MGM/UA Communications Co.

From Audiovisual Identity Database

< MGM

Credits
Descriptions by
Matt Willians & Kris Starring

Captures by
wolfie14, V of Doom, and indycar

Editions by
Shadeed A. Kelley, Logophile, V of Doom, and indycar

Video captures courtesy of
phasicblu, EnormousRat, Gorb Stromaire, and ThePreviewsGuy VHS Openings

Background

MGM/UA Communications Co. was founded in 1986, five years after the formation of MGM/UA Entertainment Co. when MGM acquired UA from Transamerica Corporation in 1981. Before the name existed; from March 25 to August 26, 1986, Ted Turner owned MGM, and both companies were reincorporated as "MGM Entertainment Co." and "United Artists Corporation" for a short time. After UA purchased MGM's production and distribution assets, as well as its trademark, from Turner, both companies were reincorporated as MGM/UA Communications Co. In 1990, when Giancarlo Parretti under Pathé Communications (not to be confused with the French studio) purchased MGM/UA, the company was renamed as "MGM-Pathé Communications Co.". However, the company was reverted back to "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" on July 2, 1992.

(July 31, 1987-December 16, 1988)

Logo: On a black background, an outline of the MGM-UA logo zooms out, leaving a smoky trail behind it. The trail and "MGM-UA" outline splits into three. The smoky trails get sucked into the logo, which stops in the top center of the screen. The "MGM-UA" logo is a metallic, WGBH-like outline. Then, the letters in the words "MGM/UA COMMUNICATIONS CO.", in red, appear one-by-one below "MGM-UA". A red line starts in the center of the company name and splits into two, one line going towards the top of the screen, and one towards the bottom. The lines wipe the screen and bring forth either the MGM "Lion" or the UA "Swoosh". The MGM-UA logo zooms towards the viewer as this happens.

Variants:

  • There is a variation that only uses this logo alone, as neither the MGM or UA logo will follow. This is seen on Pumpkinhead (even on current prints where the 2001 MGM logo appears before it) and the original VHS release of Illegally Yours.
  • A black and white version exists.
  • Adapted for widescreen (2.35:1) films, the "MGM-UA" logo does not zoom out further than usual.
  • On trailers for films on MGM/UA Home Video VHS releases, the logo plays as normal, but the logo video zooms out and lands on a film cell and it slides away. Another film cell appears and the trailer begins.
  • Depending on the film quality, the silver may appear as light brown.

Technique: 80s computer animation.

Music/Sounds: A synth chord segueing into some whooshing sounds combined with a drum-beat, followed by a synth trumpet fanfare, and then a metallic hit at the end (which is not present on the standalone variant).

Music/Sounds variants:

  • A French dub of Rain Man has a low-pitched version of this jingle with the United Artists logo.
  • On the 2017 Arrow Films remastered Blu-Ray release of A Fish Called Wanda, as well as the 2017 Scream Factory Blu-Ray release of Poltergeist III, the 5.1 tracks have the MGM/UA jingle play and when the MGM logo appears, cuts to the 1995 roar due to sloppy reverse plastering. The 2.0 stereo tracks on both films have the original audio and 1986 roar. Also, the 5.1 track for A Fish Called Wanda has the MGM/UA jingle in high-tone.
  • On the 2021 Severin Films remastered Blu-Ray of Overboard (1987), the logo is silent until the MGM logo shows up and the 1995 roar is heard. This is likely due to Severin reusing audio from the previous MGM master with the 2001 logo.
  • On a Russian dub of Child's Play (1988), the MGM/UA United Artists variation plays audio for the 1994 UA logo due to poor reverse plastering.
  • On the 1989 and 1994 VHS releases of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), the opening theme of the movie (more accurately, the sound of racecars) is heard over the MGM/UA United Artists variation (this replaces the 1968 "Transamerica T" UA logo).

Availability: Uncommon.

  • The MGM/UA Communications-UA Swoosh mixture is seen on old TV, VHS and Laserdisc prints of several James Bond movies and movies from the Pink Panther series (and plasters old UA logos, such as the "Transamerica T").
  • The version with the UA logo following it can be seen on Baby Boom, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!, Rain Man, Child's Play (1988), and the 1998 DVD of The Great Escape.
  • The version with the MGM logo following can be seen on Fatal Beauty, Moonstruck, the original VHS releases of Overboard (including the 2021 Severin Films Blu-Ray), Poltergeist III (including the Scream Factory Blu-Ray), A Fish Called Wanda (including the 2017 Arrow Video Blu-ray), and others.
  • Recent prints of many of the above, such as the 20th anniversary DVD and Criterion Collection Blu-Ray of Moonstruck, will have it replaced with a newer MGM logo.
  • The black and white variant can be seen on the 1988 MGM/UA Home Video VHS release of The Manchurian Candidate and the 1989 MGM/UA Home Video Laserdisc release of The Apartment.
  • The trailer variant can be seen on several MGM/UA Home Video releases, such as the 1988 VHS release of Spaceballs (1987).
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