Saban was an independent television production company formed in 1980 by music and television producers Haim Saban and Shuki Levy (who also reached the bottom line with the edition of Nippon Animation Grimm's Fairy Tales) as "Saban Records", a U.S. subsidiary of "Saban International Paris" (later "SIP Animation") who provided music soundtracks to shows made by other companies (most notably DiC). In 1984, the company expanded in television production of its own, and was renamed "Saban Productions". In 1988, the company also established "Saban International N.V." (now part of "Disney Media Distribution") for international distribution of its shows (Note: Though used interchangeably with "Saban International Paris", they were technically two different entities). Around the early 1990s, the company was reincorporated as "Saban Entertainment, Inc.". In October 2001, Saban Entertainment was renamed to "BVS Entertainment, Inc." when Saban and News Corp. sold it to The Walt Disney Company. Likewise, Saban International became "BVS International N.V.". Today, most of the Saban library is held by The Walt Disney Company through Buena Vista Studios (BVS Entertainment) and 20th Century Studios. The Power Rangers and Power Rangers-related series (VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs, Masked Rider, The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog, and Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation), as well as the English dubs of Digimon (including the seasons dubbed by Sensation Animation), were reacquired on May 15, 2010 by "Saban Brands" through "SCG Power Rangers, Inc.", both subsidiaries of "Saban Capital Group, Inc", a private investment firm here, and are currently held by Hasbro's Allspark division.
1st Logo (September 15, 1984-October 29, 1988)
Nicknames: "Rings of Saturn", "Pac-Man's Planet", "Pac-Man's World", "The Saban Planet"
Logo: Against a light indigo/white gradient background (in which a few stars can be faintly seen), we see a static shot of a purple (or dark red) Saturn-like planet, with a ring. In the middle of the planet and the ring, the word "S A B A N" is seen in a stylized font similar to the Pac-Man font. Below it is the word "P R O D U C T I O N S". On the bottom half of the planet to the left, there are five lines.
- On Kidd Video, the Saban logo is seen in a box in the upper left corner of the screen, and the DiC logo in the bottom right; the corner of the Saban logo overlaps the DiC logo. They are up against an orange background with a streak in the middle.
- On the pilot episode of Kidd Video, the Saban logo is seen in the bottom right corner and the DiC logo in the upper left, which overlaps Saban. They are on a black background with a streak in the middle.
- On a tape of The New Archies, the logo fades out early.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized theme with a descending synth sound, ending in 5 hits.
- The theme was high-pitched and sped-up on the Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling special, All Time Champ.
- On ALF: The Animated Series, the last few notes of the Saban logo theme was used.
- On Kidd Video, the end theme plays over it.
- On the pilot of Kidd Video, the DiC "Vortex" music plays over Saban.
Availability: Will probably be intact if any shows produced by Saban during this time are reran in the future, such as Maple Town and I'm Telling. It was also seen on The New Archies during its' original run on NBC, but isn't kept on later airings or DVD releases. Preserved on DVDs of ALF: The Animated Series and ALF Tales.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (June 11, 1988-November 20, 1996, 2010)
Nicknames: "Gold Circle", "Gold Coin", "Gold Plate", "Coin in Space", "The Saban Plate"
Logo: On a background with stars, a white marble rectangle with a round hole in the middle moves slowly from the left-hand side of the screen towards the middle of the screen, growing as it does so. In the hole, "glowing" but in black lettering, is the word "SABAN" and below the circle-shaped hole is the word "PRODUCTIONS" (in later years "ENTERTAINMENT"), or "INTERNATIONAL" for international distribution, with a gold line underneath. On the right side of the screen, a gold "coin" (or plate) twirls towards the middle of the screen as well. As the coin gets closer to the rectangle and the middle of the screen, it starts twirling faster and faster until it is affixed firmly in the hole in the center of the rectangle like a magnet attracting metal. Three white lines form on the bottom-left of the circle.
Variant: A still variant exists.
FX/SFX: Early computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A short synthesized theme ending in what sounds like a jail door slamming shut. The music was done on a Roland D-50 synthesizer using the "Digital Native Dance" patch. For most of the '90s shows, the end of the show's theme played over it.
- There are two short versions. The first one is the 2nd half of the logo theme. The other has the first 3 notes and the slamming jail door sound.
- Sometimes, the "slamming door" sound is omitted.
- The music was altered in 2010 for the remastered version of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This time it consists of a series of loud whooshes that culminate in a different "slamming door" sound.
Availability: Despite it appearing on many shows from this time period, it is rare.
- It can be seen on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Mighty' Morphin' Alien Rangers and early episodes of Power Rangers Zeo, alongside it's spinoffs VR Troopers and Masked Rider (though Netflix prints of all those said shows plaster all Saban logos with the Saban Brands logo).
- It also appears on X-Men and is kept on VHS and DVD releases, including the complete series box set, alongside the earlier US "volume" DVDs from Buena Vista and VHS tapes of the show that were given out by Pizza Hut in the early 1990s, as well as the 2009 UK DVD from Clear Vision.
- The 2010 version is now extinct; it only appeared on the 2010 remaster of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on ABC Kids.
- The "PRODUCTIONS" variant can be seen on Noozles and VHS releases of Bumpety Boo; it was also sighted on the game show Couch Potatoes when the show was last rerun on the USA Network in the early '90s (followed by the Group W Productions logo).
- The "INTERNATIONAL" variant is more common and was seen on international prints of various Saban shows from the era, notably English-dubbed anime shows and co-produced shows, alongside shows produced by Saban International Paris. It was also seen on international broadcasts of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
- Syndicated prints of New World Pictures films from the early 1990s, such as Heathers, plastered this logo over the New World logo.
Editor's Note: This is still remembered by some, especially those who grew up with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
3rd Logo (March 30, 1996-November 16, 2002)
Nickname: "The Twirly-Doo"
Logo: A group of children, who are ethnically diverse and wearing what appears to be spandex jumpsuits (some are wearing green, some are wearing red, and some are wearing yellow) with patterns all over them, are shown in a circle, looking upward as the camera revolves around and zooms out for a second. Then, it fades to a shot of the children from above as they take a piece of orange-yellow cloth with a globe pattern imprinted on it and throw it in the air as they are standing on opposite ends of a small "orb". Then, it fades to another shot of the children, who are shown raising their hands up and releasing brown, spherical objects into the air as they fade out as the orb (which resembles an Earth globe with yellow water and red and green continents) "transforms" into the Saban logo, which resembles a shiny gold crescent moon on the right with 3 "swishing" lines on the left. The word "SABAN" appears below the logo. The Saban logo zooms-in slightly. This is done on a cloudy sky background that seems to converge towards the center.
Variants: There are 5 variations of this logo:
- A "short" version that only has the "hands-up" part of the animation with an abridged version of the music (two different versions were used).
- A "medium" version that lacks the close-up shot of the children. The music plays in its entirety (though sometimes only the first six notes and the last note of the jingle plays).
- The long version has all of the shots in the logo and the complete music.
- The logo was still on the video game Power Rangers Zeo vs the Machine Empire.
- Some Saban Entertainment shows distributed outside North America have "INTERNATIONAL" at the bottom.
- A weird stretched variant for Saban International would be seen on the TV movie On Thin Ice: Going For The Gold.
- On Rusty: A Dog's Tale and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the logo is filmed.
FX/SFX: Everything. It's a good combination of live-action and CGI.
Music/Sounds: A 13-note flute/xylophone-like jingle that eventually coalesces into a trumpet. The sounds of children laughing are also heard throughout. Some wind is audible too.
Music/Sounds Trivia: This music was actually used on the English-dubbed version of Kamen Rider/Masked Rider (made before the "Twirly-Doo" was introduced), as the theme for one of the supporting cast members, the alien Ferbus.
- The logo was shortened to 7 notes.
- Sometimes, the "INTERNATIONAL" version uses 10 notes that are rearranged.
- A low tone version exists using the same 10 rearranged notes. This variant appears on some episodes of Action Man outside of Canada.
- A high-tone variant with the 7-note music was seen on The Mouse and the Monster.
- The 10 notes version is sometimes shortened to 6 notes for both normal and "INTERNATIONAL" versions. This appears on the TV movie On Thin Ice: Going For The Gold and some shows such as Space Goofs and Diabolik.
- One season 3 episode of the French dub of Bobby's World have a weird monaural reverb effect.
- On international airings and the Australian DVD release of Au Pair, instead of the children's laughing, it plays the 2 first notes of the 1998 Fox Family Productions logo before the music plays normal. This only appears at the end of the movie.
- In other cases, the ending theme of the show is played.
- On Rusty: A Dog's Tale and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, the opening theme of the film is played over the logo.
Availability: It's more common than the previous logos, but is still fairly rare nowadays.
- It was originally common as it appeared on most Saban shows from the era, such as Flint the Time Detective, Mon Colle Knights, and specifically on episodes of Power Rangers (From later episodes of Zeo until Time Force) and the first three English-dubbed seasons of Digimon; Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers (except Digimon: The Movie).
- the "International" variant appears on most series from Saban's library, including some of the 1980s and 1990s Marvel Productions shows it owned (Dungeons and Dragons) and pre-1990 DIC shows among others, sometimes plastering older logos.
- this logo was still intact on airings of Saban series on the Jetix block on Toon Disney (now Disney XD);
- Netflix prints of Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog plaster this logo with the Saban Brands logo.
- Currently, it's still preserved on pre-Disney VHS and DVD releases of Saban series. On television, it was last seen on This TV's prints of Inspector Gadget, which either used older prints from Fox Family or the DIC Kids Network syndicated prints.
- This logo is preserved on the Revelation Media DVD releases of Goosebumps released in the UK from 2012, starting with the complete first season, the Flatiron DVD set of Digimon Adventure (and presumably their sets of Adventure 02 and Tamers as well), and the 2006 DVD release of Rusty: The Great Rescue (aka Rusty: A Dog's Tale).
Editor's Note: While it may quickly become annoying to some, it's still a very memorable logo that still holds up really well.