Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (Warning Screens)

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

Main article: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment


Background

These are the warning screens associated with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and related labels.

Edit section

United States and Canada (Domestic)

1st Screen (1978-Early 1980s)

Visuals: On a dark screen, the following words in yellow (or possibly white, but is unknown due to film deterioration) are seen below:

NOTICE:
"LICENSED ONLY FOR
NON-COMMERCIAL PRIVATE
EXHIBITION IN HOMES. ALL RIGHTS
UNDER COPYRIGHT RESERVED"

Variant: The words may be in a thinner font and less compressed on some films. [Examples?]

Technique: It appears to be a printed card.

Audio: None.

Availability: This technically wasn't used on home media, but was used on Disney's souvenir videos used on the mm digests. [Examples?]

2nd Screen (1980-Late 1983)

Visuals: On a blue background, a black rectangle is seen on the left, listed with the large bold letters "FBI" in white, along with a monochrome white version of the FBI seal below it. Above and to the right is the word "WARNING" in a yellow color, and below that is the standard white warning text:

Federal law provides severe civil and
criminal penalties for the unauthorized
reproduction, distribution, or exhibition
of copyrighted motion pictures and
video tapes. (Title 17, United States
Code, Sections 501 and 506).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in-
vestigates allegations of criminal
copyright infringement. (Title 17,
United States Code, Section 506).

The screen fades to a blue background with the following text in yellow:

Licensed for private home exhibition
only. Any public performance, copying
or other use is strictly prohibited.
All other rights reserved.

Variants:

  • A variant exists, where the screens are shown in the opposite order.
  • Canadian releases have the second screen in Helvetica, and replace the FBI screen with another screen similar to that, with the following text:
Duplication in whole or in
part of this videocassette
is prohibited.
  • Canadian French releases from Quebec use the variation above, but is translated into French. There is also a drop shadow on the text

Technique: Still, digital graphics with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.

Availability: This was the second-to-first warning used on home media (the first was 20th Century Fox's 1978 warning). Appears on releases from 1980-1983, such as The Black Hole, Pete's Dragon, and Escape to Witch Mountain.

3rd Screen (Late 1983-July 15, 1984)


Visuals: On a poppy red background, the 1979 warning screen from Warner Home Video is seen in B&W, as well as a smaller size. The screen then fades to the same blue "Licensed" screen mentioned above.

Technique: Still, digital graphics with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on releases from late 1983 to mid to late 1984 (excluding Canadian copies) such as Tex, Condorman and later printings of Tron.

  • It can be also be spotted on a few Muppet Home Video releases (as they were distributed by Disney) like Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.
  • Its last appearances were on The Castaway Cowboy and Son of Flubber.

4th Screen (July 15, 1984-November 22, 1991)

Standard Versions


Serif Font Variation


"Walt Disney World" promotional videos variant


Gradient Background Variant (Walt Disney Educational Productions)


Optional Licensed/Duplication Screen (Canadian releases only)


Spanish-Translated Screens


Visuals: On a white background, a red vertical bar is seen at the left of the screen, featuring the same FBI logo design as most warnings. At the right of the bar, in the Exotic Bold font, is the standard FBI Warning text from the previous screen:

WARNING
FEDERAL LAW PROVIDES SEVERE
CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR
THE UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION,
DISTRIBUTION OR EXHIBITION OF
COPYRIGHTED MOTION PICTURES,
VIDEO TAPES, OR VIDEO DISCS.

CRIMINAL COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
IS INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI AND MAY
CONSTITUTE A FELONY WITH A
MAXIMUM PENALTY OF UP TO FIVE YEARS
IN PRISON AND/OR A $250,000 FINE.

The screen then fades out, and a red background fades in with the following text in white:

LICENSED FOR PRIVATE
HOME EXHIBITION ONLY.
ANY PUBLIC PERFORMANCE,
COPYING OR OTHER USE
IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
ALL OTHER RIGHTS RESERVED.

Each screen lasts about eight seconds before fading out.

Variants:

  • Some releases in 1990-1991 would have all of the text in a Goudy Old Style font.
  • Walt Disney World videos had all of the text in a different sans-serif font and a grey background on the first screen. The warning text beside the FBI logo is black instead of the usual red. Also, the phrase "ANY PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, COPYING OR OTHER USE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED." is included on both screens.
  • On some releases, the first screen would cut straight to the next, rather than fading out.
  • There is a variant in which the second screen fades in to a red background, and the text fading in after that. This version has text that looks chyroned in.
  • On Canadian releases only, there is a variant in which the warning text fades to red, and then the Duplication notice fades in:
DUPLICATION
IN WHOLE OR IN PART
OF THIS VIDEOCASSETTE
IS PROHIBITED.
This version has chyroned text.
  • There is a special variant on videos from Walt Disney Educational Productions in the 1980s. Here, the background is a lavender/prawn gradient, the text is all in Helvetica, and the second screen is reworded to make it refer to educational use only:
WARNING:

LICENSED FOR FACE TO FACE
INSTRUCTIONAL USE ONLY. AS
AUTHORIZED BY A WRITTEN
LICENSE AGREEMENT. ALL OTHER
RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY COPYING,
OR THE PERFORMANCE, OR OTHER
USE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
THIS VIDEO CASSETTE IS THE
PROPERTY OF DISNEY EDUCATIONAL
PRODUCTIONS.
  • There is an early "prototype" variation with different, longer sentences for the first screen:
MOTION PICTURES AND VIDEO TAPES
ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHTS
ISSUED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT.

FBI INVESTIGATES ALLEGATIONS OF
COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT DONE
WILLFULLY AND FOR PROFIT.
CONVICTION MAY RESULT IN FINE UP
TO $1,000 AND/OR IMPRISONMENT UP
TO ONE YEAR. TITLE 17, UNITED STATES
CODE, SECTION 104.

CIVIL DAMAGES UP TO $5,000 MAY
ALSO RESULT (TITLE 17, U.S. CODE,
SECTION 101).
  • On the 1991 release of Fantasia, the length of time each warning is on screen is cut in half, making it four seconds instead of the usual eight.
  • A 1988 VHS of Alice in Wonderland had the first warning screen cut to the next, a la the next warning.
  • On some occasions, the red area will be yellow instead.
  • On Spanish-translated releases, the setup is similar to the next warning on the first screen, being contained inside of a red rectangle with Spanish warning text. Notably, the text is also in a different, much smaller font.

Technique: Still, digital graphics with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.

Audio Variant: On Disney's August/September 1986 demo tape for video dealers, audio of Little Richard performing "Great Gosh A'Mighty" (from Down and Out in Beverly Hills) begins to play over the second screen and continues into the start of the preview segments.

Availability: Seen on releases from mid/late 1984 to 1991, like Winnie the Pooh and Friends, Robin Hood, and tapes of TV shows like DuckTales and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. It first appeared on Welcome to Pooh Corner, Vol. 1 and Five Mile Creek, Vol. 1. It can also be seen on 1985-1991 Touchstone Home Video releases as well. The version with the Goudy Old Style font was seen only on the last releases to use this (including the reprint of Disney's Sing-Along Songs: You Can Fly, Sebastian's Caribbean Jamboree, and compilations of episodes of the television series Dinosaurs). The regular version last appeared on Fantasia and a screener VHS of Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. The one with the different font than the standard (which slideshows) can be seen on old 80s Walt Disney World promotional videos. The one with the font that fades in after the background can be seen on the original release of The Brave Little Toaster, the 1991 Canadian VHS print of The Rescuers Down Under, and the Mini-Classics release of Peter and the Wolf. The one which slideshows can be spotted on the 1988 American print of Alice in Wonderland. The prototype variation is rare, but can be spotted on the original 1984 prints of Splash and Mickey's Christmas Carol. The Spanish-translated variant has been spotted on a 1986 Spanish VHS of Mary Poppins. Palladium Books tapes used the first screen.

5th Screen (August 19, 1986-Summer 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991)

Standard Version


Optional Licensed/Duplication Screen (Canadian releases only)


Spanish-Translated Screens


Visuals: Same as the previous warning, but it's on a dark red background and is contained in a rounded rectangle border, not unlike the previous warning's Spanish variant, on the first screen, and the 2nd has bigger spacing in-between the lettering. All the text is now in a bold Helvetica font as well. This can be seen as a prototype for the next warning screen.

Variants:

  • On Canadian copies only, the warning screen would cut to the Duplication notice. On Canadian French copies, the warnings are translated to French, and like its English counterpart, it follows the same format. Unlike the regular warnings, the text for the French Canadian copies was in mixed case. This warning was used up until 1991 on Disney videos released in Quebec.
  • On American Spanish-language copies, all text is (obviously) translated to Spanish, the rounded rectangle is gone, leaving only the rectangle containing FBI and its logo, and the transition is a fade to and then from red instead of a slideshow cut. Mixed case is also used here and the second screen is now aligned to the left.

Technique: Still, digital graphics, sometimes with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.

Availability: It can be found on the original Classics print of Sleeping Beauty (either VHS or Laserdisc), as well as the 1986 Classics reprint of Pinocchio and an early 1987 print of The Three Caballeros. It can also be seen on most 1986 Disney tapes (your best bet are ones that also have the Video Dealer Announcement on them, such as A Tiger Walks, and the first video releases of Disney's Sing-Along Songs: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore). This was also found on American copies of Ruthless People, while Canadian copies use the previous warning screen (with the Video Dealer Announcement intact on both versions). For some reason, this was surprisingly spotted on a 1990 Canadian copy of Turner and Hooch and demo tapes of Big Business, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Mr. Destiny, The Jungle Book (1991 release), and The Rescuers Down Under. The Video Dealer Announcement was omitted on the original VHS/Beta release of Disney Sing-Along Songs: Heigh-Ho (later pre-1990 printings omitted the warning screens entirely), Mickey's Christmas Carol, the first five Walt Disney Cartoon Classics volumes, and Bell & Howell/Columbia Pictures/Paramount Video Services pressings of Mickey Knows Best, The Importance of Being Donald, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, and Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. The Spanish variant appeared on the Spanish-dubbed tapes of Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too.

6th Screen (December 1991-May 16, 2000 (regular use), 2010? (overall))

Visuals: Same as warning screen 5, except the background is grass green and the words are bolder and are in decidedly different fonts and positioning. In late 1997, the fonts were revised and the second screen was rephrased, replacing "LICENSED FOR PRIVATE HOME EXHIBITION ONLY" with "THIS VIDEOCASSETTE (or DVD or LASERDISC) IS FOR PRIVATE HOME VIEWING ONLY. IT IS NOT LICENSED FOR ANY OTHER USE." The fade in on this second variant is also faster.

Variants:

  • A Spanish translation is used on Spanish copies. The first screen now has square edges instead of rounded edges.
  • The word "VIDEOCASSETTE" or "DVD" may be replaced with "VHS OR DVD".
  • There is also a variant of the 1991 warning screens, where the FBI seal is simplified a bit, and the text on the second screen appears to be farther spaced out.
  • On 1998-2000 DVD releases, the 1997 warning screens slideshow.
  • On rare occasions, the background is blue instead of green. This can be found on the Old McDonald's Sing-a-Long Farm tape "Share & Care Alike", and on some Word Entertainment releases such as early prints of VeggieTales: Are You My Neighbor?.
  • On the DVS VHS printing of Old Yeller, a woman says at the beginning, "A warning appears..." then reads the text on the screen except for the bottom text because it fades to the next screen she also reads before she could finish with the first screen. This also happens on the DVS VHS of Anne of Avonlea, but with a man saying at the beginning, "Now, an FBI Warning appears..." and reading the text in both screens.
  • On a 1992 print of Sister Act, the second warning screen abruptly cuts to the Touchstone Home Video logo.
  • On French-Canadian releases, the last warning is used, but the background color is changed to match and the text has a shadow effect. It was updated in 1995 with the font changed to that of the format screen of the time. This also appears on some US DVDs as well.
  • On both versions of the Beauty and the Beast VHS from 1992, the length of each screen is again cut in half like the Fantasia VHS. Each screen shows up for only five seconds instead of the usual ten.

Technique: Still, digital graphics, sometimes with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on almost every Walt Disney Home Video, (standard, Classic, or Masterpiece), Buena Vista Home Video, Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures releases from the 90s. Began appearing on Miramax, Dimension Films, DIC Toon-Time Video, ABC Video and ESPN Video releases after Disney took over the following companies.

  • Also seen on NCircle/DiC DVD releases.
  • The DVD variant of the 1991 FBI screens can be found on the earliest Disney DVDs from 1997 and early 1998, such as Air Bud, George of The Jungle, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Tombstone, and a few others.
  • Its earliest appearance is believed to have been on a screener VHS of Paradise.
  • The Duplication screen, which is mainly seen on Canadian releases, appears on quite a few DVDs coded for Region 1 (U.S. and Canada), including What About Bob?, The Three Musketeers, and even Tarzan; among others.
  • It can also be seen on tapes from a few non-Disney/Buena Vista companies.

Legacy: This is probably one of, if not the most recognizable of FBI warnings; as a result it is occasionally parodied (such as the 2002 Deluxe Edition DVD of Men in Black, which had a parody of this screen after Sony's warnings right before the menu).

7th Screen (1991-Early 2000s)


Visuals: This is an enhanced version of the 1984 warning. On a blue background, a red vertical bar at the left of the screen is seen containing the white text "FBI" in bold and a colored FBI logo below that. At the right of the bar is the standard FBI Warning from before. The second screen showcases warning text about the video being only usable in educational settings:

This video may be shown by non-profit
educational institutions for face-to-face
instructional purposes. It also is licensed
for transmission within a single
non-profit school campus, and for
showing in connection with other
non-teaching school-related activities,
as long as no admission fee is charged.
All other rights reserved. Any copying,
or other unauthorized performance,
broadcast or transmission, or other
use is prohibited.

Technique: Still, digital graphics with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on 1990s Walt Disney Educational Productions tapes, as well as Bill Nye the Science Guy DVDs from WDEP.

8th Screen (May 30, 2000-November 16, 2021)


Visuals: Same as Warning Screens 5 and 6, but it now takes place on a blue background, with the warning text and the second screen now in mixed case; the second screen also includes the duplication warning (previously exclusive to Canadian releases). On DVDs, the FBI Warning would cut right to the second screen instead of fading to black to the second screen, and the word "DVD" replaces "Videocassette". In the late summer of 2003, the second screen was modified to include more info. (which co-existed with the original version until March 2004.)

Variants:

  • A Spanish translation is used on Spanish-language tapes.
  • On DVDs and later VHS releases, the warnings slideshow.
  • On all Canadian VHS releases, it skips to the second screen. Weirdly, the first screen is still intact on Canadian DVD releases.
  • On the Jeffery Blitz documentary Spellbound released on DVD, the first part of the warning screen fades in and fades out before the TH!NKFilm logo. A little bit of the vertical FOV was also decreased cropping off some of the black from the top and the blue from the bottom.
  • French-Canadian VHS releases have the second screen translated into French.
  • The original DVD version of the first screen is present on the 2005 DVD of Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, despite the later version with more text already being in use for well over a year by then (including on its own VHS).
  • A stretched version of the second screen exists on the 2001 Vista Series DVD of Unbreakable, along with a slightly modified FBI warning following it (which is shattered apart).
  • Blu-ray releases from 2006 to 2011 have a variation of the second screen. The text is in a different font and without a drop shadow.

Technique: Still, digital graphics, sometimes with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on many home media releases from the company from this time period.

  • It first appeared on the 2000 VHS of Geppetto, and has appeared on all Disney/Buena Vista VHS and DVD releases from this era.
  • Outside of Disney releases, it appeared on the Th!nkFilm DVD release of Spellbound distributed by Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment (now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) and on some First Look VHS releases (which only show the first screen) and DVDs starting in 2005 (which only show the second screen).
  • It also appeared on the 2005 VHS releases of The Nameless and Herbie: Fully Loaded, despite the fact that the DVD versions use the next warning.
  • Even after the first screen retired, the second screen first used in 2003 continued to appear on Disney DVDs until late-2021. This warning made its final appearance in general on Spidey and His Amazing Friends, which was released on November 16, 2021.

Legacy: Like the 6th warning, this is one of the most recognizable FBI warnings.

9th Screen (March 8, 2005-February 5, 2013 [2008- for the Spanish version])


Visuals: The same generic warning screen used since 2004 with a modified font. This came after the second screen of the previous warning.

Variants:

  • On the 2005 VHS of Sky High and the special edition VHS of Tarzan, the warnings are played in reverse order, a la the previous warning.
  • On Disney's final VHS releases, and DVDs from non-Disney companies, the warning fades in and out.
  • A Spanish-translated version appears on post-2008 DVDs.

Technique: A still, digital graphic. VHS releases have cross-dissolve transitions as well.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on numerous Disney/Buena Vista releases from 2005-2013 beginning with the DVDs of Baby Einstein: Baby Monet: Discovering the Seasons, The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, The Barefoot Executive, Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., and The Million Dollar Duck, all released on March 8 and April 12, 2005, respectively.

  • This also appears on Disney's final releases on VHS, and the last one being Bambi II, released on February 7, 2006.
  • However, Blu-ray releases from Disney/Buena Vista had this warning screen until 2011, due to the introduction of the next warning.
  • Disney Movie Club-exclusive VHS releases from 2006-07, such as Valiant, the Platinum Edition of Lady and the Tramp, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Brother Bear 2, Cars, Chicken Little, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, use no warning screen at all, and go straight to the film after the 2001-08 WDHE logo.
  • The Spanish-translated version is still being used into the 2020s, as seen on many releases from the era.

Legacy: Same as the previous warning.

10th Screen (2011-)

Visuals: Same as the post-2007 British Blu-ray warning.

Variant: On early Blu-ray releases pre-2013, the first screen is followed by an Anti-Piracy warning screen, which has the text "ANTI-PIRACY WARNING" in red, with different text below in white.

Technique: A still, digital graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on all Disney/Buena Vista Blu-ray releases since 2011, and 4K UHD releases since 2017.

  • As of November 2020, this warning also appears on newer DVDs, due to the retirement of the 8th warning, starting with Mulan (2020) and The New Mutants, and appears on numerous others after those.

11th Screen (January 8, 2013-)

Visuals: Same as the other companies' warnings from 2012 and 2013.

Technique: A still, digital graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on all Disney DVDs and Blu-rays since January 2013, starting with Frankenweenie. The first warning appears in the beginning, while the second warning appears in the end.

  • Also seen on all 4K UHD releases since 2017, starting with Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.

French-speaking Canada (Quebec)

Warning (September 16, 2008-)

Visuals: Same as the British warning, but the text is replaced by the following:

ATTENTION
L'usage de ce produit (comprenant sa piste sonore) est autorisé à des
fins privées seulement. Tous les autres droits sont réservés. Il est
formellement interdit de copier, diffuser, exporter, réapprovisionner,
distribuer ou faire tout autre usage commercial de ce produit, en tout
ou en partie, sans autorisation expresse en vertu d'une loi de la
permission écrite du détenteur du copyright. Toute reproduction,
diffusion ou distribution sans autorisation peuvent entraîner de
lourdes sanctions criminelles et civiles. Les droits de vente et de
location de ce produit sont spécifiés sur son emballage original.

Technique: A still, digital graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on most American DVD releases that include the Canadian French language. [Examples?]

Mexico

1st Screen (1986-1998)

Same as the VideoVisa warning screens at the time. This was because VideoVisa distributed Disney tapes at the time.

2nd Screen (1995-2005)


Visuals: On a light blue background with a Buena Vista Castle pattern, the following text is seen in a yellow font with a black outline and drop shadow scrolling up:

ADVERTENCIA
EL TITULAR DEL DERECHO DE AUTOR DE LA OBRA CINEMATOGRAFICA, (INCLUYENDO SU BANDA SONORA Y DEMAS ADITAMENTOS) CONTENIDOS EN ESTE VIDEOCASSETTE
PROHIBE
CUALQUIER OTRA FORMA DE UTILIZACION TOTAL O PARCIAL NO AUTORIZADA COMO: RENTA, COPIA, EDICION Y CUALQUIER OTRO MODO QUE IMPLIQUE LA REPRESENTACION
DE LA OBRA CONTENIDA EN ESTE VIDEOCASSETTE.
ASI COMO CUALQUIER FORMA DE EXPLOTACION COMERCIAL
QUE IMPLIQUE UN LUCRO DIRECTO O INDIRECTO SIN EL CONSENTIMENTO DEL TITULAR DEL DERECHO.
LA VIOLACION DE CUALQUIERA DE ESTOS DERECHOS EXCLUSIVOS
DEL TITULAR CONSTITUYEN UNA TRANSGRESION A LA LEY.
ESTO IMPLICA RESPONSABILIDAD DEL INFRACTOR
QUE PUEDE DAR LUGAR A SANCTIONES CIVILES Y PENALES.
DI NO A LA PIRATERIA

Variant: The early version of the warning has the following text, which is in a smaller font:

ADVERTENCIA
LA PRODUCCIÓN, REPRODUCCIÓN, ALMACENAMIENTO, TRANSPORTACIÓN, DISTRIBUCIÓN, RENTA, VENTA, O INTRODUCCIÓN AL PAÍS DE CUALQUIER VIDEOGRAMA, PROTEGIDO CON LA LEY FEDERAL DEL DERECHO DEL AUTOR, EN FORMA DOLOSA, CON FIN DE ESPECULACIÓN COMERCIAL Y SIN LA AUTORIZACIÓN Y CONSENTIMIENTO EXPRESO DEL TITULAR DE LOS DERECHOS DE AUTOR O DE LOS DERECHOS CONEXOS, CONSTITUYE UN DELITO GRAVE (Art. 194, Frac. 1, inciso 33 del Código Federal de Procedimientos Penales) Y SE SANCIONARÁ HASTA CON 10 AÑOS DE PRISIÓN Y HASTA VEINTE MIL DÍAS DE SALARIO MINIMO DE MULTA (Art. 424 Bis, Frac. 1 del código Penal Federal)

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Found on Mexican tapes at the time, such as Tarzan, Finding Nemo (Buscando a Nemo), and The Incredibles (Los Increibles).

See Also

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