Written and Compiled by Matt Williams and James Stanley Barr
MAGNETIC VIDEO CORPORATION
Logo: Two semicircles with lines protruding down their midsections are drawn into view. Suddenly, the structure briefly flashes white and a bunch of circle Ms appear in back of it, sort of like a mirrored effect. The words "MAGNETIC VIDEO CORPORATION" in a computerized font begin to scroll upward, and like the M, have copies appearing behind the logo.
Voiceovers: Like Thorn EMI/HBO/Cannon, Magnetic was primarily a video distributor-the FIRST video company, actually. They made special deals with United Artists, Avco Embassy, ITC, ABC, and 20th Century Fox. Fox bought them shortly thereafter. All Magnetic logos have a voiceover indicating the studio: "Through special arrangement with <STUDIO NAME>, Magnetic Video Corporation is pleased to present this motion picture on videocassette."
SFX: The circle M being drawn in, the scrolling words
Cheesy Factor: Off the charts. Made up of primitive computer graphics and very cheap chyron like that used in the first seasons of Wheel of Fortune. Possibly tied for cheapest-looking logo, with Embassy Home Entertainment #1 and FHE #1.
Music: A very synthesized piece of music; not very easy to hear due to the studio spiel, but has a bossa-nova influenced, easy listening melody.
Availability: Magnetic's titles have been out of print for decades now, with most titles being re-released by the various home divisions of Fox and MGM. Can be found at used video stores.
Scare Factor: Median, the primitive animation and creepy announcer will put some people off.
20TH CENTURY FOX VIDEO
Logo: The standard 20th Century Fox logo, with the shortened music. No indication of a video indicator whatsoever. However, like Magnetic, there is a voiceover, presumably similar to Magnetic's (20th Century Fox titles most likely had a different spiel, but UA and ABC movies probably had the same spiel with "20th Century Fox Video" replacing any mention of Magnetic.
SFX, Music, and Scare Factor: The same as the regular Fox logo.
Availability: Harder to find than most Magnetic titles!
CBS-Fox Home Video
Logo: Over a white background, we see before us a dual set of blue lines stacking upward and downward. Then, six long objects pop in at the top and bottom of the segmented lines, revealing the words
then, the word "video" pops in below "FOX".
SFX: The lines stacking up and down.
Cheesy Factor: Looks rushed, kinda has "placeholder status", but is neat to see.
Availability: Was spotted on a video release of Caberet, but has rare all over it.
Scare Factor: Low
Logo: On a orange background, two grids are moving from the top and bottom of the screen converging in the center of the screen. CBS comes from the top at an angle, with FOX coming from the bottom at an angle. The background turns into blue, and CBS and FOX right themselves in the center of the screen. The letters of the word VIDEO fly in from the bottom center of the screen one at a time.
SFX: The converging of the two grids and the logo, the flying of the VIDEO letters.
Cheesy Factor: Sounds highly scanimated! The later logo was much better!
Music: The same horn fanfare that was heard on the 1984-98 logo.
Availability: Not many videos featured this logo. Most videos that may have used this logo were issued in the same oversized boxes that were used by 20th Century Fox Video. Two videos that feature this logo include the 1983 release of "Star Wars" and "Heart Like a Wheel".
Scare Factor: The music may get to you, but otherwise harmless.
Nicknames: "CBS/FOX Stairways/Bleachers", "The Triumphant GI Moving Blue Lines on Dark Granite"
Logo: In a blue, boxed area, we see a mirrored, twin stair-like texture that shines a lot. The "stairs" rotate counter-clockwise and turn out to be the following text in blue with a segmented line between the 2 words on a black marble background:
then, the word "video" shines in below "FOX" and the whole logo shines with pride.
SFX: CBS-FOX rotating, video "wiping" itself on
Cheesy Factor: The beginning of the animation looks kinda tacky by starting in a black gradient area.
Music: A triumphant horn march, about 10-15 sec. long. On an interesting find, the Bruceploitation "classic" Fist of Fear, Touch of Death's opening scene features the piece of library music that was later edited for the CBS-Fox Video fanfare playing in the background.
Availability: CBS-FOX does not exist as a company anymore. They released many NBA related films in the mid-late 80's and videos of musical artists under the CBS Records/Columbia label. Most 20th Century Fox releases were made through this label, or would be put on the Playhouse or Key Video labels.
Scare Factor: Minimal, this logo is very popular, thanks to the music.
Logo: A still shot of the famous 20th Century Fox structure, from a slightly different angle, dull brownish color against a simple blue background. The wording on the structure now says "FOX VIDEO", with an extra bar below where "FOX" would be in the movie logo. The logo "shimmers" as a bar of light moves through ala the Touchstone logo.
SFX: The "shimmer".
Cheesy Factor: The Fox equivalent of WB's 1995-2001 Television Animation logo. Looks very, very harsh and ugly.
Music: No music :(, which is something that will plague all Fox Video logos (come on, you've got the world's most-recognizable fanfare, USE IT!)
Availability: On all Fox Videos from that period-the best way to find this is to look for a Fox Video print logo that is a simple 2-d drawing with no color.
Scare Factor: None, this logo is harmless and BORING.
Nickname: "Rotating Tower"
Logo: On a dark purple background, we see a Fox structure, from an extreme upper-left angle. We move down and pan around the structure, saying "FOX VIDEO" like in logo #1, before settling into the familiar angle we usually see Fox logos from.
SFX: The computer animation, which is a variation of the movie's animation :)
Cheesy Factor: :( unfortunately, really BAD computer animation. The color scheme is, to put it mildly, god-awful. The font used for "FOX VIDEO" is ALL WRONG, and the background :) my god, couldn't they have at LEAST used a NORMAL-LOOKING sky?!
Music: Again, no music :( *sigh*
Availability: On all 1993-1995 Fox Video releases; the 2d print logo is now more 3D and it has a nice color scheme.
Scare Factor: Harmless logo, but it takes the crown from WB Television Animation for the ugliest logo of all time.
Logo: We begin by panning across the Los Angeles skyline at around sunset. We see a spotlight and then pan across the "FOX VIDEO" structure, now redone so that it looks a lot better. We zoom out until we reach the comfortable Fox logo distance.
SFX: The computer animation, which is now a variation of the Fox Searchlight animation.
Cheesy Factor: More a nitpick than anything, but the Fox Video logo is STILL not right.
Music: Silence. Unfortunately.
Availability: This was used in tandem with the 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment logo. Look for a screencap of this logo used on the packaging.
Scare Factor: Harmless logo, not ugly at all this time.
20TH CENTURY FOX HOME
Logo: We see the 1993-present Fox logo, with no News Corporation byline. We then zoom out, to reveal that it is in a box. The box is in a larger box, and next to the Fox logo box are the words "20th Century Fox Home Entertainment", spanning across three lines.
SFX: A simple zoom-out.
Music: If you've read the descriptions above, I bet you can guess what they're doing as far as music goes :) *sigh* :(
Availability: Fox's current video and DVD logo. This has also been used in tandem with Fox Video logos 2 and 3, and on some recent CBS-Fox releases as well!
Scare Factor: None.
Logo: On a shady gray background, two 3-D elongated shapes and a cylinder flip towards the screen. The shapes align together, forming the outline of a key, as the 3-D words KEY VIDEO zooms out below. The logo shines and turns colorful, the top half blue, the circle part red, and the bottom half pink. The KEY VIDEO words are a shade of pink, white, and blue.
SFX: The logo forming, the
Cheesy Factor: Early CGI effects, the synth tune.
Music: A synth tune with a long beginning, followed by 3 chords.
Availability: Long out of print, with most titles being re-released by Fox Video or 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
Scare Factor: Median, the dated music and primitive CGI will turn off more than a few.
Logo: On a white background, we
see a black dot sketching a round snow-globe outline. Then it
draws another round outline, followed by outlines of a tree,
neighborhood with house, a sun, apples on the tree, and a window
on the house. The outlines fill with a rainbow color hue, and the
V I D E O
appear below via a wiping effect.
SFX/Cheesy Factor: Way, way off the scale what with the etch-a-sketch style animation, the color fill-in effect, the wiping of the words, the 8-bit resolution drawings looking like the entire logo was done on an Apple II blecch!!!
Music: A synthesized fanfare.
Availability: Long out of print, with most titles being re-released by CBS-Fox Video or Warner Home Video.
Scare Factor: Median, the cheap music, the sketchy animation, and the primitive graphics make this a bad logo.