Ragdoll Productions

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
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Captures by
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Editions by
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Background

Ragdoll Productions is a British TV production company that produces programmes specifically made for young children, founded by Anne Wood, and located in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire in the United Kingdom. Named after Wood's daughter's favourite toy ragdoll, Jemima, Ragdoll Productions is mostly known for creating shows like Teletubbies, Pob's Progamme, Rosie and Jim, Brum, Tots TV, and many others. Before its inception in the mid-1980s, Wood made shows like Ragdolly Anna and Rub-A-Tub-Dub before creating Ragdoll and making the first programme by the company, Pob's Programme. Ragdoll also had a small store based on Wood's works, named the Ragdoll Shop which opened in 1992 but closed in 2005 due to expansion limits. In 2006, Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide formed a joint venture called Ragdoll Worldwide, which then held the rights to all Ragdoll programming from Ragdoll themselves, this joint venture was sold to DHX Media in September 2013, causing the rights to the TV shows that Ragdoll created (except Pob's Programme) to be acquired and picked up by DHX, meaning the shows they produced are no longer produced under the "Ragdoll" name. Despite this, Ragdoll Productions themselves are still active to this very day, now producing their latest programme, Twirlywoos, in co-production with DHX. Currently, their latest show is B.O.T and the Beasties.

1st Logo (October 5, 1985-1995)

Logo: We see a black and white Raggedy Ann/Andy-like doll. The ragdoll has stringy hair, button eyes, a triangular nose, a narrow smile, wears a short-sleeve shirt and pants with chequered patterns, and is holding a candle above its head with a stylised old gold sun with 12 points behind the doll.

Trivia:

  • This logo was designed by Malcolm Bird, who illustrated some Pob-related magazines.
  • The Ragdoll Shop (closed in 2005), mentioned right on the background, used this logo on a hanging sign from its opening in 1992 until 1995.

Variants: Each programme used a different version of the logo.

  • On Pob's Programme, the entire logo graphic is made of fabric and in fact, the entire ending sequence takes place over the logo. The ragdoll is a lot smaller and is between between the words " A Ragdoll (UK)" and "Production" stacked on top of the words "for" and "Channel Four" (This show was produced for Channel 4 UK). "Channel Four" is under the word "for" and under that is a Channel Four copyright date. Pob appears over the logo, reading a Pob News magazine and to the left of him is a plush version of the same ragdoll shown in the logo, with carrot orange stringy hair, a red chequered shirt, and a shamrock green candle. A female narrator reminds viewers how to send cash or stamps to Pob, while Pob himself chatters over the narration and nudges the ragdoll once. The P.O. box address "P.O. Box 507, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 3AL" fades in at the bottom of the screen, in a handwritten font in pastel pink. Pob proceeds to blow out the ragdoll's candle, dimming the lights.
    • On the VHS tapes Pob and Friends and Pob's Playtime Video, the magazine part is cut off, only having Pob blowing out the candle.
  • On Playbox, the doll is next to text saying "A Ragdoll (U.K.) Production for Central". Below the text and logo is a copyright date for Central Independent Television.
  • On the series The Magic Mirror, the entire logo is in-credit. After the credits finishing scrolling, only the "A Ragdoll (UK) Production" disclaimer and Kellogg Company copyright date remain on-screen on the left. After a few seconds, the Ragdoll fades onto the titular magic mirror, like it's being reflected. Each episode used a different variation to match the theme of the story, but the concept remains the same.
    • The episode The Goose Girl does not have the Ragdoll fade, as usual, it instead pops out of the box (like a Jack-in-a-Box) that’s reflected in the Magic Mirror.
  • On Brum, all the text is in Dom Casual, and just simply says "A Ragdoll Production" with the doll between the "A Ragdoll" and "Production". Below that is a Ragdoll Productions copyright.
  • At the end of 1993-1994 episodes of Tots TV, the background is a black/dark teal gradient, and the illustration of the ragdoll, the text, and the copyright notice are stacked, and the "A Ragdoll Production for Central" text appear in Futura. On the show's first 4 episodes (called respectively "Camel", "Beach", "Fox" and "Trains"), the numeral MCMXCII (1992), was misspelled as MCMXII, which means 1912.
  • In 1993, a new print logo was created (originally the print logo was just the doll), featuring the doll on a white background in a rectangle with a white banner saying "Ragdoll" in red text on the bottom. It lasted until 1995.
  • On Open a Door, A cropped image of the logo appears in credit, taken straight from the Tots TV variant of the logo.

Technique: None.

  • For the Pob variant, it's mostly Pob moving around, and then eventually blowing out the Ragdoll's candle.
  • For The Magic Mirror, the Ragdoll fading onto the titular mirror.

Music/Sounds: None.

Music/Sounds variants:

  • On The Magic Mirror, a mystical chime-like sound plays, which is part of the ending theme to the show.
  • On Brum, an ascending synthesised piano jingle composed by Andrew McCrorie-Shand (Ragdoll's then-TV composer) is played.
  • On Tots TV, the last note of the ending theme plays once the logo appears. and then the rest of the logo is silent.
  • On Playbox, a slight slam noise coming from the Playbox was heard, the rest was silent.
  • On Pob's Programme, background music from the show plays throughout the logo.

Availability: Extremely rare. Appears on all Ragdoll shows from the time period except for Rosie and Jim, which uses the custom logo below.

  • Shows that had this were Pob's Programme, The Magic Mirror, Playbox, Tots TV, Brum and the first series of Open a Door. The mid-two shows two keep this logo on most prints, while the rest haven't aired in decades.
  • On CBeebies airings of Tots TV, this logo was plastered with the fifth logo.
  • Ragdoll produced the 5th and 6th series of the 1980s-1990s BBC educational programme Storytime, but the logo doesn’t appear on any of the episodes, just an in-credit notice.
  • It’s unknown if this logo appears on Boom!
  • The Brum variant is retained on the WildBrain YouTube channel's print of the Brum Series 1 episode "Safari Park" (which is the only series 1 episode that retains the credits and logo at the end). It is also available on BBC iPlayer prints of the show, as they use remastered versions from WildBrain.

2nd Logo (Rosie and Jim Custom Logo) (September 3, 1990-May 23, 1997)


Logo: On a red background, we see the ragdoll (colourised with brown hair) in chequered black and white overalls obscured inside a porthole. The ragdoll is still holding the candle over it, with a "yellow sun" behind it. Below the porthole is a curved banner with red text saying "A Ragdoll Production for Central". Until series 2, a copyright date for Central Independent Television can be seen below, while series 3 onwards use a copyright date for Ragdoll themselves.

Variants:

  • On Rosie & Jim series 2, the logo is smaller, and the copyright date is in a different font.
  • On 2 direct-to-video releases titled Learn to Read and Write with Rosie & Jim, the "A Ragdoll Production for Central" part is removed, and the Central copyright date is replaced with a Ragdoll Productions copyright date.
  • On Rosie & Jim series 3, the same doll was redrawn with a pencil-colour look, and the sun has more points.
  • On Rosie & Jim series 4 and 5, the redesigned doll from the fourth logo appears instead. The copyright text can ether be yellow or white.

Technique:

  • On series 1, the logo closes like a book cover, so it appears that the logo is on the back of a book.
  • On series 2, it uses a page turning transition.
  • On Learn to Read and Write with Rosie & Jim, the logo and text fade in and out.
  • On series 3-5, the logo is completely still.

Music/Sounds:

  • On series 1 & 2, the end theme of the show plays.
  • On Learn to Read and Write with Rosie and Jim, the 1st logo's own music plays, albeit sombre and softer.
  • On series 3-5, A shortened version of the harp music from the next logo plays, although the VHS of Rosie and Jim: Gingerbread Man, uses the standard music.

Availability: Extremely rare. It only appeared on the first five series of Rosie and Jim and is preserved on VHS and DVD, as well as re-runs of those seasons.

  • The 1992 variant is even rarer, and only appeared on 2 direct-to-video tapes called Learn to Read and Write with Rosie and Jim, neither of which have been reissued.
  • Series 5 of the series (the first series with Neil Brewer as the host) also used this logo when it first broadcast in 1997, but later reruns and VHS releases plastered it with the fourth logo, and later the fifth one.

3rd Logo (October 6-December 29, 1994)

Logo: On a black background, we see the ragdoll (colourised with orange hair) in chequered red/white overalls lying over the word "Ragdoll" in a bold, yellow font. The ragdoll is still holding the candle over him, with a "yellow sun" behind it. The sun glows brighter for a second or two. "works for children" is seen in a small white font, below "doll". Below the logo is "A Ragdoll Production", in the same white font, but bigger. Below that is a copyright date.

Technique: The glowing sun.

Music/Sounds: A re-arrangement of the first jingle, but played on a harp rather than a synth-piano, and in a different key. Composed by Robert Hartley, who did the soundtrack to Brum's second series, alongside some other minor work on other Ragdoll programmes. On a few prints, the music appears to sound slightly different.

Availability: Extremely rare.

  • Was only seen on original screenings and VHS tapes of the second series of Brum.
  • On Season 2's shortened 10-minute version of the show, the next logo plasters this one, but is preserved on its original 15-minute version and on BBC iPlayer, as it uses remastered prints from WildBrain.

4th Logo (1995-April 3, 2000)

Logo: We see the same ragdoll from before, only smaller and colourised in chequered teal (or blue)/white overalls and red hair, isn't holding a candle (but we see the "yellow sun" anyway), inside a door-shaped frame, a la Columbia Pictures' '80s print logo. Under the ragdoll, the red word "Ragdoll" is seen. At the bottom of the screen is copyright info.

Trivia: The ragdoll was also the mascot of the "Ragdoll and Friends" magazine, which contains stories, and activities with Rosie & Jim, Brum, Tots TV and later Teletubbies. The magazine run during 1996/97.

Variants:

  • The background of the logo may change colour during its lifetime. Its variations are:
    • 1995-1997: Blue/black gradient.
    • 1996: Cyan/dark blue gradient.
    • 1997-2000: Teal/blue gradient.
  • Sometimes, it had "A Ragdoll Production" (in red), with two yellow squares, under the word "Ragdoll". Other times, the slogan "works for children" appears below.
  • On an advert for The Ragdoll Shop (a shop where you could buy merchandise based on the shows and play around, no longer open) an early prototype version of this logo is shown against a green gradient background, and the doll's overalls are red instead of blue and have a leg sticking out, the Ragdoll itself in this version didn't lean on the word "D", which makes the doll itself ended up posing like the 1st logo.
  • On a print map for The Ragdoll Shop, the doll is holding a telephone, is more detailed and the phone is on top of the hotline for The Ragdoll Shop.
  • On some direct-to-video releases using the characters from Tots TV (which were aptly named Tots Videos), the logo is much bigger.
  • On 1995 episodes of Tots TV, the logo is shared with the 1995 Carlton UK Productions Logo.
  • On Teletubbies, under the Ragdoll logo, the 1988 or 1997 BBC logo is underneath. "A Ragdoll Production" is seen underneath as usual. The background is black. Sometimes, depending on the dubbing of the show, there will be other logos, like:
    • On the Latin Spanish version, the logo is shared with the logos for BBC, Discovery Kids, and The Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Company.
    • On the Dutch variant, the logo is shared with the 1988 BBC and Teleac/NOT logos instead. The copyright mark is also removed.
  • On early episodes of Teletubbies prior to the BBC's logo change on October 4, 1997, the 1988 BBC logo is seen below the logo.
  • An version of the above variant lacks the BBC text and copyright.
  • On the 1998 VHS Rosie and Jim: Spring Cleaning, we see the byline "A Ragdoll Production for ITV", with copyright info underneath. This was used to plaster the second logo which the episodes from the tape originally came from, and might have also been used on some other VHSs at the time, like the 2000 Rosie and Jim: Music Party and Other Stories VHS release.
    • On the original VHS print of Stay Safe Near Water with Rosie and Jim and Duck, the byline under the logo says: "A Ragdoll Production for British Waterways". In the copyright, the numeral MCMXCVIII (1998) is misspelled as "MCMMXCVIII" which means 2998. This variant was later plastered with the next logo on DVD releases.
  • On the 10-minute edited versions of Series 2 of Brum, the logo appears to be slightly darker.
  • On Brum - Biggest Party Video!, the brighter version of the logo is used with a 1994 copyright, although the entire logo is silent.
  • On PBS airings of Teletubbies, the byline "A Ragdoll/BBC Production for PBS in association with The itsy bitsy Entertainment Co." is under the logo. This was also localised in the Canadian French dub.
  • On the Tots TV VHS Flying High and other stories, the 1993 Tots TV variant is used, but this logo covers up the 1984-1995 Ragdoll logo.
  • An in-credit version appeared on the PC version of Play With The Teletubbies. On the PlayStation version of said title, the background is solid teal.
  • On Tots TV: Big Treasure Adventure, the logo is superimposed with a shadow effect.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The end theme to the show mainly, but on some shows, such as Rosie & Jim; the same music from the last logo is used (mainly the sped up version) or silence.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On Tots Video: Tilly, Tom and Tiny's Fun With French, we hear the last note of the show's end theme and then the sped-up music.
  • On Tots Video: Tilly, Tom and Tiny's ABC's, we hear a music-box style tune composed by Andrew McCrorie-Shand that bears resemblance to his later compositions from Teletubbies.
  • On the Brum 10-minute versions of Season 2, as well as the Tots Video direct-to-video series from Tots TV, the long version of the previous music plays.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • It originally appeared on 1995-1998 episodes of Tots TV (and plastered on earlier episodes), alongside the last three series of Rosie and Jim (where Neil Brewer fronted the Ragdoll boat, although, on his first series, the second logo was used) and on 1997-2000 episodes of Teletubbies.
  • It also appeared on the original 1995 VHS releases of the Tots Video direct-to-video series, although the Carlton Video re-releases remove the logo entirely (likely due to it mentioning VCI, a then-rival to Carlton Video).
  • It also plasters the previous logo on the 10-minute edited versions of Brum's Series 2 episodes, and at the end of Brum - Biggest Party Video. However, it is not seen on WildBrain's recent remastered prints of the show, as they use the original logos.
  • This logo also appears on the PS1 game Play with the Teletubbies, as well as its PC counterpart, but only in the end credits.
  • The red dress variant only appeared on an ad for the Ragdoll shop, which appears on 1995-1998 tapes of Tots Video, Rosie and Jim and Brum released by VCI.
  • The eighth variant was only seen on a 2000 Flemish VHS release of Teletubbies in de Sneeuw (Teletubbies in the Snow).
  • The logo also appeared on the second and third series of Open a Door.
  • This logo's last appearances were on the final Rosie and Jim episode "The Magic Show", and the Rosie & Jim: Water Skiing and Rosie & Jim: Music Party VHS releases.

5th Logo (June 5, 2000-)

Logo: On a yellow background, we see the black word "Ragdoll" (in Futura EF Heavy New). Above it is a child-like drawing of a ragdoll with red hair and black eyes. A smiling mouth is then drawn below the eyes. Copyright info is on the bottom of the screen.

Trivia: This logo was made by Lambie-Nairn.

Variants:

  • There is a longer version, in which three shots of the hair are shown being drawn in. Then we cut to the logo itself, as the last of the hair is drawn (the camera zooms out during this). "Ragdoll" fades in before the mouth is drawn in. This appeared mainly on VHS and DVD releases of Ragdoll shows, but has appeared on non-UK prints of Twirlywoos before the DHX Media logo.
    • On Home Media releases, extra copyright information reading "Video Compilation" is seen below, or replaces the copyright as a whole.
  • The Ragdoll Shop used this logo on the hanging sign from 2000 until its closure in 2005.
  • On Teletubbies, below is "for", and the 1997 BBC logo between the Ragdoll logo and the copyright info on a black background; along with a yellow-orange box for the company's ident.
    • On a 2003 Discovery Kids airing of that aforementioned show, the URL is absent.
  • On Teletubbies: Bedtime and Go! Exercise with the Teletubbies video releases, the variant is seen on a yellow-orange background.
  • On the final series of Open a Door, the logo once again appears in-credit, but features the entire print logo on the bottom in white.
  • On Boohbah, the logo is still with the words "A Ragdoll Production in association with GMTV" on the bottom. On some VHS or DVD releases, the long version (described below) plays afterward.
    • On a PBS airing of that program, the long version plays, but the mouth is already drawn and there's a PBS copyright in uppercase.
  • In the Night Garden uses a logo that is the same as the previous one, but with "for BBC" and the 1997 BBC logo below. DVD and international airings use this version, while CBeebies UK airings use the CBeebies logo in place of the standard BBC logo.
    • The latter version of the variant would also later be used on The Adventures of Abney and Teal.
  • The variant used on Twirlywoos has the logo on the left, next to the DHX Media logo and the CBeebies logo appears on the top. The text "A Ragdoll production for BBC" appears on the top of the CBeebies logo, and the text "produced in association with DHX Media" appears on the bottom of the Ragdoll and DHX Media logos, below that is the copyright date, all on an ocean background.
  • On B.O.T. and The Beasties, the logo is on a white background, while the next "A Ragdoll Production for BBC" is below the logo, with "Ragdoll" in its normal typeface. The CBeebies logo is below, alongside a copyright date.
  • On DeAgostini VHS releases of Teletubbies, the early-1997 Teletubbies variant is used, but this covers up the 1995-2000 Ragdoll logo, thus resulting in it being used alongside the 1988 BBC logo.
  • A better-quality version of the aforementioned variant also exists.
  • On Tots TV reruns on CBeebies, the logo is still with the words "A Ragdoll Production for CARLTON" on the bottom. However, for some unknown reason, "CARLTON" is not in the form of its logo.

Technique: The smile drawing, or none at all.

Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show, or none.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The animated variant has a drawing sound, followed by various squeaky party blower-like sounds.
  • On seasons 3-5 of Brum, the last sound from the long version plays over the standard variant.
  • Teletubbies Everywhere used a pan-drop sound.
  • On Rosie & Jim repeats on CITV from the early 2000s, the harp music from the second logo plays as it plasters over the previous logo.
  • The Teletubbies variant sometimes had the last two sounds from the long version play over it.

Availability: Common.

  • The long version debuted on Rosie and Jim: Big Video Box, while the short one was first seen on the Season 4 Teletubbies episode "Mum's Portrait".
  • The full version appears on Ragdoll VHS's and DVDs from VCI & Carlton Video/Granada Ventures from this time period.
  • Shows that had the full orange background version are Seasons 3-5 of Brum, Teletubbies Everywhere, Boohbah, Blips and DipDap. It also plastered the previous logo on early 2000's CITV airings of Rosie & Jim.
  • The black background boxed variant appears on In the Night Garden, Tronji and The Adventures of Abney and Teal.
  • The end credit versions appear on the special Badjelly the Witch, the final series of Open a Door, Twirlywoos and B.O.T. and the Beasties.
  • The Teletubbies plaster variant is rare and is known to have appeared on DeAgostini VHS releases of Teletubbies.
  • This logo with the harp music does not appear on VCI releases of the Neil Brewer era of Rosie & Jim as the full version is used instead.