Follow TV Tropes


Creator / DiC Entertainment
aka: Di C

Go To
Get your mind out of the gutter. It's pronounced "deek".

DiC Entertainment Corporation was a production company that started as a subsidiary of Radio-Television Luxembourg in 1971, that would go on to produce many kids' cartoons, particularly in The '80s and The '90s. Its name is an acronym for "Diffusion, Information et Communication". Originally founded by Jean Chalopin, DiC was acquired in 1986 by Andy Heyward, who continued to head DiC until its demise in 2008. Heyward is currently the head of Genius Brands International, which he bought in 2015.

The company is mostly remembered for its closing logos that appeared at the very end of its shows. Its most notable was the "Kid in Bed" logo, in which a camera zoomed in above a boy who was sleeping in his bed and through his bedroom window, where the DIC logo formed outside. A child's voiceover then says the company's name. This closing logo, first used in 1987, went through various variations before being replaced altogether in 2001. More information on this and the other closing logos for DIC can be found here.

DiC remained an independent studio for much of its days under Heyward's watch, until 1993 when it formed a limited partnership with Capital Cities/ABC, the then-parent company of the ABC network. It became a subsidiary of Disney after their takeover of Capital Cities/ABC in 1996. Unlike ABC, however, Disney had little interest in DiC, and so, Heyward purchased back DiC in 2000. In 2008, the studio was acquired by Cookie Jar Entertainment, which itself was acquired by WildBrain (then known as "DHX Media") in 2012. Currently, with certain exceptions, all of DiC's programming archive remain controlled by WildBrain.

DIC worked with TMS Entertainment early on note , switching to studios like KK C&D Asia, Visual 80, Mook DLE, Hong Ying, Pacific Rim Animation, Saerom and Sei Young later on as Disney and later Warner Bros. were giving TMS more money for their shows. As a result, the higher-quality shows of the company's heyday in The '80s (including Inspector Gadget, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, M.A.S.K., Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats, The Real Ghostbusters, Rainbow Brite, Dinosaucers, and so on) gave way to cheaper cartoons such as the ones based on the Super Mario Bros. and Sonic The Hedgehog video games, some of which have gained a minor cult following since their release.

One reason for DiC's decline in quality could be laid at the feet of their 1980s business model, which was to underbid on new projects (in hopes of denying competitors from landing the gig), often losing money on their shows (using the money from a second show to cover the losses of the first one, etc.) and also selling their stock like crazy based on their "predictions" of there being more and more kids TV on the air (when in fact that market was flooded in the late 1980s and led in part to a collapse in the syndicated kids TV market).

It is also infamous among the anime community for its dub of Sailor Moon, although in that case it is often a subject of misblame since the voices, dub script, and most of the editing was done by Optimum Productions (the dubs of Saint Seiya, aka Knights of the Zodiac, and Speed Racer X can be laid directly at their feet however). Voice acting since The '90s were (mostly) provided by the Vancouver talent pool, with some other shows recorded in Toronto, Los Angeles, Ottawa, and Omaha (or some mix thereof).

They also released EasyPlay DVDs in the early 2000s distributed by Lionsgate, in which you can hear Inspector Gadget (who essentially served as the company's mascot and spokesperson) deliver an extremely long and detailed lecture on how to use them.

Notable shows produced by the company include:

Tropes present in DiC Entertainment's work:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The famous "Kid in Bed" logo has a 3D star and a 2D photograph of a kid laying in bed. Also pops up in some of their later output like Dino Squad and Stargate Infinity.
  • Amateur Cast: Several of the company's series from the late 1990s up until the company's demise, such as Archie's Weird Mysteries, Strawberry Shortcake and Horseland used voice actors based out of Omaha, Nebraska, most of whom had never acted before or at best, had involvement in local theater and/or were local/regional radio and/or television personalities. A majority of them have became One-Book Authors and faded into obscurity, with the exception of Andrew Rannells, who became a major star in his own right.
  • 65-Episode Cartoon: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Sabrina: The Animated Series and more.
  • Animation Bump: The animation in intros of shows such as Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, All-New Dennis the Menace (alternative intro with different animation style, seen in international releases of "Navy Destroyer"), Ultraforce and Hammerman, range from slightly better to way more fluid that the actual feature. This also applies for the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog pilot.
  • Animesque: As a result of shipping much of their work over to Japanese studios in the 1980s, many of their shows from that period exhibit this on full display.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Regardless of how it's officially pronounced, there's no denying that hearing the name can make you chuckle.
  • Limited Animation: A popular joke among detractors was that DiC stood for "do it cheaper". Super Mario World, Hammerman, All-New Dennis the Menace and pretty much all of their Audience-Alienating Era series suffered from this. Some of their earlier shows like Inspector Gadget and The Real Ghostbusters devolved into this over time.
  • Only So Many Canadian Actors: Despite not being a Canadian company (at least until Cookie Jar Entertainment bought them out), many of their shows feature Canadian voice actors more typically associated with Toronto's Nelvana, Montreal's Cinar and Vancouver's Ocean Group.
  • Vanity Plate: Its ending logos.

Alternative Title(s): Di C