PBS Kids IDs
This article covers logos that contain flashing images.
One or more descriptions on this page are missing or incomplete.
If you have any further information on these logos, please consider editing this page to make our descriptions more complete.
PBS Kids is a programming block and serves as the brand for most of the children's programming aired by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States, established as part of PBS' "Ready To Learn" Initiative. The block was launched as PTV on September 10, 1993, to repackage PBS' existing children's programming. The PTV brand was retired on September 5, 1999, and has been officially known as PBS Kids since September 6, 1999. The PBS Kids channel was launched at the same time as the PBS Kids block and ran for six years and was largely funded by satellite TV provider DirecTV. The channel was shut down on September 26, 2005, and was replaced by PBS Kids Sprout (later known as simply Sprout; now Universal Kids), which was developed in partnership with Comcast Corporation (who later bought full control of the network via NBCUniversal). A 24-hour channel was launched on January 16, 2017.
Leo the Cat (1993-1994)
Technique: Limited 2D animation .
Music/Sounds: The cat mooing like a cow and the P-head saying "Nice kitty!"
Music/Sounds Variant: There is a Spanish version where the cat sounds like an elephant.
General IDs of Decade 200 (July 11, 1994-September 5, 1999)
ID: We see the P-Pals doing certain activities with the station logo being shown.
- Blimp - Georgia Public Television, KERA in Dallas, KTCA in Minneapolis, Maryland Public Television, WFWA in Fort Wayne, WGBH in Boston, WGBY in Springfield, WLRN in Miami, WNED in Buffalo, WNET in New York City, WQED in Pittsburgh, and WVIZ in Cleveland
- Basketball - WVIZ in Cleveland, KPBS in San Diego, KERA in Dallas, University of North Carolina Television, and WNET in New York City
- Farm - KERA in Dallas, KPBS in San Diego, Idaho Public Television, KLVX in Las Vegas, Wisconsin Public Television, and WNED in Buffalo.
- Train - KCET in Los Angeles, KERA in Dallas, KLVX in Las Vegas, KPBS in San Diego, KTCA in Minneapolis, WNET in New York City, and WOSU in Columbus
- Balloon - WGBH in Boston, KAET in Phoenix, WLRN in Miami, Maryland Public Television, WQED in Pittsburgh, KTCA in Minneapolis, KUAT in Tuscon, KCET in Los Angeles, and WHYY in Philadelphia.
- Rocket - Wisconsin Public Television, KTCA in Minneapolis, KERA in Dallas, WNET in New York City, and WNED in Buffalo (Rocket mirrored in Wisconsin Public Television version)
- Amusement Park - WNET in New York City (it said "Newark, NJ" in the ID, though), KTCA in Minneapolis, and WSKG in Binghamton
- Artist - KCET in Los Angeles, WLRN in Miami, WGBH in Boston, WVIZ in Cleveland, and KERA in Dallas
- Submarine - KCET in Los Angeles, South Carolina Educational Television, University of North Carolina Public Television, WLRN in Miami, WNED in Buffalo, and WNET in New York City
- Dinosaur - KERA in Dallas, KTCA in Minneapolis and WNED in Buffalo
- Greetings - KERA in Dallas, South Dakota Public Television, University of North Carolina Public Television, WMVS in Milwaukee, and WLRN in Miami
- Dancing - WTVS in Detroit and WGTE in Toledo
- Graffiti - Georgia Public Television, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, WGBH in Boston, WGTE in Toledo, and WHYY in Philadelphia
- Piano - WVIZ in Cleveland
- Magician - WMHT in Shnectady and WVIZ in Cleveland
- Planes - WSKG in Binghamton, WNET in New York City, and KTCA in Minneapolis.
- Truck - Louisiana Public Broadcasting, KAET in Phoenix, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, WNET in New York City, WQED in Pittsburgh, and WTTW in Chicago
Technique: Wiggly 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: Depends on the station ID. In some cases, they have announcements (such as generic ones like "You're watching KERA, channel 13" or custom to the theme of the ID, such as "You can really score when you watch KPBS San Diego." These voice-overs are done by the voice actors of the P-Pals. Of course, some, like those for KTCA and WGBH, for example, do not contain voice-overs at all.
Music/Sounds Variant: Pinky has this coversation with the other P-Pals on the "Greetings" station ID:
- Pinky: Hi, Priscilla.
- Priscilla: Hi, Pinky.
- Pinky: Hi, Pernell.
- Pernell: Hi, Pinky.
- Pinky: Hi, Polly.
- Polly: Hi, Pinky.
- Pinky: Hi, Paco.
- Paco: Hello, Pinky.
- Pinky: Hi, Perry.
- Perry: Hello, Pinky.
Availability: Extinct. Was seen in-between shows from 1993 to 1999. Some stations continued to use them after the 1999 PBS Kids rebranding.
ID: Dot and Dash spy on each other. The PBS Kids logo appears at the end, with a character appearing in the PBS Kids logo to promote the upcoming shows.
Technique: 2D animation.
Availability: Extinct. Was only used to promote upcoming shows.
General IDs of Decade 201 (September 6, 1999-August 29, 2008)
ID: Depends greatly on the variant, but most often, we see an event happening which eventually leads to the PBS Kids logo being revealed. In the live action variants of this logo, Dash or Dot in the logo are replaced with live action kids (with the exception of "My Dog Can Read!"), but in animated versions, Dash and Dot are present in the logo. The live action variants also have various characters from PBS Kids shows (Between the Lions, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Sesame Street, Dragon Tales, Arthur, etc.) appearing.
Variants: There are many.
- When the "Using Your Imagination" bumper aired on KCET, Captain Infinity would break the fourth wall and appear in front of the PBS Kids logo.
- Get Wordy!: Guy Smiley from Sesame Street hosts a Jeopardy!-esque game show, with Grandma Thora from Arthur, Cookie Monster from Sesame Street, and T. Bone from Clifford the Big Red Dog as his contestants. Thora correctly guesses that reading at bedtime helps children appreciate reading, and the credits roll. Below the credits are the PBS Kids Ready To Learn logo and the PBS url.
- The Alphabet Song: As some kids in purple shirts sing the Alphabet Song, each kid pulls up his/her shirt to reveal another shirt with a letter of the alphabet on it.
- Fondue: A chef drops down several letters, which are received by two kids and a monkey. They dip the letters in a smiling bowl of fondue, making the words "fan", "fun", and "yum". After all the letters are eaten, we pan up to the PBS Kids logo. The letters "PBS" are splattered with fondue.
- Agent Cookie: In a Mission Impossible parody, Cookie Monster from Sesame Street is given ten seconds by Arty Smartpants from Between the Lions to write his name on a sheet of paper with a red crayon.
- You Gotta Be: A promo that only aired on Labor Day from 2001 to 2006. We see black-and-white footage of some kids and various characters from PBS Kids shows, with green chroma-keying. It is possible that KAID, known for formerly airing a wide variety of old bumpers aired this one for longer.
- Cooking with Clifford: Emily Elizabeth (voiced by Grey DeLisle) and kids make Tasty Tummy Yummies for Clifford. The kids add two cups of flour, one jar of peanut butter, a squirt of mustard, marshmallows, a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone, and pepper to taste. Then a timer dings. Emily Elizabeth and the kids ask Clifford (voiced by an unknown male actor since John Ritter died in 2003) what he thinks of their Tasty Tummy Yummies. Clifford sneezes, causing a huge mess in the kitchen; the sneeze is so big that Emily and the kids to get blown away. Then Emily says "Maybe too much pepper." We pan up to the PBS Kids logo, but the circle is replaced with a green splatter and the letters in "KIDS" aren't in place.
- Star Finder!: TBA.
- Action Pig: TBA.
- Casablanca: TBA.
- CSI: TBA.
- Stomach Dance Party: TBA.
- The Origin of Super Grover: TBA.
- Same Shape, Same Color, Same Size, Same Everything: TBA.
- Mystery Box: TBA.
- Ask for Help: TBA.
- Hide and Seek: Clifford and a group of kids play hide and seek. The kids find Clifford behind a red wall.
- Teamwork: Clifford gets his nose stuck. As a song about teamwork plays, the kids help him get his nose unstuck.
- Rhyming: 4 Kids and a firefighter make up a rhyme using words ending in "am", until the firefighter breaks the chain by ending the rhyme in "I'd rather have a peanut butter sandwich"
- Computers: Kids discuss what the internet is and how it can be used, D.W from Arthur then enters the room with a surfboard saying "I'm ready to surf the web!".
- Letter Factory We see letters falling from a tree then being sucked down a tube into a factory. A magnet then picks up the letters and puts them on a truck spelling out "Reading is fun". We hear the PBS Kids jingle as the truck drives away with the PBS Kids logo visible on the back of the truck.
- Monkey Loves to Read: TBA.
- Reading Is Fun!: TBA.
- My Dog Can Read!: Live action dogs suddenly gain the ability to read, with many kids showing their dogs reading signs like "JUMP!", "RUN!", "EAT!" and finally, "PBS Kids".
- Everyone's a Winner!: TBA.
- A variant exists where we see the PBS Kids Dot logo on a white background inside what appears to be a TV set, with the bubbles bulging in and out. A chordal harp gliss sound plays as some kids laugh, with one of them screaming "PBS Kids!"
- We see various kids appearing in the circular PBS Kids logo on a background with bubbles, with the bubble reappearing and the letters "PBS" growing until they reach the bubble each time. This variant was seen after some bumpers and also at the end of Plaza Sésamo on select stations.
Trivia: A version of the "Everyone's a Winner!" variant using the circular PBS Kids logo used to exist. It was only used in Mills malls in the PBS Kids-themed playground areas called PBS Kids Neighborhood and PBS Kids Backyard; these playground areas were closed in 2008.
Technique: A combination of live-action, animation, puppets and chroma-key technology, depending on the bumper.
Music/Sounds: Depends on the variant. Some variants use a synth-pop or experimental/avant-garde theme:
- You Gotta Be: The 1994 song You Gotta Be by British soul musician Des'ree.
- Use Your Imagination: The song "Use Your Imagination" sung by a man and some kids, children laughing, and a snippet of a girl going "Mmmm..." from the PBS Kids "Dot's Cat" station ID.
- Fondue: A theme with synthesized vocal noises based on the PBS Kids system cues and bumpers from the era, and a group of kids saying the words the monkey and kids make. At the end, there is a splattering sound when the fondue splatters the letters "PBS", followed by some kids singing "PBS Kids!"
- The Ready To Learn promos have an announcer saying, "PBS Kids Ready To Learn! We're getting kids ready for school and for life!".
- On the Super Grover and Casablanca promos, a Don LaFontaine soundalike says this: "PBS Ready To Learn. The first grade is coming soon.".
- The "Ask for Help" variant has a ragtime version of the PBS Kids jingle.
- Cooking with Clifford: The kids and Emily Elizabeth have this conversation:
- Boy: Clifford wants to know what we're making.
- Emily Elizabeth: "Clifford's Tasty Tummy Yummies". All you have to do is follow the recipe:
- Add two cups of flour.
- One jar of peanut butter.
- A squirt of mustard.
- A Mint chip ice cream cone.
- Some marshmallows...
- Add pepper to taste and bake for 30 minutes.
- Emily Elizabeth: They're done! What do you think, Clifford?
- Clifford: (sneezes)
- Emily Elizabeth: Maybe too much pepper.
Availability: Depends on the variant, but most are now uncommon, bordering on rare. Seen on old bumpers for PBS Kids in the 2000s. Some PBS station like LPB and KAID (Note: more of these logos were formerly more common to see on this station until 2019, but Rhyming and Mystery Box can occasionally still be seen) continue to air certain variants of this logo. Despite most of these variants still being used on certain stations, some have now gone extinct; some variants are even known to be completely lost and collectively have a page on the Lost Media Wiki. Check your local PBS station or old tapes for them. Any remaining appearances of these station idents whatsoever likely ended in 2022.
Travel (September 6, 1999-August 31, 2008)
ID: Above a sea on a white background, a light purple boy wearing goggles is seen flying in a yellow plane to the right corner of the screen. The plane leaves behind a trail of smoke. A green boat, guarded by a sailor boy with a hair sticking out of his hat, then floats up to the screen. The boy smiles and waves at us. As the boat disappears, the sea turns into a road. An orange boy in a black cap appears driving a blue car with black wheels. An orange-haired girl with bead eyes, sitting next to the boy, waves at us. The road turns into a grassy hill, and a purple steam train with a blue boy wearing a striped coat and engineer's hat comes in. Once it passes, the ground changes again and we see Dot (with white skin and a pink-and-yellow striped shirt, unlike most of her incarnations) on an orange horse. She giggles as the horse clops up to the screen. Finally, the grass changes back into a road and we see Dot and Dash (with blue skin and yellow firefighter uniforms) on a red firetruck.
Technique: Hand-drawn animation done at Lee Hunt Associates.
Music/Sounds: An art pop tune based on the then-current PBS Kids branding; a kid saying "Wah!" in various pitches, some high-pitched giggling for Dot, and descending synth voices when the firetruck appears.
Availability: Extinct. Was used as a station ID as well as a schedule bumper.
Switcher (September 6, 1999-August 31, 2008)
This logo contains flashing images at 0:05-0:07.
ID: We start by seeing two halves of the screen separated by a black line with what appears to be a button in its center. Dash is on the left side of the screen, while Dot is on the right. Dot is shown as a shadow. She then presses the button, turning Dash into a shadow of a chicken, then Dash presses the button, turning Dot into an umbrella. Then the two keep pressing the button, transforming Dash into a flower, a bear, and an arrow, as well as transforming Dot into a hammer and a rabbit. Then the two keep pressing the button rapidly back and forth until they both turn into shadows of things (Dash is a ball while Dot is a fly). When this happens, the screen is no longer separated, the shadows are on a yellow background, and the circular PBS Kids logo is at the top of the screen and is smaller than usual. We then fade out.
Technique: 2D animation done at Lee Hunt Associates.
Music/Sounds: As the button is pressed, we hear "Doink!" noises. When the button is pressed rapidly, the "Doink!" noise is also rapidly heard until we hear a laser-like noise which brings us to Dot and Dash both turning into shadows of things. We then hear the 4 notes of the PBS Kids jingle being played by a bubbly synth, followed by the "PBS Kids!" part of the jingle, which is scatted by synchronized "Doink!" noises.
Availability: Extinct. Used as a local ID on certain PBS stations from 1999 to 2008, it was later shown on Martin Luther King Day of 2006 (January 16, 2006). It's latest known appearance was during a 2015 PBS Kids broadcast on the WFWA station.
Bookworm Bunch (September 30, 2000-September 5, 2004)
Technique: 2D animation done at Primal Screen.
Availability: Extinct. Like the 1999-2008 IDs, some of these are completely lost and are hunted for by the Lost Media Wiki.
General ID of Decade 202 (September 1, 2008-October 7, 2013)
ID: Basically a extended version of the 2008 system cues, the IDs shows Dot and Dash doing a certain activity before a small PBS Kids circular logo appears either in the top left or the top right corner.
Variants: Here are some of the variations of the activities included:
- Skipping Rocks
- Box: Dot steps into a box, imagining she is a sailor, a cowboy, a ranger, and an astronaut. Dot then climbs out of the box, walking like she's on the moon with Dash.
- Starting in 2009, the word "KIDS" is moved up to the thought bubble.
- IDs without Dash and Dot and instead have stuff happening in the background exist, they were mostly used for promos and up next bumpers.
- Another set of IDs only featuring Dot also exist, These were usually used for schedule bumpers.
Technique: A mix of 2D and CGI animation, like the system cues, These were also animated and composed by Primal Screen.
Music/Sounds: An extended version of the 1st system cue's jingle, like the system cues, they are played with musical instruments that vary depending on the activity.
Availability: Near extinction, these were mostly used as station IDs, The background IDs were mostly used for promos and up next bumpers, while the Dot only IDs are mostly used for schedule bumpers.
- These IDs were also used in PBS Kids' Video page until 2013 as up next bumpers.
- Despite these IDs ending regular usage on October 7, 2013 when the channel rebranded, it continued to appear on several PBS stations after the rebrand.
- Whatever remaining appearances of these IDs very likely ended when the channel rebranded its logo in July 2022.
General IDs of Decade 203 (October 7, 2013-September 2021)
General ID of Decade 204 (September 2021-)
General ID of Decade 205 (June 30, July 19, 2022- )
ID: The logo has PBS Kids characters interacting with the new logo and the name of the show getting promoted beside them.
Variants: On the sizzle reel, there are no show names. Here are the variants:
- Logo Change: The logo starts with the old PBS Kids logo on a teal background, seen in the middle. The logo then grows and shrinks, revealing Elinor and Olive (both from Elinor Wonders Why) pulling on a lever, causing the logo to move down and then back up, which causes the logo to remove Dash and the white circles, with the thinking bubble and text in the middle. They look at the logo and smile. The characters and lever then moves and we see Pinkalicious (from Pinkalicious and Peterrific) and Duck Duck (who's holding a wand) and Donkey Hodie (both from the show of the latter character's name) on a purple background and the logo being in its same position from the previous. Pinkalicious touches the logo, causing the logo to shrink and grow back, removing the thinking bubble and coloring the text black. Then the background changes pink as the characters move up. Ms. O (from Odd Squad, voiced by Millie Davis) comes in with a machine from the show and changes the logo into its 2022 design. Then Ms. O and the machine move away as the background turns green. The characters from Alma's Way dancing (at the left of the logo) moves with the background, with them playing music. Another Odd Squad agent (at the right of the logo) then positions himself as he dances. Finally, Luna (from Let's Go Luna!, voiced by Judy Greer) moves to her position next to the agent as she also dances.
- Elinor Wonders Why: On a yellow background, Elinor flips the PBS Kids logo and then the Wild Kratts from the show of the same name are seen landing on the logo, getting to their poses as Elinor jumps happily.
- Elinor Wonders Why #2: Another logo on a yellow background. To the right of the screen, Elinor thinks with a thought bubble above her head. She thinks of a yellow flower, a magenta butterfly, and a blue bird. She then thinks of the logo as the thought bubble and other thoughts poof away, leaving just the logo above her head. Elinor laughs.
- Donkey Hodie: Donkey is seen pulling the logo to its position on a light blue-orange striped rope on a red or teal background. She looks up at the logo and smiles at it, giggling.
- Donkey Hodie #2: On a teal background, we see on the bottom right corner from left to right Donkey, Purple Panda, Duck Duck, and Bob Dog. Bob Dog kicks the logo like a soccer ball to Duck Duck, who kicks it to Purple Panda, who kicks it to Donkey. She kicks it up to the top corner of the screen.
- Pinkalicious and Peteriffic: Pinkalicious holds the logo on a purple background. She then throws it.
- Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Prince Wednesday and Miss Elaina are seen on a light blue background. Prince Wednesday then kicks a ball (which is light blue with a star on it) to Daniel Tiger, who holds it up, revealing it has the logo on it. He then throws the logo up, turning it normal as Clifford (from the 2019 version of Clifford the Big Red Dog) runs from left to right. The Wild Kratts (on their hoverboards) come from the background and into the screen, which causes it to go to another logo.
- Molly of Denali: The logo (with a missing piece) is shown on a yellow background, where Molly (holding the piece) and her dog Suki are seen. Molly puts the piece on the logo, completing it.
- Molly of Denali #2: TBA
- Alma's Way: On a green or yellow background, we see Alma hopping across a hopscotch with Eddie and Rafia waiting at the other end. A top view reveals that the endpoint is the logo.
- Alma's Way #2: On a yellow background, Alma and Mami are walking their dog Chacho. Alma loses hold of the leash as Chacho runs into a flock of pigeons, chasing them off as they fly away and Alma has to duck.
- Nature Cat: The logo is on a green background with a visible rock. The title character (voiced by Taran Killam) is seen jumping on a log, then passes to the rock.
- There's a still variant with the logo on a purple background without any characters.
- Sometimes, the logos are shortened. For instance, there is a variant of the Elinor Wonders Why ID that cuts out Chris and Martin Kratt flying by on their hoverboards to just show Elinor flipping the logo.
Trivia: These IDs look strikingly similar to this ad for the PBS Kids app, maybe from the late 2010s. It is possible that this may be the first ever occurrence of this branding.
Technique: Mostly 2D and Flash animation, with the Donkey Hodie characters (and the Odd Squad agent from the first variant) whenever they appear being live action puppets.
Music/Sounds: The voiceover in the promo or sizzle reel music. On the Logo Change sizzle reel, we hear some catchy pop music with whistling.
Availability: Debuted in a sizzle reel on June 30, 2022. As with the 10th main logo, it debuted on July 19 in the same year, appearing during promos for new episodes.
Dash on the Moon (Late 2000s?)
ID: As a green car passes by, Dash appears on a skateboard. He approaches a ramp that sends him flying into space. He backflips, then lands on a blue crescent moon. With his arms crossed, Dash looks at us as a "PBS KIDS" star constellation appears.
Technique: Computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A tune, followed by "PBS Kids" sung by kids.