Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (formerly "WCI Home Video"; the word "WCI" for "Warner Communications, Inc.", and "Warner Home Video", and also known as "Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc." and "Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group") is the home entertainment unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., itself part of Time Warner, founded in 1978 to distribute on video the film and television library of Warner Bros. Studios, and when Time Warner acquired them, programs from other Time Warner companies. Currently, they also serve distributor for television and/or movie product released by BBC (w/ 2 Entertain), Lifetime, Cartoon Network, Turner Entertainment Co., Viz Media, TruTV (formerly "Court TV"), TNT, National Geographic Society in the U.S., and product from the NBA, NFL, and NHL.
Warner Home Video
(July 1980-Late 1985, 1987, August 1990, 1996)
Nickname: "The Big \\'"
- July 1980-February 1981: We start out with a very big \\' logo (that is white with a blue "tube") that fills the entire screen. It then zooms back slightly. Then above the logo, the words "WCI HOME VIDEO" between two horizontal lines appear, followed by a much smaller \\' logo besides "A Warner Communications Company". The logo fades from black after the standard FBI Warning Screen and has a more-grainy film like quality to it. The \\' logo is slightly bigger than on the later version of the logo.
- September 1980-Late 1985: Same as before, but now the quality is improved, the "WCI" in "WCI HOME VIDEO" is replaced with "WARNER", and the FBI Warning screen now cuts directly to the logo. The \\' is a little smaller as well, and the film scratches are gone.
- A variation exists in which the now-white logo is placed on a blue-purple background. The byline is in a different typeface as well.
- On Australian Warner Home Video releases of United Artists films, the \\' is even smaller and is shifted to the top half of the screen, and on the bottom half is the "WARNER HOME VIDEO" text. The logo is completely still this time.
- A Spanish version of this logo has the blue circle zoom away from the screen and each section of the "\\'" animates. An asterisk and the "WARNER HOME VIDEO" line appears (there is no fade in). The asterisk then refers to the phase: "Marca Registrada de Warner Communications Inc."
- A French version of the logo has the original animation intact, but the text "WARNER HOME VIDEO" and the byline are smaller and in a different font.
Trivia: The logo is derived from Warner Cable's logo, which was used as early as 1975-76. A still version exists at the end of the 1977 Warner Cable game show pilots How Do You Like Your Eggs?
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The "zooming out" of the logo, not to mention the film scratches on the WCI version.
Music/Sounds: None, though a Canadian VHS of Casablanca has the second half of the "Turning UA" music play over this logo.
- On some UK tapes with previews, the logo has music and a stoic, quiet-sounding American voiceover.
- Before the first trailer, he says "Some other great titles from the small screen. From Warner Home Video."
- After the last one, he says "The titles you have just seen are available on VHS and Betamax. Ask your local stockists for details. Warner...Home Video."
Availability: Used on VHS, Betamax, Laserdisc, and CED releases at the time. Most video releases of the era went straight from the warning screen to the movie with the Warner Bros., Orion, or First Artists logo in use at the time, and tapes that actually have this logo are long out of print. Releases as far back as the July 1980 batch of releases have this including Every Which Way But Loose and Magnum Force with Clint Eastwood and Bullitt with Steve McQueen. The first WCI releases included Blazing Saddles, The Green Berets, and The Wild Bunch. Some WCI releases are also packaged in WHV packaging, with WHV labels during a short 1980 transitional period. Caddyshack, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, and Just Tell Me What You Want are a few videos known to have this variation. The 1980-1985 variant is available on The Road Warrior, Death Race 2000, THX-1138, The Amityville Horror, Any Which Way You Can, The Great Race, Gremlins, Fandango, Vision Quest, the first two Police Academy movies, and the Kung Fu pilot movie. The last tape to use this logo officially was the 1986 reprint of Just Tell Me What You Want, though the logo later made surprise appearances on the 1987 Canadian VHS of Them!, the 1990 release of Ensign Pulver, and a 1987 reissue of Call of the Wild (1972) from MPI Home Video. The logo made its final appearance in 1996, when Warner Home Video reissued the Super Friends Collection on VHS, using masters originally created in 1985. The variant with music and an announcer was seen on the original UK VHS of Risky Business. Some tapes have the next print logo on the cover but have this logo on the tape, such as Gremlins, The NeverEnding Story, Vision Quest, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, early prints ofLost in America, and Ladyhawke. Oddly enough, it and the preceding warning scroll plaster the United Artists logo but keep its original music on a Canadian VHS release of Casablanca.
- July 1980-February 1981: Minimal. The fade from black to the logo may startle you.
- September 1980-Late 1985: Minimal. The transition from the FBI warning screen to this logo is sudden and jarring, but this logo is otherwise harmless.
Nicknames: "The Cheesy Shield", "WB Shield", "CGI WB Shield", "The Cheesy WB Shield"
Logo: Over a time-lapsed animation of clouds, the camera zooms out between the tops of some gold-colored letters and the bottom of a gold plank. The camera then zooms out and the logo turns towards us, revealing that it is the words "WARNER HOME VIDEO", with two lines above it and two lines below it. It then zooms out to the bottom of the screen, followed by a giant WB Shield logo appearing from the top of the screen, slightly tilted to the bottom, then rotating to face us. The Warner byline fades in at the bottom of the screen. "Sparkles" appear and white "reflections" appear on the logo.
- Late 1985-1990: "A Subsidiary of Warner Bros. Inc., A Warner Communications Company"
- December 27, 1990-March 31, 1993: "A Subsidiary of Warner Bros. Inc., A Time Warner Company" The Time Warner byline variant is a tough find, but it appeared on My Blue Heaven, Presumed Innocent, Memphis Belle, The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Rookie, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter,
GoodFellas, Defending Your Life, Out for Justice, Rover Dangerfield, Curly Sue, Batman Returns, Lethal Weapon 3, Stay Tuned, Under Siege, and the Japanese-subtitled VHS of Blade Runner: The Director's Cut (the American release uses the next byline).
- April 14, 1993-February 1997: "A Time Warner Entertainment Company" (This byline is in a different typeface.) The Time Warner Entertainment byline appeared during the waning days of the logo, and appeared on, among other tapes, Animaniacs Sing-Along: Yakko's World.
- Sometimes, the Time Warner Entertainment byline (1993-1997) is slightly smaller, using a font similar to the first two bylines.
- Most releases outside the U.S. and some domestic releases during the Time Warner merger didn't have a byline. The bylineless version oddly shows up on an early 1990s VHS of Journey Back to Oz from UAV Corporation (perhaps it was taken from a foreign master) as well as international VHS prints of Thelma and Louise from MGM/UA Home Video (which must have been due to WHV's distribution deal for MGM/UA at the time). This makes a very strange appearance on the Hong Kong Tai Seng/Megastar DVD of The Protector, after the 1st Media Asia logo and before the 1984 Warner Bros. logo of the time (this is likely because it uses the U.S version of the film, which appears to be taken from a Laserdisc source, being it has this logo on it).
- There exists a rare still version of the logo, which can be found on certain Kidsongs videos and the U.S. VHS of Batman Returns (The UK release used the normal bylineless logo).
- On some UK rental tapes, when the logo animation is finished, the logo splits in two horizontally down the middle, then the two sides compress up and down, respectively, revealing a blue background with the yellow words "COMING SOON". This is seen on the rental tapes of Lost in America and Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.
- There is a prototype variant of this logo with a different time-lapse cloud background. So far, it was only known to have appeared on later prints of the original 1985 VHS release of Lost in America. If you look closely at the picture (the only evidence of this variant), you'll notice that the clouds seem to be unused footage from the regular version. It was recently discovered that stills of this prototype appeared on Warner Bros. trailers that plastered the Warner Bros. Pictures logo with the prototype stills.
- There is yet another different cloud background. This can be seen on the home video trailers for Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, Lethal Weapon 2, Chasers, A Time to Kill, and Tin Cup. (Note: on the latter three, the logo is only seen for a split second, but on the Daffy Duck's Quackbusters and Lethal Weapon 2 trailers, the logo lasts longer, with the cloud footage starting where it ended on the regular logo.) This cloud background is, in fact, additional footage from the regular version.
- There is a very rare promo variant where the giant WB shield rises up from the top, and rotates to face forward, then zooms out slightly. In this version, there is no company name or byline. This can be seen on a June 1989 dealer preview tape, and on a promotional feature on Batman Forever for its then-upcoming VHS release in October 1995. A slightly extended version was seen on a promo for Clint Eastwood movies on the original VHS release of The Dead Pool, where the shield zooms out and disappears into the clouds.
- On Australian videos from the 1980s, the logo fades away to a different cloud background. It has "At Home With The Hits" in cursive and arched, with the words "PREVIEW ATTRACTION" sandwiched between sets of two lines. All are gold and the cloud background eases back.
- A black & white version can be found on B&W releases such as VHS tapes of Maverick (1957).
- On a Mexican Spanish tape of Space Jam, we see the finishing logo (with Time Warner byline, strangely), except the shield animates like the reversed promo variant. This variant was also seen on a promo for the 1990 Warner Home Video release of Sweatin' to the Oldies.
FX/SFX: The "time-lapse" cloud animation, the WB shield rotating into place.
Cheesy Factor: Relatively primitive CGI (looking like it was designed on an Amiga computer, which it probably was) along with the "time-lapse" cloud animation. Cheap synth theme as well. The freeze frame on the still version looks cheap, too.
Music/Sounds: A proud, bombastic synthesized theme that really fits the logo. This is a synthesized version of Warner Bros.' 1937 theatrical fanfare. As a side note, a lusher orchestrated theme with the same notes as the HV logo was briefly used as the fanfare for the movie WB shield when it returned to usage in 1984. Silent for the still version. Note: the Time Warner Entertainment byline faded in at the last note of the theme. The Warner Communications and Time Warner bylines faded in as the shield rotated to its final position.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the 1990 Laserdisc of S.O.B., the logo is silent.
Availability: Common. Seen on every Warner Home Video release from the era, beginning with Cheyenne Autumn and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Notice that the current print logo is seen on 1996-1997 tapes, but still uses this logo, however it also still uses the commonly seen "DIGITALLY PROCESSED" text on the side of the packaging, so this logo is an easy find. Examples that have this logo include Bullitt, Beetlejuice, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the first three Lethal Weapon movies, and the first three Batman movies. Another easy way to find this logo is to look for the WB shield on the front of the tape. Among the last tapes to use this logo were the fullscreen version of Eraser (the widescreen version uses the next logo) and Twister. Also, from 1996-1997, this logo was used concurrently with the next. Raised to rare for the still version. Note that this logo was used in foreign countries as recently as 1999.
Scare Factor: None.
(December 30, 1996-March 2017)
Nicknames: "CGI Invisible/Visible Shield", "Boring Shield", "Shield of Boredom", "WB Shield II", "The Boring WB Shield"
Logo: Against a backdrop of clouds, a clear WB shield with a wordless banner slowly fades into view. Then the words "WARNER HOME VIDEO" are wiped onto the banner as the colors slowly appear on the shield.
Byline: From 2002-2003, the byline "An AOL Time Warner Company" was seen below the logo. The shield is a lot smaller in this version. The clouds toss about, and grow bigger until it grows so much, it almost looks like a storm is coming over the horizon
- A full-screen version exists on VHS releases from late 1996, and full-screen DVD releases from 1997. The clouds toss about, just like the AOL Time Warner version, and as the shield brightens, it completely covers the clouds, and the shield is gigantic.
- A widescreen version exists on widescreen DVDs starting in 1997. The shield is slightly smaller, but still big, the cloud background is a little different, and the clouds are more spread out, as they pass by and get puffier.
- In 1998, as with other Warner labels, a 75th Anniversary version was used. This contained a smaller shield with the banner reading "WARNER BROS.", and featured a giant "75" behind it. "YEARS ENTERTAINING THE WORLD" is seen below with "YEARS" a bit bigger and in spaced-out letters. This logo is seen during the year on home video releases and some trailers.
- A rare version had a still logo in the style of the 1992 WB logo with the Warner Home Video banner replacing the Warner Bros Pictures banner and the Time Warner Entertainment byline below that. It appeared on an ad for Cats Don't Dance which was used on the VHS releases of Shiloh and The Swan Princess: Escape from Castle Mountain and was never used as a real logo.
- Some early releases in late 2001 with the AOL Time Warner byline have the byline sloppily chyroned in over the standard variant;, which is actually the 1997 widescreen variant with byline added the byline's fade out is also out-of-sync with that of the video behind it in this version. This can be seen on Uprising.
- There is a full screen version of the AOL Time Warner variant, with wide angle lens, which can be spotted on the 2004 DVD of Leapfrog Math Circus, as well as VHS releases.
- A widescreen version with AOL Time Warner byline can be seen on widescreen DVDs from 2003-early 2004.
- Another full screen AOL Time Warner variant had the logo cropped to 16.9 then 4.3, seen on many fullscreen DVDs from 2003-early 2004.
- On all Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and 2010-17 DVD releases, the sky background is zoomed in by 20%. For 2010-17 fullscreen releases, the Warner Home Video shield is zoomed out 10%. Some Blu-ray releases from 2006-2009 have the aspect ratio in 2:35.1.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: A simple, effective logo animation; nothing really cheesy except for the "wiping" on of the text. It is worth noting, however, that the logo still carries the word "VIDEO" to this day, despite the VHS format ceasing production years ago. As with the AOL Time Warner byline, not only was it badly introduced (being chyroned over the standard variant, as mentioned above), but the final version of the logo has something weird to it, as the version without the byline (plus the previously mentioned cheap variant) has the whole logo fading to black. But in the byline version, the shield and byline are seen fading out over the cloud background, and turn translucent as everything fades to black.
Music/Sounds: A quiet piano tune with two instrument ending types:
- Acoustic strings: This is used for all VHS releases as well as Laserdiscs and UMD Video releases. It was used on most stereo DVDs, but some 5.1 DVDs like Scooby-Doo (2002) and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone use this variant, and also appeared on television releases like DVDs of all six seasons of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, and Ben 10. It also appears on certain PBS Kids VHS and DVD releases, as well as the earliest Peanuts DVDs released under Warner. Some DVDs of vintage movies, like Hero At Large, Deliverance, Blood Sport, Fingers, True Romance (movie and special features sides), and Bronco Billy use this variant, though some vintage films like Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, and The Wizard of Oz use the synth strings variant. The acoustic strings version can also be seen on the special features discs of films like 300, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Amadeus, Dirty Harry, and The Phantom of the Opera (the movie discs use the synth strings version). The acoustic strings version can also be seen on some DVDs of Hanna Barbera TV movies like Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders, Scooby Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School, and A Flintstones Christmas Carol.
- Synth Strings: All 5.1 DVD's and Blu-ray releases use this variant. On North American releases, it sounds more dual. The dual is sometimes used on DVD's that have the format screen after the logo. The dual synth strings version appears on Harry Potter DVDs (except the 1st film, which uses the acoustic strings, and the 2nd film, which uses the low tone AOL Time Warner Company acoustic strings) and can also be seen on titles such as The Polar Express, The Phantom of the Opera, 300, March of the Penguins, The Ant Bully, Happy Feet, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Clifford's Really Big Movie, some DVDs of Hanna Barbera TV movies like Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost, Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase, Scooby Doo Pirates Ahoy, Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster, and Chill Out Scooby-Doo!, 2001: A Space Odyssey, later DVDs of Peanuts, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry and Scooby-Doo, as well as the Blu-Ray complete series set of Friends, and the DVD release of Friends: The One with All the Parties.
- Music/Sounds Variants: Sometimes on the NTSC AOL Time Warner version, the acoustic strings theme is in a lower pitch. This can be found on the VHS and DVD releases of Uprising, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, A Walk to Remember (VHS only), Scooby-Doo (VHS only), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, A Mighty Wind, Space Jam (2003 DVD only; retained on a 2010 reprint), Kangaroo Jack, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, South Park: The Original Unaired Pilot, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, as well as the first Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD set and Looney Tunes: Stranger Than Fiction, and some PBS Kids releases like Teletubbies: Silly Songs and Funny Dances, Caillou: At His Best, Caillou: Big Brother Caillou, and all Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat releases, which is immediately followed by the "kidsvideo" variant of the PBS Kids logo.
- On the 2000 screener VHS of The Replacements, and the 1997 Warnervision Entertainment release of The Chain (1996), which Warner Home Video released, the 1996 full screen Warner Home Video logo is used with the low tone with acoustic strings.
- On the 2003 DVD release of Dennis the Menace, the widescreen 2002 AOL Time Warner byline version uses the regular pitch from the 1996 version with acoustic strings.
- On the 2003 DVD of Caillou's Holiday Movie, the full screen AOL Time Warner variant also uses the regular pitch from the 1996 version, also with acoustic strings, at the beginning after the FBI Warning, and at the end after the Cinar logo.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The music was originally written by Eggchair Music.
Descriptive Video Service VHS Voiceover Variants:
- A DVS narrator describes the logo: "In a logo, clouds swirl in a blue sky. The letters WB appear in a golden shield. Warner Home Video."
- For DVS VHS's under the AOL Time Warner era, however, the narrator adds "An AOL Time Warner Company" to the description.
- Examples are Rena Baskin on the DVS VHS of Driving Miss Daisy, Kria Sakakeeny on The Wizard of Oz, Peter Haydu on The Matrix, Nick Mills on Unforgiven, Miles Neff on Scooby-Doo and The Matrix Reloaded, Wendie Sakakeeny on The Color Purple, and Pat Lentz on Two Weeks Notice.
Availability: Common. This was used concurrently with the previous logo on 1996-1997 WHV tapes (on a side note, the print version of this logo was introduced in mid-1996, and those tapes contain the previous logo, but you should also expect the "DIGITALLY PROCESSED" text on the side of its packaging, so the previous logo is an easy find). The first products to have this logo include the 1996 rental VHS release of A Time to Kill, released on December 30, 1996, the VHS of Space Jam released on March 11, 1997, and the first DVDs from Warner Bros. (one of which was A Time to Kill), released on March 26, 1997. Surprisingly, this logo was seen at the end of a 1990 episode of Night Court on TV Land. It is possible that the episode was ripped from DVD (though at the time, the latest episode available on DVD was "Fire", aired in 1988), and TV Land forgot to edit the logo out for broadcast. This is also the case with some episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on ABC Family. The version with the AOL Time Warner byline can be found on most tapes from 2002, but DVDs from 2002 still had the regular logo until January 28, 2003, when the AOL Time Warner variant was used on DVDs, including The Great Dictator and the 2003 Special Edition releases of Dennis the Menace, and Dennis the Menace Strikes Again. Strangely, this can also be seen on a "Now Available on DVD" trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which can be seen on the DVD of Shorts. It can also be seen on the UK release of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Don't expect to see this on anything from Viz Media as it just has a VIZ Media logo at the beginning.
Scare Factor: None. This is a clean logo.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
(March 14, 2017-)
Nicknames: "CGI Invisible/Visible Shield II", "Cheesy Shield II"
Logo: Same as the 3rd Warner Home Video logo, except the sky background is different, and the logo seems to be in a more 3D look with the colors more solid along with the text on the banner being replaced with "HOME ENTERTAINMENT".
FX/SFX: Same as the 3rd Warner Home Video logo.
Music/Sounds: A remastered version of the AOL Time Warner variant of the previous logo.
Availability: Brand new. The print logo first appeared on late 2016/early 2017 releases such as Storks, Sully, and Suicide Squad. The logo proper debuted on the March 14, 2017 releases of Collateral Beauty, The Jetsons & WWE: RoboWrestleMania!, and CHiPs: The Complete Fifth Season. On 4K Ultra HD releases, this may have debuted two weeks later, on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Scare Factor: Same as the 3rd WHV logo.