In the early days of cinema, the videos preceding films served the purpose of announcing that the movie was about to begin. The audience would take their seats and start paying attention to what was happening on the screen. However, it did not take long for these bumpers to become something more. Very soon, these introductions started to be seen as the signatures of studios and part of their public image. Nowadays, each studio has its own bumper, which normally appears at the beginning of every new film the studio produces. Nevertheless, sometimes film studios break with tradition and create special versions of their intros for particular films. As a result, we sometimes see unexpected logos – some comic, some downright intriguing. We’ve selected a few of the most interesting adapted bumpers that are both instantly recognizable and look somehow different.
The hottest trend in modified movie studio logos arrived in the first decade of the 21st century. From 2000 to 2008, studios created more than 70 different interpretations of familiar intros. For comparison, during earlier decades starting in 1930, the number of new movie company intros did not exceed 12 per decade. Back then, new bumpers were only really created for comedies and cartoons, but in the early 2000s, the trend engulfed almost all genres and studios. Although some studios stayed loyal to their original logos, others modified their bumpers so frequently that the modifications almost became the rule.
Movie Company Intros
20th Century Fox
Since the image of two magnified Xs in the spotlight greeted by fanfares is well-known to almost everyone, it should not be hard for you to recognize the changes introduced by the creators of the following one-off logos. We recommend you watch these videos with the sound turned up!
Alvin & the Chipmunks
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Live Free or Die Hard
MGM does not have as many versions of its logo as 20th Century Fox, but it still plays with it in fun ways, mostly with the central focus of the logo – the lion. The best-known change involved replacing the lion in the circle with another character – MTM, an MGM subsidiary which lasted from 1969 to 1989, swapped the lion for a tiny kitten:
The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
Dance of the Vampires
The Pink Panther
Gaumont, a French film production and distribution company, tends to modify its logo from time to time rather than adapt it for specific films. For example, this is what the bumper looked like from 1995 to 2004.
Then it was changed:
A special design of the logo was created for The Crimson Rivers detective movie:
Another interpretation was developed for a Jean-Claude Van Damme film:
Animation studios just love playing with their logos. One of the best examples is certainly DreamWorks – in recent times, its lonely young fisherman sitting on a crescent moon has never had a chance to get bored. Sometimes the studio even gives him a day off and invites other characters to take his place. The studio’s love for creative versions of bumpers and its breadth of imagination is perfectly encapsulated in the Kung Fu Panda series.
Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda 2
Kung Fu Panda 3
Rise of the Guardians
Unlike DreamWorks’ invention of adventures for its lunar fisherman, Columbia Pictures prefers not to disturb its lady and her torch. However, sometimes it does happen and when it does, the goddess just has to save face.
The Grudge 2
Men in Black
Sometimes she even escapes from her pedestal like in The Mouse That Roared:
The most famous example of adapted bumpers happens with the Harry Potter series. What if there were no atmospheric intros? You would have to agree that they contribute to the movies’ charm.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
And the list goes on:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
We hope you enjoyed our selection of modified Hollywood intros. If you did, we invite you to learn more about the origins of the most famous American and European film studio logos - our article on the subject sheds some light on the creators and characters who contributed to the bumpers we are all so familiar with.