Family Home Entertainment
Family Home Entertainment was a home video distribution company established by Noel C. Bloom in 1981 to distribute family/kids releases. A year later, FHE launched a non-kids sub-division known as U.S.A. Home Video, which would eventually evolve into Artisan Entertainment. Early releases were distributed by MGM/UA Home Video and in the late 80s, FHE's releases were distributed by MCA (mostly in Canada). In 2003, Lions Gate Films acquired and folded Artisan Entertainment and FHE became a sub-label before being rebranded as Lions Gate Family Entertainment in 2005.
1st Logo (June 1981-1985, 1987)
Nicknames: "Soda Pop", "Cheesy FHE", "The Fizzling Sun"
Logo: The screen fades to a space background as a large pink/purple "sun" slowly moves towards us. After a few seconds of sizzling, it then transforms into the words "FAMILY HOME", set in "Baby Teeth" (whose digital incarnation goes by "Surfside"), a font very reminiscent of Pac-Man. Then "ENTERTAINMENT" in the same font flies from behind the text on top of the screen and settles underneath the "FAMILY HOME" text. The logos 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.
- At the end of some tapes such as Beauty and the Beast (the 1983 Ruby-Spears version), the "Prevues of Coming Attractions" ID (which was also used on Warner Home Video releases, albeit with a different soundtrack) fades to this logo at the part wherethe "sun" appears. This also appeared on tapes from Monterey Home Video and U.S.A. Home Video from before 1985.
- 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 star into "FAMILY HOME ENTERTAINMENT" and the "flying" effects for the logos. All really cheap, but pretty unique as well.
Music/Sounds: A series of electronic popping/fizz noises. When the logo forms, a 4-note synth chord/whoosh fanfare can be heard, which came from a stock music library.
Availability: Rare. Can be seen on early Gumby and Care Bears releases by FHE. Other releases that may include this logo are Beauty and the Beast (Ruby-Spears version), Blackstar, The New Adventures of Zorro, Journey Back to Oz, Dorothy in the Land of Oz, Panda and the Magic Serpent, Gaiking, The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas, a few Spaceketeers releases, and some Inspector Gadget tapes; just look for an over-sized box containing an early FHE print of this logo on the cover. This logo made a surprise appearance on the 1987 reprint of A Gumby Summer and the 1986 re-print of Peter Cottontail's Adventures. It first appeared on The Adventures of Little Lulu and Tubby Volumes 1 and 2, Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas, The Adventures of Sindbad the Sailor, The Littlest Warrior, Panda and the Magic Serpent, Space Angel Volumes 1 and 2, Peter Cottontail's Adventures, Spaceketeers Volumes 1 and 2, The Return of Gumby, Gumby Magic, The Undersea Adventures of Captain Nemo Volume 1, The Adventures of Buster the Bear, The Adventures of Reddy the Fox, Candy Candy, Captain Harlock Volume 1, The Adventures of Captain Future Volumes 1 and 2, and The Flower Angel. Rather interestingly, this can be seen on the Amazon Prime print of The Great Bear Scare.
Editor's Note: It's certainly one of the worst logos out there, with the cheap animation, tacky space background, and the "sun" looking more like a fizzing tablet. The logo is also somewhat ominous with the somewhat unique and strange animation and the cracking and popping sounds (earning its nickname "Soda Pop"). Still, it's a favorite to those who grew up with it.
2nd Logo (1985-Winter? 1991)
Nicknames: "F.H.E.", "Lowercase f.h.e.", "Handwriting Pad", "Cheesy Writing", "Another Cheesy F.H.E.", "Handwriting Pad of Doom", "Cheese Colored Writing Pad"
Logo: We start on a black screen. A school bus yellow screen "flips" in, and it has one of those lines you used to practice writing letters on at school, with two solid lines and a segmented line in the middle. One at a time, the letters "f.h.e." are drawn on the lines in a crayon-like font. They are colored, in order, red, blue, and yellow, respectively. Black dots appear in between the letters. Under that the words "Family Home Entertainment" appear, and then the picture zooms away downward toward the camera.
- A version has been spotted where instead of the picture flipping down, it merely fades out and there is no "WHOOSH" at the end of the music. The color is also a bit faded (though that was probably unintentional).
- At the end of some tapes, a yellow screen that reads "also AVAILABLE from" (in white) zooms in. After 3 seconds, the screen zooms downward just before the regular FHE logo appears.
- Some tapes omit the logo's beginning and the closing, instead starting at the point where the letters are drawn in.
- Later video releases have the logo be on a black background, the lines fade in and the FHE text draws 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.
FX/SFX: The "flipping" screen, and the drawn letters.
Music/Sounds: Starts with a loud whirring/whining sound, and then leads into a synth 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 plays a descending tune is used when the company's name appears. At the end, a laser zap is heard as the screen "flies" away.
Music/Sound Variant: A low toned variant exists.
Availability: Uncommon. Can be seen on early releases of home video releases of shows such as The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Inspector Gadget, Amigo and Friends, The Adventures of the Little Koala, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others. Also spotted on some Rankin-Bass video releases of the time, the Chuck Jones releases of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Mowgli's Brothers, and The White Seal. You may also spot this on a few Japanese anime tapes like Robotech or some tapes of British cartoons like Wil Cwac Cwac and Roobarb, and the Australian Dot cartoons should have this logo, too. The variant without the "WHOOSH!" at the end can be spotted on several Robotech releases from 1987, as well as The Teddy Bears' Picnic and Babar: The Movie from 1989. Also seen on later Gumby and Care Bears VHS releases.
Editor's Note: Like before but more widespread, the logo is a source of nostalgia for those who grew up the company, as well as the debut of its famous "handwritten" logo. On the other hand, it has been known to creep out some kids thanks to its loud music and sudden "flipping" at the beginning. The warning screen that follows up from it is also known to get a few.
3rd Logo (Spring? 1991-1998, 2006-2007)
Nicknames: "The Paintbrush", "F.H.E. II", "Lowercase f.h.e. II", "CGI Writing", "Not-So-Cheesy Writing", "Drawing Pad", "Handwriting Pad II", "Not So Cheesy FHE", "White Writing Pad", "Painting Pad"
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 draws 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 red, blue, and yellow respectively.
- On rare occasions, the logo is still.
- An abridged version was used on a promo.
FX/SFX: The paintbrushes and the camera.
Music/Sounds: A 4-note synth tune (in which was done on the Roland D-50 synthesizer by using the "Staccato Heaven" patch) can be heard at the start, followed by a 2-note synth horn tune, then silence, followed by another 2-note synth horn tune when the "f" is being drawn and a synthesized stinger when the red dot appears, followed by a descending harp sound and a 5-note horn-like tune when the "h" is being drawn and another synthesized stinger when the blue dot appears, followed by an ascending then descending clarinet tune when the "e" and the yellow appears, then a final 2-note synthesized tune marking the appearance of "Family Home Entertainment", ending with the same synth tune from the start of the logo with synth chimes at the end.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the screener cassettes of Queens Logic and Bloodmoon, an announcer says, "Here's what's new from Family Home Entertainment!" 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?", probably due to VHS masters being used), the original release of Tom and Jerry: The Movie and many Rankin-Bass and Lacewood Christmas specials by FHE. One of the last tapes to use this logo was the Hallmark Home Entertainment release of Merlin. The still version can be seen on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (earlier prints use the former logo, not still) and Bruno the Kid: The Last Christmas. Surprisingly appears in full on the screener cassettes of Queens Logic and Bloodmoon before a preview for a Babar tape.
Editor's Note: A surprisingly good follow-up to the previous logos, this is a favorite of many, thanks to its impressive use of CGI and camera.
4th Logo (1998-2001)
Nickname: "Flipping Letters", "F.H.E. III", "Uppercase FHE"
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:
which are written in white, fade in below. At the same time, two white dots fade in between the letters "FHE". The words shine.
Variant: There is a version of this logo that has the URL "www.familyhomeent.com" under the logo.
FX/SFX: The letters flipping, the roof landing on the "H", and the words shining.
Availability: Uncommon. Appears on most FHE releases up until 2001, such as Clifford The Big Red Dog: Here Comes Clifford, post-1997 prints of The Littlest Angel, and It's a Wonderful Life. The URL variant can be seen on a few Kipper VHS releases from 1999.
Editor's Note: Not the most impressive animation to follow up with, but it's still a nice logo.
5th Logo (2000-2005)
Nickname: "Flying Letters", "F.H.E. IV", "Uppercase FHE II"
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.
FX/SFX: The letters flying up, the dots appearing, and the roof drawing.
Music/Sounds: A jingle used with many musical instruments and sound effects (the really processed Warner Bros. airplane dive to start, and some boinging sounds, likely Disney-esque). An oboe and a tuba are two of the instruments. Sometimes, it's silent.
- 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".
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on releases from this era. Even though the company's film label FHE Pictures produced Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, don't expect this logo to appear on the film's DVD release. It does, however, appear on the screener DVD of said movie.
Editor's None: Though the sudden appearance may surprise some, the animation is a considerable improvement and a nice logo to end off a famous company.