20th Century Fox Logo

Atop the list of most recognizable studio logos would have to be 20th Century Fox.  It's one of the most consistent since its first merging of Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Film Corporation into Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation in 1935.  Two important things survived from Twentieth Century Pictures: the monolithic words surrounded by searchlights and the Alfred Newman fanfare.  It's impressive that those two features have stayed intact in just about every film since.     

Here is a brief history of the logo and fun film variations.

20th Century Fox Logo (1935-1953)
Fox Fanfare by Alfred Newman
As seen here in Alexander Ragtime's Band (1938)

20th Century Fox Logo (1953-1981)
Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope extension re-recorded by Alfred Newman
First appearance heard in River of No Return (1954)
Seen here in Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

20th Century Fox Logo (1981-1994)
Updated matte painting with slight revisions
Fox Fanfare by Alfred Newman (re-recorded/re-orchestrated by Lionel Newman)
As seen in War of the Roses (1989)

20th Century Fox Logo (1994-2009)
CGI logo with sweeping panorama
Fox Fanfare by Alfred Newman (arranged and conducted by Bruce Broughton)
First heard and seen here in True Lies (1994)
Fox Fanfare by Alfred Newman (arranged and conducted by David Newman)
First heard in Anastasia (1997)

20th Century Fox Logo (2009-2020)
Slightly updated CGI logo.  Byline removed in 2013
First appearance seen here in Avatar (2009)

20th Century Logo (2020-current)
Removal of Fox after Disney purchase.
First appearance seen here in The Call of the World (2020)

And now for some fun logo variations:

The Robe (1953) - First CinemaScope release appears before a red curtain

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) - Tony Randall performs along with the fanfare

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965) - The 1935 B&W logo is seen

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - Fanfare is performed entirely on piano

Silent Movie (1976) - Appears on a billboard...silently

Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Specially recorded fanfare by John Williams, bringing back the outdated extension

The Cannonball Run (1981) - Cars zoom around the newly done logo, crashing into the searchlights

Edward Scissorhands (1990) - Snow falls on the darkened logo with the beginning of the score

White Men Can't Jump (1992) - Fanfare has a funk arrangement

Alien 3 (1992) - Re-recorded fanfare that is held and rises in an unsettling way

Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997) - The logo gets washed away in the water

Moulin Rouge! (2001) - The conductor leads the orchestra in the fanfare

Minority Report (2002) - The logo is colored blue-ish and appears in swirling water

Live Free or Die Hard (2007) - Searchlights are shut off, fitting the plot

The Simpsons Movie (2007) - Ralph appears in the 0 and sings the CinemaScope extension

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) - Celebrating 75 Years appears above the logo during 2010 films

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011) - The logo appears as a drawing, similar to other films in the series

Rio 2 (2014) - Fanfare sounds like a samba 

The Peanuts Movie (2015) - Schroeder accompanies the fanfare and appears in the front

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) - The X lingers a bit longer, and fanfare ends with the X-Men fanfare 

The Greatest Showman (2017) - Starts with 1950s retro logo before switching to the newer logo as the first song begins.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) - Fanfare arranged and performed by Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor

Alita: Battle Angel (2019) - Logo switches to future 26th Century Fox

Dark Phoenix (2019) - The X is featured (like other X-Men films), this time glowing

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  1. Very cool.

    You should do the histories of the WB and Universal logos sometime also. It seems like those two are among the most altered of the major studios.