Saban Entertainment

Saban Entertainment, Inc.
Industry Animation
Successor BVS Entertainment
Saban Brands
The Walt Disney Company
Founded 1983 (1983)
Defunct 2002 (2002)
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Area served
Key people
Haim Saban
Shuki Levy
Products Television programs
Theatrical films
Parent The Walt Disney Company

Saban Entertainment (along with Saban International, which operated outside the US) was a worldwide-served independent American-Israeli television production company formed in 1983 by music and television producers Haim Saban[1] and Shuki Levy as "Saban Productions", a U.S. subsidiary of "Saban International Paris" (now SIP Animation).

This company was known for importing, dubbing, and adapting several Japanese series such as, Maple Town (...Stories), Noozles (Fushigi na Koala Blinky and Printy), Funky Fables (Video Anime Ehonkan Sekai Meisaku Dowa), Samurai Pizza Cats (Kyatto Ninden Teyande) and the first three Digimon series to North America and international markets for syndication, including both animation and live action shows. Saban is also notable for their various toku adapts of several shows from Toei Company, which include Power Rangers (based on the Super Sentai series), Big Bad Beetleborgs (based on Juukou B-Fighter), VR Troopers (featuring elements of Metal Hero series like Space Sheriff Shaider, Jikuu Senshi Spielban and Choujinki Metalder), and Masked Rider (an original interpretation using scenes from the Japanese Kamen Rider Black RX).

Saban was involved in the co-production of French/American animated shows created by Jean Chalopin for DIC Entertainment. Some of these early 1980s co-productions were Camp Candy, Ulysses 31, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and The Mysterious Cities of Gold (the third of which was a Japanese co-production).

Saban has also distributed and provided music for TV programs produced by other companies, such as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Inspector Gadget and the first two dub seasons of Dragon Ball Z.


Early years

Saban Entertainment was formed in 1983 as "Saban Productions". The first Saban logo depicted a Saturn-like planet with the word "Saban", in a Pac-Man style font, going across the planet's ring. The planet had five lines under the word "Productions". Several years later, the company created Saban International), for international distribution of its shows (note: though used interchangeably with "Saban International Paris", they were technically two different entities).

In 1986, Saban Productions bought the foreign rights to the DIC Entertainment library of children's programming, and then sold the rights to Jean Chalopin's C&D.[2][3] DIC then sued Saban for damages and in 1991, DIC and Saban reached a settlement.[4]

In 1988 the company renamed itself Saban Entertainment.

Partnership with Marvel Comics

New World Animation (The Incredible Hulk), Saban (X-Men), and Marvel Films Animation (Spider-Man) each produced a Marvel series for television.[5]

In July 1996, Fox Children's Network secured rights from Marvel Entertainment Group for Captain America, Daredevil and Silver Surfer and additional characters to be developed into four series and 52 episodes over seven years.[6] Also in July, Saban formed a new division, Saban Enterprises International, to handle international licensing, merchandising and promotional activities under president Michael Welter. Oliver Spiner, senior vice president of Saban International, takes over operational duties previously handled by Welter. Eric Rollman was promoted from senior vice president production to executive vice president of Saban Animation.[7]

Saban and ARD TV Network of Germany agreed in August 1996 to a three-year, $50 million co-production and library program licensing agreement. Six co-produced children's series totaling 182 from German author Michael Ende with two new shows, Jim Button and Night of the Wishes. Also, a part of the agreement 390 half-hour episodes of existing children's TV programs and 30 telefilms were acquired by ARD.[7]

In 1996, Fox Children's Productions merged with Saban Entertainment to form Fox Kids Worldwide bring the Marvel Productions and Marvel Films Animations library.[8][9][10]

Marvel was developing a Captain America animated series with Saban Entertainment for Fox Kids to premiere in fall 1998.[11] However, due to Marvel's bankruptcy the series was canceled before the premiere.[12] Ironically, both Marvel and Saban would become parts of the The Walt Disney Company; Saban (renamed BVS Entertainment) in 2002 and Marvel by the end of 2009.

BVS Entertainment

On July 23, 2001, it was announced that the group would be sold to The Walt Disney Company as part of the sale of Fox Family Worldwide (now ABC Family Worldwide) by Haim Saban and News Corporation,[13] and on October 24, 2001, the sale was completed[1][14] and the group was renamed BVS Entertainment.[15] The last official program and fully produced and distributed by Saban Entertainment was Power Rangers Time Force. However, Power Rangers Wild Force was the last series created by Saban and the latest in which will have a collaboration (Saban created the series and produced only pre-production, following the acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide, the show belongs to copyright of Disney and was distributed by BVS, although the show was produced by MMPR Productions, the producer of the Power Rangers during the Saban era). As of 2009, it appears that BVS Entertainment has become inactive, putting its future in question.

Saban International Paris

Saban International Paris, later SIP Animation, was a television production company based in France that operated from 1977 to 2008.

Saban International Paris was found in France by Haim Saban and Jacqueline Tordjman in 1977 as a television production company. In 1983, Saban International Paris moved into the animation field. The studio would go on to produce many animated series for Fox Kids Europe in the 1990s and 2000s. Haim Saban departed the company in 2001 with the purchase of Fox Family Worldwide, which was followed by The Walt Disney Company taking a stake in the company and a name change to SIP Animation on October 1, 2002.[16][17][18] SIP continued to co-produce animated series with Jetix Europe (previously Fox Kids Europe) during the 2000s.[19][20] SIP Animation was closed in 2008.[21]

Sensation Animation

Sensation Animation was a renamed portion of Saban Entertainment[22] to continue dubbing Digimon episodes from 2002 to 2003 after Disney bought the company. It ceased in 2003 after Disney lost the rights to dub Digimon.

List of television series and films

Animation TV series

Saban Entertainment animated TV series

With Marvel

With DIC Entertainment

With Nelvana

with CineGroupe

With others

Saban International Paris' animated TV series

Some or most series had all but featured the "Saban's" corporate bug in their title.

Other foreign animated TV series

Saban Entertainment dubbed the following foreign animated TV series in English:

Japanese anime

Saban Entertainment dubbed and or distributed the following anime television series in English:

Live-action TV series

Saban Entertainment produced and or distributed the following live action TV series:

Live-action films

Animated films

Media releases


Power Rangers


Saban's library

Although most of Saban's library is currently owned by The Walt Disney Company, there are a few exceptions: The Power Rangers franchise, which was purchased by Haim Saban from Disney for $43 million on May 12, 2010[34] and the Digimon franchise, which Saban re-acquired in September 2012.[35][36][37]

Anime dubbing

Saban had a dubbing studio. Whenever Japanese anime were released in North America by Saban, they were heavily edited and localized for US audiences. The original music score was completely removed and a brand new completely different musical score was added in its place. Furthermore, the original Japanese sound effects for some of their adaptations were completely replaced by brand new sound effects, either completely original or different and some of them newly designed and some of them newly recorded. In some Japanese anime, the episode title card would be kept, replaced by a new one or removed allowing for the episode's English dub title to appear on screen at the beginning of the episode. Then the opening credits for the writer of the English version and the English version producers and story editors will appear.


  1. 1 2 "Haim Saban". Saban. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  2. "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 3. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  3. Perlmutter, David (2014). America Toons In: A History of Television Animation animation. pp. 207–212. ISBN 9780786476503. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  4. "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 4. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  5. Goldman, Michael. "Stan Lee: Comic Guru". Animation World Magazine. Animation World Network. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  6. "AWM's July 7, 1996 Email News Flash:Marvel Super Heroics To Continue On Fox Kids Network". Animation World Magazine. August 1996. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  7. 1 2 "AWM's July 21, 1996 Email News Flash: Welter New President In Saban's Overhaul". Animation World Magazine. August 1996. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  8. "Fox Family Worldwide Inc". Saban. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  9. "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 5. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  10. Hillier, Barry (November 1, 1996). "Fox Kids Worldwide is born". Kidscreen. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
  11. "TV News: Fox Kids, Family Channel To Get [Very] Animated.". Animation World Magazine. February 1998. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  12. "Captain America "Skullhenge"". Animation. Steve Engelhart. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  13. "News Corp. and Haim Saban Reach Agreement to Sell Fox Family Worldwide to Disney for $5.3 Billion". saban. July 23, 2001. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  14. "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 6. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  15. "Company Overview of BVS Entertainment, Inc.". Bloomberg Business. Bloomberg. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  16. "SIP Animation Appoint Sylvie Barro As Head of Development". January 17, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  17. Godfrey, Leigh (September 25, 2002). "Saban Becomes SIP Before Journey To Mipcom". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  18. Waller, Ed (October 1, 2002). "SIP Animation adapts Italian comic books". C21 Media. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  19. DeMott, Rick (April 12, 2005). "W.I.T.C.H. Licensed on Free TV To 13 Countries Across Europe". AWN News. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  20. Baisley, Sarah (May 10, 2007). "Jetix Europe, SIP Animation & TF1 to Co-Produce Combo Ninos". AWN News. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  21. Zahed, Ramin (December 2, 2011). "French TV Animator Bruno Bianchi Passes Away". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  22. "Criteria for DISNEY ANIMATED MOVIES". Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  23. "ABC FAMILY WORLDWIDE INC - Securities Registration Statement (S-1/A) EXHIBIT 10.19".
  24. "Archive » Saban signs new licensees". Kidscreen. 1996-10-01. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  25. 1 2 "TV's Fall Animation Lineup".
  26. Hontz, Jenny (3 December 1996). "Saban to sell new'Kangaroo,' 'X-Men'".
  27. Erickson, Hal (2005). Television cartoon shows: an illustrated encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003. McFarland & Co. pp. 283–285.
  28. "Power Rangers Wild Force Company Credits (Internet Movie Database)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  29. "Digimon: Digital Monsters on Madman". Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  30. "Digimon: Digital Monsters (Season 2) on Madman". Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  31. "Power Rangers on German Amazon". German Amazon. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  32. "Power Rangers: Seasons 13-17". Shout! Factory. 2014-04-01. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  33. Lionsgate (2014-05-07). "LIONSGATE AND SABAN BRANDS PARTNER FOR POWER RANGERS LIVE ACTION FEATURE FILM - SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 7, 2014". Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  34. Bond, Paul (August 10, 2010). "Disney's Q3 boosted by TV operations profit; Power Rangers sale added $43 million to coffers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 11, 2010.
  35. Crowe, Deborah (September 25, 2012). "Saban Brands Acquires Digimon Anime Brand". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  36. "Saban Brands Acquires Digimon Anime Franchise". AnimeNewsNetwork. September 25, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  37. Sarah (September 25, 2012). "Saban Brands Acquires Digimon Brand". BSCKids. Retrieved September 26, 2012.

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