MCA/Universal Home Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


In 1990, MCA Home Video was renamed into MCA/Universal Home Video, to capitalize on the Universal name and to coincide with Universal's 75th anniversary. The company absorbed the assets of SGE Home Video in 1991 in order to release titles from Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment there. It also distributed family titles, including The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth, and popularized the direct-to-video children's market. On December 9, 1996, it renamed itself as "Universal Studios Home Video" when MCA was reincorporated as Universal Studios.

1st Logo (May 24, 1990-May 5, 1998)

Visuals: On a black background, the following text fades in, all centered:



H O M E ------- V I D E O

"MCA" is in its familiar corporate font and has a white gradient texture on it, while "UNIVERSAL" is in a similar font as the movie logo from 1990-1997, but has a gradient texture on it. The text shines and soon afterwards, a globe (showing only the Americas and a small piece of Africa) fades in the center. Then, a starfield background fades in behind everything else, then the text shines again.


  • On some GoodTimes Home Video releases (i.e. Car Wash), the MCA/Universal logo plays normally. The background, however, has a moving starfield (possibly taken from the 1983 MCA Home Video logo) in the background (as opposed to the regular version where the background stays static). At the end, the words "UNDER LICENSE TO" pops up, peeking above the globe as the logo fades out and the words straighten out at the center of the screen. The GoodTimes Home Video logo would follow.
  • Some MCA/Universal releases have a GoodTimes byline at the bottom.
  • On The Making of E.T., the logo is sped-up.
  • A B&W variant of this logo exists, which is seen on some releases of black-and-white films (most notably To Kill a Mockingbird).
  • A longer version also exists, which can be found on the original 1990 U.S. VHS release of Back to the Future Part II.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: None.

Audio Variant: On The Making of E.T., the opening theme plays over the logo.


  • This logo can be found on almost all of the releases from MCA/Universal during the era.
  • It made its first appearance on Back to the Future Part II, and is also intact on a reprint of the original release.
  • The logo continued to be used well into 1998 on some VHS releases, despite the 1996 Universal print logo appearing on their packaging. Some of the last releases using this logo include Liar Liar, The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, Hercules & Xena: The Animated Movie, The Chipmunk Adventure, The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper: Spooky and Poil Meet the Monsters/Dead of the Class, A Christmas Peril/Three Ghosts and a Baby, Leave It to Beaver (1997), and the Extended Edition VHS release of Steven Spielberg's 1941, with the final known release with this logo being the 1998 VHS release of To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • This also makes an appearance on the Canadian Cineplex Odeon VHS release of Beyond the Law (1993) and the Canadian Alliance Releasing Home Video VHS releases of Lauderdale (1989), Hellgate, Made in L.A., Playroom (1990), Quest for Love (1988), and The Emissary, among possible others.
  • The B&W variant of this logo can be found on the 1991 VHS release of To Kill a Mockingbird.
    • It is also seen before the Paramount logo on Starz Encore Westerns' current prints of The Virginian (1929).
  • This logo also makes appearances at the end of The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy documentary on the 2002 DVD release of Back to the Future Part III (which was part of the Back to the Future: The Complete Trilogy DVD set from 2002) and the beginning of The Making of Jurassic Park documentary on the 2000 Collector's Edition DVD release of Jurassic Park. Both of these were likely sourced from LaserDisc masters (especially since the latter even has the LaserDisc warning screen intact).
    • This logo is also intact on the Peacock prints of The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth, and prints of Foreign Student on Screenpix and The Roku Channel.
  • It also shows up at the start of a Netflix print of Deep Red, a recent airing of Boss of Lonely Valley on Starz Encore Westerns, and a TCM airing of Secret of the Blue Moon.
  • On a later VHS reprint of Fletch, the MCA/Universal logo and even the Universal Pictures logo in the film are replaced with the 1997 logo.
  • This logo does not appear on international VHS releases.

2nd Logo (1990-1998)

Visuals: On a space background, a rotating globe in the style of the 1927 Universal logo is seen, with the airplane passing over the globe as usual, which then flies through the screen as the propeller becomes rainbow. Suddenly, rainbow filmstrips are seen falling over the Earth before nebulas are formed from the filmstrips, and the Earth fades to color and into a style closer to the 1990 Universal Pictures logo. From the left and right sides of the screen, the MCA and Universal logos from before, but now rendered in 3D, come in from the left and right sides of the screen respectively and slide/rotate into their positions while shining. A few seconds later, a red-orange/yellow gradient fireball flies through the screen, forming the words "HOME VIDEO" underneath, with a line above it and the globe stops rotating afterwards, along with the nebulas fading away into the background. When the logo forms, either the "(R)" symbol or the "TM" symbol fades in on the bottom right of the screen. The final result is a 3D recreation of the previous logo.

Variants: There are three variations of this logo:

  • A version where the both the line and "HOME VIDEO" fade in as the comet flies through exists. During the filmstrip portion, there is another filmstrip that overlaps with the Earth as they fade away. This was seen on a demo tape for Bird on a Wire.
  • A short version exists, in which the airplane and filmstrip parts of the logo are cut out and begins with the words zooming and rotating in.
  • A still version of the logo without music also exists.

Technique: CGI using the Softimage software.

Audio: The opening portion of the theme from Back to the Future composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri.

Audio Variant: On promotional VHS releases, a voiceover advertising upcoming releases is heard.


  • Seen primarily on home video trailers and promotional VHS releases at the time, as early as a demo VHS release of Bird on a Wire.
  • The still version was seen on some trailers for The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth VHS releases, especially the promotional trailers for demo VHS releases of the show and on the In-School Lesson video of it.
  • It was also seen on the trailer for The Shadow.
  • The short version can be found on the 1995 release of The Little Rascals.
MCA Home Video
MCA/Universal Home Video
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
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