20th Century Fox is an iconic name in the movie industry. It's the studio behind some of the biggest cinematic blockbusters in living memory, including Star Wars, Avatar, Titanic and, of course, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and its unmistakable searchlight logo and accompanying fanfare is a familiar sight to any film lover. But as of now, 20th Century Fox is no more.
Disney bought 20th Century Fox last year, acquiring a huge library of film classics going back about 85 years, and while it's a strong brand with one of the best logos (opens in new tab) around, Disney felt that the studio simply wasn't performing as well as it did in its glory days. And so the brand's had a makeover, renamed as 20th Century Studios with a new logo to match, first spotted on a poster for The New Mutants.
It's a strange choice of name. Back at the turn of the century there was plenty of talk about what 20th Century Fox would do with its name; would it want a name that was stuck in the past, or would it rename itself 21st Century Fox to move with the times? It turns out that the name was strong enough to stick with.
20 years on, though, and Disney's decision to lose the 'Fox' bit of the name but keep the '20th Century' bit seems just a little obtuse. Arguably 'Fox' is the more identifiable bit of the brand, although it's fair to say that there are other media brands that share the Fox name, so Disney may well be taking steps to disassociate its studio from the likes of Fox News, which Disney has nothing to do with.
The 20th Century Studios logo itself is almost identical to the previous 20th Century Fox logo. It's the same high-contrast black and white look, and the only real difference is that the word 'Fox' has been replaced by the word 'Studios'. If you saw it in the corner of a movie poster then you'd barely notice the change.
But what about the on-screen version of the logo, the one with the moving searchlights and fanfare that we've all seen hundreds of times? Once again there's not much changed; you can see the new version at the end of this little compilation video:
The first film to be released under the new 20th Century Studios banner is going to be Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford, and there's a fun piece of synchronicity there. 20th Century Fox came into being back in 1935, when Fox bought 20th Century Pictures, and what was the first film it released? You got it:
The last movie to be released under "20th Century Pictures" before being bought by Fox was 1935's THE CALL OF THE WILD.The first movie to be released under "20th Century Studios" after being bought by Disney is 2020's THE CALL OF THE WILD.January 27, 2020
We still wish they'd bite the bullet and embrace the 21st century, though.