Background: PBS Kids is a programming block and serves as the brand for most of the children's programming aired by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States, established as part of PBS' "Ready To Learn" Initiative. The block was launched as PTV on September 10, 1993 to repackage PBS' existing children's programming. The PTV brand was retired on September 5, 1999 and has been officially known as PBS Kids since September 6, 1999. The PBS Kids Channel was launched at the time time as the PBS Kids block and ran for six years and was largely funded by satellite TV provider DirecTV. The channel was shut down on September 26, 2005 and was replaced by PBS Kids Sprout, which was developed in partnership with Comcast Corporation (who later bought full control of the network via NBCUniversal). A new 24-hour channel was launched on January 16, 2017.
1st Logo (September 10, 1993-2002)
Nicknames: "P-Pals", "E/i", "PBS Cartoon P-Pals", "PBS P-Pals", "This is PBS Woo-Hoo-Hoo", "Cartoon PBS P-Head"
Logo: On a white background, we see some crudely drawn P-heads (the first of which is named Pernell P-Pal), with Pernell wearing a red cap and and an earring, singing "This is! P-B-SSSSSS!" while dancing. Near the end, Pernell ad-libs "Woo-hoo-hooooo!" a la Michael Jackson as his cap flies off. Then, the text "PBS" in its corporate font appears in black as the cap drops back on his head, and a red P-shaped dog (whose name is P-Pet) runs across the screen, barks, then walks away.
Trivia: The logo was designed and animated by Gene Mackles, who also created the P-Pals characters for the PBS Kids programming from the era.
Variants: There is a variation where the dog gives the P-head a dark blue balloon with the text "e/i" (pronounced, ee-eye, and it's short for "Educational and Informative") on it in the Comic Sans font, which was added in 1996, just after the 6th PBS ident debuted. Sometimes, the logo fades out after the P-Pet barks. There is a variation where the camera quickly goes through a doorway on a black background and the three color-changing P-heads are seen against the white background, with confetti falling from the top, and all three P-heads yell "Surprise!" and cheer with loud party horns heard in the background. This was a very short-lived version and was usually played in-between shows as a promo. There is a long version of the "Surprise!" variant which first takes place on a black background. Then the door opens and one of the P-pals peeks in. Then it peeks out and the door closes. Then the P-Pet (from the standard version), walks through the screen and into the door. Then another P-Pal peeks in from the above and peeks out. Then the door opens and we proceed into the animation above. There is another variant of the long version where some kids say "The P-Pals are coming!" 8 times, then they say "Who are the P-pals?" right before the door opens, then after the door opens and the P-Pals yell surprise they shout "The P-Pals are coming!" one last time, and then one of the kids says "Watch for them!" On a 1994 episode of In the Mix, the logo looks a bit washed out, with the brightness and contrast apparently pumped up in excess.
FX/SFX: The P-heads dancing, the cap flying off, "PBS" fading in.
Music/Sounds: A techno-pop tune with drums and a bass. The "Surprise!" variation just has loud party horns and cheering, but the long version has giggling and a door creaking.
Availability: Rare; it has a slim chance of appearing on PBS Kids shows from 1993-1999 if your local PBS station is airing them, but is usually replaced with newer logos. So your best bets are PBS Home Video releases from the late '90s including Theodore Tugboat and Warner Home Video releases of Teletubbies tapes from 1998-1999 before the logo was retired, the Paramount re-release of "Here Come the Teletubbies" on VHS from 2004 preserves this while the DVD release from that same year has the 3rd logo instead. This can also be found on VHS releases of Zoom (1999 version) as well including "Party with Zoom" and "The Making of Zoom" (the episode where the kids danced to "Stop" by the Spice Girls backstage). The original version of this logo is also preserved on some PolyGram Video releases of Wishbone episodes, including "Salty Dog" and "Terrified Terrier", though it's missing on "The Prince and the Pooch", "The Slobbery Hound", and "Twisted Tail". When Sprout aired Barney and Friends episodes from the era, it cuts to a commercial break right before the logo started. The "Surprise!" variants are extinct, with the short variant in particular very short-lived; however, it was used on UNC-TV until late 2001. The logo made its first appearance on the Bill Nye the Science Guy episode "Flight". The 1993 variant appeared on Twitch.tv's prints of various Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes from the era, as well as Episode #1643 from 1991 and the 1996 E/I variant appeared on Twitch.tv prints of many episodes that were created between 1997 and 1999. The last known appearance of this logo on television was in 2005 on ETPTV after an episode of Square One TV Math Talk. This logo was used on WIPR-TV well into 2002. On Adventures from the Book of Virtues, the original version appeared on the three-part primetime premiere (it was plastered by the 1996 PBS logo on the individual rebroadcasts the next year, which additionally have an added funding credit for public television viewers that wasn't on the primetime premiere versions), and the later version appeared on all episodes of the second season; among those episodes featured in the three-part primetime premiere, it's been confirmed to appear on a Reader's Digest-branded videocassette of "Courage", where the opening PBS logo is replaced by an opening graphic for Reader's Digest. The standard 1993 variant is also surprisingly retained on Amazon Video's print of Sesame Street Stays Up Late.
Editor's Note: Many viewers who grew up with this logo have fond memories of it. Others may have been scared or annoyed by the loud music and flashing effects. And those who thought PBS's children's programming changed for the worse in the '90s may find this logo to be symbolic of that, with its loud and cartoonish nature, along with its plastering of older logos.
2nd Logo (September 27, 1993-October 7, 1994)
Logo: Over footage of kids in red and blue uniforms swinging jumpropes around, the P-head zooms in, facing left as it did until 1984. Then a stylized T, looking like three red dots across with three red dots below, zooms in in a similar fashion, followed by a green square with a cutout V.
FX/SFX: The live-action footage, and the computer-generated animation.
Music/Sounds/Voiceovers: A catchy drum beat, with an announcer calling out each letter as they appear.
Availability: Extinct. Seen on some shows aimed at older children during the era, such as Reading Rainbow and reruns of Square One TV.
Editor's Note: This is a fitting logo for older-skewing PBS Kids programming at the time, and will bring back fond memories for those who watched the afternoon PTV block during the year this logo lasted.
3rd Logo (September 6, 1999-October 7, 2013; September 22, 2018-present)
Nicknames: "Dot and Dash", "PBS Kids Girl", "PBS Kids Boy", "Doink! PBS Kids!"
Logo: On a green background, either a boy (called Dash) or a girl (called Dot) will appear running up to the screen or thinking something. The background turns into thin yellow, cyan and shocking pink (for Dot) or thick shocking pink (for Dash) stripes, then a green bubble appears in the center. The girl's face or the boy's face will appear in the bubble and a thought cloud that reads "PBS" appears above the kid's head. Then a child will sing "Doink! PBS Kids!" A URL address for PBS Kids appears at the bottom left of the screen.
Trivia: This logo was designed by Richard McGuire (an artist that creates PBS Kids-style characters for the magazine The New Yorker, although he has created PBS Kids-style characters long before this logo was introduced) and animated at Lee Hunt Associates. On September 6, 1999, six new idents for PBS Kids (including these 2 idents) were introduced. For the first few weeks, they were used in tandem with the first logo. Eventually, they replaced the first logo. However, some PBS stations used the previous logo until 2002. Variants: There is a variation of this logo used for international prints of PBS Kids shows. In this variant, the background is black, the entire logo is removed except for the word "PBS" and the words "PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH" appear above the words "PBS". This variant appears instead of the funding credits and the end of international prints of most PBS Kids shows. The start of the international prints of PBS Kids shows cut out the funding credits entirely, meaning it goes straight into the respective show's intro. On VHS and DVD releases of PBS Kids shows, the word "kidsvideo" appears below the logo. Both Dot and Dash were used for both variants. But beginning in October 2006 starting with the PBS Kids 3 pack DVD set (which included Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat, George Shrinks and Zoboomafoo), the Dot version of the PBS Kidsvideo logo was dropped leaving only the Dash version of the PBS Kidsvideo logo with Dot audio at beginning and end.
FX/SFX: The bubble appearing, the kid appearing, and the thought cloud forming.
Music/Sounds: A catchy 4-note A cappella tune sung by a specific gender of kids, depending on each variant; the Dot variation has a chorus of young girls, and the Dash version is sung by boys. At the end of both (and other variants) idents, a "doink" sound is heard and they all end up eventually singing "PBS Kids!". None or the closing theme of the respective show for the International "Produced In Association With" variant.
Music/Sound Variants: There are variants with bongo drums beating, children whispering, or a kid giggling. For the "kidsvideo" version of the Dash variant, the music from the Dot variant is used for some reason, most likely due to an audio error. Another variant has the Dot variant using the music from the Dash variant. Another version of Dash's "kidsvideo" variant used the right music (meaning that it used the music from Dash's own variant). On a Maya & Miguel DVD the international variant uses the PBS Kids GO music.
Availability: Common. While no longer in use, it is still seen on older pre-2013 prints of children's programming on PBS. Also, this logo plastered the 1993 logo on some prints of PBS Kids programs, however other prints used the 1993 logo until 2002. The "kidsvideo" variant can be seen on Caillou, Theodore Tugboat, Zoboomafoo and Teletubbies DVD's and tapes from Warner Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment. A few episodes of the teen program In the Mix also ended with this logo. Don't expect this to appear on international prints of PBS Kids programs, as it is replaced along with the funding credits by the International variant. Strangely, said variant can be found on Clifford the Big Red Dog tapes and Maya & Miguel DVDs from ArtisanHome Entertainment/Lionsgate. Appears on numerous 1979-2001 episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on Twitch.tv, often plastering older logos. On the 2017 PBS rebroadcast of the latter, the Dash variant is preserved on Episodes #1465 (followed by a period promo from 1979 for an educational booklet made as a tie-in to the week's episodes), #1475, #1644 (marking the logo's first national appearance in years), #1653, #1655, #1695, #1709, and #1716, and the Dot variant is preserved on Episodes #1652, #1721, #1755, and #1756. PBS updated and remastered all currently aired prints of the latter in September of 2018, but both variants are still intact on their respective episodes.
Editor's Note: Although this logo isn't as noisy as its predecessor, fans of older PBS programming and logos may still find this annoyingly representative of PBS programming becoming more flashy and cartoonish, especially when it plasters older logos on shows like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. On the other hand, this logo is considered a well-known favorite for any viewer who watched and/or recorded PBS Kids shows on television in the early and mid 2000s.
4th Logo (September 6, 1999-August 31, 2008)
Nickname: "The PBS Kids Bubble"
Logo: We see the PBS Kids logo from before (most often Dash) placed against a background that differs on the variant. Often times, Dash is replaced by a character from a PBS Kids show (mostly the kids from Zoom), or a kid depending on the variant.
FX/SFX: A combination of live-action, animation, and chroma-key technology.
Music/Sounds: Depends on the variant.
Availability: Extinct. Check your old tapes.
Editor's Note: TBA.
5th Logo (September 6, 1999-October 7, 2013; October 13, 2018)
Nicknames: "Transform", "Dot and Dash II", "PBS Kids Girl II", "PBS Kids Boy II", "Doink! PBS Kids II", "Tiger, Octopus, and Astronaut", "Caveman, Scuba Diver, and Robot"
Logo: The 1st ident of the set is Dash, the boy, who is at first a caveman, then a scuba diver, and then a robot. He grabs the letters "PBS", and the circular PBS Kids logo is shown. There is no "doink" or similar sound in this ident. Blue bubbles are shaking on a pale spring bud background. The 2nd one is Dot, the girl, who is at first a tiger, then an octopus, and finally an astronaut. After that, the circular PBS Kids logo is shown on a background with stars. Also, like the 2nd logo at the lower left hand of the screen, the URL address for PBS Kids will appear like before.
Variant: On international prints of PBS Kids shows (mainly from the Bookworm Bunch programming block), as well as the series George Shrinks (animated in Japan), Seven Little Monsters, The Berenstain Bears (the 2003 version) and Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse, there is a variation in which the logo is a still picture of the Astronaut part of this logo. However, the logo is slightly off-center and Dash in his robot form is replaced with the words "Produced In Association With" and the PBS "Circle P-Head" logo below. A French variant of this logo also exists.
Trivia: This logo was animated at Lee Hunt Associates.
FX/SFX: Background changing colors.
Music/Sounds: Some kids softly scatting the music from the 1999 logo at first accompanied by a synthesizer, then a weird bubbling-up-like rocket ship sound effect, something that suspiciously sounds more like "DOY!" than "doink!" (strangely only heard on the Dot ident), and then the kids singing "PBS Kids!" in a higher tone than the previous one. None or the respective show's closing theme for the international variant.
Availability: Same as the 2nd logo. Seen on all children's programming from 1999 to 2013 on PBS. However, international prints of PBS Kids programs cut this logo and funding credits and replace them with the International variant. Said variant was preserved on Qubo airings of Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse, and on Columbia TriStar/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD and VHS prints of 2003's The Berenstain Bears. It also appears (for some reason) on certain Sony Wonder DVDs of Arthur. On Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the Dot variant appeared on Twitch.tv's print of 'Episode #1526' and the Dash variant is retained on PBS airings of 'Episode #1482', including the 2018 remastered version.
Editor's Note: The comments for the 3rd logo apply to this one as well.
6th Logo (September 2, 2000-August 31, 2008)
Nicknames: "Dot and Dash III", "PBS Kids Girl III", "PBS Kids Boy III", "Doink! PBS Kids III"
Logo: The 1st ident of the set is Dash, the boy, who is seen ice-skating on a pond. Suddenly, he feels the ground shake and he stops. Then, the camera pans out to reveal that he is in a snow globe, which is held by Dot, who giggles, "Doink!" Snowflakes are seen during the circular PBS Kids logo. The 2nd one shows Dash looking in his fish bowl to find himself as an orange fish. After a second, he gets swallowed by Dot as a green fish and the circular PBS Kids logo is shown. There are bubbles in this background.
Variants: There is a prototype variant of the snow globe bumper where the color of the background is a bit darker, the pond has a slightly different shape, the animation is different and less smoother, the snowflakes are brighter and bigger, and "KIDS" is below the circular logo. A version of the fish bumper also has "KIDS" below the circular logo, however there are no other changes.
Trivia: This logo was animated at Primal Screen.
FX/SFX: Dash ice-skating, the zoom out, the snowflakes on the snow globe bumper. Dash looking in his fish bowl, the bubbles, the fish on the fish bumper.
Music/Sounds: A whimsical 10-note vibraphone tune for the snow variant and no music for the fish variant. The fish variant has some bubbling sounds followed by a boy scatting the 1999 jingle circle-lipped, as if to imitate a fish. Both end with what you hear above.
Availability: Seen on 2000-2008 prints of PBS Kids programming. Like before, the second ident appears on a few Arthur DVDs by Sony Wonder (such as Arthur's Tooth). The prototype version can be found on Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks.
Editor's Note: TBA.
7th Logo (2004)
Nicknames: "Sports", "Dot and Dash IV", "PBS Kids Girl IV", "PBS Kids Boy IV", "Doink! PBS Kids IV"
Logo: We first see a soccer ball being kicked to our left by Dash, wearing a blue and black uniform. Then the soccer ball turns into a tennis ball, which Dot, wearing a white and pink tennis uniform, hits it with a tennis racket. The ball turns into a baseball, which Dash, now in a blue uniform and helmet, hits it with a bat. The ball then flies past a scoreboard with the circular PBS Kids logo on it and out of the stadium.
FX/SFX: The animation.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 3rd logo's Dot variant. At the end, we hear a crowd cheering.
Availability: Extinct. This was shown during the Big Big Friend Day special which aired on PBS Kids in 2004.
Editor's Note: TBA.
8th Logo (2005)
Nicknames: "Wrapping Paper", "Dot and Dash V", "PBS Kids Girl V", PBS Kids Boy V", "Doink! PBS Kids V"
Logo: We see Dot and Dash walking through what appears to be a factory. Then, we see a roll of polka-dotted wrapping paper, which the two roll up by its end. With it, the circular PBS Kids logo flies in.
FX/SFX: Same as before.
Music/Sounds: Same as before with no other sound effects.
Availability: Same as before. Like the previous logo, this was shown during the Big Big Friend Day special.
Editor's Note: TBA.
9th Logo (November 25, 2005)
Nicknames: "Sand Castles", "Dot and Dash VI", "PBS Kids Girl VI", "PBS Kids Boy VI", "Doink! PBS Kids VI"
Logo: On a bright sunny background in a beach-like setting, we see Dash in a bathing suit and sandals. To the right of him is a sandcastle that he built. He tries to show it off to Dot but then he is surprised as the camera zooms out to reveal Dot's sand structure, which is a sphinx with her head on it. She dusts off her hands as Dash looks in awe at her structure. Then we fade to the circular PBS Kids logo.
FX/SFX: Same as the last 2 logos.
Music/Sounds: Same as before.
Availability: Same as the last 2 logos.
Editor's Note: TBA.
10th Logo (2000s, January 16, 2006; 2015)
Nicknames: "The Switcher", "The Button", "The Doink! Button" "Dot and Dash VII", "PBS Kids Girl VII", "PBS Kids Boy VII", "Doink! PBS Kids VII"
Logo: We start out by seeing two halves of the screen separated by a black line with what appears to be a button in its center. Dash is on the left side of the screen, while Dot is on the right. Dot is shown as a shadow. She then presses the button, turning Dash into a shadow of a chicken, then Dash presses the button, turning Dot into an umbrella. Then the two keep pressing the button, transforming Dash into a flower, a bear, and an arrow, as well as transforming Dot into a hammer and a rabbit. Then the two keep pressing the button rapidly back and forth until they both turn into shadows of things (Dash is a ball while Dot is a fly). When this happens, the screen is no longer separated, the shadows are on a yellow background, and the circular PBS Kids logo is at the top of the screen and is smaller than usual. We then fade out.
FX/SFX: Same as the last 3 logos.
Music/Sounds: As the button is pressed, we hear "Doink!" noises. When the button is pressed rapidly, the "Doink!" noise is also rapidly heard until we hear a laser-like noise which brings us to Dot and Dash both turning into shadows of things. We then hear the 4 notes of the PBS Kids jingle being played by a bubbly synth, followed by the "PBS Kids!" part of the jingle, which is scatted by synchronized "Doink!" noises.
Availability: Extinct. This is a rare ID which was shown on Martin Luther King Day of 2006 (January 16, 2006). Recently appeared during a 2015 PBS Kids broadcast on the WFWA station. This was also used as a local ID on certain PBS stations starting in 2000.
Editor's Note: TBA.
11th Logo (September 4, 2006-April 1, 2015)
Nicknames: "Logo of Boredom", "Logo that like an in-credit logo"
Logo: We see the words "THIS PROGRAM WAS PARTIALLY FUNDED BY" with PBS Kids (with Kids above, not in the logo) logo above.
Music Sounds: The closing theme of show.
Availability: Only seen on Curious George.
Editor's Note: TBA.
12th Logo (September 1, 2008-October 6, 2013)
Nicknames: "Dot and Dash VI", "PBS Kids Girl VIII", "PBS Kids Boy VIII"
Logo: The logo shows Dot and Dash doing a certain activity, before the PBS Kids circular logo is shown.
Variants: Here are some of the variations of the activities included: Telescopes Fireflies Rock climbing Picnics Gardens Magnets Fireworks Swimming Ants Daffodil Balloon Sandbox Camera Carrots There are also two rare Valentine's Day variants used in 2009. Dash's version has him blowing up a pink balloon and Dot's version has her receiving Valentine's cards in the mailbox. Both versions end with the PBS Kids circle logo on a hot magenta/cerise-textured BG while hearts are cascading in the BG.
Trivia: This logo was designed and animated at Primal Screen, who also did the 6th logo.
FX/SFX: A mix of 2D and cut-out animation.
Music/Sounds: The 3rd ident's jingle once again, but without the kids chanting at the end. Often a single kid simply says "PBS Kids." The musical instruments these variants are played with vary depending on the activity, exactly like the 9th PBS Ident. The VD variants however have totally different music, ending with a group of kids yelling "Happy Valentine's Day!", then a single kid says "From PBS Kids." Sandbox has a bassoon, vibraphone, synth-organ and a tuba. Daffodil has a vibraphone and tuba. Fireflies has a synth-bassoon. Camera has a slit drum and marimba. Fireworks has a hang, timpani, snare drum and bass violin. Carrots has a synth-organ. Sheep has a banjo. Balloon has a mandobass and percussion. Dash's Valentine's Day variant has a jazzy bass violin pizzicato tune with drums beating. Dot's VD variant has a South American-style folk dance tune with conga drums, piano and acoustic guitar.
Availability: Currently used on 2008-2013 prints of PBS Kids programming.
Editor's Note: TBA.
13th Logo (October 7, 2013- )
Nicknames: "Dot, Dee, and Del", "PBS Kids Boy IX", "PBS Kids Girl IX"
Logo: In the same purpose as the previous logo, the logo shows a redesigned Dot, along with two new characters, Dee and Del, doing a certain activity, before the PBS Kids circular logo is shown, but Dash is in the 1999 design. Also, Dash's PBS Kids logo is seen on every variation, meaning that the Dot version is retired.
Variants: Like the previous logo, here are some of the variations of the activities included: Zipline Beehive Forest Run Magnet Moonwalk Ping Pong Power of 10 Cave Band Parade Trampoline Yo-yo Lemonade France Bubbles Rockstar Piano Frisbee There is also a variant seen on episodes of Let's Go Luna where a colorful yoyo is seen spinning on a light blue background. Suddenly, the yoyo's string disappears and the yoyo morphs into the PBS Kids circular logo with Dash in it.
Trivia: This logo was designed and animated at Primal Screen, who also did the 6th logo as well as the previous logo.
FX/SFX: 2D flat animation that is quite similar to the 3rd logo.
Music/Sounds: The music from the 3rd logo is used again, but without the kids chanting or the kid saying "PBS Kids" at the end. Like the previous logo, the musical instruments these variants are played with vary depending on the activity, exactly like the 9th PBS Ident. Also, the 3rd logo's theme can be heard in different pitches. The Let's Go Luna variant basically just has the ending theme of the show.
Availability: Currently used on PBS Kids programming. Oddly enough, this plasters previous logos and the closing funding credits on current broadcasts of Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, but otherwise doesn't appear at all on the PBS Kids Channel. This plasters the 1971 PBS logo and 1999 PBS Kids logo on the 2018 week-long rebroadcast of vintage episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, beginning with "Death of a Goldfish", and it also appears on newer entries into the Saturday morning rotation. Don't expect to see this on the older Saturday morning package, however—episodes from that package retain the classic Dash and Dot logos.
Editor's Note: TBA.