Alliance Atlantis Communications

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
MiaFan2010, Nicholas Aczel and Sean Beard

Captures by
Eric S., V of Doom, Subzero917, Pygmalion X and TheRealMarcel2000

Editions by
TheRealMarcel2000 and Henrynguye5

Video captures courtesy of
EnormousRat, Broken Saw, ClosingLogosHD and others

Background

Alliance Atlantis was founded in 1998 as a merger of Alliance Entertainment Corporation and Atlantis Communications, which were founded in 1985 and 1978, respectively. The company operated both an English and French-Canadian division, the latter under the name "Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm" (formerly "Vivafilm Ltée").

Alliance Atlantis was acquired by Canwest and the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs in 2007. The company's specialty television services were sold to Canwest in 2008 (absorbed into Shaw Media in 2010, then Corus Entertainment in 2016), while its international operations were transferred to Echo Bridge Entertainment. The movie business was relaunched independently as Alliance Films, which was eventually acquired by Entertainment One six years later. However, the Alliance brand name survived in the form of Alliance Cinemas until 2021, when it was rebranded into Cineplex.



1st Logo (May 18, 1998-November 8, 1999)

Logo: On a black background, the words "ALLIANCE" and "ATLANTIS" in Times New Roman font rotate and fold into view while spreading apart from each other. A red line draws in, giving off a red glow on the text before dying down.

Variants:

  • A filmed variant exists where the line doesn't give off a glow on the text.
  • On TV shows, the logo is usually abridged and has the URL addresses "www.atlantis.ca" or "www.allianceatlantis.com" appear under the logo.
  • An early version is said to exist where the logo just had "ATLANTIS" with no red line, but there's no video proof online yet and the only photo is a doctored recreation. This was said to have been used mid-Season 4 of the 1995 revival of The Outer Limits. The rest of the season used a sped-up variant.
  • On eXistenZ, the logo and music are in slow-motion. It is also shot on film instead of video.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: A brass fanfare, with a reversed cymbal clash and a timpani hit when the line came into view.

Availability: Rare.

  • It appeared on The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Beast Wars, The Famous Jett Jackson and NightMan, among other shows.
  • This still survives on season 5 of The Outer Limits (1995 series) on Comet and the 1999 film eXistenZ.

Legacy: This is merely a prototype logo, as the official logo for the company wasn't revealed yet.

2nd Logo (1999-2000)

Logo: Same the 1991 Alliance logo, but with the word "ATLANTIS" appearing below "ALLIANCE".

Variant: On French-language theatrical films, "VIVAFILM" appears under the rest of the text.

Technique: Same as the 1991 Alliance logo.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 1991 Alliance logo.

Availability: Rare, as this was another prototype logo, and was only seen on Canadian prints of some movies.

  • Examples include the 1999 Canadian VHS of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, the 2000 Canadian VHS release of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, and is also said to have been found on the 1999 Canadian VHS release of The Care Bears Adventures in Wonderland.
  • It also appears on some Alliance Atlantis distributed DVDs such as Friday and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
  • The logo surprisingly shows up on a print of Frostfire on FilmRise.

Legacy: Like the logo above, this was also a prototype. This one however appears to have been made quite cheaply, with the "ATLANTIS" wordmark being chyroned into the Alliance logo, and looking kind of off-center.

3rd Logo (November 1999-2005)

Logo: We see a cloudy gray sky with snow-capped mountains, panning southwest to a batch of clear gemstones below, complete with rainbow lights reflecting off them. Two of the gemstones streak into the air, positioning themselves to the shape of a long isosceles triangle, in a nod to the Alliance logo. The image fades into the boomerang-shaped Alliance "Metallic A" but with the bottom left gold and the top right black. The text "ALLIANCE ATLANTIS" in Wide Latin is seen below. A spark flies from the bottom to the top as thunder can be seen in the clouds.

Variants:

  • This logo exists in many screen sizes: 4:3, 16:9, scope, or open-matte.
  • A shorter version exists where the "Gold-Black A" and the name are already seen and bigger.
  • The company's website address "www.allianceatlantis.com" is sometimes below the name, mostly in the short version.
  • On French-language theatrical films, the word "VIVAFILM" in the same font appears under the rest of the text.
  • An early filmed variant exists, where the colors are darker and the final result looks a little more realistic.
  • Later films had a legal disclaimer appear below the logo (accompanied by an asterisk above the trademark symbol next to the logo).
  • A middle-length version exists, which starts in the middle of the logo.

Technique: Nice CGI.

Music/Sounds: A powerful orchestral tune.

Music/Sounds Trivia: The music samples "Glorious Finale" by Peter Siedlaczek from the Orchestral Colors library, which you can find on a bundle called the Complete Orchestral Collection, which was also sampled by Tyne Tees Television for their 1996 Channel 3 North East logo.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • An alternative fanfare exists on some films where some of the music is replaced with a few reverberating notes, in different pitches.
  • On the filmed variant, an early version of the fanfare exists where some sound effects, like the formation of the "A", are louder.
  • On the short version, the standard fanfare is shortened and sounds more audibly combined with the powerful climax, unlike the longer version.
  • On the middle-length version and in some rare occasions, it's silent.
  • Sometimes, the ending song of the show may be played. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ("Who Are You" by The Who) is one example of this.

Availability: Was common in its own time, but is now bordering on rare for many reprints.

  • This can be seen on older Degrassi: The Next Generation episodes on DVD, the first four seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the final few seasons of The New Outer Limits, among other shows.
  • It can also be seen on Canadian VHS/DVD releases from the era including Little Bear: Dreams & Make Believe, Red Scorpion 2, Pokemon 4Ever, Animal Farm, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Rush Hour, Scary Movie 3, Maelstrom, Waydowntown and The Barbarian Invasions, among others.
  • Seen on a True Movies UK (now Sony Movies Classic) airing of the 1996 TV movie Golden Will: The Silken Laumann Story.
  • This logo plasters the 1991 Alliance logo on DejaView reruns of Due South.
  • The middle-length version is only seen on Lunar Jim kiddie rides with video screens from Jolly Roger.
  • Current prints of DVDs originally containing this logo may plaster it with the next logo, one of the Alliance Films logos, or one of the eOne logos.
  • On a True Movies UK airing of At The End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story, this logo plastered the 1991 Alliance logo.
  • This logo makes a surprise appearance at the beginning of the 1999 film Sunshine, after the 2000 Paramount Classics logo (HD releases have the 2003 Paramount Pictures logo instead).
  • This logo also makes a surprise appearance at the beginning of Ella Enchanted and Bridget Jones' Diary, whenever they air on Canadian television channels.

Legacy: A solid logo that updates the 1991 Alliance logo to excellent results. However, some may be annoyed by this logo's plastering habits.

4th Logo (September 7, 2004-June 23, 2008)

Logo: On a dark cloudy background with a yellow light (a la the 2004 NBCUniversal logo) with a couple yellow lines, we see the "A" logo from before in various close-ups. We see part of the text "ALLIANCE ATLANTIS" (or for French-Canadian releases, "ALLIANCE ATLANTIS VIVAFILM") in Wide Latin rotating, and finally we zoom out as the logo and text rotate into place, and then turn to face the screen. A spark appears on the bottom-left, moves to the top and brightens.

Variants:

  • A short version exists with the logo in place and shining.
  • A medium version starts from when the name rotates out.
  • Sometimes, a legal disclaimer appears below the logo (accompanied by an asterisk above the trademark symbol next to the logo).
  • Open-matte versions exist.
  • A filmed version exists, especially on some films with the "VIVAFILM" variant.
  • Rarely, "DISTRIBUTED BY" is seen above the logo.

Technique: CGI animation, done by Canadian design agency ZINK.

Music/Sounds: A majestic brass/string fanfare with drums. It may be shortened depending on the variant. Composed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Sometimes, the music is re-arranged to be less dramatic and much calmer, with the drum beats replaced by simple bass beats.

Music/Sounds Trivia: The fanfare in this logo was carried over to the 2007 and 2012 Alliance Films logos and later to the 2010, 2015, and 2021 Entertainment One logos, when the latter company bought the film studio in 2013.

Music/Sounds Variant: Sometimes, the ending of the show would play instead.

Availability: Uncommon, now bordering on rare for many reprints of films and shows.

  • This appears on Alliance Atlantis DVD releases of the period. The eOne logo may plaster it on current prints.
  • It's also seen on seasons 5-7 of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (including the first 9 episodes of season 8), all episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation from seasons 4-8, and on Dragon Booster.
  • A sped-up PAL version can be found on the Echo Bridge Home Entertainment DVD release of Prom Night (1980), as the print used appears to be sourced from a PAL master converted into NTSC.

Legacy: Another excellent update to the original 1991 logo. Its fanfare is notable for still being used by its successors as opposed to creating new fanfares, arguably a testament to how well done it is.

Alliance Entertainment Corporation
Atlantis Communications
Alliance Atlantis Communications
Alliance Films
Echo Bridge Acquisition Corp.
Canwest Media
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