PolyGram Video (UK)
PolyGram Video was the home entertainment arm of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. On December 10, 1998, PolyGram was sold to Seagram & Sons (the former parent of Universal Studios, now part of NBCUniversal), and the video division was sold to USA Networks, Inc. and renamed USA Home Entertainment. They also distributed BBC Video tapes in Australia until 1996, where distribution was taken over by Roadshow Entertainment and ABC Video (the Australian "ABC"). PolyGram Video also distributed much of the Island World library before purchasing the company in 1994, and distributed Palm Pictures releases during the first year of the latter's existence.
1st Logo (1982-1992)
Nickname: "Pixie Dust & Red Line"
Logo: On a black background, yellow dust begins to form the PolyGram Video logo. Like a roller-coaster (and the 1980s RKO logo), it zooms forward, dipping down, then flying back up again, also showing a line with red stars underneath it. The letters in “presents” fly in from the right one-by-one, and a white bar of light passes through the logo.
- Releases from Spectrum had their own special variant of this logo including the German one, which can be found here.
- The German "Arena" version of this logo has the word "PolyGram" with several shadows of the word flying up from the bottom and "flashing" as the main word flashes several colors. The red stars appear below, and the Arena logo is wiped in (a white box with "ARENA" in thick letters in an arc and a "swoosh" around the top, making the whole thing resemble a disc). A version of this exists without the Arena logo.
- An extended version of the regular variant has the logo shining four times.
- International versions (bar the German version) may have the "presents" text in their native language, like "presenta" in Spain.
FX/SFX: Traditional animation for the Normal logo and Scanimation for the German version.
Music/Sounds: An eerie synthesized humming sound, complete with two “whooshes” at the end. The Arena variant uses the music from the Spectrum version (Magnum: On The Wings of Heaven, however, uses the Spectrum version on the standard logo). In case you did not notice, the jingle was also used for the normal version, only on VHS releases from Spain.
Availability: Extremely rare. Check thrift stores or eBay for VHS releases containing this logo. It can be seen on the UK pre-cert release of An American Werewolf in London. The German version can be seen on German PAL tapes such as The Vindicator. This logo was seen on the Image DVD release of Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, and PolyGram DVD of Magnum: On The Wings of Heaven, due to the source of the video being an old master. The logo can also be seen on a few of RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video's Musicvision tapes featuring artists under the PolyGram umbrella (including Rush: Through the Camera's Eye).
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (1986)
Nicknames: "Poly Want a Gram Cracker?", "PolyGram Alert!"
Logo: On a red background, "PolyGram" in white moves from the top right corner of the screen to the left-hand side facing the left, then faces the right and move downwards, creating a rollercoaster effect. A line of stars moves up underneath the PolyGram text. "HOME OF THE STARS" appears going down, then going up, a la the Telepictures "Rollercoaster" logo. An anthropomorphic cartoon parrot smiling while pointing its finger in the air fades to the right.
FX/SFX: The text moving and changing perspective. The parrot and text fading in.
Music/Sounds: An excerpt of "Tonight" by Boytronic.
Availability: Only known to appear on a Spanish VHS of Breeders (1986) (AKA: La Muerte Ataca New York).
Editor's Note: None.
3rd Logo (November 22, 1990-1993)
Nicknames: "PV", "PV Videotape", "VHS Assembly", "How to Assemble a VHS"
Logo: On a white background, parts of a video tape are drawn together (the background shows the parts in extreme close-up), and eventually two black conjoined ellipses with the letter "P" in one and a red upside down triangle (representing a "V") on the bottom position themselves onto the spools. The words "PolyGram Video" pop in one by one in sync with the music. The close-up parts then fade out, cleaning up the logo.
- On several LaserDisc releases, the animation shows a LaserDisc being drawn instead of a video tape, and at the end, the words are shifted to the left, appear all at once, and a small gray LaserDisc logo (which looks like the LaserVision logo) appears next to them.
- A yellow/blue variant was spotted on a French VHS of Cabaret.
FX/SFX: The tape being assembled, and the "shadows" on the background. Very nice and modern graphics, especially for the 1990s.
Music/Sounds: A mellow rock theme combined with a whirring sound.
Availability: Very rare. NFL Crunch Course and the Buffalo Bills 1993 Video Yearbook are 2 tapes that have this, along with international Mighty Morphin Power Rangers tapes (though the next logo was used on the box and tape label). Also seen on PolyGram's first 4 UK rental releases - the 3 known ones are The Crying Game, Dust Devil, and Braindead. It's appeared as early as the 1990 VHS release of The Story of The Moody Blues: Legend of a Band and the 1991 release of Sabrina - On Stage.
Editor's Note: It's a cool logo, and certainly much more interesting than the next logo.
4th Logo (1993-1997)
Nicknames: "BANG!", "Stretched Red Line of Doom", "Scratches of Doom"
Logo: Against a black background, the words "PolyGram Video" quickly unfold letter-by-letter. Then, a red line appears underneath, zooming out.
- On some releases, there is a version with a blue wallpaper with PolyGram Video logos in the background. The PolyGram logo also leaves a small shadow.
- There is also a version with "Coming Soon From" on the screen before the logo plays as normal, with the finished logo under it. So far, this has only been spotted on Posse, Snow White: A Tale of Terror, and Fargo with the black background, and on The Basketball Diaries, The Portrait of a Lady and The Usual Suspects with the blue wallpaper background.
FX/SFX: The letters and line appearing.
Music/Sounds: A series of loud "scratching" sounds as the letters appear, a "whoosh" as the line appears and shrinks, and a bang. Sometimes it's silent.
Availability: Common. Found on PolyGram releases of the period such as Mr. Bean tapes, A Gnome Named Gnorm, Jason's Lyric, Fargo, Canadian Bacon, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Posse, Snow White: A Tale of Terror, When We Were Kings, Barb Wire, Home for the Holidays, The Usual Suspects and The Adventures of Tintin. This also appears on the original PolyGram DVDs of Portrait of a Lady and Kalifornia, among others. Also shows up on mid-'90s releases of Atlantic Releasing Corporation films, including a 1995 VHS of 1984 and a 1996 VHS of Teen Wolf. The blue wallpaper variant appears on the VHS release of The Basketball Diaries.
Editor's Note: This logo isn't liked very much since it isn't very creative, especially compared to the logo before. Also, the scratching noises can startle some people.
5th Logo (1996-1997)
Logo: On a background with what appears to be dark clouds, we see the usual "PolyGram" text with the red line below it. Below that is "VIDEO", aligned to the right of the line. The text zooms in at the beginning, and the entire logo fades out at the end.
FX/SFX: The logo zooming in.
Music/Sounds: A male announcer saying "Only from PolyGram Video."
Availability: Extremely rare. Seen at the end of a PolyGram DVD promo, which can be seen on the very first DVDs released from the company, one example being the 1997 DVD of Ghost in the Shell.
Editor's Note: None.
6th Logo (1997-September 14, 1999)
Nicknames: "PolyGram Wing Man", "Icarus"
Logo: Essentially the short videotaped version of its movie and television counterparts, but with "V I D E O" underneath.
- There is a long version of this which is the same as its movie counterpart. So far, it was found on a European VHS of The Real Macaw and a UK VHS of The Borrowers.
- On some promotional trailers for PolyGram releases, there is also a more abstract version of the logo with a solid blue Icarus. This is based off the print logo.
- On Franklin tapes from Reader's Digest, the print logo is used.
FX/SFX: Same as the movie and television counterparts.
Music/Sounds Variants: On the extremely rare screener VHS of Bean, it uses the theme from the previous logo, and may possibly be even the first tape to use the logo.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on PolyGram releases of the period like Barney's Great Adventure, What Dreams May Come, Bean, The Borrowers, The Game, Kansas, The Land Girls, Cats, Very Bad Things, The Last Days of Disco, Clay Pigeons, Elizabeth, American VHS releases of Noddy's Toyland Adventures, and The Big Lebowski, among others. Also seen on reissued VHS releases of Troll 2, The Graduate, Misery, Needful Things, Platoon, Escape from New York, Howling 2 and The Curse, among others. This also appears on the original DVDs of Ghost in the Shell, Mr. Saturday Night, Return to Paradise, What Dreams May Come, Malice, Needful Things, and Misery, as well as the first DVD releases from Palm Pictures and Manga Entertainment. Also seen on the 1998 World Series video, as well as the 1999 San Antonio Spurs NBA Championship Video.
Editor's Note: None.