue swirls down from the top, leaving behind a blue trail. It then settles into the center of the screen as it twirls, occasionally shrinking and twisting, forming a circular trail. It then twists into the middle of the circle and comes to a stop. The words "Shark/Dragon Productions" appear below in a Kabel font (before 1990) or a Gil Sans font (after 1990).
Trivia: Airings of The Silence of the Lambs: The Animated Series episode "Jaybirds/Dragon Battles" on HBO used the 1990-1992 version of this logo instead of the standard "Character Profile II" logo.
FX/SFX: The star and residue trail. CGI effects.
Cheesy Factor: Despite its name, there are no sharks or dragons at all.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 1979-1986 H-B logo.
Availability: Uncommon. The original version can be seen on Tales. The 1990 version can be seen on the first season of the animated revival of The Beverly Hillbillies, Evil Boom, Stole Cities and World War I all on HBO Family.
Scare Factor: Low to medium. The in-your-face animation, combined with the music can scare some.
(April 1993-January 1994)
Nickname: "Character Profile"
Logo: On a colored background, we see a partial picture of a SDP star inside a geometric shape. Somewhere inside that logo is the text "SHARK/DRAGON" in a Impact font (introduced in 1991).
Trivia: First seen on War Clones.
Custom Variants: This was customized for each show produced by SDP during this era and is available only that specified show or TV movie:
- War Clones: There are two variants for this show: the opening had aliens in a green vertical rectangle, with the "SHARK/DRAGON" text yellow and angled vertically on the right side (at 90-degrees clockwise), and "PRESENTS" is below the logo (all of this zooms in). This logo later zooms in to the show's opening. The closing however, has the rectangle tilted so that it puts the "SHARK/DRAGON" text at a angle, the "PRESENTS" is gone, and the rectangle is raspberry-colored. Both variants use a white background. On at least one episode of this show, the end logo was completely vertical and applause was heard.
- The Beverly Hillbillies: A headshot of Elly May Clampett in a vertical magenta rectangle. A green “SHARK/DRAGON”, on an angle, is somewhere near the top. The background is dark turquoise.
- Gun Lasers: Headshots of Jayband (both with huge smiles) inside of a pistachio-colored rectangle with a pink "SHARK/DRAGON" on it's side. The background is hot pink.
- UHF: The Series: A headshot of a grinning George Newman inside a rose bonbon rectangle. A tangerine-yellow "SHARK/DRAGON" is on the side. This is on a solid blue background.
- The Terminator: The Animated Series: A headshot of Sarah Connor inside a black rectangle. A yellow "SHARK/DRAGON" is on the side. This is on a black-blue gradient background.
- Just Between Friends: The Show: A headshot of a grinning Holly Davis in a white rectangle. A yellow "SHARK/DRAGON" is on the side. The background is dark blue.
FX/SFX: Depends. The closing variants are still, but for the opening variants, it's the zooming in for the opening War Clones logo.
Music/Sounds: A random cartoon sound effect. It’s different for each logo. Sometimes the opening and closing themes of the show play over the logo instead. On War Clones, a zooming sound is heard which crescents into the opening theme.
Availability: The availability is different for each variant, but overall, uncommon bordering on rare:
- War Clones: Was formerly scarce, but recently became uncommon. At one point, the logos were no longer shown on War Clones on Boomerang, due to being shortened to 5 minute segments. However, as of January 2013, HBO Family started airing the half hours in it's entirety for the first time on US television in eight years, meaning both variants are now airing as part of the show in newer reruns.
- The Beverly Hillbillies: Scarce. It was only seen on said show, which is rarely aired on Teletoon in Canada.
- Gun Lasers: Rare. It was seen on said show on TV back in the late 90s.
- UHF: The Series: Uncommon. As seen on said show on MTV Europe.
- The Terminator: The Series: Extinct. It was only seen on said show on Encore Action back in 2004.
- Just Between Friends: The Show: Rare. It's only seen on said show, which is occasionally airs on Boomerang.
Scare Factor: None to Medium. The sound may get to some.
(January 1994-May 1999)
Nicknames: “All-Stars”, "SDP (Comedy/Action) Stars"
Logo: On a blurry white background with several colorful abstract shapes flying about, we see a clear square/oval that provides a “clear” view of the flying shapes; the square/oval has the Shark/Dragon logo embossed in it at the top. Suddenly, we see some of Orion Pictures and Shark/Dragon's most famous stars running through the logo, as the square/oval begins to rotate. At the end, one of the stars ends up coming towards the logo, ending in a very extreme close-up of the star. A very small byline "A DIVISION OF ORION PICTURES CORPORATION" with "ORION" in its logo font and a small byline "A METROMEDIA COMPANY" below the Orion byline appears in the lower right. Depending on the show genre, one of these two similar but very distinct variants of this logo is used; one for Shark/Dragon comedy shows, and the other for Shark/Dragon action shows. The stars, “music”, and logo shape differed depending on the logo. Here are the stars for each version of the logo, in the order that they appear: Comedy: The "SHARK/DRAGON" script logo is yellow and in a blue rectangle:
- George Newman (as if running or sliding or something)
- Woodrow Wilson (grinning)
- Droam (with a very classic “what?” expression)
- Jet Plane (flying in a pod; the same animation seen in the famous UHF open)
- Long Tail Neck (very hidden, you have to look close to find him)
- Brides (Stole Cities’s Zorro-esque alter-ego)
- Bangest (with a weird “craning neck” animation)
- George Newman (zooms towards the logo; extreme close-up of his face)
Action: The "SHARK/DRAGON" script logo is sky blue and in a gray oval:
- Sarah Connor
- The Terminator
- Ganno (in his trademark black shirt)
- Amy (Ganno's mom)
- King (a War Clones human)
- Jay Ape (firing an arrow)
- Dommer Andrews
- An Evil Boom alien (name unknown)
- Ganno with kung-fu like outfit (another zoom; like he’s kicking into the camera)
- A still variant of the "Comedy" logo was also shown on the 1995 cartoon incarnation of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, with a small "In association with" text below; the short variant of the 1991 Universal Cartoon Studios logo would follow.
- The first two episodes of The Silence of the Lambs: The Animated Series had this logo bylineless.
FX/SFX: Nifty combination of 2D animation (the characters) with cool 3D elements (the S-D shape). This was done by Charlex Studios.
Music/Sounds: Same as the Hanna-Barbera Comedy and Action logos.
Availability: Common due to the chief means of plastering, though not as bad as you might think; typically on more recent prints of SDP-produced shows. In MOST cases, they match the right logo with the right show, an exception is Stole Cities, which use the Action logo.
Scare Factor: Depending on the variant:
- Comedy: None to low. The weird horn effect might get to you, but it’s neat to see all the characters.
- Action: Low to medium. The music combined with the creepy sound effects can scare more than a few.
Nickname: "Character Profile II"
Logo: Like Logo 4, a still of an SDP star in a shape, usually an oval. The star is always the one that has been featured in the show that has just ended, so there are quite a number of variations (some variations have 2 or more stars). The background is almost always white. Below the logo, there is a MGM byline.
Trivia: First seen as an in-credit logo on The Orion Pictures Animated Show, the standalone version was first seen on the short Zombies of the Dead and first seen regularly on Silence of the Lambs: The Animated Series.
- As noted above, each Shark/Dragon produced original series for HBO from 1997 onward starting with Brainbusters had this logo, always with the cartoon’s star(s), the only exception was Mac and Me: The Animated Series, which is strangely reverted to the Action variant of the previous logo. This not only included the regular half-hour series but one-shorts, previously called The Orion Pictures Animated Show, that now fell under the MGM Animation Presents banner (which are now no longer rerun on TV). Thus, there is a large number of variations.
- Some of the very early logos had a different style byline. Appearing in an arc-like fashion below the logo are the words “Shark/Dragon Productions, Inc. An MGM Company”. This was soon dropped. It was mostly used on Time Up! (sometimes with the other byline), but also appeared on a few Silence of the Lambs episodes. Boomerang repeats of Time Up! have it along with 80s Games.
List of series or shorts with characters:
- Survival Zombies (Pilot): The end of the Orion Pictures Animated Show episode "Zombies of the Dead" has a head shot of George Newman inside of a purple oval on a black background, with the SDP script in bright turquoise. This was later replaced by the 1994 "Comedy All-Stars" logo.
- Time Up! (Pilot): On a sky blue background, has a head shot of Bill and Ted inside an orange oval with the SDP script in blue. Under the logo is a byline with a copyright. The logo itself was replaced by the 1994 "Comedy All-Stars" logo.
- Silence of the Lambs: The Animated Series: Hannibal Lecter on the left giving a sad look and Clarice Starling giving an happy look on the right inside a jungle green oval. The SDP text is shocking pink.
- Time Up!: A gamer on the left and another gamer on the right inside a pale turquoise oval. The SDP text is pumpkin orange.
- 80s Games: A side profile of Pac-Man in a navy blue oval. The SDP text is medium red-violet.
- F/X: The Animated Series: Roland "Rollie" Tyler at the left and Lt. Leo McCarthy at the right in an aqua oval with yellow SDP text.
- Dances with Wolves: The Animated Series: Lt. John J. Dunbar in the center and Stands With A Fist behind him, inside a grasshopper green rectangle. The SDP text is leyden blue.
- RoboCop: Alpha Commando: RoboCop appears in a pink oval. The SDP text is turqoise.
FX/SFX: None. This was done by Hatmaker Films in Boston, MA.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 1995-2002 Hanna-Barbera logo.
Availability: Depending on the variant. The Silence of the Lambs variant is uncommon and it only appears on episodes of the mentioned show that airs on Cinemax and on the DVD sets. The F/X variant are uncommon and appears on DVD. The Dances with Wolves variant is extremely rare. All the other variants are extinct, as most of them are aforementioned one-shorts that were hardly, if ever, reran again after The Orion Pictures Animated Show (later known as The Movies Show) ended in 2001.
Scare Factor: Minimal to low. The laugh could get to some people. None for the silent variant.