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 2010. 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 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 another white text appears reading "Lucasfilm Ltd. and this theatre are pleased to introduce a new motion picture sound system." That text fades out, and after a few seconds, 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.
Variant: The logo was slightly "enhanced" for THX's 10th anniversary, with the logo being desaturated.
FX/SFX: The text and THX logo fading-in and out.
Music/Sounds: A synthesized crescendo sound effect known as the "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). The "enhanced" variant would most definitely appear on one of the Return of the Jedi featurettes made exclusively for the Star Wars Trilogy: The Definitive Collection Laserdisc set considering that all 3 films have suffered the same color grading issues as this variant and the fact that the set came out the same year as the aniversary.
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 24, 2006, March 19, 2010-September 17, 2012)
Nicknames: "Broadway", "Blue Rectangle", "The Note From 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 (in the Futura font) 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 1984-1997 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 Optimal Video and Audio 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) on analog tracks, like the VHS variant; though on AC-3 tracks, various pitches are used (see below).
- 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" being its corporate logo. "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 (à la 1995 B). Debuted on home entertainment releases starting with Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Blu-ray.
- On the 1994 LaserDisc of Night of the Living Dead, the Elite Entertainment logo fades to the THX LaserDisc logo (perhaps fitting since the former logo was also surrounded by a blue box).
- On the 1997 Mexican VHS releases of the Star Wars films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the 1995 B "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Video and Audio Performance" variant is translated in Spanish, reading "Masterizada digitalmente para una óptima reproducción de audio y video". The latter two films have slight differences, with The Empire Strikes Back having the words "óptima" and "reproducción" switched, and Return of the Jedi having a dot at the end of the sentence.
FX/SFX: The fades and the THX logo shining.
- 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 versions have a +2/higher-pitched (E note) Deep Note, which was stolen for Laser Video'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.
- LaserDisc releases sometimes contain multiple pitches on discs, depending on the audio channel and equipment used:
- Almost all analog and digital stereo tracks feature the +2 pitch VHS variation of the Deep Note.
- Dolby Digital AC-3 tracks, meanwhile, contain one of two different variations: they either contain the C#/-1.5 pitch DVD/Tex version, or a truncated theatrical Deep Note variation in D.
- Some copies of Stargate and Species contain the theatrical Deep Note even on the analog tracks, though others use the +2 pitch versions instead.
- The Japanese LaserDisc of Species uses the theatrical Deep Note even on the analog tracks.
- Discs 1, 4, 5 and 8 of the LaserDisc release of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-oh-ki use the C#/-1.5 pitch DVD/Tex version of the Deep Note even on the analog tracks.
- DTS-encoded THX-certified LaserDiscs normally default to the +2 pitch versions as well, though the DTS release of Apollo 13 instead uses the -1.5 pitch DVD/Tex version. (On the 1998 Japanese DTS LaserDisc of said film, the analog stereo track uses the E note)
- 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 Alien, 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 as a whole, though it varies by variant. This debuted on the theatrical premiere of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, located in Westwood, and was last seen on the Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures Blu-ray.
- The original theatrical variant is very hard to come by, but it appears 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, as well as the Lucasfilm THX Theatrical Trailers: The Audience is Listening DVD, and on the DVD that came with the first edition of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor.
- 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 (Mary Poppins (the 1997 and 1999 re-issues), Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, The Emperor's New Groove, Fantasia 2000, The Little Mermaid, Old Yeller, Melody Time, 101 Dalmatians, Toy Story 1 & 2, A Bug's Life, Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp, Tarzan) 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 and French-Canadian releases have the Lucasfilm Ltd. variant instead.
- It was also seen with the -1.5 lower pitch on Disney DVDs starting in late 1999, beginning with the Limited Issue release of Pinocchio. Early releases from 1999-2001 would also feature the Lucasfilm Ltd. credit, and would switch to the Digitally Mastered variant in late 2001, with its final appearance being on the 2001 DVD of Pearl Harbor in December 4, 2001 as well as the first appearance being on the 2001 DVD of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in October 9, 2001.
- 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 the Disney Channel airings of Monsters, Inc. prior to the special movie events.
- The Lucasfilm Ltd. variant also makes a surprise appearance on the 1998 Japanese VHS of The Little Mermaid and the 2002 French DVD of James and the Giant Peach.
- Most Pixar DVDs use Tex trailers, but this appears on the 2000/2001 DVD of Toy Story 2.
- 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 7, 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, released on April 7th, 1993.
- Two Paramount releases, Apocalypse Now and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, were released on December 29, 1991 and July 1, 1992 respectively, and were actually the first THX-certified LaserDisc titles (and home media titles if demo releases are excluded), despite not being shown on the case. However, since these were part of the test program, no trailers were used.
- Starting in late 1996 with Highlander, the 3rd logo would be used in tandem with this one (though every Buena Vista release and the majority of Sony titles used this trailer).
- 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. In the United States, the last release with this trailer (and the last THX-certified release there) was Amistad, released in 1999.
- 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 (THE 有頂天ホテル) (released on August 11, 2006) as well as the French DVD of Underworld: Evolution (released on October 11, 2006). It also appears on the Monster Music SuperDisc DVD of George Benson & Al Jarreau: Givin' it Up (when you select the THX Optimizer option) as well as at the beginning of the CEDIA exclusive promotional version of said disc.
- The high-pitched PAL variant is extremely rare; it can be found on the UK and Australian VHS releases 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.
- It appears at the end of the Pioneer LaserDisc release of Platoon due to time constraints.
- The DVD variant (both 16:9 and 4:3 versions) makes a surprise appearance on the DVD release of Kiss the Girls, hidden in titles 5 and 6 respectively.
- It was spotted on Chinese bootleg DVDs to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (which is actually a compressed re-authoring to the 2001 US DVD release) and Shrek. The legit release of The Phantom Menace just uses the 9th trailer while Shrek isn't THX-certified at all.
- Don't expect this to appear on Malaysian and Singapore VCD releases of the 2000 Star Wars Trilogy set as it goes straight to the film after the "Feature Presentation" bumper.
- It is unknown if this will appear on the Disney-distributed Spanish DVD release of Princess Mononoke, considering that the print logo was spotted on packaging.
- It was spotted on international releases of A Bug's Life: Collector's Edition DVD. The original 1999 USA release of that edition isn't THX-certified while the 2003 re-release uses the 6th trailer.
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)
Note: The trailer in the third video starts at 0:31.
Nicknames: "Cimarron", "The Conductor", "The Audience Is Now Deaf"
Trailer: On a black background, a small, white-outlined box containing a gray gradient background 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" far larger than the box that slowly turns red. Once it fully changes color, a 3D THX logo zooms towards the viewer, against a dark red abyss. Text reading "The Audience is Listening" then fades in, in the same font and color used in "Broadway"; followed by a subtitle reading "Lucasfilm Ltd. Sound System", 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 (In Caslon Open Face font) 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 Highlander: Director's Cut, the hyperspeed boost is removed. The text "Mastered and duplicated for optimal video and audio performance" fades in on the dark red abyss, which transitions to the THX logo zooming in. 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 using Alias Research.
- 1988-1990: The appearance of the box is accompanied by the sound of an orchestra warming up, which fades out as the conductor's hand appears. Once it flicks the baton, a booming, descending synth note accompanies the hyperspeed boost, overlapped by an orchestra crescendo as it reaches its peak. When the THX logo appears in the abyss, the descending synth is played again with less distortion. An ascending string note slowly becomes prominent as the THX logo appears before it replaces the synth note entirely as it reaches its peak, representing the Deep Note. Twinkling sounds play as the "The Audience is Listening" text appears, and echo until the end of the trailer. This early audio was recalled due to its potential to break underpowered theater speakers and thus replaced with what can be read below.
- 1990-2002: A new orchestral piece composed by James Horner. The trailer still begins with an orchestra warming up, but the loud descending note following the conductor flicking his baton is replaced with a rousing orchestral cue; whistling sounds accompany the hyperspeed boost as the cue reaches a crescendo before abruptly fading out (not in the original version of WOW! except for the 2002 & Vimeo releases). As the THX logo appears, a slightly quieter series of ascending string notes is heard, representing the Deep Note; a "whoosh" accompanies the THX logo zooming in. Wind chimes, played in the same pitch as the string notes that preceded it, accompany the appearance of the "The Audience is Listening" text.
- This music variant debuted on the LaserDisc, THX WOW!. The music on this release seems to be unfinished, as the whistling sounds at the start are absent, as is the "whoosh" that accompanies the THX logo zooming in.
- The LaserDisc variant also starts with a thunderclap, transitioning into the ascending string notes from the 1990 music variant.
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 extinct as it was recalled due to the soundtrack's potential to break theater speakers, and only survives in the hands of a few home projectionists. Footage of the logo in action, seen before a British theatrical showing of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, was discovered in mid-February 2022.
- The second version is only available on THX demo discs.
- 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 The Blues Brothers, Volcano, Independence Day, and others (namely Fox, Paramount, and Universal flicks).
- It was also seen on LaserDiscs from 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. The last release that used this trailer was Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Distant Thoughts, released August 25, 1999.
Editor's Note: This is one of two logos that used a theme other than the original Deep Note, 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 and for its extreme rarity. Various reconstructions have been made, and some audio had resurfaced, but no one was exactly sure what the original version sounded like beyond a general idea until video footage of the logo was uploaded in mid-February 2022. 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, July 30, 2002)
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 dark red cloudy background. We see some white text that reads "The Audience Is Listening." After that, the red-black background turns slowly turns dark 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 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 also be briefly glimpsed in the THX Story featurette seen on the aforementioned demo disc.
- The logo exists in scope and flat variants.
- A DTS end variant exists where the text "Recorded in DTS Digital Sound" appears, with the "Digital Experience" print logo below. This was seen primarily in theaters with DTS systems (including the aforementioned Jurassic Park) for a short time.
FX/SFX: The background changing, the texts fading, and "THX" moving. The visuals were created by Industrial Light and Magic using Alias Research (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 occurs 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 "The Audience is Listening on DVD" disc and the THX Ultimate Demo Disc), and then it was seen in all THX theaters from 1993 until 1997, as well as online, on the DVDs that came with second-edition and third-edition copies of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor and on the 2002 Fox Five-Star Collection DVD release of Speed. The "DELL PC" version is exclusive to the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc. The DTS version is all but extinct, only being used on early DTS films such as the aforementioned Jurassic Park; and it took until May 2022 for this variant to be discovered.
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.
5th Trailer (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 Deep Note 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 (a reference to the horror film Scanners). 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 (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), presumably hard of hearing, 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 (original airing) and Anivision (trailer version).
Music/Sounds: The atmosphere, dialogue, and the Deep Note. In the original version, car horns are heard before the Deep Note.
Availability: This was originally a gag scene from The Simpsons episode "Burns' Heir" (which premiered on April 14, 1994), but THX themselves liked the parody so much that the scene was reanimated into an official trailer. It debuted in theaters starting in 1994, and also appeared on demo discs of the time. (remixed in the three major digital audio formats no less) The variant 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 a light blue background as a red 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", bumps the "H" out of the way, 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 as the background fades back to black. 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".
- John Lasseter, former CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, created and voiced the character Tex, who has become the company's mascot.
- According to the commentary on the Toy Story Deluxe CAV LaserDisc Edition, there was difficulty fitting this trailer onto said disc. Therefore, the FBI warnings had to be shortened in order to for the trailer to fit onto the disc.
- 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. A clip of the full matte version was seen in Star Wars: The Magic and the Mystery.
- 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, the French-exclusive Les Années Laser THX Trailers DVD, and the Lucasfilm THX Surround EX Demonstration Disc, with these selections implying this was meant for Dolby Digital Surround EX releases (with this getting the nickname "Tex EX" as a result).
- 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 that same DVD, bits of the "SOUND SYSTEM" text can be seen as this screen falls.
- 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. On the DVDs of Toy Story (the 2000/2001 releases), A Bug's Life (the 2003 release) and the Pixar employees only Made in Point Richmond DVD, as well as the discs from the second and third editions of DVD Demystified, the version shown is recycled from the LaserDisc version, except the [ LASER I/ DISC ] bit is blacked out.
- On the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, the "SOUND SYSTEM" text isn't present and the "The Audience Is Listening" text is replaced with "Best Picture. Best Sound."
- The logo was used in Variety Magazine as a promotional image, with the lights already on and Tex flying in the air.
FX/SFX: Nice CGI for 1996, which was done at Pixar Animation Studios using Alias Wavefront PowerAnimator.
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.
- On the LaserDisc version (on the analog left track), the first second of the Deep Note is cut.
- On the DVD that came with the first edition of DVD Demystified, some of the audio channels were switched around.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The sound when a piece of metal hits the ground after hitting Tex in the extended version was actually re-used from the sound effects created for Toy Story. The sound effect in question is the same when Buzz Lightyear drops a toy jack he's holding while Woody is confronting him.
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, The 2000/2001 DVD uses the Broadway logo; 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 and the DVDs that come with all three editions of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor. Seen online as well. According to the THX Ultimate Demo Disc, the 1998 "The Audience is Listening on DVD" disc and the insert on the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, this trailer was released in time for the film Independence Day.
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 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" and a copyright info under it 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.
- On the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc, the "The Audience Is Listening" text is replaced 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, the United Kingdom (Region 2) & the Australian (Region 4) rental DVD release for Monsters, Inc. and the discs from the second and third editions of DVD Demystified.
- On the aforementioned UK & Australian rental 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.
- On the THX Theatrical Trailers: The Audience is Listening and the French-exclusive Les Années Laser THX Trailers DVDs, as the tagline cuts to black, a piece of text "www.thx.com" appears fading in and out. It was apparently the same one used in all of the trailers featured in the THX Picture and Sound Optimizer disc albeit the copyright info being blacked out.
FX/SFX: More great animation from Pixar using Alias Wavefront PowerAnimator.
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 earlier home video releases that feature this trailer (like the aforementioned Monsters, Inc. VHS, Toy Story 2 Ultimate Toy Box DVD and the version on the Made in Point Richmond DVD, as well as both versions on the discs from the second and third editions of DVD Demystified), the logo is slightly louder, and more mooing sounds are added in, and the moo noise heard at the end is heard later.
Availability: Uncommon. 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, that is, as the regular release uses the Broadway logo), 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, the DVDs that came with second-edition and third-edition copies of the book DVD Demystified by Jim Taylor, 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 in the US on Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume Two on December 6, 2005. Internationally, the remastered variant debuted on Toy Story 2 Special Edition on November 28, 2005. A variant is also on the Lair video game for PS3. Seen online as well. 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 (2 disc) Ultimate Edition DVD release of The Transporter (Le Transporteur) and the Japanese DVD releases of Waterboys (ウォーターボーイズ), Check it Out, Yo!! (チェケラッチョ!!), and Swing Girls (スウィングガールズ).
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 (à 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: Rare. Seen in THX theaters at the time. Although the THX Ultimate Demo Disc claims the trailer debuted in late 1999, this trailer did indeed debut on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in May 1999. This also appears on The Adventures of Indiana Jones (on the 2003 release only), The THX Ultimate Demo Disc and the Lucasfilm THX Surround EX Demonstration Disc. 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, May 25, 2001-May 19, 2009)
Nicknames: "Cavalcade", "T-1000-HX", "Sphere of Doom"
Trailer: In a darkly-lit environment, we zoom in toward a glassy light 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. If you look closely while the logo forms, you can see rain pouring down. Then, the environment fades to black as "LUCASFILM", spaced out to fit the width of the THX logo, fades in on top of it and a shimmering blue rectangle (the same one from "Broadway") is drawn clockwise around the logo (like a laser). The logo fades out as the text "Digitally Mastered for Optimal Audio and Video Performance" fades in.
Trivia: It is unknown on why this trailer was used on the DVD release of The Incredibles, possibly due to tonal disconnections upon request from the film's director, Brad Bird.
- In late 2005, the "LUCASFILM" text was removed due to reflecting the 2002 split from Lucasfilm as mentioned above; a www.thx.com web address and copyright info now appear at the end of the trailer in place of the Digitally Mastered message.
- For the scope version of this trailer, the glass pieces look more stretched out.
- On the DVD release of Terminator 2, a metallic rectangle with the T2 logo carved out appears from the Time Sphere, zooming toward us. Then, the rectangle gets shot into pieces by the T-800 with the shotgun, 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" (à 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. However, it is unknown if this is the original theatrical version of that trailer.
- On the intro to The THX Ultimate Demo Disc menu, as the rectangle is drawn, the logo moves far away to fit room for the menu options.
- A 4:3 matted version exists.
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. Both the T2 variant and Cavalcade were both created by Van Ling, a prolific DVD menu creator and visual effects supervisor for several of James Cameron's films, including Terminator 2.
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.
- The sound of the thunderclap heard before the pieces turn into liquid is the same one that was heard from the Dolby "City" trailer.
- Also, if you listen closely just as the Deep Note starts playing up to when the logo is formed, you can almost hear the Deep Note used in the "Broadway 2000" trailer being mixed together, meaning that this version of it was originally going to be included in this trailer, similar to the Terminator 2 variant.
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: Common. First seen in most THX theaters starting on May 25, 2001 with its debut being on Pearl Harbor. Seen on several THX DVDs such as Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Alien Quadrilogy, From Hell, Re-Animator, The Incredibles, Bayside Shakedown 2, THX 1138 (fittingly enough), the Star Wars Trilogy 2004 DVD set, 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. 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 (Le Labyrinthe de Pan) (including the HD-DVD). Don't expect this to appear on the theatrical edition discs to the 2006/08 releases of the original Star Wars trilogy, despite the 'THX Optimizer' option being featured in the set-up menu. The 4:3 matted variant is obviously seen on fullscreen edition DVDs of the films mentioned, however it is unknown if some just uses the widescreen variant instead. Do not expect to see this on any THX-certified VHS releases however, as this logo was never used on the format.
Editor's Note: This logo has a dark atmosphere, but also has very incredible CGI all around and helps assert THX's power as a brand.
10th Trailer (November 2, 2001 (unused), May 2006-late 2007)
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 (voiced by Mike Myers) and Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) 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 wood) back 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 whispers "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" fade in on the top and shines, a smaller THX Certified Cinema logo in the middle, and copyright info on the bottom.
- The "LUCASFILM" byline is visible for a split second when Shrek 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.
- Donkey's "Uh-oh..." is taken from an early part of the film when he realizes he ran out of fairy dust while he’s trying to escape the guards.
Music/Sounds: The Deep Note (the descending part at first with it falling over), the instruments, and the dialogue. Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy reprise their roles as Shrek and Donkey from the film, respectively.
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 2006 online. It was later uploaded to the company'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 -1.5/low-pitched Deep Note from the "Tex" and "Broadway" (DVD variant) trailers 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 than a year, this trailer was quite unique compared to other THX trailers, featuring clips and sound effects from various movies.
12th Trailer (May 11, 2005-August 2, 2007)
Nicknames: "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 purple 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 flare coming down on the "T". WWW.THX.COM and the copyright at the bottom appear.
Trivia: This trailer was originally created for use with digital cinema projectors, not only for the use of the tagline, but also include a flare so it can immerse the viewer with a sharper and cleaner picture in the auditorium before a film would start.
- 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.
- Despite this logo's objective, a 35mm version of the trailer was still created.
FX/SFX: "THE SCIENCE OF SENSATION" text spreading out, the lens flare, 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.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The audio used in this trailer made an appearance in a parody in Over the Hedge. (the glimmer is heard briefly, if you listen closely.)
Availability: Uncommon. After the logo first appeared to THX newsletter subscribers on May 11, 2005, it officially premiered on the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith due to it being an all-digital production, and seen in some theaters for a time after. It can be seen on many DVD releases as well such as 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). The VHS version is limited to the rare Revenge of the Sith UK tape. Also used on the Monster Music DVDs of 3 Doors Down Away from the Sun and Peter Cincotti: Live in New York as well as the French DVD releases of Land of the Dead, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Sin City. This also appears on the Monster Music SuperDisc DVDs of Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company, A Charlie Brown Christmas: Vince Guaraldi Trio and 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas when you select the THX Optimizer option. This also makes a surprise appearance on the French DVD of Cinderella Special Edition.
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 (May 26, 2006-August 10, 2008)
Nicknames: "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 a retail demo video on THX-certified LG 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 light green, mostly due to color grading from the digital intermediate process.
FX/SFX: The glowing, sparkling, and shining of the THX logo. This was produced by Eyestorm Productions using Adobe After Effects.
Music/Sounds: The -1.5/low-pitched Deep Note from Tex and Broadway (DVD variant) trailers.
Availability: Rare. Can be seen on THX Demo Disc II, in HD on the games NBA 08 and MLB 07: The Show (PS2 and PS3, though PS2 does not have it in HD), The Bourne Conspiracy, and whenever you start up a THX-Certified TiVo. The alternate HD variant seen on a promotional disc on the HD-DVD side for the French HD-DVD release of Pan's Labyrinth (Le Labyrinthe de Pan), and in SD on the DVD side of said promotional disc, the Japanese DVD of I Just Didn't Do It (それでもボクはやってない) and the French (2-disc) DVD of Hot Fuzz.
Editor's Note: This trailer is one of the simpler trailers compared to most of the others on this page.
14th Trailer (June 9, 2006-2007)
Nicknames: "Tex 3", "TEX Action", "The Car"
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 mutters "Uh oh..." 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.
Trivia: At the moment, it is unknown what studio animated this trailer despite rumors that Pixar animated this since the animation alone here looks completely different when compared to the latter's film at the time, Cars and that Tex looks completely different here. It would most likely be either Blur Studio, Industrial Light & Magic, or Reel FX Animation, the latter who provided animation for the Dolby "City Redux" trailer.
- 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 scope.
- A 35mm variant exists for theaters still using 35mm projectors, mostly due to the rise of digital cinema projection the previous year.
FX/SFX: More great animation.
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, and seen in theaters during this time period; it's said to have premiered before 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 (à 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 see 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.
Trivia: This trailer actually plastered over the Warner Home Video logo on DVD and Blu-ray releases of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, most likely due to Warner Bros. never provided THX-certified DVD and Blu-ray releases of their films except for a couple titles, including the original 1996 US release of Twister.
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 fantastic CGI, also animated, designed and produced by Eyestorm Productions using Autodesk Maya.
Music/Sounds: A variety of instruments playing in sync with each plant, performed by Low 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: Common. 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 (ザ・マジックアワー) (Japan only), Largo Winch (France 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 (2007-2008)
Trailer: On a black background, we see this odd speck that talks in a familiar voice to Horton (from Horton Hears a Who; voiced by Jim Carrey). It turns out to be Mayor Ned McDodd (voiced by Steve Carell), the mayor of Whoville, trying to hear him.
Horton: "Come in, Mr. Mayor. Can you hear me?"
Mayor: "Uh-uh! Not quite!"
Horton: "How about now? Is this better?"
Mayor: "Ye-yeah... Yeah, sort of."
Horton: "Hello? Am I getting through?"
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.
Trivia: Horton's line "How about this?! If I get up real close, can you read me?!" was also used in the film.
FX/SFX: The characters moving, and the THX logo dropping. This is animated by Blue Sky Studios using Autodesk Maya.
Music/Sounds: The characters talking, sound effects corresponding to the animation, and the 2005 Deep Note (if you listen closely).
Availability: Extinct. It was only seen in THX theaters to help promote Horton Hears a Who!. Also seen on the THX website.
17th Trailer (December 17, 2010-October 16, 2012)
Nickname: "Broadway 3D"
Trailer: On a deep cloudy background, we see a light tunnel of many rainbow 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. Colorful CGI animation using Autodesk Maya.
Music/Sounds: The 2005 Deep Note.
Availability: Rare. 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) and the theatrical premiere of 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 rainbow 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 rainbow 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 from 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: Pretty much wasted in general. This has cool animation all over, but a shame this was only a prototype.
19th Trailer (April 4, 2015-2019)
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") using Autodesk Maya. 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: Very rare. 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 (2015-2018)
Nicknames: "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 bluish green gradient. A black line with light 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 light 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 light 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 using Autodesk Maya.
Music/Sounds: First, the beginning half of the 2005 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: Unknown. 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-)
Nicknames: “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 on the right side of the city scene, there are three billboards:
- One has the THX logo in a blue rectangle outline (à 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.
Variant: 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.
FX/SFX: Impressive CGI done by Andrew Kramer (who also owns Video Copilot) and American Meme using Autodesk Maya.
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 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.
- There is a reworked version composed by Loud Color in Los Angeles. On the THX section, it says that they crafted original sounds with synthesizers, foley, granular synthesis and complex effects. They also utilized immersive VR and 3D mixing techniques to give a clear sense of space and environment.
- On the THX Ultimate Cinema variant, the 2005 Deep Note is used.
Availability: Current. 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 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.
Variant: A prototype or alternate version appears on EyeBelieve's Vimeo channel. The ending of the trailer is slightly different, with the Deep Note being the 2005 remastered version instead of the low-pitched/ -1.5 Deep Note.
FX/SFX: Very nice CGI and very good usage of spatial audio. Animation by EyeBelieve using Autodesk Maya.
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: Current. 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.
- No Film School, May 2018, updated in October 2018
- Fast Company, March 2014
- Twenty Thousand Hertz, June 2018 (part 1 and part 2)