Paramount Home Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



Background

Paramount Home Entertainment (formerly "Paramount Home Media Distribution", "Paramount Home Video", and "Paramount Video") is Paramount Pictures' home media division and was formed in 1979 (some sources claim late 1975). The company owns the home media rights to films and shows owned by Paramount and shows from sister companies CBS Entertainment Group (under the label CBS Home Entertainment; the pre-2006 Paramount Television library is released under this label as well) and Paramount Media Networks (under individual labels such as MTV Home Video and other subsidiaries). The company also licenses the right to release material from several independent studios.

The company was the final major Hollywood studio to release material on the Betamax format, with releases to 1993 in the wide market and up to 1996 with manufactured-on-demand titles (the last being Mission: Impossible). They formerly released DreamWorks Animation material through DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment until 2014, when the latter acquired distribution rights to their library and transferred the rights 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. Starting in 2012, the Republic Pictures library and select Paramount films were licensed to Olive Films and Kino Lorber. From 2013-2016, the company licensed the home media rights to most of the Paramount Pictures (with some exceptions) library to Warner Home Video. Paramount continues to release licensed material and material from sister companies. In May 2019, Paramount Home Media Distribution was renamed back to Paramount Home Entertainment.


Paramount Home Video

1st Logo (September 17, 1979-October 2, 1980)


Visuals: Over a navy blue background is "Paramount" in the famous script, and "HOME VIDEO" below in the Eurostile Bold Extended font in between two lines, one above and one below. To the right of that is the 1968 Paramount print logo to the right, complete with the Gulf+Western byline.

Variant: A grayscaled variant exists on releases of some black-and-white films, such as Sunset Boulevard and Paper Moon.

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None, though on some tapes, audio from other Paramount films, such as Paper Moon, can be faintly heard in the background.

Availability: Because VHS and Beta were in their infancies at the time, releases were in lower quantities.

  • This logo appeared primarily on Betamax releases.
    • This should appear on a few VHS releases from 1979 and 1980 including the first two Godfather films, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Heaven Can Wait, True Grit, Goin' South, Play It Again Sam, The Bad News Bears (1976 version), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Sunset Boulevard, Prophecy and Catch 22.
  • Among the last releases to use this logo were five volumes of Star Trek episodes as part of the "Television Classics" series on VHS and Betamax in summer 1980.
    • Other final releases with this logo were tapes of Escape from Alcatraz, North Dallas Forty, Mandingo, Malicious, Prophecy, Players, and Emmanuelle: The Joys of a Woman.
  • This also appears on a late 1983 pressing of The Odd Couple and a 1984 printing of Harold and Maude (usually, releases of movies printed around that time started with the "Acid Trip" warning screen, followed by the Paramount Pictures logo).

2nd Logo (October 3, 1980-January 26, 1981)


Visuals: On a blue background, the camera zooms out on a silhouette of a mountain. After the screen zooms out to a comfortable distance, a bright flash occurs 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 logos). A saffron-colored trapezoidal trail zooms out from the base, and "HOME VIDEO" (set in the same font as the previous logo) fades in soon after, tacked onto the saffron-colored trail. As that happens, the blue background gets extremely dark (resembling federal blue). The end result is similar to the pre-1967 print logo.

Trivia: The second half of the logo was once used as the 1977 Paramount Television Service logo. "PARAMOUNT TELEVISION SERVICE" was featured at the bottom, which explains the chyron for "HOME VIDEO".

Variant: On Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown!, the logo cuts to the last half of the film's Paramount logo.

Technique: Backlit animation by Sullivan & Marks, with the "HOME VIDEO" text chyroned over the original "PARAMOUNT TELEVISION SERVICE" text.

Audio: A pounding backbeat as the mountain zooms out, then a synth chord mixed with a brief explosion sound and synthesized "sizzling".

Availability: The logo's appearances are few and far between; it was seen on VHS/Beta releases of the time, and a decent amount of movies had this.

  • Among the releases are Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!), Coast to Coast, Death Wish (reissue), Escape from Alcatraz (reissue), Breaking Glass, Friday the 13th, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Airplane!, Charlotte's Web (reissue), Little Darlings, Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown! (reissue), Barbarella (reissue), Starting Over, American Gigolo, Urban Cowboy and Shogun, respectively.
  • Some, if any post-1981 prints also keep this logo intact.
  • Also seen on certain Hi-Fi re-releases of Paramount's early releases (such as Downhill Racer and Death Wish) from 1984, and the original Hi-Fi VHS release of True Grit (1969 version).
  • It also reappears on a 2019 trailer of Bumblebee (2018) advertising a "VHS release" of said film.

3rd Logo (October 5, 1983-March 12, 1987)

Visuals: Over a black background is 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 in, as the stars (which are followed by light trail-streaks) and byline zoom past, and both the mountain and circle grow bigger until the camera is 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.

Variants:

  • A black-and-white variant exists.
  • A slightly longer variant exists, which starts with a still shot of the blue Paramount print logo. After a little over a second, the music starts and the logo animates as normal.
  • At the end of an April 1998 Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) airing of The Devonsville Terror, the animation is slowed down but plays as normal until all that's left 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 any home media releases of the film, or any others. It's also possible that Sci-Fi Channel intentionally did this to hide any home video references.

Technique: Computer animation with a backlit star filter. This was done on a System IV computer at Editel LA.

Audio: A building set of synthesized strings, ending in a new-age synthesizer tune. Composed by Rick Krizman.

Audio Variant: On the 1983 RCA CED videodisc release of An Evening with Robin Williams, this follows the RCA SelectaVision logo, but is silent.

Availability: This is a very infrequent logo.

  • At the time, most Paramount films used the logo used on the film, but most television series (such as Star Trek, with the exception of the 1984 Television Classics LaserDisc release of the two-parter "The Menagerie", which uses no logo), comedy specials (such as Paramount Comedy Theater: Volume 1 and Eddie Murphy: Delirious), and licensed material (such as Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! and The Adventures of the American Rabbit) had this logo.
  • It was also on most prints of the 1982 VHS release of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (the earliest prints, from around 1982 to early 1983, are confirmed to not have this), and a 1990 reprint of it also retained the logo.
  • It is also on the 1992 release of A Dog of Flanders (along with the warning that preceded it), also likely a reprint itself.
  • The black and white version can be found on a VHS release of The Untouchables pilot "Scarface Mob" and Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back, respectively.
  • This was also seen on the early 1990s re-release of Strong Kids, Safe Kids.
  • Other releases that have this include films Paramount issued under license from Atlantic Releasing Corporation (starting with Teen Wolf and ending with Extremities) and tapes of episodes of the short-lived drama Call to Glory.
  • This logo, as well as the multi-colored copyright warning, also appear on the 1991 VHS print of Toho Entertainment's The Wizard Of Oz (1982).
  • Paramount Video also produced the first two seasons of Brothers, a sitcom which aired on Showtime from 1984 to 1989.
    • As such, this appeared on episodes from those seasons, while the final two seasons would be produced by Paramount Television.

Legacy: This logo is a favorite of many, thanks to its music and animation.

4th Logo (April 20, 1987-April 24, 2007, mid-2010s in Asian VCDs, March 2014 in Indonesia)

Visuals: The 1986 Paramount Pictures logo plays, with no video indicator whatsoever. The difference here from the theatrical version is that the logo is videotaped; the picture quality is somewhat sharper and the color scheme is brighter than normal. On occasion, the logo begins much earlier than the theatrical variant.

Bylines:

  • April 20, 1987-August 25, 1989: "A Gulf + Western Company". 1987 releases used the 75th Anniversary variant, while 1988-89 releases used the standard version.
  • September 7, 1989-May 9, 1995: "A Paramount Communications Company" with a line above the byline fades in. 1989-90 releases had the byline and line above it in gold, while 1990-95 releases had them in white.
  • June 13, 1995-April 24, 2007: "A VIACOM COMPANY" (in the 1990 "Wigga Wigga" font) with a line above the byline fades in, again, in white.

Trivia: Even though Paramount debuted an updated version of their movie logo in 1999, they still used the 1995 variant for home video releases and television films.

Variants:

  • Like its parent logo, at the end of tapes, only the finished product is seen, with the clouds moving in the background. This is also used as part of a series of bumpers placed before trailers on several Paramount tapes from 1999 to 2002 (more on that here).
  • An early Viacom byline uses the Gulf + Western/Paramount Communications variant, but when "A VIACOM COMPANY" fades in, the entire logo freezes.
  • Starting in the mid-1990s, the cloud background is slightly changed, like with its parent logo.
  • There is also a short version of this logo on screener tapes from Paramount.
  • A telecined version exists, as evidenced by the video-generated fade-ins and fade-outs. It starts with an almost fully static logo (only the clouds move); after a few seconds, the animation starts normally. The color scheme also has a bit of a brownish/earthy tone to it. This variant can be seen on 1990-2001 VHS releases primarily from Nickelodeon (but not always), such as Peanuts tapes, Eureeka's Castle: Wide Awake at Eureeka's Castle (1997 release, at the beginning), The Adventures of Corduroy: The Dinosaur Egg, Gullah Gullah Island: Dance Along with the Daise Family, the Paramount Family Favorites release of Charlotte's Web (1973), Rugrats: A Rugrats Vacation (at the end), Rugrats: Dr. Tommy Pickles, Gullah Gullah Island: Christmas (at the beginning of the promotional copy), Blue's Clues: Blue's Big Treasure Hunt, Rugrats: Make Room for Dil, Blue's Clues: Blue's Big Pajama Party (later printings), Blue's Clues: Blue's Big Musical Movie (at the beginning), Better Off Dead (the 2000 release) and The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Treasure of the Peacock's Eye.
  • Some tapes with the Viacom variant have the clouds become still once the Viacom byline appears.
  • A still version is seen at the end of some tapes. This version also appears on the 2002 DVDs of Rugrats: Decade in Diapers and SpongeBob SquarePants: Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies and the 1992 U.S. VHS release of Demonic Toys (before the Full Moon logo).
  • The Viacom variant is slightly shifted up on some PAL DVD releases.
  • This logo was spotted at the end of some trailers on screener VHS tapes from the company. Here, the logo is already formed, but there's copyright info under the mountain. The copyright info then fades out after a few seconds to make room for the byline to fade in.

Technique: A mixture of CGI animation and live-action, designed and composited by Jay Jacoby of Studio Productions (now Flip Your Lid Animation). The CGI stars were created by David Sieg at Omnibus/Abel on a III Foonly F1 computer, and the mountain scenery was a physical model created and filmed by Apogee, Inc.

Audio: None or the opening theme of the movie.

Audio Variants:

  • On the U.S. VHS releases of Fatal Attraction (plastering the 75th Anniversary logo) and The Blue Iguana, the 1987 Paramount Pictures fanfare is heard.
  • At the end of the It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown 1997 U.S. VHS release, the promotional copies of Dora the Explorer: Dora's Backpack Adventure and Boohbah: Comfy Armchair, and one promo on the 1995 screener VHS of Drop Zone, the 1989 "distorted" version of the 1987 Paramount Television theme is heard.
  • On most Paramount VCD releases in Indonesia released by Movieline Entertainment, quiet lawn grass sprinkler noises (which sounds like clock ticks or footsteps) are heard throughout the logo. This is actually the opening audio of the film Election, suggesting the logo was taken directly from that film.

Availability:

  • This was used as a de-facto home video logo; it is also one of the most frequently used logos, as it can be seen on every VHS, Beta, and LaserDisc release from that period - this also includes television series (such as the original Star Trek), comedy specials, and third-party acquisitions like Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (where this plasters the original Atlantic Releasing Corporation logo), Teen Wolf Too, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, and titles licensed from The Rank Organisation (such as The Red Shoes).
  • Many videos should have either the 75th Anniversary print logo, or the standard Gulf+Western print logo (with no mention of "HOME VIDEO") on the packaging and labels.
  • The 75th Anniversary logo also plasters over the "Blue Mountain" logo on the 1987 home video releases of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Crocodile Dundee, Children of a Lesser God, Top Gun, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, respectively.
    • Meanwhile, the standard Gulf+Western version plasters over the 75th Anniversary logo on the 1988 releases of Beverly Hills Cop II, The Untouchables, Back to the Beach, Fatal Attraction, and Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, respectively.
    • International VHS releases of these films (all released by CIC Video, with the exception of Crocodile Dundee) will likely have the film's original logo intact.
  • The Paramount Communications variant plasters the standard Gulf+Western version on 1990s VCD prints of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!.
  • This was also used on all 1994-2004 Peanuts U.S. VHS releases and all Nickelodeon U.S. VHS releases from 1996 to 2003.
    • The 75th Anniversary variant was also seen on a Showtime broadcast of Hamburger Hill from March 1991.
  • It was also seen on the direct-to-video films The Little Bear Movie and Blue's Big Musical Movie, respectively.
  • This and the CBS Video logo also made appearances on Freevee prints of the Touched by an Angel episodes "The Christmas Gift" and "Beautiful Dreamer".
  • It is also seen at the start of VHS releases and non-USA Network airings of TV movies from Wilshire Court Productions of the era.
  • It also appeared on a number of demo VHS tapes from as late as 2007, despite its discontinuation on commercial releases in 2003.
    • These include George Lopez: Why You Crying?, Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks: Piggley Gets Into Trouble, and Wonder Pets!: Save The Wonder Pets!, released in 2005, 2006, and 2007, respectively.
  • Occasionally, this will also appear before the opening previews on certain tapes.
    • One example of this is the Paramount reissue of Rugrats: A Baby's Gotta Do What a Baby's Gotta Do and some other Nickelodeon tapes from 1996.
  • It was also preserved on Echo Bridge Home Entertainment's DVD releases of Puppet Master 5 and the Mexican DVD release of Demonic Toys, each before the Full Moon logo, most likely due to older VHS masters being used.
  • The Viacom version was also spotted at the start of Disney Channel/ABC Family (now Freeform) airings of Teen Witch as well as Trifecta's syndicated prints of There Goes the Neighborhood and Another 48. Hrs, respectively, among others.
  • The version with the Paramount Television fanfare also appeared at the end of the 2004 U.S. VHS release of Boohbah: Comfy Armchair, following the PBS Kids Video logo.
    • It also appeared at the end of the 1997 U.S. VHS release of It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown.
  • Depending on the country, Paramount's VCD releases in Asian territories still used this logo until the mid-2010s, in the case of Indonesian VCD releases, this logo was used until 2014, and is shown after the Movieline Entertainment logo usually before the previews.

5th Logo (December 25, 1993)


Visuals: On a black background with blue filmstrips, "Paramount" is seen being written in a gold color in its trademark font. As this is occurring, the background opens up in segments to reveal the 1986 Paramount logo, without a byline and the stars in a light gold color.

Technique: CGI animation.

Audio: A male announcer (Gene McGarr) says "Paramount Pictures, bringing you the finest in holiday entertainment, and the best of the new year". All of this is said against a bombastic fanfare, an excerpt from the end theme of The Untouchables (the 1987 movie), composed by Ennio Morricone.

Availability:

  • This logo was seen on three out of four VHS releases by the company from the era around Christmas 1993 that were available in McDonald's restaurants. It is played following a preview reel for releases during the holiday season.
  • The releases included Charlotte's Web, Ghost, and The Addams Family, respectively. The fourth VHS, Wayne's World, used the previously-viewed rental cassette's master and therefore doesn't use this.

Paramount Home Entertainment

1st Logo (November 12, 1996)


Visuals: Over a gold background, the text "Paramount" moves into its usual position onto the company's print logo, which is engraved onto the background, while the camera zooms out. Once the text settles, the Viacom "Wigga-Wigga" byline fades in underneath.

Technique: CGI animation.

Audio: A male announcer (Nick Tate) says "Paramount Pictures, the best show in town!" In the background, the same music from the 5th Paramount Home Video logo (albeit abridged) is heard.

Audio Trivia: The tagline is a nod to Paramount's slogan in the 1920s: "If it's a Paramount picture, it's the best show in town."

Availability: Only seen on the original North American VHS release (both United States and Canadian prints) of Mission: Impossible. As with the 5th Paramount Home Video logo, this follows a preview reel for releases during the 1996 holiday season.

2nd Logo (Early 1998-1999)

Visuals: Over a cloudy sunset background is a different CGI rendition of the famed Paramountain; it's covered with snow and ice, with the "Paramount" script and stars already formed on top of it, albeit without a byline. The camera slowly zooms in and rotates around the logo, showing the viewer the back of the mountain as a lens flare flashes.

Trivia: This logo appears to be the base for the Paramount Classics logo, which virtually has the same animation albeit in reverse.

Variant: Paramount adapted this logo for use on two trailers (see here for more details). This logo appears to be filmed, so it's possible it was intended to be a new theatrical logo but ended up being unused for that purpose (since Paramount re-did their 1986 logo in 1999).

Technique: CGI created by Pittard Sullivan.

Audio: A majestic orchestral fanfare ("The Crimson Gump" from the score of Forrest Gump) is heard throughout as Jim Cummings intones:

  • Early 1998: "In celebration of the end of one millennium and the dawn of another, Paramount Pictures is preparing to bring to movie lovers everywhere a collection of films that symbolize the best in its movie-making history..."
  • 1998-1999: "...In celebration of the end of one century and the dawn of another...Paramount Pictures is proud to present a collection of films that symbolize the best in its movie-making history..."

Availability: This was only ever used on Paramount's "Millennium Collection" video trailer, which can be seen on the VHS releases of In & Out, Sliding Doors, Hard Rain, A Simple Plan, Event Horizon, Switchback, Twilight (1998), and A Smile Like Yours.

3rd Logo (May 7, 2002-December 27, 2008)

Visuals: Same as the 2002-2012 movie logo, but it's videotaped and zoomed out.

Variants:

  • For the logo's first year, 2002, the early 90th Anniversary version (which contains an error during the portion where the Paramount script zooms back, in which the stars seem to jump out of the text's reflection) is used. Starting in 2003, the standard one is used instead.
    • The 90th Anniversary version with the finalized clouds is seen on Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, the only home video release to use this variation (all other releases with the 90th Anniversary variant used the early version, even after the movie's logo's later 90th Anniversary version debuted on The Sum of All Fears).
  • There is a shorter, more common version which starts with the stars zooming down through the clouds.
  • In rare cases, the logo doesn't fade in or out. An example of this is the 2005 VHS of Dora the Explorer: It's a Party!
  • A widescreen version exists. This can be seen on widescreen releases from Paramount.
  • A filmed version of the 2003 variant exists.
  • At the end of tapes, the finished product is seen, with the clouds moving westward in the background.
  • On the 2005 VHS of Dora the Explorer: It's a Party!, the logo is zoomed in, like the Paramount Network Television logo.

Technique: CGI by BUF Compagnie.

Audio: None or the opening theme of the movie.

Audio Variants:

  • At the end of the 2005 VHS of Dora the Explorer: It's a Party!, the 1989 version of the 1987 Paramount Television theme is heard. It's not heard on the demo version of the VHS, however.
  • Mean Girls uses the Paramount on Parade fanfare.

Availability: This was used as another de-facto home video logo.

  • The 90th Anniversary version is used on 2002 VHS and DVD releases such as Trading Places, Little Bear: Campfire Tales, Blue's Clues: Reading with Blue, SpongeBob SquarePants: Sea Stories, MTV Yoga, Dora the Explorer: Move to the Music, The Day Reagan Was Shot, Flashdance, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (on the VHS only, where this oddly plasters the 1999 Paramount logo that the film used, the Region 2 DVD keeps this logo intact before the menu), Black Sheep, Vanilla Sky, Major League, Damaged Care, Bleacher Bums, My Horrible Year!, all 3 Jackass volumes, Rugrats Christmas, Clockstoppers, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, and K-19: The Widowmaker, respectively.
  • The standard version is used on almost every Paramount VHS released from 2003 onwards.
    • It also appears on the European versions of SpongeBob SquarePants DVD releases of Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies and Halloween, respectively.
  • The standard version also plasters the 90th Anniversary variant of the 2002 Paramount Pictures logo on the 2003 VHS releases of Extreme Ops, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, Jackass: The Movie, and The Hours, respectively.
  • The zoomed-in version as well as the closing version with the Paramount Television fanfare only appeared on the Dora the Explorer: It's a Party! 2005 VHS.
  • The closing version is seen at the end of all Paramount VHS releases from 2002-2006.
  • Demo tapes still used this logo through the end of 2008 (a few demo tapes from 2004-2007 oddly used the 4th logo), while VCD releases continued using this logo until 2007 (such as the 2007 VCD of Flushed Away (2006)).
  • The standard version also makes a surprise appearance on the 2009 Australian DVD release of Charlie & Boots.

4th Logo (2017-)

Visuals: It's just the current Paramount logo with no home video indication.

Technique: CGI by Devastudios.

Audio: The 2011 Paramount Pictures fanfare composed by Michael Giacchino.

Availability: Again, this is used as a de-facto home video logo.

  • Appears on all Paramount 4K UHD Blu-Rays, as well as all Paramount DVDs and Blu-Rays (excluding those of CBS, Showtime, and Paramount Media Networks content) beginning with Bumblebee.
  • Appears (oddly) on the beginning of Nickelodeon DVDs starting in 2023 (instead of the Nickelodeon Digital or a new Nickelodeon Home Entertainment logo), such as Are You Afraid of the Dark? Ghost Island, PAW Patrol: All Paws on Deck, and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Thirteenth Season.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Paramount High Definition
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