The Saban Entertainment logo in 1996-2002
The Walt Disney Company
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|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 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 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. DIC then sued Saban for damages and in 1991, DIC and Saban reached a settlement.
In 1988 the company renamed itself Saban Entertainment.
Partnership with Marvel Comics
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. 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.
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.
Marvel was developing a Captain America animated series with Saban Entertainment for Fox Kids to premiere in fall 1998. However, due to Marvel's bankruptcy the series was canceled before the premiere. 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.
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, and on October 24, 2001, the sale was completed and the group was renamed BVS Entertainment. 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. SIP continued to co-produce animated series with Jetix Europe (previously Fox Kids Europe) during the 2000s. SIP Animation was closed in 2008.
Sensation Animation was a renamed portion of Saban Entertainment 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
- Kid 'n Play (1990–1991)
- Little Shop (1991)
- X-Men (1992–1997)
- Iron Man (1994–1996)
- Fantastic Four (1994–1996)
- Spider-Man (1994–1998)
- The Incredible Hulk (1996–1997)
- Silver Surfer (1998)
- The Avengers: United They Stand (1999–2000)
- Spider-Man Unlimited (1999–2001)
With DIC Entertainment
- Kidd Video (1984–1985)
- Care Bears (1985–1986) (DiC episodes, international distribution)
- Kissyfur (1986–1990)
- ALF: The Animated Series (1987–1989)
- The New Archies (1987–1988)
- ALF Tales (1988–1989)
- The Karate Kid (1989)
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! (1989–1990, international distribution)
- Eek! The Cat/The Terrible Thunderlizards (1992–1997) (rights to the series held by Saban and Fox Kids Worldwide prior to 2001)
- Lazer Tag Academy (1986–1987)
- Zazoo U (1990–1991)
- Mad Scientist Toon Club (1993-1994)
- The Tick (1994) (distribution only)
- Little Mouse on the Prairie (1996)
- Bureau of Alien Detectors (1996–1997)
- The Mouse and the Monster (1996–1997)
- Mad Jack the Pirate (1998–1999)
- The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs (1998–1999)
- Monster Farm (1998–1999)
- NASCAR Racers (1999–2001)
- Xyber 9: New Dawn (1999, 2007)
- Action Man (2000-2002)
Saban International Paris' animated TV series
Some or most series had all but featured the "Saban's" corporate bug in their title.
- Diplodos (1987–1988)
- Saban's Around the World in 80 Dreams (1992–1993)
- Saban’s Gulliver’s Travels (1992–1993)
- The Bots Master (1993–1994)
- Journey to the Heart of the World (1993–1994)
- BattleTech: The Animated Series (1994)
- Creepy Crawlers (1994–1996)
- Space Strikers (1995–1996)
- Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic (1995–1996)
- Iznogoud (1995)
- The Why Why Family (1995–1998)
- Saban's Adventures of Oliver Twist (1996–1997)
- Princess Sissi (1997–1998)
- Space Goofs (1997–2000) (season 1 only)
- Walter Melon (1998–1999)
- Wunschpunsch (2000)
- Diabolik (2000–2001)
- Jim Button (2000–2001)
- Gadget & the Gadgetinis (2002)
- What's with Andy? (2003–2004) (season 2 only)
- W.I.T.C.H. (2004–2006)
- The Tofus (2004–2007)
- A.T.O.M. (2005–2006)
Other foreign animated TV series
Saban Entertainment dubbed the following foreign animated TV series in English:
- Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea [a. k. a. Les Mondes Engloutis (The Englufed Worlds)] (1985–1987)
- Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol (1994)
Saban Entertainment dubbed and or distributed the following anime television series in English:
- Macron 1 (1985–1986)
- Bumpety Boo (1985–1986)
- Maple Town (1986–1987)
- My Favorite Fairy Tales (1986) (video series)
- Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics (1987–1989)
- Ox Tales (1987–1988)
- Noozles (1988–1993)
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1988)
- Tales of Little Women (1988)
- Wowser (1988–1989)
- Dragon Warrior (1989–1991)
- Peter Pan: The Animated Series (1989)
- Maya the Bee (1990–1992)
- Hyppo and Thomas (1990–1992) (released under the brand "Tic Tac Toons")
- Tamagon the Counselor (1990–1992) (released under the brand "Tic Tac Toons")
- Samurai Pizza Cats (dubbed in 1991; released during 1993-1996)
- Jungle Tales (1991)
- The Littl' Bits (1991–1995)
- Honeybee Hutch (1991–1992)
- Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid (1991–1992)
- Bob in a Bottle (1992)
- Funky Fables (1992) (video series released under the brand "Sugar & Spice")
- Huckleberry Finn (1992)
- Jin Jin and the Panda Patrol (1992)
- Rock 'n Cop (1992)
- Three Little Ghosts (1992)
- Pinocchio: The Series (1992)
- Dream-Star Button Nose (1994)
- Super Pig (1994–1995)
- Teknoman (1995–1996)
- Eagle Riders (1996-1997)
- Dragon Ball Z (1996–1998) (TV distributor and musical composer for the Funimation-Ocean Productions dub of the first two seasons)
- Digimon Adventure (1999–2000)
- Cybersix (1999–2000)
- Hello Kitty's Paradise (1999-2000)
- Flint the Time Detective (2000)
- Shinzo (dubbed in 2000; released during 2002-2005)
- Dinozaurs (2000)
- Escaflowne (2000)
- Digimon Adventure 02 (2000–2001)
- Digimon Tamers (2001–2002)
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2001–2002)
- Mon Colle Knights (2001-2002)
Live-action TV series
Saban Entertainment produced and or distributed the following live action TV series:
- I'm Telling! (1987–1988)
- Treasure Mall (1988)
- Couch Potatoes (1989)
- Video Power (1990–1992)
- Scorch (1992)
- The Hallo Spencer Show (1993–1994)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993–1996)
- VR Troopers (1994–1996)
- Sweet Valley High (1994–1997)
- Goosebumps (1995–1998) (International distribution only)
- Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers (1996)
- Masked Rider (1995–1996)
- Power Rangers Zeo (1996)
- Big Bad Beetleborgs (1996–1998)
- Power Rangers Turbo (1997)
- Breaker High (1997-1998)
- Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation (1997–1998)
- The All New Captain Kangaroo (1997–1998) (season 1 only)
- Power Rangers in Space (1998)
- Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog (1998–1999)
- Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999)
- Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000)
- Power Rangers Time Force (2001)
- Los Luchadores (2001)
- Power Rangers Wild Force (2002) (only pre-production, distributed by BVS Entertainment, but Saban was the only accredited)
- Rescue Me (1988)
- Heathers (1989)
- The Phantom of the Opera (1990)
- A Perfect Little Murder (1990)
- Prey of the Chameleon (1992)
- Round Trip to Heaven (1992)
- A Passion for Murder (1992)
- Revenge on the Highway (1992)
- Till Death Us Do Part (1992)
- Anything for Love (1993)
- In the Shadows, Someone's Watching (1993)
- Under Investigation (1993)
- Terminal Voyage (1994)
- Samurai Cowboy (1994)
- Shadow of Obsession (1994)
- Guns of Honor: Rebel Rousers (1994)
- Blindfold: Acts of Obsession (1994)
- Guns of Honor: Trigger Fast (1994)
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
- Virtual Seduction (1995)
- Christmas Reunion (1995)
- Blind Vision (1996)
- Chimp Lips Theater (1997)
- Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997)
- Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997)
- The Christmas List (1997)
- Gotcha (1998)
- Circles (1998)
- National Lampoon's Men in White (1998)
- Casper Meets Wendy (1998)
- Rusty: A Dog's Tale (1998)
- Addams Family Reunion (1998)
- Richie Rich's Christmas Wish (1998)
- The Christmas Takeover (1998)
- Men of Means (1999)
- Taken (1999)
- Don't Look Behind You (1999)
- Au Pair (1999)
- Ice Angel (2000)
- Au Pair II (2001)
- Oh, Baby! (2001)
- Dragon Ball Z: The Tree of Might (1997) (TV distributor and musical composer for the 1997 Funimation-Ocean Productions dub)
- Digimon: The Movie (2000)
- Most Saban Entertainment-owned media from the early 1990s made their way to VHS in most regions. However, from the late 1990s on, almost all Saban Entertainment-owned entities were only released as Australian and New Zealand Region 4 VHSes. And also, according to current North American rights holders, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment had (and still has) no plans to release these titles to DVD and Blu-ray, and as such, some of them instead aired on their sibling television channel, Disney XD and originally was on Toon Disney and ABC Family before the retirement of the Jetix branding in the United States.
- In Australia, Digimon: Digital Monsters seasons one and two was re-released by Madman Entertainment on August 17, 2011.
- In addition, the first four series was released on DVD in North America through New Video.
- In Germany they have released complete season box sets to every Power Rangers series, with the English Versions included up until season 6 due to problems with Disney. The series is available in the German Amazon.
- The first 17 seasons of Power Rangers have been licensed for DVD releases by Shout! Factory, which has released the first 17 seasons to DVD in Region 1.
- Saban is teaming up with Lions Gate Entertainment to make a live-action reboot movie of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
- On March 13, 2012, Shout! Factory announced a home video distribution deal with Saban, which includes VR Troopers, the two seasons of Beetleborgs and Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.
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 and the Digimon franchise, which Saban re-acquired in September 2012.
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.
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