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Family Home Entertainment

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Background

Family Home Entertainment was a home video distribution company, releasing all kids and family releases and was established by Noel C. Bloom in 1981. FHE also launched a non-kids sub-division known as U.S.A. Home Video a year later. Early releases were distributed by MGM/UA Home Video and in the late 80s, FHE's releases were distributed by MCA (most notably in Canada). It became a sub-division of Lionsgate Home Entertainment after Lions Gate Entertainment acquired and folded Artisan Entertainment in 2003 and FHE was folded in 2005/disestablished in 2007.

1st Logo
(June 1981-1987)

Nicknames: "Soda Pop", "Cheesy FHE", "FHE in Space", "Cheesy Star"

Logo: The screen fades to a space background, a large pink/purple "sun" slowly moves towards us. After a few seconds of sizzling, it then transforms into the purple words "FAMILY HOME", set in "Baby Teeth" (whose digital incarnation goes by "Surfside"). Then "ENTERTAINMENT" in the same font flies from behind the text on top of the screen and settles underneath the "FAMILY HOME" text. The texts then flash and become white. After a few seconds the logo flies up with computer effects and we are left with only a shot of the stars before we fade out.

Variants:

  • At the end of some tapes such as Beauty and the Beast (the 1983 Ruby-Spears version) and tapes from Monterey Home Video and U.S.A. Home Video from before 1985, a "Prevues of Coming Attractions" bumper plays but it fades to the short version of the logo.
  • Sometimes, there are screen cuts at the beginning and end of the logo.
  • Shortened versions exist. Some tapes start the logo just as the "sun" appears, others start the logo right as it morphs into the words "FAMILY HOME".

FX/SFX: The transformation of the sun into "FAMILY HOME ENTERTAINMENT" and the "flying" effects for the logos.

Cheesy Factor: This one goes off the charts. The "sun" looks like the most fake thing in the world (and looks more like a fizzing Alka-Seltzer tablet than anything else!), the colors are rather gaudy, and the space background looks like it was done on an Apple II.

Music/Sounds: It has electronic plopping/fizz noises through. When the text forms, a hum is heard, followed by, when the text flashes and flies away, a 4-note synthesized chord/whoosh fanfare.

Availability: Rare. Check on eBay or Amazon. It first appeared on The World of Strawberry Shortcake. Other releases that may include this logo are Blackstar, The New Adventures of Zorro, Journey Back to Oz, Dorothy in the Land of Oz, Panda and the Magic Serpent, Gaiking, a few Spaceketeers releases, some Inspector Gadget tapes, early releases of Gumby (Including the 1987 reissue of A Gumby Summer, which it made the surprise appearance at the beginning) and Care Bears; just find an over-sized box containing an early FHE print of this logo on the cover. It also made a surprise appearance on the 1986 reissue of Peter Cottontail's Adventures.

Scare Factor: Medium. The bad animation and eerie music/noises may get to some people, but the logo is probably one of the most soda-like in the world! You'll also probably derive unintentional comedy from how badly made this is, or nostalgia for the company's really early releases.

2nd Logo
(1983-1993)

Nicknames: "F.H.E.", "Handwriting Pad", "Cheesy Writing", "Another Cheesy F.H.E"

Logo: A yellow-orange screen "flips" in, and it has one of those lines you used to practice printing letters on at school. (Two solid lines with a segmented line in the middle) One at a time, the letters are drawn on the lines in a crayon-like font. They are colored, in order, a red "f", a blue "h", and a yellow "e", respectively. Black dots appear in-between the letters, changing to "f.h.e.". Under that the words "Family Home Entertainment" typed in, and then the picture zooms away downward toward the camera.

Variants:

  • On several Robotech releases from 1987, as well as The Teddy Bears' Picnic and Babar: The Movie from 1989, the colors is a bit faded. Also, it fades to black earlier, along with the music fading out.
  • Later video releases have the logo on a black background with the lines fading-in and the FHE text drawing itself on faster than usual. A byline for IVE/NCB is shown on the bottom. A still version can be seen on various Transformers promos.
  • At the end of some tapes, a yellow screen that reads "also AVAILABLE from" (in white) zooms in. After three seconds, the screen zooms downward surging to the regular FHE logo.
  • Some tapes have the logo's beginning omitted, instead starting at the point where the letters are drawn in. There is no "WHOOSH" at the end in this variation.

FX/SFX: The "flipping" screen, the drawn letters.

Cheesy Factor: The screen "flipping" is an '80s SFX standard; it is merely the image being stretched and squashed. Before 1990, there was often a jarring cut from the FBI warning to this logo. After the 1988 IVE warning replaced the other one, there was a gentle fade from the warning to this logo.

Music/Sounds: Starts with a loud zipping sound (kind of like a Jetsons flying car starting), and leads into a synthesizer theme with three different tones for the drawing of each letter. Three very fast synth-trumpet notes bring forth the periods after each initial, and a toy piano that plays a descending tune is used when the company's name appears. A "WHOOSH" is heard as the screen "flies" away.

Music/Sounds Variant: On the first and last variants, there is no "Whoosh" sound

Availability: Uncommon. Can be seen on early releases of home video releases of shows such as The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Inspector Gadget, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also spotted on some Rankin-Bass video releases of the time. Also spotted on the Chuck Jones releases of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Mowgli's Brothers, and The White Seal. You may also spot this on some tapes of British cartoons like Wil Cwac Cwac and Roobarb, and the Australian Dot cartoons should have this logo, too. Also seen on later Gumby, Care Bears VHS releases.

Scare Factor:

  • Medium to high. The loud music and "flipping" screen may get to some people, along with the FBI warning screen.
  • Low to medium for the 1990-1991 version. The Warning screen has been changed, but the music and the "flipping" screen still may get to some people.
  • Low for the black background variant with IVE/NCB byline.

3rd Logo
(1989-1998, 2006-2007)

Nickname: "The Paintbrush"

Logo: On a white background, a red paintbrush draws an "f" (the same one from the 2nd logo) then puts a red dot after it. A blue paintbrush similarly draws an "h" and a blue dot and a yellow paintbrush gets the "e" and its dot. The camera pans to each letter as it is drawn and then pulls out. Above the logo the paintbrushes "wash" on the words "Family Home Entertainment", with each word in redblue, and yellow respectively.

Variant: On rare occasions, the logo is still. It can be seen on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bruno the Kid: The Last Christmas, and the Hallmark Home Entertainment release of Merlin (One of the last tapes to use its logo).

FX/SFX: Impressive use of CGI from FHE, using the ability to pan in and out impressively!

Music/Sounds: Each letter has its own little tune culminating in a synthesized stinger at the end.

Availability: Common. Can be seen on most FHE releases from the 90s, including later Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tapes (surprisingly, it appeared on 2006 and 2007 DVDs of TMNT, specifically at the end of the episodes, "Plan 6 from Outer Space", "Farewell Lotus Blossom", "Michelangelo Meets Bugman", and "What's Michelangelo Good For?"), the original release of Tom and Jerry: The Movie and many Rankin-Bass and Lacewood Christmas specials by FHE.

Scare Factor: None.

4th Logo
(1998-2001)

Nickname: "Flipping Letters"

Logo: Against a black background, a green "F" flips toward the screen, followed by a vermilion "H" and a lavender "E". A triangular vermilion "roof" lands on the "H" shortly after. The words

F A M I L Y   H O M E
E N T E R T A I N M E N T

which are written in white, fade in below. At the same time, two white dots fade in between the letters "FHE". The words shine.

FX/SFX: The letters flipping, the roof landing on the "H", and the words shining.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Uncommon. Appears on most FHE releases up until 2001, such as Clifford The Big Red Dog: Here Comes Clifford.

Scare Factor: None.

5th Logo
(2000-2005)

Nickname: "Flying Letters"

Logo: On a white background, we see the letters "FHE" flying up to the screen. Then two black dots fly in and appear between the letters. "FAMILY HOME ENTERTAINMENT" fades in under the letters. A roof is then drawn above the "H", making the whole thing look like the 4th logo.

Variants:

  • A short version of this logo was seen on promos such as on Animal Planet Video, TLC Video, and later "FHE" flies up, and a link to "www.familyhomeent.com" below. Seen on the 2000 VHS print of Baby Einstein (which is distributed by Family Home Entertainment for Kids).
  • Another variant appeared on other Baby Einstein videos, where when we see the logo fly in as usual, then it falls down flat. Then we see all these logos (such as Baby Einstein, FHE Kids, Animal Planet). They circle the screen about once. Then the logos fade out, then the logo flies in again and forms "www.familyhomeent.com".

FX/SFX: The letters flying up. The dots appearing. The roof drawing.

Music/Sounds: A jingle used with many musical instruments and sound effects. An oboe and a tuba are two of the instruments.

Music/Sounds/Voice-over Variants:

  • There is a voice-over on promos saying "Family Home Entertainment. We like to share yours from Family Home Entertainment".
  • On the variant with the FHE website the voice-over says "Family Home Entertainment. From our family to yours, there's always something special for everyone. At www.familyhomeent.com".
  • A silent version exists.

Availability: Uncommon. Seen on releases from this era.

Scare Factor: None. It's a cute logo. The sudden appearance of the logo might startle some first-time viewers, though. 

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