Rainbow Brite

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Rainbow Brite
Rainbow Brite.jpg
Rainbow Brite Title screen
Directed by Bruno Bianchi
Osamu Dezaki
Rich Rudish
Voices of See Rainbow Brite#Voices
Composer(s) Shuky Levy
Haim Saban
Country of origin United States
France
Japan
No. of episodes

13 half-hour animated episodes
2 half-hour live-action episodes
4 read-along videos


1 feature-length movie
Production
Executive producer(s) Jean Chalopin
Andy Heyward
Producer(s) Jean Chalopin
Andy Heyward
Tetsuo Katayama
Running time 25 minutes per episode
Production company(s) DIC Entertainment
Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Distributor LBS Communications Inc.
Broadcast
Original channel Syndication
Original run June 27, 1984  – July 24, 1986

Rainbow Brite is a media franchise by Hallmark Cards, introduced in 1983. The animated television series of the same name was started in 1984.

Creation of Rainbow Brite for Hallmark Cards is credited to Garry Glissmeyer, VP-Creative/Licensing, Hallmark Cards, and Lanny Julian, VP-Sales & Marketing/Licensing, Hallmark Cards. Both were charged with getting Hallmark into the Licensing business, in particular to create Saturday Morning TV programs with characters aimed at young girls, and secondarily, young boys. Glissmeyer's concept of developing a very young girl with powers over nature needed a team to now fully develop a story, and supportive characters; a team of artists and writers (borrowed from Hallmark's immense Creative Division): Cheryl (Falck) Cozad, Manager/Art, and Dan Drake, Director/Writing and Editorial became key managers in this process. Julian brought in a Public Relations Manager, Jim McDowell, from Hallmark's marketing organization with the charge of finding ways to develop visibility for this emerging character and story. Each person became integral to the ultimate success of getting the full character development artistically completed, and the storyline and purpose of Rainbow Brite's earthly mission fully formed (to save the colors of the universe). Mattel was chosen as the doll/toy licensing partner, and DIC Animation of France was selected to develop Rainbow Brite as TV cartoons. Cheryl Cozad worked closely with Mattel; Glissmeyer and Drake with DIC Animation side while Julian and Glissmeyer worked with NBC TV.

Ownership, licensing, and creation rights of Rainbow Brite were retained by Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, MO. USA. The Hallmark Artist, G.G.Santiago, provided the finishing "look" to Rainbow Brite, and Hallmark writer, Mary Loberg, expanded the final, basic storyline for Rainbow Brite and the inhabitants of Rainbow Land, for TV.

Rainbow Brite made her animated debut in a syndicated prime-time special, "Peril in the Pits", first aired on June 27, 1984. Two more two-part specials were subsequently made, "The Mighty Monstromurk Menace" and "The Beginning of Rainbowland".

In April 1986, Rainbow Brite became a regular series, as part of DIC's weekly syndicated Kideo TV block; eight new episodes were made for this run. Rainbow Brite remained part of the Kideo TV lineup until May 1987.

Premise[edit]

In the franchise's backstory, a little girl named Wisp is brought to a colorless land. To bring color back to the land she must find the Sphere of Light. Along the way she befriends a sprite named Twink, a white horse named Starlite and a mysterious little baby. She finds the Color Belt and rescues the 7 Color Kids. After using the belt to defeat the King of Shadows, Wisp is renamed Rainbow Brite. She, the Color Kids and Sprites live in Rainbow Land and are in charge of all the colors in the universe.

Each Color Kid is in charge of his/her respective color, and their Sprites mine Color Crystals from the Color Caves, which are turned into Star Sprinkles.

In the movie Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer, the setting is changed to a diamond planet named Spectra. All the light in the universe must pass through Spectra before coming to Earth. The Dark Princess causes problems when she tries to wrap ropes around Spectra, which blocks out the light and throws Earth into a permanent winter. See Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer for details.

Characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Rainbow Brite and the Color Kids, in the "Brand New Day" song from the Star Stealer movie
  • Rainbow Brite
  • Twink – Rainbow Brite's Sprite.
  • Starlite – Rainbow Brite's horse.
  • Murky Dismal - the main antagonist.
  • Lurky - Murky's assistant.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Brian

Color Kids and Sprites[edit]

  • Red Butler and Romeo Sprite – in charge of the color red; his personality is adventurous and daring
  • Lala Orange and O.J. Sprite – in charge of the color orange; her personality is romantic and stylish
  • Canary Yellow and Spark Sprite – in charge of the color yellow; her personality is cheerful and optimistic
  • Patty O'Green and Lucky Sprite – in charge of the color green; her personality is mischievous and lively
  • Buddy Blue and Champ Sprite – in charge of the color blue; his personality is athletic and valiant
  • Indigo and Hammy Sprite – in charge of the color indigo (and cooler shades of purple); her personality is dramatic and creative
  • Shy Violet and I.Q. Sprite – in charge of the color violet (and warmer shades of purple); her personality is intellectual and resourceful

Other Rainbow Land characters[edit]

  • Kitty Brite - Rainbow Land's Cat
  • Puppy Brite - Rainbow Land's puppy
  • Moonglow & Night Sprite - in charge of the night sky colors and lights.
  • Stormy - in charge of winter weather
  • Skydancer - Stormy's horse
  • Tickled Pink - in charge of pastel colors and girl sprites
  • Sunriser - Tickled Pink's horse

Star Stealer characters[edit]

Characters who originated in the Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer film:

  • Krys
  • Orin
  • On-X
  • The Dark Princess
  • Count Blogg
  • Sgt. Zombo

Episodes[edit]

Title Original airdate #
"Peril in the Pits" June 27, 1984 01
"Mighty Monstromurk Menace" (part 1) December 4, 1984 02
"Mighty Monstromurk Menace" (part 2) December 5, 1984 03
"The Beginning of Rainbowland" (part 1) April 22, 1985 04
"The Beginning of Rainbowland" (part 2) April 23, 1985 05
"Invasion of Rainbowland" June 5, 1986 06
"Mom" June 12, 1986 07
"Rainbow Night" June 19, 1986 08
"Star Sprinkled" June 26, 1986 09
"Chasing Rainbows" July 3, 1986 10
"Murky's Comet" July 10, 1986 11
"A Horse of a Different Color" July 17, 1986 12
"The Queen of the Sprites" July 24, 1986 13

Voices[edit]

Merchandise[edit]

Mattel[edit]

For the first Rainbow Brite generation (1984-1987), Mattel produced all of the dolls and some of the toys, including a large line of school supplies for Italy. Other Rainbow Brite licensed merchandise was produced by various companies. Among them were many story and activity books by Western Publishing (Little Golden Books) plus a number of puzzles, a line of costume jewelry, banks and suitcases by Kat's Meow, clothes, toys, games, doll and child furniture, radios, child cosmetics, linen, towels, personal care items, lamps, figurines, VHS videocassettes, audio cassettes, records, bicycles and much more were sold in the USA, Canada and the UK. In the rest of Europe there was a lesser variety of things sold. Even the full Mattel line wasn't sold in all countries. Books, comic books, audio tapes were the best selling licensed items outside the UK but other items did exist in different countries. In Germany alone there were no less than 31 story cassettes and 46 comic books. Because of Rainbow Brite's extreme popularity soon after she was launched, a number of companies produced lookalike unlicensed items. These did not have the Rainbow Brite name but did have the Rainbow Brite look which was of course slightly modified from the originals. Many Mattel items were made in Europe by local suppliers for the local markets. France, Spain and Italy all produced genuine Rainbow Brite merchandise by agreement with Mattel and the same again in Mexico. This had to do with high import duties in a number of countries at the time. Two Rainbow Brite dolls plus Twink and Starlite were also produced in Brazil by Estrella. As Brazil speaks it's own version of Portuguese, they were not exported anywhere.

Up up and Away[edit]

The second Rainbow Brite generation (1996-1997) used the Rainbow Brite name but not the same characters and backstory. The master license was held by Up, Up and Away, who is no longer in business. Rainbow Brite no longer had anything do with making colors and was now in charge of Diversity. She had four helpers called the Color Crew. They were Amber (Hispanic), Cerise (Asian), Ebony (black) and Indigo (brown), Rainbow Brite came in both large and small sizes. All the other dolls were small only. The large dolls came with three pots of Color-Glo Paints and a brush. The small ones had only one pot and a brush. There were no other toys or accessories for these dolls. They were sold in the USA, Canada and in Europe and Australia. There was at least one special version and that was for Italy. The dolls looked nothing like the originals and the line was discontinued in 1997.

Toy Play[edit]

The third Rainbow Brite generation (2003-2005) was also the 20th Anniversary Release. The master toy licensee was Toy Play (a defunct part of The Betish Group, which is still in business). Nick Jr. was the TV station that advertised the line and Hot Topic was the lead merchandiser. This generation returned to the ideas of the original and had some success in doing so. The product line was a lot narrower than the first generation, having only Rainbow Brite, Red Butler, Canary Yellow and Patty O'Green. Starlite and Puppy Brite were included and so were some sprites. The dolls and sprites were made in different sizes, from about three to 28 inches tall. Some were soft and some were hard plastic. Murky and Lurky were noted for their absence. There were also some toys made by Toy Play (a Color Castle playset in plastic for example) in this line. There was also a lot of wearing apparel and various small items like costume jewelry and writing supplies available. For all that, the range and amount of licensed merchandise by other than Toy Play was small compared to the original line. Some products were sold with a Region 1 DVD in English that featured a single episode of one of the original cartoons. One of the toys was an 18" Talking Rainbow Brite doll produced by Toy Play that said several phrases. In one phrase she names the colors of the rainbow but somehow omits green. When this was brought to Toy Play's attention they indicated that the doll would be fixed for any future production runs. As the line came to an end in 2005, a corrected version never appeared. Some of the Toy Play items were also sold in Canada with English-French packaging.

Playmates Toys[edit]

The fourth Rainbow Brite generation (2009-2010) was the 25th Anniversary Release. The master toy license belonged to Playmates Toys and they released their first line of Rainbow Brite toys on the 24th of December, 2009. The line was expected to be in stores in the fall of 2009 but that did not happen. This interpretation of Rainbow Brite was very controversial because her age was doubled from about five to about ten. She also became a thin plastic doll with nylon hair and her clothes were different from the originals. The line was very small; Rainbow Brite, Tickled Pink and Moonglow. Each doll had a horse and that was it when the line started. More was promised but never arrived. The same dolls were shared with other Playmates charachters (the large on was also Alice in Wonderland among others) and that also undercut the line. Rainbow Brite came out as both large and small dolls while the two others were small only. The line was a failure and the stores that had been carrying it did not place repeat orders. Stock ran out by July of 2010, so this line was only on the market for seven months. Oddly enough three sprites, one for each doll, arrived in the Fall of 2010 but they had to be sold in Mexico. This line had a number of licensed products similar to the third generation. some of them were in the original style and some of them were in this new style. They included mostly clothing and writing supplies and there was also a small bicycle. Most were soon gone. The most interesting licensed products were three dolls by Madame Alexander. There were two different Rainbow Brite dolls and a Tickled Pink doll. Like the Toy Play dolls, they were soon gone from the shops as the fourth generation died out.

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Order of the Stick #415". Giant In the Playground Games. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  2. ^ "Reprise". Penny Arcade. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 

External links[edit]