Saban Entertainment

Saban Entertainment, Inc. (along with Saban International, which operated outside the United States; current legal name is BVS Entertainment, Inc.) is a worldwide-served independent American-Israeli television production company formed in 1980 by music and television producers Haim Saban[1] and Shuki Levy as "Saban Productions".

BVS Entertainment, Inc.
Saban Productions, Inc. (1980–1988)
Saban Entertainment, Inc. (1988–2001)[1][2][3]
privately held company 
FateAcquired by The Walt Disney Company
SuccessorBVS Entertainment
Saban Brands
Founded1980 (1980)
FoundersHaim Saban
Shuki Levy
DefunctOctober 1, 2002 (2002-10-01)[1][2][3]
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Haim Saban
Shuki Levy
ProductsTelevision programs
Theatrical films
OwnerThe Walt Disney Company
ParentABC Family Worldwide
(Walt Disney Television)
SubsidiariesSaban International N.V. (later BVS International N.V.)
Saban International Services, Inc. (later BVS International Services, Inc.)
Saban International Paris (Sold off in 2001) 

This company was known for importing, dubbing, and adapting several Japanese series such as Maple Town (...Stories), Noozles (Fushigi na Koala Blinky and Pinky), Funky Fables (Video Anime Ehonkan Sekai Meisaku Dowa), Samurai Pizza Cats (Kyatto Ninden Teyande) and the first three Digimon series to North America and international markets for syndication, including both animation and live action shows. Saban is also notable for their various toku adapts of several shows from Toei Company, which include the massively-popular Power Rangers (based on the Super Sentai series), Big Bad Beetleborgs (based on Juukou B-Fighter), VR Troopers (featuring elements of Metal Hero series like Space Sheriff Shaider, Jikuu Senshi Spielban and Choujinki Metalder), and Masked Rider (an original interpretation using scenes from the Japanese Kamen Rider Black RX).

Saban was involved in the co-production of French/American animated shows created by Jean Chalopin for DIC Entertainment. Some of these early 1980s co-productions were Camp Candy, Ulysses 31, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and The Mysterious Cities of Gold (the third of which was a Japanese co-production).

Saban has also distributed and provided music for TV programs produced by other companies, such as The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Inspector Gadget and the first 2 dub seasons of Dragon Ball Z.


Early years

Saban Entertainment was formed in 1980[4] as "Saban Productions". The first Saban logo depicted a Saturn-like planet with the word "Saban", in a Pac-Man style font, going across the planet's ring. The planet had five lines under the word "Productions". Several years later, the company created Saban International), for international distribution of its shows (note: though used interchangeably with "Saban International Paris", they were technically two different entities).

In 1986, Saban Productions bought the foreign rights to the DIC Enterprises library of children's programming from DIC's parent DIC Animation City, and then sold the rights to Jean Chalopin's C&D.[5][6] DIC then sued Saban for damages and in 1991, DIC and Saban reached a settlement.[7]

In 1988, the company renamed itself Saban Entertainment. As the company grew additional executive were hired as to push into new areas like prime time programming. Saban hired, to head Saban International distribution arm, Stan Golden from Horizon International TV. Then in August 1989, Tom Palmieri came from MTM Enterprises to become Saban president. By January 2, 1990, Saban formed Saban/Scherick Productions division for production done with Edgar Scherick, primarily miniseries and made-for-TV movies.[4]

Partnership with Marvel Entertainment Group

New World Animation (The Incredible Hulk), Saban (X-Men), and Marvel Films Animation (Spider-Man) each produced a Marvel series for television.[8]

In July 1996, Fox Children's Network secured rights from Marvel Entertainment Group for Captain America, Daredevil and Silver Surfer and additional characters to be developed into four series and 52 episodes over seven years.[9] Also in July, Saban formed a new division, Saban Enterprises International, to handle international licensing, merchandising and promotional activities under president Michael Welter. Oliver Spiner, senior vice president of Saban International, takes over operational duties previously handled by Welter. Eric Rollman was promoted from senior vice president production to executive vice president of Saban Animation.[10]

In 1996, Fox Children's Productions merged with Saban Entertainment to form Fox Kids Worldwide, which included the Marvel Productions and Marvel Films Animation library.[11][12][13]

Marvel was developing a Captain America animated series with Saban Entertainment for Fox Kids to premiere in fall 1998.[14] However, due to Marvel's bankruptcy the series was canceled before the premiere.[15] Both Marvel and Saban would become parts of The Walt Disney Company; Saban (renamed BVS Entertainment) in 2002 and Marvel by the end of 2009. Then in 2010, Haim Saban founded a new company, Saban Capital Group (SCG); they produced shows under the name Saban Brands such as all Power Rangers seasons starting with Power Rangers Samurai and Glitter Force.[16]

BVS Entertainment

On July 23, 2001, it was announced that the group would be sold to The Walt Disney Company as part of the sale of Fox Family Worldwide/Fox Kids Worldwide (now ABC Family Worldwide) by Haim Saban and News Corporation,[17] and on October 24, 2001, the sale was completed[1][2] and the group was renamed BVS (Buena Vista Studios) Entertainment.[3] The last official program and fully produced and distributed by Saban Entertainment was Power Rangers Time Force. However, Power Rangers Wild Force was the last series created by Saban and the latest which had a collaboration (Saban created the series and produced only pre-production, following the acquisition of Saban Entertainment and Fox Family Worldwide/Fox Kids Worldwide, the show belongs to copyright of Disney and was distributed by BVS, although the show was produced by MMPR Productions, the producer of the Power Rangers during the Saban era).

Haim Saban left Saban International Paris in the same year and was eventually split and sold off from Saban Entertainment to become an independent studio. Disney would eventually purchase a 49% minority stake in this division, which on October 1, 2002 was renamed to SIP Animation, which continued producing content until 2009.

Since Saban Capital Group purchased back the rights to Power Rangers and Digimon, BVS Entertainment became dormant, and was the current copyright holder for the ex-Saban and ex-Fox Kids/Fox Children's Productions shows that Disney currently owns.

Sensation Animation

One portion of Saban Entertainment was renamed to Sensation Animation in 2002[18] and was Disney's dedication to ADR production and post-production services for anime, and also so that Disney could continue dubbing Digimon (the second half of Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier) episodes. This division ceased operations in 2003 after Disney lost the rights to dub Digimon. Disney however would go on to dub and distribute the previously un-dubbed four Digimon movies; Revenge of Diaboromon (DA02), Battle of Adventurers (DT), Runaway Locomon (DT) and Island of the Lost Digimon (DF) in 2005 and the fifth TV season, Digimon Data Squad in 2007, but this time the dubbing was handled by post-production studio Studiopolis. The majority of the previous cast members returned sans some actors, like Joshua Seth.

Saban International Paris

Saban International Paris, later SIP Animation, was a television production company based in France that operated from 1977 to 2009.

Saban International Paris was founded in France by Haim Saban and Jacqueline Tordjman in 1977 as a record company. In 1989, Saban International Paris moved into the animation field.[19] The studio would go on to produce many animated series for Fox Kids Europe in the 1990s and 2000s. Haim Saban departed the company in 2001 with the purchase of Fox Family Worldwide, which was followed by The Walt Disney Company taking a stake in the company and a name change to SIP Animation on October 1, 2002.[20][21][22] SIP continued to co-produce animated series with Jetix Europe (previously Fox Kids Europe) during the 2000s.[23][24] SIP Animation was closed[25] in 2009.[26]

List of television series and films

Animated TV series

Saban Entertainment

Saban International Paris

Some of the shows featured the "Saban's" corporate bug in their title. Saban Entertainment itself is not listed.

Foreign television series

Saban Entertainment dubbed and or distributed the following foreign television series in English:

Live-action TV series

Saban Entertainment produced and or distributed the following live action TV series:

Live-action films

Animated films/specials

Media releases

  • Most Saban Entertainment-owned media from the early 1990s made their way to VHS in most regions. However, from the late 1990s on, almost all Saban Entertainment-owned entities were only released as Australian and New Zealand Region 4 VHSes. And also, according to current North American rights holders, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment had (and still has) no plans to release these titles to DVD and Blu-ray, and as such, some of them instead aired on their sibling television channel, Disney XD and originally was on Toon Disney and ABC Family before the retirement of the Jetix branding in the United States. In most European countries, Fox Kids Europe (later Jetix Europe) had a sister channel called Fox Kids Play (later Jetix Play) which aired various Saban Entertainment programs and shows owned by Fox Kids Europe/Jetix Europe. Some shows were also released on DVD and VHS by various independent distributors, such as Maximum Entertainment in the United Kingdom.


  • In Australia, Digimon: Digital Monsters seasons one and two was re-released by Madman Entertainment on August 17, 2011.[35][36]
  • In addition, the first five series was released on DVD in North America through New Video.

Power Rangers


Saban's library

The Fox Kids/Saban Entertainment library today is mostly owned by The Walt Disney Company, with a few exceptions:

  • The Power Rangers franchise and other PR-related shows (VR Troopers, Masked Rider, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, Big Bad Beetleborgs and Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog), which were purchased back by Haim Saban from Disney for $43 million on May 12, 2010.[40] The Digimon franchise in the United States was also purchased back by Saban in September 2012.[41][42][43] All of the Power Rangers franchise and the PR-related shows are now owned by Allspark Studios, which acquired the assets of Saban Brands in 2018, while Digimon has reverted to Toei Animation.
  • Pigs Next Door was a co-production with Fox Kids, EM.TV and Wavery B.V. Studio 100, which acquired EM.TV's children's library in 2008, owns the US digital rights and some international rights to the series (Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand and Quebec).[44]
  • Bobby's World, originally a Fox Kids/Film Roman series, was sold by Disney to series creator Howie Mandel in 2004, who then licensed the distribution rights to MoonScoop Group.[45]
  • The international distribution rights to the pre-1990 DiC Entertainment library reverted to DiC in the 2000s. In 2008, DiC merged into Cookie Jar Entertainment, which was acquired by DHX Media in 2012.
  • Saban only distributed the first season of Totally Spies!. The series is owned by Zodiak Kids, which merged with De Agostini's Marathon Media in 2008.
  • Goosebumps is owned by Scholastic Entertainment, with distribution handled by 9 Story Media Group.
  • Many of Saban's anime licenses, such as Macron 1, Noozles, Flint the Time Detective, The Littl’ Bits and Saban’s The Adventures of Pinocchio expired in the 2000s decade.[46]
  • CinéGroupe owns the series that it co-produced with Saban and SIP, including What's with Andy? and The Kids from Room 402. These series are distributed through partner company HG Distribution.


  1. "Haim Saban". Saban. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  2. "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 6. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  3. "Company Overview of BVS Entertainment, Inc". Bloomberg Business. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
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  5. "Haim Saban, producer, in Hollywood, Washington, Israel". The New Yorker. May 10, 2010. p. 3. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
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  15. "Captain America "Skullhenge"". Animation. Steve Engelhart. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
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  18. "Criteria for DISNEY ANIMATED MOVIES". Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  19. "SIP Animation". 8 February 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  20. "SIP Animation Appoint Sylvie Barro As Head of Development". January 17, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
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  25. Zahed, Ramin (December 2, 2011). "French TV Animator Bruno Bianchi Passes Away". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
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  45. "Moonscoop's Emmy Award-Nominated Bobby's World Starring Howie Mandel Arrives on DVD Exclusively on, and Digitally on Amazon Instant Video". 13 March 2012.
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