THX is a motion picture quality certification system (despite being branded as a "sound system" until 1997) founded by Tomlinson Holman and George Lucas in 1982 (in turn was then-owned by Lucasfilm Ltd. until June 2002, when spun-off in its present-day company - THX Ltd.), named after the first film Lucas directed, THX 1138. The first THX film was 1983's hit movie Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. THX officially stands for "Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment". THX certifies fine-tuned home theater equipment, TiVo DVRs, and some PCs. They have previously certified physical media such as VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and Blu-ray (and HD-DVD; Brave Story in Japan and Pan's Labyrinth in France only) until around late 2012, as well as video games until 2009. In 2006, THX ran a contest for fans of the logos to create their own. You can see the winners of that contest here. Previously owned by sound card manufacturer Creative Technology, THX was acquired by gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer (which acquired the developers of the Ouya game console) on October 17, 2016.
1st Trailer (May 25, 1983)
Nicknames: "Wings", "It Begins", "Blue THX"
Trailer: We start with a black screen before the following white text fades in: "For the past 35 years, motion picture loudspeaker systems have not changed..." Later it fades out and new white text appears reading "Lucasfilm Ltd. and this theatre are pleased to introduce a new motion picture sound system." That text fades out and we wait for a while and the letters "THX", underlined and which have the slightly taller "T" stem extend over the other two letters, appear in a glassy sky blue color. The color fades in majestically with "LUCASFILM LTD." above it and "SOUND SYSTEM" below it, both in small text. It stays on screen for about 10 seconds, then slowly fades out with the text above and below the logo.
Trivia: The nicknames for some of the early THX trailers given by Lucasfilm, Ltd. derive from the earliest Oscar-winning pictures, like Wings, Cavalcade, and Cimarron.
FX/SFX: The text and THX logo fading-in and out.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized crescendo sound effect known as "Deep Note". It starts off with a group of 30 descending synthesized voices reminiscent of the sound of an airplane flying. Each voice moves slowly and randomly in a frequency sweep between 200hz and 400hz. This part of the Deep Note then repeats, and eventually, the voices proceed to their target notes, a drastic change of three octaves. The lower notes grow deeper, and the higher voices grow more shrill, becoming an ascending dramatic sound until the sounds stop in one pitch. Three voices are heard per note, slightly detuned. Two more voices are heard in the bass. It was coded by James Andy Moorer.
Availability: Extremely rare. This was only used on the theatrical premiere of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi in theaters located in Dallas and Hollywood, and was never used on THX-certified video releases. That said, it can be seen on select Demo DVDs and at THX's official website (plus their official Vimeo and YouTube).
Editor's Note: The introduction of the infamous THX logo. It's a simple effort, but nonetheless a very effective one as well, mostly thanks to its musical soundtrack, the Deep Note. It is probably one of the most infamous movie sound marks in history, thanks to its often frightening nature for younger viewers.
2nd Trailer (May 23, 1984-October 11, 2006, 2010-September 17, 2012)
Nicknames: "Broadway", "The Blue Rectangle", "The Audience is Now Deaf", "The Note Of Hell"
Trailer: On a black background, we see a blue outline of a rectangle. The gray text "The Audience is Listening" (in the Archive Modern II Open font) fades inside the outline, then fades out. A few seconds later, the THX logo in silver appears, The blue rectangle outline fades out, and
appears above and below, respectively. The THX logo shines.
Variants: Throughout the years, this trailer had many different variants:
- 1995 A: The audio was remixed digitally in Dolby Digital, DTS, and SDDS with then-new technology (with the latter system even having a special end variant).
- 1995 B: Probably the most recognizable THX trailer variant. It was exclusive to home video releases and revised a bit more. The gray text reading "The Audience is Listening" is replaced with "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Video and Audio Performance" in a rounded Arial Light font in white and arranged in the center of the outline. That text appears longer than the regular version, and "DIGITALLY" appears above the THX logo and "MASTERED" appears below that logo. Those texts fade in with the THX logo instead of appearing after the blue outline disappears, and they sparkle while the THX logo shines.
- 1995 C: Both the audio and the trailer is shorter than the standard 1983-1997 theatrical version. The audio (in this, and both 1995 A & B variants) is also in +2 higher (on VHS & LD; +3 on PAL releases), or -1.5 lower on DVDs.
- On LaserDisc releases from THX, the blue rectangle appears as usual, but with a difference: the message reads "Mastered and Duplicated for Audio and Video Performance" in Arial Narrow font. When the THX logo appears, [LASER I/ DISC] appears under THX. The logo shines after the blue rectangle fades out. The pitch is +2 pitches higher (an E note), like the VHS variant.
- From 1997-2003, an alternate version appeared where the original text above (and above only) the THX logo was "LUCASFILM LTD." This appeared only on Buena Vista releases until it was officially replaced with the "DIGITALLY MASTERED" (as described above) text when Lucasfilm Ltd. spun off THX into its present-day company.
- For the Dell PC's THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, "The Audience is Listening" tagline is replaced with "Your Dell PC is THX Certified". "Dell" is in its usual font. "SOUND SYSTEM" is replaced with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." Afterward, the URL www.thx.com is seen with the trademark and a disclaimer at the bottom.
- 2010: The trailer is remastered, or recreated, in high definition. The blue rectangle is wider and glows, "The Audience Is Listening" text is in a white Imprint shadow font and the THX logo glows and shines slowly. Below is a THX Ltd. copyright notice.
- 2010 A: "The Audience is Listening" text is replaced with "Digitally mastered for superior sound and picture quality," in the same Arial font (a la 1995 B). Debuted on home entertainment releases starting with Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Blu-ray.
- On the Apollo 13 DTS LaserDisc, the Deep Note on the THX LaserDisc logo is the -1.5 pitch Deep Note like the DVD/Tex.
- On some LaserDisc prints of the Stargate widescreen AC-3 release and Species, the Deep Note on the THX LaserDisc logo is a short version of the 1983 Deep Note (blending in with the fade-out of Dolby Ghost Train), though other prints use the +2 pitch Deep Note. (likely corrected copies as the early prints for the former were infamous for audio mixing issues)
- On the 1994 LaserDisc of Night of the Living Dead, the Elite Entertainment logo fades to the THX LaserDisc logo.
FX/SFX: See variants above.
- The theatrical version uses a louder version of the Deep Note which excludes the looped portion of the beginning.
- The DVD/VHS/LaserDisc version has a shorter and quicker version of the Deep Note that starts at the rapid pitch change. The VHS and most of the LaserDisc versions have a +2/higher-pitched (E note) Deep Note, which was stolen for Laser Video Russia's 3rd logo. The DVD version has a -1.5/lower-pitched (C♯ note) version that is often re-used in some of the future logos listed below.
- PAL THX-certified releases normally have the +2 pitch Deep Note; however, a couple of PAL releases (mentioned below) have it at a higher pitch (+3, at an F note).
- The HD version, or "Broadway Classic (Restored)," has the remastered Deep Note used in the "Science of Sensation" trailer.
- On international prints of the 2000 DVD of Aliens, there are some unique sound variants:
- The UK disc features a +1 PAL pitch of the -1.5 (DVD/Tex) Deep Note in a D key.
- On the Japanese disc, two audio tracks are present, each containing different pitches:
- The English surround track features the same audio from the UK release.
- However, the Japanese audio track features the VHS pitch of the Deep Note (E key).
Availability: Very common during its usage.
- The original theatrical variant, debuting on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; is ultra-rare and hasn't been used in theaters in a long time. It appeared on the 1990 THX Wow! LaserDisc, which was a sound test disc that predated the THX certification process and one that is very difficult to find; as well as its 2002 reissue on The THX Ultimate Demo Disc DVD.
- The 1995 variant is arguably the most common THX trailer made. It appears on THX-certified DVDs and VHS tapes from various distributors from 1995 to 2006, most notably Disney, Fox, Universal, Sony, Paramount, mini-majors such as MGM, and even on some releases from Anchor Bay, Republic Pictures and Pioneer/Geneon.
- On Disney releases:
- The LaserDisc variant was first used with the May 1994 LaserDisc release of the 1993 film of The Three Musketeers, and on an animated film for the first time that September with Aladdin.
- It debuted on VHS with the Masterpiece Collection edition of Bambi, which used the Digitally Mastered variant.
- The first release to use the Lucasfilm Ltd. variant was the Masterpiece Collection edition of Fun & Fancy Free. All Disney tapes would use this variant until around late 2001, and then alternated with the Digitally Mastered variant until December 2003, ending with the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday.
- The 2002 VHS release of Atlantis: The Lost Empire uses the standard logo, but Spanish-translated releases have the Lucasfilm Ltd. variant instead, likely because that particular copy was released in mid-late 2001; the American copy was to have that particular THX logo but was delayed to January 2002, so the previews and THX logo were updated.
- It was also seen with the -1.5 lower pitch on Disney DVDs starting in 1999, beginning with the Limited Issue release of Pinocchio. Early releases from 1999-2001 would also feature the Lucasfilm Ltd. credit, but would switch to the Digitally Mastered variant after 2001, with its final appearance being on the 2001 DVD of Pearl Harbor that December (with that release being the only anamorphic widescreen appearance of this variant).
- The DVD variant made a surprise appearance on an April 16, 2011 Starz airing of Toy Story 3 (or 2).
- The VHS variant of the standard logo made a surprise appearance on Disney Channel airings of Monsters, Inc. prior to October 2008.
- The Lucasfilm Ltd. variant also makes a surprise appearance on the 1998 Japanese VHS of The Little Mermaid.
- The last Disney releases with this logo:
- VHS: The Special Edition release of Aladdin on October 5, 2004 (however, the logo appears on the packaging and tape of the 2005 Special Edition release of Bambi, but not on the movie itself; unlike the DVD).
- LaserDisc: The Masterpiece Collection release of The Little Mermaid on November 3, 1998.
- DVD: On an animated film, the 2005 10th Anniversary release of Pocahontas on May 3, 2005. Overall, the DVD of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, released on September 13, 2005. Only Disney's Pixar releases had THX after this point, and they used the Tex trailer through November 2006.
- The LaserDisc variant is uncommon; the LaserDiscs they were recorded on are uncommon nowadays. It can be found on select LaserDisc releases from 1993-2000, starting with The Abyss, followed by Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Aladdin, The Little Rascals, Casper, Speed, and Braveheart. Starting in 1996 with Twister, the 3rd logo would be used for releases from Fox (though there were a few exceptions such as Alien: Resurrection), Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros., whereas Disney's labels and Columbia continued usage of the Broadway trailer on releases such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Men In Black, and The Rock. The last LaserDiscs with this logo would be Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and a re-release of the original Star Wars Trilogy's Special Edition, both released in 2000 in Japan only. It also makes a surprise appearance on a Taiwanese LaserDisc of True Lies, and the 1995 Hong Kong LaserDisc of Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
- Some tapes and DVDs don't have this logo on the cover or tape but feature it on the movie itself, and vice versa.
- The "restored" variant debuted on Blu-ray with Star Wars: The Original Trilogy and on DVD with the 2012 re-release of Titanic, before being moved to the beginning with the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray on September 17, 2012. Also available online and on the THX Calibrator disc.
- The "DELL PC" version is exclusive to the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc.
- The DVD variant was also seen on the Pioneer DVD releases of Akira and Tenchi Muyo In Love (The LaserDisc variant also appears on the LaserDisc release of the latter), among other anime titles. It debuted with the first release of the format in the U.S., Twister, on March 24, 1997. Early DVDs from 1997-2000 that were THX-certified play this trailer either as soon as the disc is read or right after the relevant home video logos, but before any menus. While the last US release of this variant was on May 23, 2006 with the uncut DVD release of The Boondock Saints, this variant continued to appear on international releases past this release, namely the Japanese DVD of The Uchoten Hotel (released on August 11, 2006) as well as the French DVD of Underworld: Evolution (released on October 11, 2006).
- The high-pitched PAL variant is extremely rare; it can be found on the UK VHS release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and the 2000 releases of the Indiana Jones trilogy, as well as the 2004 Indonesian VCD of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Special Edition. It may have appeared on other PAL tapes and/or VCDs as well but these are unconfirmed.
- The remastered version can be seen before every showing of Aerosmith's Deuces are Wild concert residency.
Editor's Note: This trailer's rendition of the Deep Note, cited as "the most awesome, powerful, and terrifying audio trademark in the film industry" by No Film School, is frequently referenced and parodied for its capability to be perceived as loud and menacing. This is an aural illusion; the spectrum of frequencies used in the sound, which Gary Rydstrom says makes it "just feel loud", are of sufficient volume for theaters.
The VHS and DVD variants of this logo are particularly infamous for its omnipresence on Disney releases from the era as well as other titles from Fox throughout the 90s and early-mid 00s.
3rd Trailer (May 20, 1988-2002)
Nicknames: "Cimarron", "The Conductor"
Trailer: On a black background, a small gray box appears in the center of the screen. Then, the hand of a conductor, holding a baton, moves up in the box. The hand flicks the baton, blasting out a blue "hyperspace". It turns red, and when it fully turns red, we see a 3D THX logo zoom towards us against a black screen with red dots. Then, we see some text saying "The Audience is Listening" in the same font and color used in "Broadway". A few seconds, a subtitle reading "Lucasfilm Ltd. Sound System" fades in along with a copyright notice at the bottom right of the screen.
- This trailer was remixed in Dolby Digital in 1995. This variant had slight changes. At the start, the Dolby logo and the text fade in reading "Dolby Digital sound in a THX Theatre," and in the end the Recorded in Dolby Digital logo was added at the left-bottom of the screen.
- On LaserDisc releases starting with Twister, the words "Mastered and duplicated for optimal video and audio performance" fades with the red dots. Then, it fades to the 3D THX logo. Once it's finished zooming, the THX LaserDisc logo from "Broadway" fades and zooms inside the silver outlined rectangle. The THX LaserDisc logo and the silver outlined rectangle shine. This was used until 1999.
FX/SFX: A conductor flicks a baton which triggers a hyperspeed boost, finishing in an abyss with the THX logo moving past the screen. This is CGI, mixed with live-action with the hand, done by Industrial Light and Magic.
- On early prints, an orchestra warms up, then a big descending synth note followed by an orchestra crescendo. When the THX logo appears the descending synth is played again, followed by a rising string note for the THX logo, representing the Deep Note.
- After some theatres complained about the above music messing up their speakers, it was replaced with a new orchestral piece done by James Horner. We hear an orchestra warm-up at the start, then a rousing orchestral cue with some whistling sounds (not in the original version of WOW! except for the 2002 & Vimeo releases), and then a beautiful composition of twinkles and ascending notes when the THX logo appears (representing the Deep Note). A whoosh is heard as the THX logo zooms in (not in the original version of WOW!), followed by twinkles. This music debuted in the Cimarron trailer shown at the end of the THX WOW! (1990) LaserDisc.
- The LaserDisc variant has thunder and a shorter version of the Dolby remix music and sounds.
Availability: Rare. This became the first alternate THX trailer to be used in 1988, beginning with the original theatrical release of Willow in THX theaters. The original version is completely extinct and long out of print as it was recalled due to complaints of the soundtrack breaking speaker drivers from theater owners, and may only survive in the hands of a few home projectionists. The second version is only available on THX-demo discs, though it's claimed to be on the 2000 special edition DVD of Twister (the DTS release, that is). The Dolby Digital variant was seen in THX theaters from 1995-2000. The LaserDisc variant can be seen on LaserDiscs from 1996-1999 such as Saving Private Ryan, Volcano, Independence Day, and others (namely Fox flicks). It was also seen on LaserDiscs from Paramount, Universal, and other major film companies, except for Disney's labels, Columbia (except for the 1998 LD release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which uses this logo) and some Fox releases which used the Broadway trailer instead. Warner Bros. would also use this logo for LaserDiscs, but only for the Twister LD release.
Editor's Note: This is one of two logos that used a theme other than the original Deep Note (At least speculated to be the case for the 1990 revision only), the other being "Grand" (the 4th logo). It proved to be unpopular among viewers. Andy Moorer, in an interview with Twenty Thousand Hertz, recalled that "Nobody liked [the sounds], nobody remembered them".
The original version is infamous for both the reason it was recalled for physically breaking speakers and its extreme rarity. Various reconstructions have been made, and some audio has resurfaced, but no one is exactly sure what the original version sounded like beyond a general idea. Nonetheless, this logo boasts some very impressive CGI for the time, and it's otherwise a very nicely-done effort.
4th Trailer (June 11, 1993-1997, 2001)
Trailer: On a black background, we see some white text that reads "This auditorium is equipped with a THX sound system." A few seconds later, the background turns into a red-black cloudy background. We see some white text that reads "The Audience Is Listening." After that, the red-black background turns slowly turns blue, somewhat similar to the previous background. Seconds after, a light with lens flares moves upward and a 90° turned THX logo rotates to its front in a blue-black gradient background, with "LUCASFILM LTD" over and "SOUND SYSTEM" below.
- The 2002 Fox Five-Star Collection DVD of Speed replaces "The Audience Is Listening" text with "Best Picture. Best Sound. You're watching a THX Certified Feature." and "SOUND SYSTEM" with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." appearing below the logo at the end.
- The Dell PC DVD version replaces "The Audience Is Listening" with "Your Dell PC is THX Certified." and "SOUND SYSTEM" with "BEST PICTURE. BEST SOUND." "Dell" is in its usual font and the www.thx.com URL appears at the end with a copyright notice.
- On The THX Ultimate Demo Disc (the THX Ultra 2 and THX Story featurettes), a digital 4:3 version of this trailer can be spotted.
- A prototype version exists, in which the text is set in a different font written in all capital letters. "The Audience is Listening" is also punctuated with an ellipsis, unlike the final version. The cloudy background appears very choppy and incomplete and the THX logo at the end appears to be the print version of the time in silver, likely a placeholder until the CGI animation of the logo was complete. This version can be also briefly glimpsed in the THX Story featurette seen on the aforementioned demo disc.
FX/SFX: The background changing, the texts fading, and "THX" moving. The visuals were created by Industrial Light and Magic (like the previous logo) according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc.
Music/Sounds: Some chimes and wind howling. When the background opens, wind whistles, then various ascending notes and sounds, until a Star Wars laser-gun sound and a whooshing sound occur as the THX logo appears and ends with a choir-like version of the Deep Note. The sound for this trailer was apparently created at Skywalker Sound and, according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc, designed by David Slusser and Marco d'Ambrosio.
Availability: Rare. Alongside DTS's first trailer, this debuted on the original theatrical release of Jurassic Park (according to the 1998 Lucasfilm THX Theatrical trailers DVD and the THX Ultimate Demo Disc), and then it was seen in all THX theaters from 1993 until 1997, as well as online and on the 2001 Fox Five-Star Collection DVD release of Speed. The "DELL PC" version is exclusive to the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc.
Editor's Note: The cloudy red background looks quite dated for the time, which is in sharp contrast to the beautiful silver CGI of the THX logo's grand appearance (pun intended).
5th Trailer (April 14, 1994 [original episode airdate], 1994-1997; 2001-2004)
Nicknames: "The Simpsons", "Burns' Heir"
Trailer: We start in front of the fictional Springfield Aztec Theatre, complete with a film marquee with the text "SISKEL & EBERT: THE MOVIE" on it, with "TWO THUMBS UP" - SISKEL & EBERT" below it (a reference to the show At The Movies, hosted by movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert). We then cut to many Simpsons characters appearing in theater seats, including Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Abe (Grandpa) Simpson. The light dims and then brightens a bit. Then we cut to the movie screen, then a white screen with "THX" on it (not the same as the other trailers, obviously to avoid being sued) appears, with "SOUND SYSTEM" and "THE AUDIENCE IS LISTENING" under it. The sound shakes the theater/cinema, as we see several moviegoers including Hans Moleman coil back in their seats in fear, with Hans Moleman's glasses breaking in a close-up shot, and the man beside him having his teeth shatter in another close-up shot. Several more shots show an exit sign exploding, the ceiling beginning to crumble and fall, and a man's head even exploding. After the chaos ensues, we cut back to the screen as the audience cheers for the logo. The theatre screen fades to black and we then cut to Grandpa, presumably deaf, who yells "Turn it up! TURN IT UP!".
Variant: The reanimated variant was shown where we see the Broadway rectangle, then it fades to the theater sign and the scene proceeds as normal, but a bit slower to fit in with the full version of the Deep Note. Despite now being an official trailer, this version still uses the legally distinct THX logo from the original episode.
FX/SFX: Traditional animation from Film Roman and Anivision.
Music/Sounds: The atmosphere, dialogue, and the Deep Note.
Availability: This was originally a gag scene from The Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir", but THX themselves liked the parody so much that the scene was reanimated into a legitimate trailer. Debuted in theaters starting in 1994 and it also appeared on demo discs of the time. (remixed in the three major digital audio formats no less!) The variant is very rare and can be found as a special feature on The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season DVD boxset (since "Burns' Heir" is a season five episode) and The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. This trailer was originally released in Dolby A, but it was later released as a single inventory print with Dolby Digital, DTS and SDDS in 1996.
Editor's Note: It's quite telling how THX liked this gag so much they turned it into an actual logo.
6th Trailer (July 3, 1996-November 7, 2006)
Trailer: The THX logo fades in as it usually would. All of a sudden, the logo sputters and then breaks down as if due to an electrical failure. A light is switched on as a robot named Tex rolls in from off-camera. Tex opens a panel on the "X", grabs a rocket pack, and flies off-screen, pulling out a hammer just before he goes off-screen, muttering "Oh, George..." (referring to George Lucas). Tex hammers at something on the right side of the screen, drills at something on the left side, and then flies over to the T and moves a large switch. The switch causes the logo to re-activate and complete its usual sequence with the "LUCASFILM LTD." and "SOUND SYSTEM" text. Tex realizes the door in the "X" is still open and kicks the logo, which shuts the door, causing a black screen to fall reading "The Audience Is Listening".
Trivia: John Lasseter, former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, created Tex who is THX's mascot.
- The original film print of the trailer was produced in full matte; however, it would be cropped when projected and is present in digital versions of the trailer.
- On the DVDs of Toy Story (the 2000/2001 releases) and A Bug's Life (the 2003 release), the message from the LaserDisc variant of Broadway (see above) "Mastered and Duplicated for Optimal Video and Audio Performance" appears without the blue rectangle outline. Then, the animation plays as usual.
- After 1997, the "sound system" title under the THX logo was removed in theatrical appearances and some DVDs, though this text still appeared on Disc 2 of the North American release of Finding Nemo.
- There is an extended version in which after Tex drills something, he starts to saw and then hits something and yells "Ow!" (implying that he hurt himself), muttering afterward. The rest of the trailer plays like normal. This only appears on Fox Demo Disc #1, disc 2 of the North American DVD release of Finding Nemo and the Canadian exclusive "Lucasfilm THX Surround EX DVD", with these selections implying this was meant for Dolby Digital EX releases.
- On the THX Vimeo page and DVD releases starting in 2005 such as Toy Story 2 Special Edition, the logo was remastered slightly. As a result, the black screen that reads "The Audience is Listening." is replaced with the THX website URL, and the "LUCASFILM LTD." and "SOUND SYSTEM" text are absent. This version also appears on Cars, except here, the screen that reads "The Audience is Listening" is intact.
- On the Toy Story CAV laserdisc, the only LD release to use this trailer, [ LASER I/ DISC ] from the Broadway Laserdisc trailer shines under THX. The "Mastered and Duplicated for Optimal Video and Audio Performance" message appears prior to the THX logo appearing. The DTS and standard Dolby Laserdiscs of Toy Story just use the "Broadway" trailer.
- A "Dell PC" version exists. Here, it's mostly the same, except the "SOUND SYSTEM" text isn't present and the "The Audience Is Listening" text is replaced with "Best Picture. Best Sound."
FX/SFX: Nice CGI for 1996, which was done at Pixar Animation Studios.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note in -1.5 lower pitch (from the Broadway DVD variant, though it actually made its debut here), Tex's dialogue, and sounds corresponding to the animation. The sound design is by Gary Rydstrom, according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. Mixes of the logo exist in all three digital sound formats. See "Trailer" for the rest.
Availability: Might have been common in THX theaters during its heyday, but it can be found on most Pixar movies on DVD such as Toy Story (the 2000 Ultimate Toy Box release and international releases of the 10th Anniversary Edition), A Bug's Life (the 2003 release), Toy Story 2 (the 2005 Special Edition release in the U.S. only; also the first to introduce the remastered variant), and Cars (the last THX-certified Disney DVD so far as the Blu-ray and VHS of Cars don't use THX, and don’t expect it or the next logo on the original DVD release of The Incredibles as it uses the “Cavalcade” trailer, while the VHS isn't THX-certified either); as well as some THX demo DVDs. Seen online as well. According to the THX Ultimate Demo Disc and the insert on the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, this trailer was released in time for the film Independence Day. The "DELL PC" version is exclusive to the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc. The home video ("Mastered and Duplicated" tagline variant) appears in the Pixar employees only "Made in Point Richmond" DVD.
Editor's Note: This logo boasts very nice CGI for the time as well as a humorous and friendly atmosphere compared to other THX logos.
7th Trailer (November 26, 1997-August 31, 2007, 2009)
Nicknames: "Tex 2: Moo Can", "Tex 2", "Moo Can", "Cow", "Tex Strikes Again", "Stampede"
Trailer: We see a gray, lifeless THX logo. Tex the robot, from the previous trailer, drops down from the top of the screen. He has a can in his hand which has a picture of a cow on a field and says "moo" (which is in a bubble cloud, as if the cow were saying it), and he holds it closer to show us. He flips it over, realizing the can is empty, and shrugs. He flies to the THX logo in the background, opens a hatch in the X, and then pulls out a cable from it. He then returns with the "moo can" and holds the cable up with his opposite hand, revealing it to have a plug, and plugs it into the can. Tex looks around for a few seconds as we hear the sound of cows mooing. Then, the THX logo turns silver and starts to rise up from the middle of the screen to its usual position nearly at the top and shines. Tex smiles and nods seemingly in accomplishment when suddenly the THX logo begins to rumble and shake. Tex sees this, jumps back in surprise, and he nervously flies off with the can and the plug. The THX logo jolts to its left side for a moment before going back to its normal position. The cable is pulled back into the logo, the hatch closes, and like the last trailer, the black screen with the text "The Audience is Listening" falls to the screen.
Trivia: This trailer's original name was "Stampede", which was revealed in the DVD menu of Pixar's employee exclusive "Made in Point Richmond" DVD.
- On a few alternate occasions between 1997 and 2005, the Lucasfilm Ltd. name was seen on top of THX; then the screen falls as usual but replaces "The Audience Is Listening" with "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature." (as seen in the "Cavalcade" trailer).
- In late 2005, this trailer, the previous one, and Cavalcade were remastered and removed any mention of the Lucasfilm name (due to these trailers being made before the 2002 spinoff), the tagline is replaced with "WWW.THX.COM". This is the most common one as it is currently used on the THX website and their official uploads of the trailer on Vimeo and YouTube.
- In 2009, when Monster joined THX, the trailer became slightly updated. When Tex gets the cord, the camera zooms in to reveal a Monster HDMI cable. When he plugs it in, the graphics on the moo can change it into a Monster Moo Can. "Monster" in 3-D font fades and slides up to the top at the same time as the THX logo. When the THX logo rumbles, the Monster logo rumbles and the black screen shows the THX Monster logo in white and the THX Monster trademark in white.
- A "Dell PC" version exists. Again, it replaces the "The Audience Is Listening" text with "Best Picture. Best Sound."
- The video game Lair for PS3 uses the same variant from 2005 until the logo finishes, the creatures from the game run under the URL for THX (www.THX.com). The last "Moo" sound can still be heard.
- A full-screen version exists (the entire trailer is letterboxed except for the tagline card "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature." is in fullscreen, this is only used for both the US VHS and the United Kingdom (Region 2) DVD release for Monsters, Inc.
- On the aforementioned UK DVD of Monsters, Inc, the logo is in a higher pitch due to PAL speed up, and there is no copyright info under the "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature." text.
FX/SFX: More great animation from Pixar.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous trailer, except the Deep Note is replaced by cows mooing it (if you really listen carefully, a high pitched voice is heard towards the end of the mooing, which sounds like someone yelling "STOP!" before the sound of rumbling and cracking). The sound design is by Gary Rydstrom and Marco d'Ambrosio (who did the cow chord) according to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. A variant of the Monster THX logo (website intro only) uses some electrical sounds from the Terminator 2 THX trailer, of which Gary Rydstrom also did the sound design. Like the previous two logos, prints existed in all three digital sound formats.
Music/Sound Variant: On some releases (like the aforementioned Monsters, Inc. VHS and the version on the Made in Point Richmond DVD, the only widescreen appearance of this variant), the logo is slightly louder, and more mooing sounds are added in, and the moo noise heard at the end is heard later.
Availability: Seen in THX-certified theaters for some time, though for how long remains a mystery. It debuted before Alien Resurrection. The Lucasfilm byline variant can be seen on various THX-certified DVDs from 2000 to 2005, mostly on films from Pixar (such as Toy Story 2 (the 2000 Ultimate Toy Box release), Monsters, Inc., Toy Story 10th Anniversary Edition (North American release), Toy Story 2 Special Edition (international releases) and Finding Nemo (disc 1)) and Fox (such as Speed 2 and The Day The Earth Stood Still), as well as THX Demo discs, and even the VHS of Monsters, Inc., although Disney Channel's original print of the film plastered this with the VHS version of Broadway instead, possibly due to time compression. The remastered variant without a Lucasfilm byline debuted on Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two on December 5, 2005. A variant is also on the Lair video game for PS3. Seen online as well. The "DELL PC" version is exclusive to the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc. This trailer also appears in the Pixar employees only "Made in Point Richmond" DVD along with the Tex logo. It was also seen on the French PAL DVD release of The Transporter and the Japanese DVD releases of Waterboys, Check it Out, Yo!!, and Swing Girls.
Editor's Note: Like the last logo, this is another funny and nicely-animated THX effort.
8th Trailer (May 19, 1999-October 21, 2003)
Nicknames: "Broadway 2000", "Let's See It In THX"
Trailer: We see a pitch-black screen (a la the 1983 "Broadway" trailer), then we see the text "Let's see it in" appearing in separate words zooming in the center of the screen. Then we see the THX logo with the Lucasfilm Ltd. notice at the top of THX. The logo shines and we fade-out.
FX/SFX: The words zooming-in at the screen.
Music/Sounds: A shorter version of the Deep Note that begins right before the rapid pitch change. However, new voices are added to the Deep Note and drown out most of the original voices except for the lower ones.
Availability: Seen in THX theaters of the time. Appears on The Adventures of Indiana Jones (on the 2003 release only), The THX Ultimate Demo Disc, and the Canadian exclusive "Lucasfilm THX Surround EX DVD". Debuted on Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (with Dolby Digital's "Aurora") in theaters. Don't expect this to be seen on any Disney DVDs, however.
Editor's Note: This trailer is somewhat simple and bland compared to most of the other trailers on this page.
9th Trailer (August 29, 2000, October 16, 2001-May 19, 2009)
Nicknames: "Cavalcade", "T-1000-HX", "Sphere of Doom"
Trailer: In a darkly-lit environment, we zoom in toward a glassy blue sphere, which has clouds rolling and lightning flickering. As the environment illuminates, we see that the sphere is barely hovering over a textured blue floor. Suddenly, the sphere shatters, and the sky is revealed to contain several rolling gray clouds. The glass then liquefies and gathers in the center. Some lightning strikes it and forms a silver THX logo. Then, the environment fades to black as a shimmering blue rectangle is drawn clockwise around it (like a laser). The logo fades out as the URL www.thx.com fades in.
Trivia: If you look closely while the THX logo forms, you can see rain pouring down.
- There is an early variant where the THX web address is absent.
- For the 2.35:1 version of this trailer, the glass pieces look more stretched out.
- On some releases, after the THX logo fades out, the text "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" (from the Broadway trailer) appears in the blue line. From 2001 to 2005, "Lucasfilm" was seen above the THX logo, similar to the Lucasfilm Ltd. byline's appearance on the 1995 "Broadway" logo variant. This was removed in late 2005 due to reflecting the 2002 split from Lucasfilm as mentioned above.
- On the DVD release of Terminator 2, a metallic rectangle with the T2 logo carved out appears, zooming toward us. Then, the rectangle gets shot into pieces by the T-800, as seen on the reflection. The pieces then turn into liquid metal like the T-1000 and form the THX logo. After that, the THX logo fades out, and then it contains a message reading "The Best Sound, The Best Picture. You're Watching a THX Certified Feature" appears one by one as each text fades out before the other. Also, the Deep Note in this variant (the Terminator 2 variant) is the same as the Broadway 2000 version. This is also on the Blu-ray releases with some differences: the THX logo fades into the standard logo, the "DIGITALLY" and "MASTERED" (a la Broadway '95) are replaced with "CERTIFIED," and the www.thx.com URL with a copyright notice appears; which served as the basis of Cavalcade. It appears on the Ultimate, eXtreme, initial Blu-ray, and Skynet editions of this film, but not the 2015 remastered or 4K Blu-ray releases.
- On the DVDs of The Final Countdown, Fox Demo Disc #1, and The THX Ultimate Demo Disc, the logo fades out before we get to the "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" text. The THX Ultimate Demo Disc also has the framing of 1.85:1. In the into to the menu, it has a 1.77:1 aspect ratio.
- Full-frame versions of the logo are known to exist but only on DVDs; it has never been used on VHS.
FX/SFX: The sphere, as well as it shattering, the thunder, the shards liquefying and merging, the blue box is drawn, and the text fading. Just top-notch CGI all around.
Music/Sounds: First, we hear the sounds of rainfall, and then thunderclaps/electric shocking sounds, followed by glass shattering, then the Deep Note. A laser-like sound is heard as the rectangle is formed. It also can be heard in PAL pitch if you have a PAL DVD with this logo.
Music/Sounds Variant: In the T2 variant, music from Terminator 2 is heard which fades into the Deep Note used in Broadway 2000; the sound design and mix are by Gary Rydstrom at Skywalker Sound according to the credits of the T2 Ultimate Edition DVD.
Availability: Seen on several THX DVDs such as Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (debut), Alien Quadrilogy, From Hell, The Incredibles, Bayside Shakedown 2, THX 1138 (fittingly enough), the Star Wars Trilogy 2004 DVDs, and X-Men 1.5; in THX theaters, and on the video games NBA 09: The Inside, MLB 08: The Show and MLB 09: The Show. It's also the intro to the menu of The THX Ultimate Demo Disc. Its first theatrical appearance was before Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (and is found on that film's DVD as well). The final appearance of the Lucasfilm byline variant was Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume One, released on March 22, 2005, and the remastered variant with the THX website URL but no Lucasfilm byline appears on the French DVD releases of Ghost Rider, Abandonnée (along with the 13th trailer), Rec, Boxers and Pan's Labyrinth.
Editor's Note: This logo has a dark atmosphere, but also has very incredible CGI all around.
10th Trailer (November 2, 2001, 2003-late 2000s)
Trailer: The THX logo starts up like any other, but just as the Deep Note is about to get loud, the logo suddenly crashes down revealing Shrek and Donkey creating the Deep Note with many instruments. The two look at the screen (with Donkey also nervously saying "Uh-oh..."), before looking at each other and smiling awkwardly as they raise the logo (apparently made out of cardboard) up. The Deep Note starts again (albeit less loud than before) and the logo shimmers in green from left to right. While the Deep Note is playing, Donkey comes out and plays the kazoo over the last few seconds. Shrek yells "Donkey!" at him, and as Donkey mutters "Okay, okay! Chill, Shrek..." the two walk off-screen. The screen fades to black as the words "illuminate your senses" fades in on the top and shines, a smaller THX logo in the middle, and copyright info on the bottom.
Trivia: The "LUCASFILM" byline is visible for a split second when Shrek and Donkey lift up the THX logo. This is an editing mistake that made it to the final trailer, as this trailer was supposed to premiere with Shrek back in 2001, when THX was still part of Lucasfilm.
FX/SFX: The trailer itself, and the animation involving Shrek and Donkey. Animated at Pacific Data Images/DreamWorks Animation, of course.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note (the descending part at first with it falling over), the instruments, and the dialogue.
Availability: Extinct. It was not seen on the original theatrical release of Shrek because of the feud between DreamWorks and Disney at the time (the debut date given reflects the scuttle bug that it was supposed to premiere before Monsters, Inc. before Disney threatened to blacklist THX over the trailer, most likely due to Shrek's DVD release date being the same day Monsters, Inc. opened), but it eventually debuted in 2003. It was seen on an original international DVD release of Shrek and is also available on THX's YouTube channel.
Editor's Note: Another humorous effort from THX.
11th Trailer (October 7, 2003-2004?)
Trailer: On a black background we see out-of-focus movie clips on a THX logo. Some of these clips include Star Wars: Episode I, Alien and Jurassic Park. The logo then starts to shine as the blue outline from the Broadway trailer appears around the screen and the words "CERTIFIED CINEMA" appear under the THX logo. Everything except the blue outline fades out and is replaced by the THX website URL on the top, copyright notices on the bottom and the phrase "20 Years of Making Great Movies Come Alive."
FX/SFX: The clips playing on the THX logo, and the shining at the end.
Music/Sounds: In this order, sound/dialogue clips from the following movies are heard:
- Apocalypse Now Redux
- Jurassic Park *1 *2
- Die Hard *2
- Jurassic Park (again) *1 *2
- Nightmare on Elm Street *2 (LD)
- Star Wars: Episode I *1 *2
- Fight Club *1 *2
- Alien *2
- Star Wars: Episode I (again) *1 *2
- Pulp Fiction *2 (LD)
- Back To The Future trilogy
- Lord of The Rings trilogy *1
- The Fast and the Furious
- Speed *1 *2
After this the THX Deep Note starts playing as the final sound clips play from:
- Alien (again) *2
- The Mask *2 (LD)
Sound Design was by Gary Rydstrom and Steve Boeddeker of Skywalker Sound. *1 denotes Skysound title *2 denotes THX-certified title
Availability: Extinct. This was only seen in THX theaters in 2003 and early 2004; licensing issues have probably prevented this trailer from being used again, as THX doesn't own the rights to the clips featured.
Editor's Note: Even if it didn't last for more then a year, this trailer was quite unique compared to other THX trailers, featuring clips and sound effects from various movies.
12th Trailer (August 25, 2005-early 2010s)
Nickname: "The Science of Sensation", "Science"
Trailer: We first see a pitch-black screen, but then we see the words "THE SCIENCE OF SENSATION" (in capital letters) coming at us each two words at a time (like the "Broadway 2000" trailer) and as a faint lens flare appears under the 'O', the words suddenly fade out by spreading apart. Then, the THX logo and the text "CERTIFIED CINEMA" appears, with a faint shine where the 'O' used to be. The logo shines with a lens flare coming down on the "T". WWW.THX.COM and the copyright at the bottom appear.
- A 4:3 version is used on full-screen DVDs and the UK VHS of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
- The UK VHS of the above simply shows "CERTIFIED" under THX.
- Certified DVDs show "CERTIFIED DVD" under THX.
- On some select certified games, the logo begins with the Deep Note already building up, and with the phrase "Experience THX" fading in instead. When the THX logo fades in, there is no whooshing sound effects and no lens flare on the shine running along the bottom of the logo. Underneath the logo, it says "CERTIFIED GAME". The Deep Note and logo then fade out.
FX/SFX: "THE SCIENCE OF SENSATION" text spreading out, the shine mark, and the THX logo shining.
Music/Sounds: A remastered Deep Note, some shining sounds, and whooshes. In this remastered Deep Note, some voices are reminiscent of the newer ones from the Broadway 2000 version, and some of the voices reach their final pitches before the others do.
Availability: Can be seen on the DVDs of Titanic: Special Collector's Edition, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and the Japanese DVD of Lorelei: The Witch of The Pacific Ocean (debut). It's also seen in some THX theaters. The VHS version is limited to the rare Revenge of the Sith UK tape. Also used on the Monster Music DVD of 3 Doors Down Away from the Sun as well as the French DVD releases of Land of the Dead and Mr and Mrs. Smith. This also appears on the Monster Music Superdisc DVD of Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company when you select the THX Optimizer option.
Editor's Note: On home media releases, it could catch people off-guard the first time if they were expecting the DVD version of the Broadway trailer thanks to the unsettling nature of the trailer. That said, it's one of the more unimpressive THX logos out there.
13th Trailer (2006-early 2010s)
Nickname: "Ziegfeld", "Broadway 2006"
Trailer: On a black background, we see the metallic outlines of the THX logo fade in. Then the shiny silver color fades inside the THX logo. The THX logo glows and makes a big shine with some sparkles. Then below the THX logo is the disclaimer: "THX and the THX logo are trademarks of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All Rights Reserved."
Variant: At the beginning of an LG video on THX-certified TVs, the metallic outlines fade in quicker, the shiny silver color fades in slower, and the shine of the THX logo isn't as bright. On the alternate HD variant, the logo is tinted green rather than silver.
FX/SFX: The glowing, sparkling, and shining of the THX logo. This was produced by Eyestorm Productions.
Music/Sounds: The -1.5/low-pitched Deep Note from Tex and Broadway (DVD variant) trailers.
Availability: Can be seen on THX Demo Disc II, the PS3 releases of NBA 08 and MLB 07: The Show, in HD on the game The Bourne Conspiracy, the French DVD release of Abandonnée, and whenever you start up a THX-Certified TiVo. The alternate HD variant seen on a promotional HD-DVD for the French HD-DVD release of Pan's Labyrinth.
Editor's Note: This trailer is one of the more simpler trailers compared to most of the others on this page.
14th Trailer (June 9-November 23, 2006)
Nicknames: "Tex 3", "TEX Action", "The Car", "Tex Strikes Yet Again" "The BMW"
Trailer: On a gray background, we see a clapperboard on screen. The clapperboard claps and then disappears off-screen. The camera then zooms out and turns, revealing the background to be a gray BMW car with the iconic "kidney grille". Tex flies on-screen and stops in front of the car, giving a "stop" signal. Tex then tries to fly away but ends up getting sucked into the car. He gets flung around the car's engine uncontrollably and is eventually able to stop and regain his balance. He then looks up and sees part of the engine spraying. After spraying for a few seconds, it explodes, and Tex gets covered in black ash. Another part of the engine then pushes Tex up, and he gets chased by another explosion. He manages to escape from the car just in time, but then he loses control and hits the THX logo off-screen. He then stands back up, shakes his arms and foot, looks back at the THX logo, and does a "Ta-dah!" pose. A copyright notice fades in and out on the bottom right.
Variant: On the 2006 DVD and HD-DVD of Brave Story, this logo is formatted in 1.77:1, whereas the Blu-ray is 1.85:1, as compared to the version in District B13 and THX Demo Disc II, which is 2.35:1.
FX/SFX: More great animation from Pixar.
Music/Sounds: A guy saying "And...action!" when the clapperboard is on screen, Tex's voice, some car sounds, and other sound effects, and the -1.5/low-pitched Deep Note from before.
Availability: Rare due to its short lifespan. Seen on THX-certified DVD players in some cars. Possibly seen in theaters too; it's said to have premiered on Cars (which is very fitting). This was spotted on the 2006 DVD of District B13 and THX Demo Disc II, as well as the 2006 Japanese releases of Brave Story on DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray.
Editor's Note: As with the 6th and 7th trailers, this is yet another humorous effort from THX. However, the way the car boots up and the close-up of the car could also be jarring to viewers. It is a shame, though, that this was short-lived.
15th Trailer (November 28, 2007-May 22, 2012)
Nickname: "Amazing Life"
Trailer: We start out with an octagon shape figure rising out of a silver surface (a la a ripple effect), and forms into another figure, which looks like petals from a flower (in fact is a blue passion flower) because we're looking at it from the top. Inside the "flower" is a crown shape figure that has wings on top of it, slowly spinning around, producing the held organ note sound, as we zoom in on it. Then, the scene changes. We now see another set of wings that also spin around, but faster. A ring is spinning around with it and goes down towards the bottom of the screen, producing the buzzer. And the scene changes again. The same set of wings from the first scene is shown, once again spinning slowly, with shades seen on the left side of the screen. As the scene changes again, a tulip is seen zooming in towards us as it opens up its front, producing the deep brass sound. Then we zoom in on a mushroom as it bumps up a bit and makes drum beats. Then a set of butterflies fly by (with some stopping in the front center of the screen), producing some flapping sound, we see the flowerhead-like plant with dragonfly wings as petals, it pushes one-by-one clockwise, making dolphin chirping sounds, then we a lotus seed head opening and closing its holes as it makes a melody played on a glockenspiel. Intact with the drumbeats of the jingle, we see a variety of mushrooms as they "beat" and bump up the drumbeats, and then the scene changes to swirly-like circles that vibrate, as we zoom from one to another, making the bass horn stab. We zoom into another tulip, making another deep brass sound, and suddenly, we fly over all of the above-mentioned items. As the camera tilts toward the front and zooms back, we see that the plant-covered structure is actually the THX logo. The plants then retract back, revealing the silver color of the logo; this version looks slightly (but also noticeably) different than the other trailers of the past. The logo zooms back as the copyright info fades in on the bottom.
Variant: On the 2008 DVD of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (and the 2008 DVD reprints of the other three Indiana Jones films), the Japanese BD of The Magic Hour, and the Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy, this logo is formatted in 2.35:1 as compared to most other releases (2008 BD of Crystal Skull, Avatar, etc.) containing the trailer in 1.77:1.
FX/SFX: This is CGI, also designed and produced by Eyestorm Productions.
Music/Sounds: A variety of instruments playing in sync with each plant, performed by Lost in the Sky. This ends with a less noisy version of the Deep Note, accompanied by the swoosh. Unlike the previous THX trailers, the music starts at the ending note (blended into the background instrumentation at first) and comes to a quick end rather than fading out smoothly. Mixed by Gary A. Rizzo at Skywalker Sound.
Availability: Seen in most THX theaters starting in late November 2007, and THX DVDs/Blu-rays from 2008-2012 such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Magic Hour (Japan only), Indiana Jones: The Adventure Collection (2008 reprints of the 2003 DVDs originally containing Broadway 2000, as well as the first home release to feature this trailer), and the 2008 BD of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. On Avatar, Red Tails, and Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy (Blu-ray only), it appears at the end. Available online as well.
Editor's Note: A creative and beautiful effort from THX, thanks to the animation and the music.
16th Trailer (March 14, 2008)
Trailer: On a black background, we see this odd speck that talks in a familiar voice to Horton (from Horton Hears a Who). It turns out to be the mayor trying to hear him. Then, the mayor says "Kinda losing you...", causing Horton to drop the THX logo, and he appears while shouting "How about this?! If I get up real close, can you read me?!" knocking the mayor off-screen, then followed by the Deep Note. Horton then turns to the audience laughing, winks, and then goes off-screen. The THX logo shines as usual. Then the screen transitions to a message reading "THE AUDIENCE IS HEARING" (spoofing the "The Audience is Listening" motto, with "HEAR" in the same font as the movie). On the side of the screen, we see the mayor peek out of the side of the screen, with his clothes blowing.
FX/SFX: The characters moving, and the THX logo dropping. This is animated by Blue Sky Studios.
Music/Sounds: The characters talking, sound effects corresponding to the animation, and the Deep Note.
Availability: Extinct. It was only seen in THX theaters that showed Horton Hears a Who!. Also seen on the THX website.
17th Trailer (November 24 or December 17, 2010-October 16, 2012)
Nickname: "Broadway 3D"
Trailer: On a deep cloudy background, we see a light tunnel of many colors as well as a shadow in the distance. The shadow then emerges to reveal a silver and shining THX logo as well as a crystal blue rectangle outline from the Broadway trailers, which zoom slowly at us. A small copyright notice is seen below the THX logo.
FX/SFX: The colorful light tunnel, the emerging of the logo.
Music/Sounds: The 2005 Deep Note.
Availability: Can be found on the THX Calibrator disc, 3D movies in cinemas and 3D Blu-ray releases, like the 3D Blu-ray of Avatar (to date, the very last certified THX home media release with logos on it). Said to have debuted on Tangled, though some sources contend its actual debut was before Tron: Legacy.
18th Trailer (2012)
Nickname: "Musical Wisps"
Logo: On a black background, we see a blue trail of light fly around. It flies to an atmosphere with a purple hue. A pink, blue, purple, and green trail of light follows the blue trail and flies around with it. We then see a closeup shot of the two trails of light flying. The multicolored trail of light makes some shapes with its light, while the blue trail flies around the shapes and makes some mini shockwaves. We then cut to a white background but is revealed to be the back of the blue trail of light in the purple atmosphere. The multicolored trail of light joins the blue trail and the two trails fly towards the THX logo, which is seen in the distance. Everything is in slow motion for a split-second, and then the two trails quickly charge towards the THX logo and reveal it. This version looks noticeably different than the other trailers of the past, Due to the THX logo being noticeably thinner than normal. The THX logo shines as the two trails of light into the bottom line of the logo and causes a bright light to appear. This bright light takes up the entire screen.
FX/SFX: Incredible CGI.
Music/Sounds: Sound effects accompanying the atmosphere, followed by the Deep Note.
Availability: Extinct. It was a prototype logo that was found on THX's website for a short time.
Editor's Note: None.
19th Trailer (April 4, 2015-late 2010s)
This logo and/or video contains loud noises.
Please ensure your volume is turned down before watching videos of this logo.
Nicknames: "Eclipse", "The Other Side", "Dark THX", "see you on the other side", "Eclipse of Doom"
Trailer: We start off in a shooting starfield. Then, a large black eclipse fades in, glows, and spins. Then, many shiny white/black sticks and veins appear all over the eclipse, representing the iris of the human eye, and we zoom further into it as the sticks and veins move around and form in different ways. Suddenly, a large shock wave appears in the middle and we zoom through it, revealing the THX logo, which is black and has a dark shine on it. The text "see you on the other side" wipes in underneath the THX logo.
- There is also a longer 45-second version in which some of the sticks and veins move around slower, and we zoom through the large ring faster. It can be seen here.
- There's an even longer 60-second version, which is preceded by a "Warren Cinemas presents" card. It is similar to the 45-second version, except much slower.
- A 4K resolution version exists.
- With Razer's acquisition of THX, a few modifications were made to this trailer. First, we see the text "THX IS EVOLVING" fade in at the beginning of the logo. A few seconds later the text fades out. Another line of text fades in, this time saying "HELLO". Below is Razer's print logo. After the text fades out the trailer continues as normal until the THX logo zooms in to the screen. The text "CERTIFIED BY" wipes in above the logo. The "see you on the other side" slogan wordmark is omitted and the copyright notice fades in during the logo and not after the logo.
- A variant of the "CERTIFIED BY" version was spotted before every show of Beyoncé's "Formation World Tour", in a partnership with THX on providing the highest level of audio quality at concerts for the duration of the tour.
FX/SFX: The zooming in of the eclipse, done by independent Norwegian design studio Two-Shots Production (now "Vortex Film"). Extraordinary CGI.
Music/Sounds: A redone version of the Deep Note, also done by James Andy Moorer. It sounds more synthesized than before, and is even louder than before. It starts off with the synths ascending and descending over and over again until they rapidly change their pitches. During the rapid pitch change, the clashing pitches of the lower synths cause a "rumbling" sound as the Deep Note gets louder, and the final pitch gets louder and louder as more and more synths join them at the final chord. The highest synths on the final chord create a synth organ-like sound, while the lowest synths create a deep humming sound. Mixed by Lora Hirschberg (with assistance by Gary Rydstrom) at Skywalker Sound.
Music/Sounds Variant: In the longer versions, after the synths switch back and forth between ascending and descending, the louder synths are stretched out until the final chord.
Availability: Debuted online. Most likely seen in theaters with newer movies like Furious 7. The normal 30-second variant has been reported to have been seen on Terminator Genisys. The Razer variant was only seen as a promotional video on Vimeo titled "THX Is Evolving" (however, it could possibly hint at future usage for THX-certified products). The 60-second variant is extinct and was only used in the Warren chain of cinemas.
Editor's Note: The logo gained infamy for the much louder Deep Note, and thus is sometimes thought to be the scariest THX trailer of them all due to this (especially the Warren Cinemas variant).
20th Trailer (2015-late 2010s)
Nickname: "Sphere", "4K EXP"
Trailer: On a black background, the phrase "The Audience is Listening" fades in. It disappears by sliding to the right. The background becomes a black-gray-green gradient. A black line with blue marks slides to the right of the screen and starts to gently shake. It becomes liquid and breaks up into small circles. We zoom through the liquid. Multiple grouped lines start swirling around in a circular motion, then forms into a 4-layered sphere, hence the nickname. A blue glow surrounds the sphere. It becomes liquid and opens up, revealing blue electric lines. It later explodes to fill the background with black, then zooms out in the form of the THX logo. It later fills up with metallic material, making it look normal. Some of the blue lines remain, then later disappear completely. Finally, two copyright notices appear:
- THX and the Deep Note sound are trademarks of THX Ltd. registered in certain jurisdictions. All rights reserved.
- This THX trailer is the property of THX Ltd. All rights reserved.
- 4K releases show the THX 4K logo instead of the "Audience is Listening" phrase.
- One version seen during a behind-the-scenes making of the trailer shows the words "see you on the other side" in place of the copyright notice.
FX/SFX: The liquid and electric lines. CGI animation, done by Human Workshop.
Music/Sounds: First, the beginning half of the original Deep Note plays, then gets interrupted by whooshes, liquid sound effects, and a low synth note, followed by a choir. During the glow, the Deep Note resumes, followed by another whoosh, and an explosion.
Music/Sounds Variant: During the "making of" video, there was no Deep Note.
Availability: First seen on the Human Workshop website. It's currently unknown if this trailer has been used in other places as of this writing.
21st Trailer (August 20, 2019-)
Nickname: “Genesis", "Tex IV”
Trailer: A large purple smoke cloud explodes on the screen, and the camera zooms out to reveal a nebula. We continue to zoom out through the space-like background as a mountain range appears below. The mountains then appear reflected in a waterdrop on a dragonfly's wings. The dragonfly beats its wings in slow-motion clearing the waterdrops, and flies through a new background, featuring some plants that appeared in the "Amazing Life" trailer. The camera dips down into a pool of water and emerges to reveal a city at night, as a helicopter flies past. The city is revealed to be inside a snowglobe on a table of various items. The camera pans back to reveal two similar tables with blue holographic domes on them. Then, Tex appears from the left and flies to a table in the front and loads up a similar holographic dome over the table and flies off. The camera continues to zoom out, revealing that Tex is aboard a star cruiser of some sort. The ship makes a light-speed jump, and the camera pans through the space station the ship was docked at. It is then revealed that the space station is in the shape of the THX logo, which becomes a more traditional silver color. The space background fades to blue, and then everything gradually fades out.
- This trailer was created to commemorate THX's 35th anniversary; production began on April 2018.
- THX chose the official name for this trailer in a Twitter poll. "Genesis" won with 43% of the vote. The other three options were "Emerge," "Transform" and "Evolve."
- If you look closely in the right side of the city scene, there are three billboards:
- One has the THX logo in a blue rectangle outline (a la Broadway), accompanied by "THE AUDIENCE IS LISTENING" text below it.
- Another has Tex with "Get Certified" written on the right, a parody/homage to GEICO's billboard advertisements.
- Yet another has a white THX text accompanied by a white wavy ribbon on a red background, which is a parody / homage to Coca-Cola's advertising.
- A book on the right of the snowglobe contains the original score of the Deep Note written by James Andy Moorer.
FX/SFX: Impressive CGI done by Andrew Kramer and American Meme.
Music/Sounds: Sounds accompanying the environments, along with descending sounds invoking the Deep Note. When we start panning through the space station, we hear the 2005 Deep Note, with multiple stop-starts during the early stages. The stop-starts get faster and faster until the Deep Note converges into a single sound.
Variants: At the THX Ultimate Cinema, once we see the THX logo it continues to zoom away and a blue box surrounds it, the text "ULTIMATE CINEMA" fades in, then it fades to black.
Availability: Brand new. Debuted on THX's YouTube and Twitter pages, and also appears in THX-certified theaters such as the THX Ultimate Cinema.
Editor’s Note: This is a great trailer by THX, thanks to the CGI and the references to previous trailers, such as the "Amazing Life" plants and the appearance of Tex.
22nd Trailer (June 25, 2020-)
Nicknames: "Tex V", “Tex vs. The Robot”
Trailer: In a glassy room in the same spaceship from the "Genesis" trailer Tex and a drone (Officially named Bob) attempt to place an orb in a socket, in front of a window with a floating THX logo in the background. When Tex tries inserting the orb the first time, the THX logo flashes a little, and the orb pops out of the socket. When tex is distracted trying to fix a small door that has somehow opened, Bob starts playing with the orb like a basketball right before tex tries to grab it. Tex is about to place the orb into the socket, but notices bob is visibly sad. they compromise and Tex lets the drone slam dunk the orb into the socket, which causes the THX logo to power up and light up. Both robots move to the side as the camera zooms up to the THX logo, They then fist pump. we fade to the THX print logo, the text "SPATIAL AUDIO" fades underneath it.
FX/SFX: Very nice CGI and very good usage of spatial audio.
Music/Sounds: Whirring of the flying drones, pinging, balls flying and hitting things, robotic grunts, a slamming noise and then the Deep Note (-1.5/low-pitched).
Availability: Brand new. Premiered on THX's YouTube channel, likely used as a demo of THX's Spatial Audio technology. However, it is currently unknown if this trailer would also be used in theaters.
Editor's Note: A very good use of THX Spatial Audio. Use headphones for this one.
- No Film School, May 2018, updated in October 2018
- Fast Company, March 2014
- Twenty Thousand Hertz, June 2018 (part 1 and part 2)