Golden Books Family Entertainment
Golden Books Family Entertainment was established by children's book publisher Golden Books as its home video unit. Its earliest releases in the 1985-1986 timeframe were probably the most well-remembered, featuring adaptions of popular Golden Books using illustrations shot out of the books with very limited animation effects added. They also released many other children's entertainment videos, often under the "GoldenVision" and "Golden Step Ahead" names. In 1997, the newly formed Golden Books Family Entertainment acquired the family programming from Broadway Video and began releasing videos through Sony Wonder. On August 16, 2001, the assets of Golden Books were sold to Classic Media, L.L.C. (since acquired by Entertainment Rights plc, now Boomerang Media, L.L.C.) and Random House (which now continues Golden Books as a standalone imprint) in a bankruptcy court auction, with Classic Media acquiring the libraries and Random House acquiring the publishing division. Classic Media continued releasing the Golden Books Family Entertainment catalog through Sony Wonder until 2007, when it changed distributors to Genius Products after Sony BMG Music Entertainment shut down Sony Wonder, but was moved to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on June 21. The catalog was later transferred to Vivendi Entertainment (now "Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment") after Genius Products announced to exit the home entertainment business in 2009, and is now in the hands of Cinedigm after they merged Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment into Newvideo.
Golden Book Video
1st Logo (Opening) (1985-1996)
Nickname: "The Turning Golden Book"
Logo: The screen is divided into two parts horizontally: the top half is black and the bottom half is a lilac-sea green gradient. We see a book with its bottom side facing us, on the bottom half of the screen. As we zoom out it opens up and the pages turn, while a yellow pie-shaped sun flies up from the book, whose pages rise up and turn yellow. As this happens, the background becomes completely black. The pages and sun turn golden (or at least a cheesy recreation) as a golden rounded rectangle border zooms out and encloses the elements, with a space left where a ray of light wipes "GOLDEN" in a Serif Gothic-like font below it. The rounded rectangle "morphs" into a TV tube as "GOLDEN" zooms out to make way for "BOOK" which is wiped on similarly, and "VIDEO" which zooms out below that, with a shadow effect. The logo shines several times.
Opening Variant: On Campfire Thrillers, after the logo is completely formed, the black background fades to a darkened sky background seen in the film's opening sequence, with the logo superimposed over it. When the logo and music ends, the logo fades out and the video's opening titles start over the sky background.
- In most cases, the "shining" part of the logo plays at the end, without music.
- At the end of Three She-Ra: Princess of Power Stories, the logo fades in from a distance, slowly zooming up to the camera, and the color is bronze gold. Once it has practically overtaken the entire screen, it fades to the "She-Ra" logo zooming up, which stops and "shines" once it has come to a huge size. After that, it fades to the "Princess of Power" logo zooming in and shining, and then it fades to black. This was also seen on Three Hugga Bunch Stories, but only the Golden Book Video portion was shown.
- On the release Three Fairy Tale Classics, the standard "shining" end variant is seen, but the logo spins into view from a far distance before resuming like normal once it is at the correct size.
- On the original issue of the 1986 Golden Step-Ahead video Know the Alphabet, the full opening logo is seen at the end of the video after the credits roll with the 1986 theme music, rather than the standard "still" closing variant. The full opening logo was also seen at the end of the 1986 video Get Ready to Read, but silent.
- On some 1985 video releases, a different animation was used sometimes, which is described as the second logo.
FX/SFX: The book, the sun, both of them turning yellow, the background becoming black, the border zooming in and later morphing into a TV tube, the rays of light wiping in the words, the shining.
Music/Sounds: There were 2 majestic synth fanfares used on this logo.
- The first is a modified stock music track from the KPM music library entitled "Prestige Logo (a)" by Paddy Kingsland, with extra looped synthesizer effects added to the final note to fit the duration of the logo.
- The second fanfare is similar but an original composition with a different key, sounding somewhat more elaborately-produced.
- "Prestige Logo (a)" was used up until mid-1986 (most likely due to music rights issues) and often featured the second logo at the end of the video; the second fanfare was used from late-1986 to 1996.
Music/Sounds Variant: An abridged version of the logo is used which plays a variation of the last few notes of the 2nd version music, and the GoldenVision logo follows it.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on Golden Book Video releases from the era. It's still saved on copies with a print version of the logo which uses a different yet similar font for the words. Some early 1990s releases had the trademark Golden Books Spine which was used on all later releases. One video with this logo on it is the animated HBO special Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. It can also be seen on some DIC video releases, including earlier releases of Madeline and the 1989 video Little Golden Book Land: The Great Harbor Rescue. It also appeared on video releases of the rare anthology series A Bunch of Munsch. All videos with this logo are now out of print, but can be sometimes found wherever used videos are sold. This was also oddly found on the Scholastic DVD release of Commander Toad in Space.
Editor's Note: This logo has some pretty cool animation effects and is rather good for its time, and is sure to be memorable to children growing up with Golden Book's VHS releases of the 1980s and 1990s.
2nd Logo (Closing, Alternate) (1985-1994)
Nicknames: "Outer Space", "The Final Frontier", "Space from Hell/of Doom", "A Golden Book in Space", "The Neon Golden Book Video of Space"
Logo: We start out zooming in space, with an orange planet at the right of the screen and a blue planet at the left. Suddenly a comet appears and flies towards the center of the screen. When it reaches the center it "blows up"--i.e., there is a flash and the screen turns a yellowish tint, and a few yellow streaks emerge from the center and fly toward the screen, slightly moving left as they do so. A large Golden Book Video logo glowing blue zooms-out as the yellowish tint fades. The logo shines and zooms out with a yellow shadow effect.
Trivia: The logo's animation was produced by Animagination, Inc.
- On a few videos, a female voice-over is heard saying, "The best of children's entertainment, presented by... Golden Book Video". This variant was put at the beginning of the video.
- On Commander Toad in Space, a registered trademark "®" symbol appears on the bottom right after the Golden Book Video logo appears, which fades out as the "shadow effect" occurs.
FX/SFX: The panning through space, the comet zooming toward the screen and exploding, the Golden Book Video logo animation, and the "shadow effect" zoom out.
Music/Sounds: A strange humming sound as we begin, with a "whoosh" as the comet appears followed by a synthesized explosion sound, a drone, and a gradual synthesized fade-out during the "shadow effect". Many of the sounds in this logo were sampled from the BBC's "Out Of This World" sound effects album.
Availability: Rarer than the opening variant. It was seen at the end of a handful of Golden Book video releases from 1985 (that have the "version 1" fanfare on the beginning logo). This logo was spotted on VHS releases of Masters of the Universe - 3 Stories, Three Richard Scarry Animal Nursery Tales and Herbert the Timid Dragon and Other Tales, to name a few. It was also seen on reissues of said videos well into 1991. It also shows up in the middle of Masters of the Universe - 4 Stories (in-between the second and third stories). It also surprisingly appeared at the end of the 1993 VHS and Scholastic DVD of Commander Toad in Space, long after it was no longer in regular use. In a few rare cases on some Canadian releases, this actually replaces the opening logo at the beginning of the videos (with voice-over), and was only spotted on a few releases, such as the 1986 release of Sandra Beech: The Pretend Box (to name one).
Editor's Note: This logo is not very suitable to feature after children's programming, what with the eerie soundtrack and the fact that it involves a comet collision in outer space, not to mention that the animation and effects are very second-rate (though from companies like Golden Book Video and Animagination, Inc., this can be expected.) It has been known to have scared or startled quite a few children viewing tapes that feature this logo. Though it does seem to fit with the sci-fi theme of Commander Toad in Space.
Golden Books Family Entertainment
1st Logo (1996-2005)
Logo: On a black background, we see the text "Golden Books" in its familiar golden color and hand-written font sliding in from the left. At the same time, the text "FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT" below in the Gill Sans font slides in from the opposite direction. When they both meet in the center, the whole logo "flashes" (a la the Cartoon Classics variant of the Walt Disney Home Video Neon Mickey logo).
FX/SFX: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: Either the end theme of the show, or silence.
Availability: Appears on the Golden Books Family Entertainment VHS of Frosty Returns. It was also seen on Cartoon Network reruns of Underdog in the late 90s/early 2000s (when the show resurfaced on the Kabillion On Demand service in the late 2000s, the Program Exchange logo was present instead). The variant was seen on the late 1990s revival of Lassie, followed by the Cinar logo (or Cookie Jar logo in recent years).
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (1997-2008)
Nicknames: "The (Golden) G", "G Reading a Book", "G with a Book"
Logo: On a white background we see a red book turned on its side and rotated at a 45 degree angle. We see the top of a lowercase "g" in Times New Roman peeking over the top of the book, then jumps up from below, picks up the book, opens it, and hops up a few spaces to make way for "Golden Books" written in golden and in the same font as before (the "g" watches as the text is written). "FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT" appears below that as the "g" looks back into the book. The end result is similar to the current Golden Books logo.
- On the DVD release of Frosty the Snowman, the logo disappears to make room for "Presents".
- A still version of the logo exists.
- On The Charlie Horse Music Pizza, it also had "IN ASSOCIATION WITH" above it in a Funhouse font.
- On some Christmas specials, the "g" is still once again, but wearing a Santa hat.
FX/SFX: Nice 3D animation!
Music/Sounds: A playful xylophone tune is heard, accompanied by strings at the end.
Availability: Uncommon, it can be found on DVDs and VHS tapes from the company; some DVDs are still in print.
Editor's Note: This logo is clean and family-friendly, and was a pretty good way to bring their "G with a Book" logo to life, and is sure to still appeal to little kids watching their releases from the era.