Founded on July 20, 1976, CINAR (pronounced "seh-NAR") was originally a film distribution company that distributed international/foreign films from the 1970s to the early 1980s from offices in New York City. The company was owned by the married couple Ronald A. Weinberg and Micheline Charest. In 1984, things were changing for CINAR as the couple moved the company to Montreal, Quebec, and began to focus on children's TV programming.
Between 1985 and 2004, CINAR produced a number of successful shows such as Arthur, Caillou, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Adventures of David the Gnome, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, and Zoboomafoo, among others.
In 2000, the founders invested $122 million into Bahamian banks without any approval from the board, causing heavy chaos, including a major drop in its stock value and costly lawsuits. In 2001, Weinberg and Charest were each fined $1 million, fired from their executive positions, and barred from overseeing any Canadian company for five years.
In March 2004, the company was bought out by Michael Hirsh after he left Nelvana (owned by Corus Entertainment), who renamed and rebranded it as Cookie Jar Entertainment. On April 14, 2004, Charest died after complications from plastic surgery.
|1st Logo (May 2, 1987-July 18, 1998)||2nd Logo (June 1, 1987-1994)||3rd Logo (October 28, 1992-June 23, 2004)||4th Logo (May 1, 1999-2001)||5th Logo (November 18, 2002-October 7, 2003)|
1st Logo (May 2, 1987-July 18, 1998)
Logo: On a computerized dark blue background vaguely looking like stone or rock, a blue line draws in, revealing many bright blue 3D bars interlocking with each other. The bars rotate up and zoom-out, revealing the text:
glittering with stars. The "CINAR" text is thick and full of segmented lines, with the letter "I" dotted red and the letters "N", "A", and "R" connected together.
- Sometimes, "A" and "PRODUCTION" (or "PRESENTATION") are shown above and below the logo, respectively.
- On the first season of Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1992-93), the CINAR logo is in-credit on a black background, bypassing this logo.
- On Ivanhoë - Chevalier du roi, the logo is still on a white box, next to the France Animation one.
- The logo may be shorter so that it starts fading into the zoom-out. This is used for programming, and the background is not rocky. This variant is also remarkably faster.
- On A Bunch of Munsch, the logo animation starts at the zooming and is transitioned out from the ending sequence in the credits (which shows Robert Munsch pushing down the end credits' background with a surprised look on his face, followed by him flashing away into the background and a fade to this logo). Also, there's a copyright stamp on the logo itself.
Technique: Primitive CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: A synth note and a whoosh, then a bang, and finally a 7-note trumpet-like theme that sounds like it came from a Super Nintendo Entertainment System or Sega Genesis game, though this theme is rarely heard.
Music/Sounds Variant: On most shows, the ending theme plays over it.
Availability: Very rare.
- Last seen in the U.S. when Boomerang reran Young Robin Hood. It can be seen on CINAR shows of the period on VHS releases by Golden Books Video, such as specials 2-6 of Madeline (CINAR was not involved in the first special, which was produced by DIC Entertainment). The Sony Wonder/Classic Media DVD releases of the Madeline specials retain this logo, but all other reissues plaster it with Cookie Jar's logo.
- The musical variant can be found on the Just for Kids video release of John the Fearless and was found on reruns of Maya the Bee on YTV during the 1990s.
- The variant from A Bunch of Munsch is preserved on VHS tapes of the series from both Golden Book Video and Sony Wonder.
- The last appearance of this logo was on Ivanhoe (1997).
2nd Logo (June 1, 1987-1994)
Logo: On a black-grey gradient background, we see "CINAR" in the same font as the previous logo turning upward. "A" in white fades in above it as "PRODUCTION" also in white wipes in below.
Variant: On Adventures of the Little Koala and Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1993-94 season, before the next logo was introduced), the logo is still.
Technique: Early computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A soothing soft rock synth-piano theme. The ending theme plays over the still variant.
Availability: The still version is seen intact on pre-season 5 episodes (the Amazon Instant print has this replaced by the next logo) on DVD (from Nickelodeon) of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, followed by the Nickelodeon logo, while the animated "PRODUCTION" variant was seen on the U.S./Canadian release of The World of David the Gnome, which is intact on the U.S. DVD release.
3rd Logo (October 28, 1992-June 23, 2004)
Logo: On a space background, a long white flash zooms out from the bottom of the screen and comes to the middle, forming a redesigned CINAR logo that flashes once. Most of the differences are subtle, but the most obvious is that the letters "N", "A", and "R" are separate. The logo flashes and the disclaimer "CINAR is a registered trademark of CINAR Corporation" appears below.
- The logo may or may not have a registered trademark "®" symbol on the upper right of the "R".
- Sometimes, the logo is bylineless. This occurs mostly in the musical variant.
- Most of the time, the byline is used in different forms, like on Caillou and Arthur.
- Sometimes, the byline would say: "CINAR is a registered trademark of CINAR Films Inc.". This was used until about 1998 on some productions, though a few like Emily of New Moon continued to use this until at least 2000.
- On French dubs of their shows, the byline can sometimes be in French and thus reading either "CINAR est une marque déposée de Corporation CINAR", "CINAR est une marque de commerce enregistrée de CINAR Films Inc." or "CINAR est une marque de commerce de Les Films CINAR Inc."
- On extremely rare occasions, the trademark "TM" symbol is seen in place of the registered trademark "®" symbol.
- A still version of this logo exists on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Wimzie's House, and Zoboomafoo, and some episodes of Emily of New Moon.
- On The Baskervilles, the logo is above the Alphanim logo against a black background, with the CiTV URL on the bottom right.
- Another still version with "A" above and "PRODUCTION" below was seen on the second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?
- A filmed version exists where the red dot on the "I" fades in and the rest proceeds normally, except it has a different flash.
- A shorter version of the filmed variant exists.
- A version with an URL under it exists.
- An in-credit variant appears on some shows such as Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings.
- Some shows/movies such as Mona the Vampire would have the logo shortened to just the flash.
- The color of the dot may vary from light red to orange, depending on the quality.
- On seasons 3 and 4 of Emily of New Moon, an URL of the show's website is also seen below the byline and CINAR's URL.
- On the 1997 show Lassie, the copyright for Lassie II Productions is seen above the byline and URL.
Music/Sounds: A whoosh with a calm synth tune (it may have debuted in the mid or late-'90s) which is rarely heard. It most commonly uses the ending theme of the show. On some shows, like Night Hood, The Busy World of Richard Scarry and Zoboomafoo, it is silent.
Availability: Used to be common in its own time, but due to plastering with Cookie Jar and (for Cartoonito US prints of Caillou) WildBrain, nowadays it is rare.
- Survives on pre-2004 Arthur episodes on both DVD and VHS, and pre-Cookie Jar DVD and VHS releases (from both Sony Wonder and PBS Home Video) of Caillou, but This TV and other current prints of CINAR shows plaster it with the Cookie Jar logo, except Cartoonito US prints of Cailliou, where both logos are plastered with WildBrain's.
- Re-airings of The Busy World of Richard Scarry on This TV kept the Paramount Television logo but replaced "A CINAR Presentation" in the in-credit logo with "A COOKIE JAR Presentation" (though it was retained on some older DVDs and VHS releases of the show). Many CINAR logos that contained an in-credits logo would also be changed to Cookie Jar as well.
- The longer version can be seen on the BWE Video VHS of The Whole of the Moon, the Avalanche Home Entertainment VHS of Sally Marshall is Not an Alien, and the obscure New Zealand film called Bonjour Timothy.
- In America, the logo was left intact on Are You Afraid of the Dark? and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo when they aired on NickRewind, and 2000-2002 episodes of Caillou on the PBS Kids Video App. It was also retained on Arthur: It's Only Rock 'n' Roll when it last aired on PBS Kids on February 20, 2022, along with the 1993 WGBH logo. This is mainly due to the audio being a custom cover by The Backstreet Boys, and plastering the logos would probably get in the way and mess everything up.
- In Canada, this is also intact on pre-2000 episodes of Caillou on Treehouse, but is plastered with Cookie Jar's logo on post-2000 episodes on said channel and every episode on Family Jr. currently.
- The logo's music variant on home video releases can be found on Canadian Sony Wonder VHS prints of Caillou, but for DVDs with this variant, it appears on Zoboomafoo DVD releases.
- The short version also appeared on Mona the Vampire, in addition to the "CINAR PRESENTS" in-credit opening logo. Once again, post-2004 releases (eg, ThisTV airings) of the series plaster it with Cookie Jar, but Knowledge Network/BBC Kids airings of seasons 2 and 3 of the show kept it intact.
- It can also be found on the series The Upstairs Downstairs Bears, but Smile of A Child's airings of the said show cut all of the show's logos out.
- Most episodes of Ripley's Believe It or Not: The Animated Series retain the logo, even on modern releases.
- It's also preserved on Time-Life's DVD of The Adventures of Paddington Bear.
- It made its final appearances on Creepschool and Potatoes & Dragons (the former of which was the last show to use this logo).
4th Logo (May 1, 1999-2001)
Logo: We zoom to a dimly-illuminated filmstrip laid on a brown ground, and then the CINAR logo (with a more vivid color scheme than the previous three logos) jumps onto the ground. We slowly zoom onto the logo as the same byline from the previous logo appears below.
Variant: A version with the company's URL appearing above the logo instead of the byline exists.
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: Bouncing sounds are heard over the sound of an airplane landing while the logo jumps, and when the logo finishes, we hear some babies and animals laughing and cheering, heard over a honk and a harp.
Availability: Ultra rare.
- The only known releases to use this logo are the Canadian Sony Wonder DVD release of Caillou: Volume 2 after the Sony Wonder logo, and the Wimzie's House PC games Play Along with Wimzie and A Surprise for Horace.
- This logo may have been seen on late '90s shows before it was plastered by the previous logo, or the Cookie Jar logo.
- It might be seen on VHS promos as well.
Legacy: Considering this logo's obscurity, it only became widely known about in 2015.
5th Logo (November 18, 2002-October 7, 2003)
Logo: On a sunny sky, we see the CINAR logo, in white, zooming out on a blue/green gradient oval, with the same copyright stamp and URL from the previous logo fading in.
- Like the 3rd logo, a French version of the byline was used.
- On the final season of Mona the Vampire, the logo is superimposed over a dark sky and a town underneath, with a bat flying over the logo.
- On CBBC UK airings of the final season of the aforementioned show, the Mona the Vampire variant of this logo is still, and the "www.cinar.com" URL website is absent, leaving only the CINAR logo, and the same byline.
- On Zoboomafoo: Playtime, Zobooland, and Zoboomafoo: Leapin' Lizards, the print logo is on a white background.
- On the Warner Home Video and Sony Wonder DVD's of Caillou's Holiday Movie, this logo appears, but is bylineless.
Music/Sounds: It varies depending on the show or film:
- On Caillou's Holiday Movie, a whooshing sound, followed by Caillou laughing.
- On Mona the Vampire, the closing theme of the show.
- However, on the French dub of this series, it is silent.
Availability: Ultra rare. After Michael Hirsh acquired CINAR because of their 2000 scandal (as well as debts and losing worth) in March 2004, CINAR went out of business.
- Although the print logo was introduced in 2000, it only appeared on the Zoboomafoo games.
- The original variant has only been seen on the Sony Wonder and Warner Home Video releases of Caillou's Holiday Movie. Like with the above, re-releases and re-airings of the special plaster this logo with Cookie Jar's (while keeping Caillou's laughter from the logo).
- The only actual show this logo was seen on was the final season of Mona the Vampire. The logo was preserved on the Canadian-English channel BBC Kids (until the channel ceased operations on December 31, 2018) and on Knowledge Network, but otherwise, it was plastered with Cookie Jar when This TV aired the series.
- This logo never appeared on any other CINAR show in-production at the time, like Arthur, Caillou (save for the original 2003 release of Caillou's Holiday Movie), or even Zoboomafoo, which all continued to use the second logo.