Logo descriptions by Matt Williams, James Fabiano, Kris Starring, Logophile, and Nathan B.
Logo captures by Eric S., V of Doom, Shadeed A. Kelly, Mr.Logo, Dean Stewart Rumsey, and others
Editions by V of Doom, Ryan Froula, sega3dmm, Nathan B., MariluHennerArtist45, Liz Tetlow and indycar
Video captures courtesy of Watcher3223, LogoLibraryinc, rescuehero942, CleanFreeMedia, HDDVDArchive, Ryan Holman, and estell kreutzer
Paramount Home Media Distribution (formerly "Paramount Home Entertainment", "Paramount Home Video", and "Paramount Video") is the division of Paramount Pictures dealing with home video and was founded in late 1975. PHE distributes films by Paramount (under its own label), shows and films from MTV Networks (under the MTV DVD, Nickelodeon DVD, Nickelodeon Movies DVD, Comedy Central DVD and Spike DVD labels), PBS (under the PBS Home Entertainment label), Showtime (under its own label and the CBS label for solo-produced series), BET (under its own label), CBS-owned programs (under the CBS Home Entertainment label) on DVD, and several releases from other independent studios. It formerly released DreamWorks Animation material until 2014 when DWA acquired distributions rights to their library, and the rights were transferred to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. On September 27, 2011, Paramount Home Entertainment was renamed "Paramount Home Media Distribution" after merging with "Paramount Digital and Television".
Paramount Home Media Distribution
Nicknames: "Still Mountain", "Boring Mountain", "Blue Mountain"
Logo: On a navy blue background, we see "Paramount" in the famous script, and "HOME VIDEO" below that in a wide Microgramma Bold font in between two lines, one above and one below. To the right of that, we see the post-1968 Paramount print logo to the right, complete with the Gulf+Western byline.
Availability: This logo appeared primarily on Betamax releases, meaning this is a very difficult find. Should appear on a few VHS titles from 1980 including the first two Godfather films, the first VHS releases of Grease and Goin' South, and the original releases of Play It Again, Sam, The Bad News Bears (1976), and Catch-22, but keep in mind that the format was in its infancy at the time. Among the last tapes to use this logo were five volumes of original Star Trek series episodes as "Television Classics" on VHS and Betamax in early 1980. Those tapes are long out of print, having been replaced in 1985 by Paramount's single-episode releases, and are hard to find. This surprisingly appears on a late 1983 pressing of The Odd Couple (usually, tapes printed around that time started with the rainbow warning screen followed by the Paramount Pictures logo of the time).
Scare Factor: None.
(July 1980-1982, 1984)
Nicknames: "Mountain Silhouette", "Black Mountain", "Rising Mountain", "Cheesy Mountain", "In the Shadow of Paramount"
Logo: On a blue background, we zoom out on a silhouette of a mountain. After we zoom out to a comfortable distance, there is a bright flash behind the mountain, and white "stars" (they look like circles or lens flares) appear, as well as "Paramount" (in a school bus yellow script, but closer to the pre-1975 logo). A saffron-colored trapezoidal trail zooms out from the base, and "HOME VIDEO" (set in the same font as the 1st logo) zooms out soon after, tacked onto the saffron-colored trail. As that happens, the blue background gets extremely dark (looking like federal blue). The end result looks like the pre-1967 print logo.
Trivia: The second half of the logo was once used as a Paramount Television Service logo. "PARAMOUNT TELEVISION SERVICE" was featured at the bottom, which explains the chyron for "HOME VIDEO". The original version of the logo was produced by the design firm of Sullivan & Marks in 1978.
- On some tapes, after the logo is finished, the stars roll and fly away.
- On Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown, the logo cuts to the last half of the film's Paramount Pictures logo.
FX/SFX: The flash, the effects. Pure Scanimate effects.
Cheesy Factor: Off the scale. The "stars" don't look like stars, the "Paramount" script doesn't look right, and "HOME VIDEO" is very obviously tacked/chryoned onto the "PARAMOUNT TELEVISION SERVICE". Not to mention you can clearly see a jump cut to where the Paramount Television Service logo would normally start and that this logo decided to base itself off of a logo already cheesy in itself (which explains the aforementioned "stars" and script font- they were originally from the Paramount Television Service logo).
Music/Sounds: A pounding backbeat as the mountain zooms out, then a synth chord.
Availability: Extremely rare. Seen on Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!), Death Wish, Escape from Alcatraz, Breaking Glass, Friday the 13th, Rough Cut, The Hunter, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture VHS and Betamax tapes of the era, which are not that easy to find, especially since the logo was usually taken off of post-1981 prints. Also seen on a few Hi-Fi re-releases of Paramount's early tapes (including Downhill Racer and Death Wish) from 1984, as well as a 1979 Betamax release of Barberella and a 1980 Hi-Fi VHS release of True Grit (1969). Don't expect this on Laserdisc releases, as Paramount removed this logo and replaced it with the Laservision logo. The variant may not even exist.
Scare Factor: Low to medium. The music is very eerie, and the chord and flash might not sit well with most people, as well as the silhouette mountain.
Nicknames: "Growing Mountain", "Cheesy Growing Mountain"
Logo: On a black background, we see the abstract mountain logo, with "Paramount" in black script in the light blue circle like the other Paramount logos, and the "A Gulf + Western Company" byline at the bottom in light blue. It begins to zoom up on us, as the stars (which are followed by light trail-streaks) and byline zoom past, and both the mountain and circle grow bigger until we are literally right on top of the peak of the mountain, with "Paramount" centering in, filling the middle of the screen. When the peak hits the bottom and "Paramount" fits the center, "Paramount" begins to shine, then there is a VERY bright flash, and it dies down to reveal the Paramount script logo (in blue) and a small "VIDEO" (shining a bit) between two blue lines.
Trivia: On the early 1990s re-release of Strong Kids, Safe Kids, the next logo preceded this one.
- A black & white variant exists.
- At the end of a 1998 Sci-Fi Channel airing of The Devonsville Terror, the animation plays as normal until all there is is "Paramount" and the mountain, when the logo freezes in place and the rest of the music is heard. It's unknown if this was used on an actual video release.
FX/SFX: The growing mountain, the flash. Pure Scanimate effects.
Cheesy Factor: Flash seems cheesy, but the rest is okay.
Music/Sounds: A new-age type tune with a synthesizer composed by Richard J. Krizman. On the 1983 RCA CED videodisc release of An Evening with Robin Williams, this follows the 1982 RCA Selectavision Videodisc intro, but is silent.
Availability: A pretty tough find. Most Paramount films went for the logo used at the time, but television shows (such as Star Trek, with the exception of the 1984 Television Classics Laserdisc release of the two-part episode "The Menagerie", which uses no logo) and non-Paramount films (such as Hey There, It's Yogi Bear and The Adventures of the American Rabbit) have this. It was also on the 1982 VHS release of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, and a 1990 reprint of this retained the logo. It was also spotted on the 1992 release of A Dog of Flanders (along with the warning that preceded it), also likely a reprint itself. The black & white version appeared on The Untouchables (1959): The Scarface Mob and Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back. It was also (as mentioned above) found on the early 1990s re-release of Strong Kids, Safe Kids, after the next logo. Other tapes that have this include Teen Wolf and Call to Glory. Interestingly, the video division of Paramount would produce 1984-86 episodes of Brothers, a sitcom which aired on Showtime from 1984-1989; this would appear on 1984-86 episodes, while 1987-89 episodes would go under Paramount Television.
Scare Factor: Low. The flash and growing mountain may get to some, but the music is very quiet and nice.
(May 17, 1989-October 24, 2006)
Nickname: "Abstract Mountain"
Logo: On a background filled with blue/indigo squares, we see a blue square with the Paramount abstract mountain logo in gold. It shines, then moves and zooms away as the squares behind it move away, revealing the stacked words "FEATURE PRESENTATION" in gold on a heliotrope gradient background. After a few moments, it zooms towards us. It cuts to the warning post, which has a pattern of Paramount mountains in the background.
Bylines: This used whatever byline Paramount was using at the time:
- 1989: "A Gulf+Western Company"
- 1989-1995: "A Paramount Communications Company" (Earlier versions until 1992 have a different font for the Paramount Communications byline, sans serif)
- 1995-2006: "A VIACOM COMPANY" (in the 1990 \/|/\CO/\/\ "Wigga-Wigga" font)
Variant: There was a special bumper used for trailers from 1989 to roughly 1998-1999, with the words "COMING ATTRACTIONS" over the heliotrope gradient background, which cuts off after the zoom in.
FX/SFX: The CGI squares moving away, the animation on the Paramount square.
Cheesy Factor: The zooming effect on "FEATURE PRESENTATION" looks like cheap computer effects.
Music/Sounds/Voice-over: An abridged version of the Paramount on Parade fanfare, along with an announcer saying "And now, we're pleased to bring you our feature presentation".
- A variation exists where the announcer says "Paramount is pleased to bring you our feature presentation". This was used with all three byline variants, and can be found on Laserdiscs, as well as video titles which have no previews before the film (such as the first four Star Trek motion pictures as released on VHS in 1989, A Separate Peace as released on VHS in 1998, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut as released on VHS in 2000, Nick Jr.'s Imagine That! as released on VHS in 2001, and the early-1990s issue of Strong Kids, Safe Kids, as well as the widescreen edition of Forrest Gump. The full screen version has the standard voice-over). On rare occasions, though, this variation did appear right after previews; this can be seen on Rugrats: Easter, Wayne's World 2, and a series of four videocassettes sold as part of a 1993 McDonald's promotion, including Ghost (look for the Rank logo on one of the spines on the slipcovers for those films and a face label on the tapes with a special red, yellow, black, and white color scheme).
- On the "COMING ATTRACTIONS" variant, the announcer says "Here are some exciting coming attractions from Paramount".
Availability: Very common. It appears on most Paramount video releases. The "COMING ATTRACTIONS" version was only used until 1997. The Gulf+Western variation is the toughest find, but debuted on Coming to America, and can also be found on releases such as the first four Star Trek motion pictures, The Naked Gun, Major League, Pet Sematary, Puppet Master, The Experts, and Cousins, among others. The Communications variation is easier to find, given that it can be seen on at least one-third of the Peanuts specials released by Paramount on VHS. It can also be found on the 1990 release of Grease, the 1991 Laserdisc of Ghost, the widescreen edition of Forrest Gump, and the 1993 release of Charlotte's Web. Strangely, on such tapes as the 1998 VHS of Titanic and Columbia House releases of television shows, this logo is not shown at all; it just goes straight to the warning screen. Also, on the 1997 releases of the Godfather trilogy, the logo cuts to a black screen, as the warnings are placed at the beginning,separate from the logo. The normal version strangely appears on such tapes as Major League, the 1991 releases of the first five Star Trek motion pictures, and a 1998 print of Kid Cop, despite those tapes having no previews.
Scare Factor: None to low. The zooming in of the "FEATURE PRESENTATION" text with the jarring cut to the warning can startle some first-time viewers, as well as the fanfare.
Nickname: "Lined Mountain"
Logo: On a background that is the same color as the previous logo, "Paramount" is seen being written in a gold color in its trademark font. As this is occurring, the background is opening up in segments to reveal the 1986 Paramount Pictures, without a byline and the stars in a light gold color.
FX/SFX: The background opening up, Paramount being written and the Paramount Pictures logo being revealed. All very nice CGI.
Music/Sounds/Voice-over: A male announcer says, "Paramount Pictures, bringing you the best in holiday entertainment, and the best of the new year." All of this is said against a bombastic fanfare, an excerpt from Ennio Morricone‘s soundtrack to the 1987 film version of The Untouchables.
Availability: Very rare. This logo was seen on VHS releases by the company from the era around the Christmas 1993 season that were available in McDonald's restaurants. One of the titles was Ghost.
Scare Factor: None to medium. It depends on what you think of the transition effect and the announcer.
Nicknames: "CGI Mountain", "Ultra Majestic Mountain", "Ultra Majestic Perumount"
Logo: An enhanced version of the previous home video logo. A full color version of the "Ultra Majestic Mountain" (90th Anniversary version) appears in a square that overlaps a background of four purple squares. A line of light passes over it, and then the logo flies off and the squares peel off, pretty much like before. They reveal "FEATURE PRESENTATION" in a gold-yellow font flying into place, each word from a different end. The words now float against a dark cloud background, eventually zooming out towards the screen in a trail of gold light. The warning post appears as always, but with a dark blue background in place of the usual logo wallpaper.
FX/SFX: Same as above, except for the moving cloud background.
Music/Sounds/Voice-over: Same as the 1989 logo.
Availability: Rare, as this logo was only used for a year. Seen on certain 2002 Paramount VHS releases from the era, such as SpongeBob SquarePants: Sea Stories, The Sum of All Fears, Lucky Break, Crossroads, The Day Regan Was Shot, and Rugrats Christmas. Other releases, such as specific prints of Changing Lanes and the Special Edition VHS of Rat Race, have the 90th Anniversary print logo on the spine but do not have this logo on the tape.
Scare Factor: Low, as it complements the 2002 movie logo very nicely.
Paramount DVD (2003- )
Nicknames: "CGI Disc Mountain II", "Dark Mountain of Steel II", "Dark Perumount II"
Logo: Starts off with the 2002 "Ultra Majestic Mountain" animation with the stars flying through the clouds, the zoom out of the "Paramount" script, and the stars coming in and circling around the mountain. When we are at a comfortable distance, a DVD disc flies in from the bottom, glides and settles behind the summit and the Paramount script. Then, a bright flash underneath the peak brings forth "DVD" with a line below it, and the Viacom Company byline (in the Viacom "Wigga-Wigga" font) below the line. The background fades to black, and a white laser scans the disc in a downward motion, turning the entire DVD Paramountain silver. The finished product almost resembles the Paramount DVD print logo.
Variant: At the end of the logo, a menu would appear with two selections which are "PREVIEWS" and "MAIN MENU". This was seen on some early DVDs with this logo.
FX/SFX: The DVD disc gliding on the 2002 animation.
Cheesy Factor: Not only has the DVD animation dated a bit (whereas the Paramount logo itself hasn't), the DVD flies in like a Frisbee and as a result looks a little bit ridiculous.
Music/Sounds: Some whooshing sounds, culminating in a synth "explosion" effect with a thunderclap. As the white laser scans down, a humming sound can be heard.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the variation with the menu selections, a synth chime is heard as the logo fades out, followed by a whirling sound when the selections disappear.
Availability: Common. It's seen on many post-2003 DVDs released by the company. If you see certain DVDs with a "90th Anniversary" tacked on to the Paramount DVD print logo, don't assume that they have an actual 90th anniversary Paramount DVD logo, as they just have the normal one. An example of this is the 2002 DVD issue of SpongeBob SquarePants: Sea Stories. Oddly, despite the logo and byline having been changed, this logo is still being used, as seen on the 2015 DVD releases of Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown and Boyhood. The logo appears in place of Disney's on the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment DVD releases of Marvel's The Avengers and Iron Man 3, a side effect of Disney taking over distribution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the middle of Marvel's current deal with Paramount, which expired in 2014.
Scare Factor: Minimal to high. The DVD flying in and the sudden flash and thunderclap and change to black may be pretty jarring, especially if you are used to the movie logo and wind up with this. But the scare factor is lower for those that are used to seeing it. The sound effects on the variant may catch some first time viewers off-guard.
Paramount High Definition (2006-2014)
Nicknames: "Digital Mountain", "From SD to HD", "Digital Perumount"
Logo: We first see the effect of a TV getting switched on, zooming out from one of the stars and transitioning to the middle of the 2002 Paramount logo. Then, two white lines move across the picture vertically from the center, sharpening the picture and forming the silver text:
which zooms out into place. The usual Viacom byline fades in below, and the HD text shines.
FX/SFX: Nice CGI, and nice HD transfer!
Music/Sounds: Some "static" sound effects and a few loud whooshes and shining sounds.
Availability: Common. It's currently seen on Paramount Blu-ray releases. Was seen on Paramount HD-DVD releases too (hence the term "High Definition" than just "Blu-ray" or "HD-DVD") around 2006-2008. Starting sometime in 2007, Paramount's high definition releases were being exclusive to HD-DVD. However, when Toshiba announced they would discontinue HD-DVD, Paramount, like all other movie studios, became Blu-ray only. Their first film on Blu-ray since HD-DVD's collapse is The Spiderwick Chronicles. This logo can be found on releases with the print version of this logo on the box art. It was also found on the 2008 Blu-ray release of Last Holiday, in which the print logo was absent on the box art. A final speculation is that the print logo is retired, when the actual logo is still being used. As far as this logo appearing on Disney's distribution for Marvel's films, it's the same as the Paramount DVD logo.
Scare Factor: Low. The sudden appearance of the lines, combined with the loud sound effect used when they appear, can catch you off-guard.
Here is a logo history of the company (including some variations):