Morgan Creek Entertainment Group
Morgan Creek Entertainment Group (formerly known as Morgan Creek Productions) is a production company founded by former auto import worker James G. Robinson in 1987. The name of the company comes from the 1944 movie The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. Some of its most successful films include the Ace Ventura films and the Young Guns films. Its films were distributed (at least in North America and the British Isles) by 20th Century Fox from 1988-1990 (however, Renegades and Coup De Ville were from Universal and Major League was from Paramount, with international sales handled by J&M Entertainment), Warner Bros. from 1991-2004 and Universal from 2005-2011 (Warner distributed Ace Ventura, Jr. from 2009, select international rights to Dream House, whilst Universal had US rights, and All Eyez on Me was distributed by Summit Entertainment). The rights were acquired by Revolution Studios in 2014, with sales handled by Miramax. Video rights now rest with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in the United States and Canada. Currently, Sony Pictures Television handles the digital and television rights of Morgan Creek and Revolution titles worldwide, with few exceptions (for example, Young Guns, its first film, is owned outright by Lionsgate through its international distributor, Vestron).
1st Logo (August 12, 1988-September 28, 1991)
Logo: Against a black background, a curvy blue line (intended to be a creek) moves across the screen. The camera then zooms out to reveal a tall black rectangle against a blue background with the curvy line cut out near the bottom. "MORGAN" is seen on top, and "CREEK" is seen on the bottom, with a line placed above and below the words.
Variant: On the theatrical trailer and TV spots for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the blue background is darker. The movie itself would use the next logo.
Technique: Simple cel animation.
Music/Sounds: A sound of a river streaming down with a rising synth tune that ends with two chime bells. Most of the time however, it's silent, or has the opening/ending theme of the movie playing over it. Enemies: A Love Story does not have the river sounds, but does have the rising theme and the bells.
Availability: Uncommon. It was seen on the Young Guns series, Skin Deep, Clive Barker's Nightbreed, The Exorcist III and Pacific Heights. At the time, most of its films were released in the US by 20th Century Fox, though on international and current prints, owned by Revolution/Miramax (with the exception of Young Guns, owned by Lionsgate via the film's international distributor, Vestron), the Fox logo is cut out, either due to expired distribution deals, international distribution rights, or releasing agreements that did not extend past theatrical release. The Fox logo is also edited out on Vestron Video's release of Young Guns as well as on the original home video releases of Skin Deep and Clive Barker's Nightbreed, which were released by Media Home Entertainment. The Fox/Morgan Creek logo combo can however be seen on US video releases from CBS/Fox or Fox Video such as Pacific Heights, The Exorcist III, and Young Guns II as well as some streaming prints of Nightbreed (the theatrical cut). It also appears after the end credits of Renegades and Coup De Ville (the former film would have the river and bell sounds). Don't expect to see this on Major League or Dead Ringers.
2nd Logo (June 14, 1991-November 9, 2001)
Nicknames: "CGI Creek"
Logo: On a navy blue background, a yellow CGI line cuts through the screen. The camera pans near it to reveal it is a creek, with 3D river effects in it. The creek then zooms out on a blue/black gradient background as we see it is inside a purplish box. Then the words "MORGAN" and "CREEK" zoom out in their usual positions.
- The box with the creek can differ in color. Sometimes it's purple, dark blue, or light blue.
- The still version of this logo was at the end of movies and on the Ace Ventura animated series.
- Early movies have the normal logo at the end as well as the beginning.
- There is a scope variant where the 1.85 version was cropped to 2.35. This was used on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
- On earlier episodes of the Ace Ventura cartoon, we see the company's print logo on a white background, with the creek colored periwinkle and a copyright stamp below.
Technique: This is all done in very good CGI animation by Studio Productions (now known as "Flip Your Lid Animation").
Music/Sounds: An orchestral brass tune adapted from the overture of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves composed by Michael Kamen (also used in the 2007 Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment logo). The Ace Ventura animated series has the ending theme playing over it. In the early days of this logo, it was silent or the movie's theme would play over it. In the 1992 film White Sands, there is a different fanfare based on the Robin Hood theme, while the more familiar tune made its first appearance on Stay Tuned, released the same year. None for the still version.
Availability: Common. Can be seen on several films released by the company, most notably the Ace Ventura series, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (the theatrical trailer and TV spots for it use a variant of the previous logo), Wrongfully Accused, The Crush, Trial by Jury, True Romance, Freejack, Soldier, Get Carter (2000 remake) and The Art of War. On films from 1992-1999, this also can be found at the end of the movies with the Warner Bros. logo after it. This can also appear after the Warner Home Video logo on US DVD releases such as Young Guns II, The Whole Nine Yards and 3000 Miles to Graceland. The last film to use this logo was Heist (which was released three months after American Outlaws, the first film to use the third logo). Strangely, this appeared in black and white on The Exorcist: The Beginning (a 2004 movie) on Australian TV (with the Roadshow Television logo). Crackle prints of Franchise Pictures films Angel Eyes and Heist have this cut out alongside Warner Bros.; it just cuts to the Franchise logo. It was, however, seen on Battlefield Earth. Strangely, on the 2017 SPHE DVD release of True Romance, the first two Ace Ventura films and the double pack of Major League 2 and Major League: Back to the Minors, this is cut and goes straight to the film. It's not known if other releases do the same.
3rd Logo (August 17, 2001-March 1, 2009, September 23-December 16, 2016, 2017)
Logo: Starts out the same as the last logo, except the river effects in the creek are brighter and look more realistic. After the camera zooms out as per usual, it is revealed to be in a pitch black box against a dark blue background. The effects dissolve into a solid light blue color, and "MORGAN" and "CREEK" are already on the square in their usual positions.
- In 2006, the logo was slightly redone. This time, the yellow line is grey, the box is awkwardly squished, the text is in 3D, and the bright river effects don't dissolve on the creek.
- A variant of this version had a stretched box instead of a squished one.
- A still version of this logo was seen at the end of movies.
- From September-December 2016, we simply see the 2001 variation of the logo against a black background.
Technique: Newly redone from the 2nd logo.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 2nd logo. Sometimes, it uses the opening theme of the movie. None or the closing theme of the show for the still version.
Availability: Can be found on films from the company during the era, such as Two for the Money, American Outlaws (the first film to use this logo) and Juwanna Mann. The squished version appears on Man of the Year, Sydney White, and Ace Ventura, Jr. Pet Detective (the last film to use this logo). It has re-appeared on season 1 of The Exorcist TV series. This is seen in place of the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment logo on DVD releases from 2017 of MC films such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and True Romance.
4th Logo (September 30-October 14, 2011)
Logo: Same concept as the last logos, except the box is slightly shorter and the river is faster and longer. The end result is on a black background with a blue circle in the middle.
- A still version is seen at the end of movies.
- A red version with lava that transitions to the original version exists.
Technique: Same as the last logo. This logo was designed by Framework Studio.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the movie. None for the still version.
Availability: Rare. Only seen on Dream House and the 2011 prequel The Thing.
5th Logo (June 14, 2017- )
Logo: On a black background, the camera eases by with a shimmering river with the blue land shining by as the screen scrolls past the river until revealing it's on the box, like the past three logos. As the blue box tilts backwards, the words "MORGAN" and "CREEK" fly in (like the effects of the company name seen on the 1991 logo). The logo shines one more time before fading out.
Variant: A short version exists where it starts with the text almost done flying in. Also, it has the logo easing out with a lens flare.
Technique: Another redo of the previous logos with impressive animation and elements that callback to the 1988 (with the extra river) and 1991 (with the company name's appearance) logos.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme to the film. The short version has an abridged version of the fanfare from the 2nd and 3rd logos.
Availability: Uncommon so far. Made its debut on All Eyez on Me, Morgan Creek's first theatrical release in six years. The short version is seen on season 2 of The Exorcist.