Pioneer Entertainment

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Ryan Froula, gshowguy and marklungo

Captures by
mr3urious, WillWill45 and channel4fan

Editions by
jlgarfield, mr3urious, marklungo, WillWill45, kidinbed, Shadeed A. Kelly, Thisisanswer and Henrynguye5

Video captures courtesy of
Watcher3223

Background

Pioneer Entertainment began as a spin-off of the Japanese electronics firm Pioneer. Although the company made releases in various genres (including music and special interest), it became best known as an anime producer and distributor. At varying times, Pioneer's LaserDisc distribution unit had licensing deals with RCA/Columbia, Universal Pictures Home Video, Paramount Home Video, and LIVE Entertainment. In 2003, Pioneer sold its entertainment division to another Japanese conglomerate, advertising giant Dentsu Incorporated. Dentsu renamed the company "Geneon".

1st Logo (June 1980-Mid 1980s)

Logo:

  • Opening of Side 1: We start off with a zooming starfield. After several seconds, a greenish image of a rotating Milky Way galaxy appears. Then, the Pioneer logo, consisting of a combination of a tuning fork and a capital Omega symbol "Ω" with "PIONEER" to its right, appears and zooms up. As we get close to the letter "O", the Milky Way fades out, and the logo begins to give off a blue light trail effect. We zoom through the letter "O", and some sparkles appear. A white circle zooms out, which turns into a rainbow-colored cycloid shape, which disappears off the screen as a laser forms the words "LaserDisc" in a metallic italicized font. Then, a laser comes in from the left and carves a line through the word as it flashes many different colors before turning back to silver.
  • End of Side 1: On the same starfield as before, "SIDE 1" appears on screen, followed by "END" flashing in below "SIDE 1". The text fades out, and then the starfield.
  • Opening of Side 2: The opening logo for side 1 plays again, but this time, instead of a green Milky Way galaxy, "SIDE 2" fades in. Then after a little bit, the logo fades out.
  • End of Side 2: Essentially, a reversed and abridged version of the side 1 opening logo: we see the words "LaserDisc" set against the starfield again. A blue line shoots through from the left, remaining on the screen. Then, the words disappear, and the sparkles zoom toward the screen, cutting to the Pioneer logo (with blue light trail) zooming out. The green Milky Way galaxy appears again.

Variant: On most LaserDisc players, the opening logo starts at the Pioneer logo zooming in. The full opening logo can only be viewed on a LD-660.

Technique: The stars, the Milky Way, the logos zooming forth, the sparkles, and the cycloid.

Music/Sounds:

  • The side 1 opening features a gentle synthesized tune that gives off the feeling of being in space, which gets faster and louder as the logo zooms forth. This ends with a weird flourish sound as the cycloid appears, followed by a 9-note synth fanfare.
  • The end of side 1 variant has a ascending "wooga-wooga-wooga" sound that repeats 4 times, along with ascending synth notes.
  • The side 2 opening had a extended version of the first part of the side 1 opening music.
  • The end of side 2 variant has a similar sound to the side 1 opening, ending with an 8-note synth fanfare.

Availability: Rare. Seen on Pioneer LDs of the time.

2nd Logo (Mid 1980s)

Logo: On a black background, the word "LaserDisc" is seen on screen, with the usual Pioneer logo underneath. A red line draws from left to right, then sends off a big flash.

Technique: The line drawing in.

Music/Sounds: A thumping and whining Moog synthesizer jingle with a "whoosh/ding" at the end.

Availability: Very rare. This can be found on the LaserDisc LaserDisc: What It Is, How It Works.

3rd Logo (Late 1980s-2001)

Logo: On a black/blue gradient background, we see the words "PIONEER ARTISTS" in the Pioneer font with a blue TV tube shape containing a white Pioneer logo on the left. The words "LaserDisc" is seen below with a line through it. Below all that is a red line with "digital SOUND" at the bottom right with the line in between.

Variant: If side 1 on the disc comes to an end, the logo appears with the words "End of Side 1" appear in the bottom left.

Technique: None, except for the "end of side" caption fading in.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on Pioneer LD releases from the time. The format still continued to be supported in Japan until 2001 with the last release being Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Pioneer stopped making LD players around January 2009.

4th Logo (1990-1998, 2003)

Logo: On a black background, a ring of yellow, lime green and orange sparkles moves to the center of the screen to encircle a gold tuning fork. Then, the ring and tuning fork turn into the Omega symbol (in golden orange) and zoom out to the left to make room for "PIONEER", and the whole thing turns periwinkle. We then fade into another screen which reads "presented by PIONEER ENTERTAINMENT (USA) L.P." (for North American releases) or "presented by PIONEER LDC, INC." (for Japanese releases).

Variants:

  • A few Japanese releases would have in the second part, the word "PIONEER LDCA" or "PIONEER LDCE".
  • Variants with the logo colored gold and blue with white outlines have been used. The blue-colored variant has "The Art of Entertainment" below the logo.
  • On special edition Laserdiscs, the words "Special Edition" appear in gold 3D lettering below the logo.

Technique: The circle and the tuning fork merging into the Pioneer logo. Quite nice animation for the time, though the Special Edition text on the variant is cheaply inserted.

Music/Sounds: A whimsical synth tune.

Availability: Can be seen on American and Japanese Pioneer Entertainment VHS tapes, Laserdiscs and DVDs of the era. It made a surprise appearance on the 2003 DVD of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released in association with MPI Home Video.

5th Logo (July 30, 1991-1993)

Logo: TBA.

Technique: TBA.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extremely rare. Seen on the first Pioneer Special Editions, including The Deep.

6th Logo (1993)

Logo: On a space background with purple clouds, a large star, made of multicolored extrusions, flies towards the screen and off to the bottom right corner as a comet passes by. As this happens, the word "PIONEER" scrolls among the screen, along with an silver bar behind it being another word. When they both scroll offscreen, a flash happens, revealing the star-like object and it moves upwards, with the Pioneer logo appearing in the bottom left. "PIONEER" then returns, with "ARTISTS" being in the same font, both flying into place, along with "The Art of Entertainment". The star then produces a spotlight and reveals a spinning LaserDisc. The logo shines until the end and another comet flies through.

Technique: The star flying, the names moving, and the LaserDisc spinning.

Music/Sounds: A dreamy synth tune.

Availability: Extremely rare.

7th Logo (1998-2003)

Logo: On a white background, we see "Pioneer" in red fading in. The logo here is completely different, with no tuning fork/omega combination, and instead is in a more streamlined italicized futuristic font. We then fade into the same screen from the end of the last logo.

Variant: In 2001, the background was changed to black and the logo was slightly moved upwards. This was used on American releases.

Technique: Just the fading.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Can be seen on Pioneer Entertainment VHS tapes and DVDs of the era from 1998 to 2003. The black variant can be seen on DVDs such as Akira, and the white variant can also be seen on the 1999 Japanese LaserDisc, DVD and VHS of Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Distant Thoughts (with the Widescreen version of said variant on the DVD) and the 2000 Japanese LaserDisc of The Phantom Menace.

8th Logo (1999-2001)

Logo: On a black background, we see the text "Exclusively Distributed By" or "presented by" at the top of the screen, and "PIONEER ENTERTAINMENT" at the bottom.

Variant: In the "Distributed by" version, it has "(USA) L.P." next to the caption.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on Pokémon videotapes and DVDs from the era.

9th Logo (Early-Mid 2000s)

Logo: On a black background, a silver "P" from the Pioneer logo from the time descends from the top left of the screen, in which it also flips to become a "s" as lines of the word "sound" come in. More letters and a single "sound" form briefly before changing to a shot of many "vision" words as well as a single one and the letter "v". The letters then shift to an "s" again, but with the word being "soul" as a silver, flipped Pioneer logo appears near the top right corner of the screen. The logo then suddenly shifts out of position and flips around as bands of the word "sound" reappear. The "P" then takes up the screen, with the logo then fading in on a silver background. Below it is the italic text "sound.vision.soul" in maroon.

Trivia: The logo is actually a long version of the "sound.vision.soul" tail end logo seen on their commercials at the time.

Technique: The 3D animation of the text and logo. Compared to the original short version, this seems quite choppy.

Music/Sounds: A bump is heard at first, leading into a 4-note guitar theme. A female voice says the words as they come across the screen and xylophones fill the ambiance. As the Pioneer logo flips into place, a piano tune is heard before a whoosh happens. The same 4-note guitar theme plays again before ending with a man saying "Pioneer."

Availability: Ultra rare. Appeared on sample DVDs brought with Pioneer DVDs from the period.

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