Animated TV Idents
Hands up, who knows what an indet is? You’re probably already very familiar with them, you just don’t realise that’s what they’re called. There’s an example below:
They are, in fact, the short little segments normally broadcast before the start of a TV show to remind the viewer what station they are watching. A practice that has sadly disappeared over the years here in the US where it has been deemed necessary to ensare the viewer in the next show before the current on has even finished! Thankfully, full idents are still very much alive in Europe and The TV Room has a full collection with videos that can get pretty additive.
Idents can also take the form of identifying the studio or producer of a show or film. Perhaps the most famous in this regard is Luxo Jr. who appears at the beginning and end of every single Pixar film.
It got me thinking though. These extremely short segments almost always feature animation of some sort. OK, so it’s normally not the kind of animation that we’re all used to, with slapstick humour and cookie characters, but it’s still animation in some form. There might not be a lot to say about them, but they do have a habit of working their way into the public’s consciousness, which is of course, not surprising seeing as that is what they are meant to do.
There’s not much of a point to this post except that idents have a very specific responsibility in presenting and reminding the viewer of the station’s identity and I think it’s worth pointing out that a lot have historically relied on animation to do the heavy lifting. Why this is so? Who knows, but I’m willing to bet that the ability of animation to defy the ageing process is as good a reason as any.
As a bonus, check out this fully-animated ident for London Weekend Television from the 80s