Mainframe Studios (formerly known as Mainframe Entertainment from 1991-2007 and Rainmaker Entertainment from 2007-2020) is a Canadian computer animation and design company founded in 1991, with headquarters in Vancouver and Los Angeles. They are best known for producing the first ever half-hour CGI animated TV series ReBoot, the acclaimed Transformers spin-off Beast Wars, as well as the music video for Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing". Since 2001, they have also produced most of the animated Barbie film series for Mattel.
In September 2003, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), a division of IDT Corporation, acquired a majority stake in Mainframe Entertainment, which made the studio a subsidiary of IDT Entertainment (later Starz Distribution). On July 31, 2006, RNK Capital Limited Partnership, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rainmaker Income Fund, acquired 62% of Mainframe from Starz with Rainmaker acquiring 38%. A month later, RNK and Rainmaker announced a merger, with RNK acquiring Rainmaker's 38% share in Mainframe, and by February 2007, the studio was renamed to Rainmaker Entertainment. The Mainframe label was later revived in 2014 as Rainmaker's television division.
On October 26, 2016, Rainmaker acquired Burbank-based animation studio Frederator Studios, with both companies becoming part of their new holding company, known as WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. In March 2020, the Mainframe name was fully reinstated, replacing and retiring Rainmaker in the process.
1st Logo (September 16, 1996-January 24, 1998)
Logo: On a black background, with a gold ball of light at the top-right corner, we see a brown board and a silver plate (which are tilted on their sides) turning clockwise to face forward. Just as it begins to turn, the light ball swoops down from the top-right corner, carving the board with a cursive black "M", while the word "MAINFRAME" softly lands letter-by-letter on the board, followed by a silver line and the small words "ENTERTAINMENT INC. ©" below it appearing and slightly pushing out of the board. The result reads "MAINFRAME ENTERTAINMENT INC. ©", with "MAIN" and "FRAME" forming a 90 degree angle right with each other, and "ENTERTAINMENT INC. ©" below the silver line. The light ball swoops to the left, causing the logo to shine slowly.
Variant: Sometimes, the logo is still.
Music/Sounds: An intense synth percussion tune accompanied by whooshes (composed by Robert "Bob" Buckley) or the closing theme of the show. On some occasions, the music was slowed down, but the whooshes were left intact at normal speed.
Availability: Rare. Seen on the first season of Beast Wars: Transformers and season 3 of ReBoot on Teletoon Retro and on DVD.
2nd Logo (October 26, 1997-March 12, 2007)
Logo: On a space background that slowly pans to the left, we see the words "MAINFRAME ENTERTAINMENT INC.".
- 2003-2006: "AN IDT ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY"
- Sometimes, there is no text at all.
- An opening variant exists where the text "A MAINFRAME ENTERTAINMENT INC. PRODUCTION" is seen in the background. This variant appears at the beginning of Mainframe's movies from the time.
- Sometimes, the website address (www.mainframe.ca) is seen below the text.
- A longer version also exists. We start off with a white screen fading in, which quickly fades to the logo, with a translucent shadow of the name zooming out.
- A medium-length variant also exists where we start off with the name's shadow zooming out as we fade to the logo.
- Sometimes, the background is just plain black. This variant can be found on the second season of Beast Wars: Transformers.
Music/Sounds: None or the opening/closing theme.
- Seen on the two Scary Godmother TV movies, Shadow Raiders, Weird-Oh's, the fourth and final season of ReBoot, the third and final season of Max Steel, Action Man, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Hot Wheels World Race, the last two seasons of Beast Wars: Transformers, Beast Machines: Transformers, Heavy Gear: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, the second season of Zixx, Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever and Tony Hawk in Boom Boom Sabotage.
- Also seen at the end of Casper's Haunted Christmas.
- This does not show up on any of their Barbie movies, as those simply use in-credit notices.
1st Logo (March 13, 2007-January 17, 2017)
Logo: On a black background, a shining gold swirl is drawn by itself before zooming out. As it does, a border is formed in the same color, revealing it to be an outline of a hand. Then a huge flash occurs, causing the swirl to change into teal and the hand into white, while also creating a background at the bottom of the hand in the same color as the swirl. "RAinmAkER" in a crunchy scope font appears below in white. After the flash ceases, the byline "WHERE WORLDS ARE CREATED" flashes in matching the color of the swirl and background.
Trivia: The company's name and logo were adopted from Rainmaker Digital Pictures, an authoring company which also operated in Vancouver and Los Angeles.
- An earlier version exists on the third and final season of Zixx.
- At the end of some Barbie films, Escape from Planet Earth, Ratchet & Clank, Open Season: Scared Silly and Surf's Up 2: WaveMania, the logo is in-credit, still, and sometimes a different color. The byline "WHERE WORLDS ARE CREATED" is also sometimes absent and replaced with "ENTERTAINMENT" sometimes as well.
Music/Sounds: A synth note the swirl makes when being formed, a flute piece accompanied with sticks, a quiet flash, and a drum piece when the byline appears.
Availability: Seen on the third and final season of Zixx, and post-2007 DVD releases from Rainmaker, such as ReBoot. The in-credit version appears on a number of Barbie movies and Rainmaker's other feature films.
2nd Logo (February 15, 2013-January 31, 2017)
Logo: On a space background, there is a twinkling star that starts to fly, which actually turns out to be Ting (one of the mascots of Rainmaker), who projects the glowing bright blue logo from his body. He then pops out behind the logo, waves and flies away to the left.
Variant: On Barbie and the Secret Door, the logo is still.
Technique: CGI animation done in-house.
Music/Sounds: Some twinkling and buzzing sounds.
Availability: This logo is seen on Rainmaker's feature-length films, such as Escape from Planet Earth, Ratchet & Clank, and Barbie and the Secret Door.
1st Logo (September 1, 2015-)
Logo: On a white background, we see the Mainframe logo (stylized similarly to the 1997 logo), except the font is bolder and a black line appears below. Underneath is the byline "A DIVSION OF RAINMAKER ENTERTAINMENT INC." (marking the first time the logo has a byline since 2006). Below the logo is the Canadian funding.
- Starting in 2018, "STUDIOS" was added below "MAINFRAME", and the byline now reads "A DIVISION OF WOW! UNLIMITED MEDIA".
- On some shows (including most international prints of Bob the Builder), the logo is in-credit.
Music/Sounds: None or the ending theme for the in-credit variant.
Availability: Common. Seen at the end of most Mainframe television productions, including the 2015 reboot of Bob the Builder.
2nd Logo (September 17, 2017-)
Logo: On an aquamarine gradient background with a shade of blue and turquoise, we see the letters of "MAINFRAME" in the same bold text as the previous logo drawing in and releasing shadows. As it zooms away when it's about to form, a light blue line appears below with the word "STUDIOS" flipping in one-by-one underneath. The byline "A DIVISION OF WOW! UNLIMITED MEDIA" appears fading in below the logo.
- On Barbie: Dolphin Magic (the first overall appearance of this logo) and Elliot the Littlest Reindeer, the Rainmaker swirly hand logo appears in 3-D and the company name "RAinmAkER" in its corporate font (with "STUDIOS" below) pushes up instead. The camera also rotates from the close-up of the hand and the same byline appears below.
- A short version exists beginning in 2022.
Music/Sounds: Heavy echoing clings. Sometimes, it's the ending theme of the show, or none.
- It first appeared under the Rainmaker name on Barbie: Dolphin Magic, with the Mainframe version debuting on ReBoot: The Guardian Code.
- The Rainmaker version also appeared on Elliot the Littlest Reindeer.