CBS/Fox Video

From Audiovisual Identity Database


In 1982, Fox entered into a joint venture with CBS to form "CBS/Fox Video", also launching two sub-labels; "Key Video" (later reactivated as "Key DVD" by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), and "Playhouse Video", which both became inactive in 1991. CBS/Fox Video was renamed "Fox Video" the same year, alternating with the CBS/Fox name until 1998, when Fox Entertainment Group acquired CBS's interest in CBS/Fox and renamed it to "20th Century Fox Home Entertainment" on March 16, 1995, alternating with the Fox Video name until 1998.

1st Logo (November 1982-July 1983)

Logo: Over a white background, we see before us a dual set of violet lines stacking upward and downward. Then, six long objects pop in at the top and bottom of the segmented lines, revealing the words:


Then, each letter of the word "VIDEO" pops in one by one below "FOX".


  • A still logo was found on the original release of Sophie's Choice.
  • A special animated version was used on Australian releases. Two segmented white curved squares and one segmented red square zoom in and out from the screen. The words "CBS FOX", letter by letter, zoom in to the left side of the screen as another segmented white parallelogram zooms in. As it curves, it fills the screen, and the segments of the CBS/Fox logo zoom out from the top and bottom of the screen, while the word "VIDEO" zooms out from the bottom.
  • There is also an alternate variant for educational releases. On a blue-red gradient background, a light blue star flashes, and the text "A CBS/FOX VIDEO LEARNING EXPERIENCE" fades in. The words stay for several seconds, and then zoom away inward. While this happens, sets of white lines stack upon each other and form the CBS/Fox logo. A white flash below this forms the word "VIDEO".
  • There is a black and white variant. This is seen on the 1982 VHS of The Diary of Anne Frank and the 1983 VHS of Modern Times.
  • There is another Australian variant where the logo appears in the corner and Australian television and radio announcer Pete Smith (most famous for his announcing of the Australian version of Sale of the Century) introduces the film.

Technique: Computer effects.

Music/Sounds: None.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On Australian releases, a high-pitched variant of the original 1954 CinemaScope extension of the TCF fanfare was used.
  • On the "Learning Experience" variant, a female voice-over says: "This has been a CBS/Fox Video Learning Experience".
  • Pete Smith says in his variant, "Hello there, congratulations on your choice of a great CBS/Fox film. Before settling back, here are scenes from two films available from the vast CBS/Fox Video catalog".

Availability: Extremely rare. This was very likely a placeholder logo.

  • It's been seen on the original VHS releases of several Fox releases from late 1982 to early 1983.
  • The "Learning Experience" variant can be found on videos that begin with The CBS/Fox Guide, such as The CBS/Fox Guide to Home Videography and The CBS/Fox Guide to Complete Dog Care, among others.
  • The main Australian variant was seen on releases from the era in that country; examples include a Betamax tape of Chariots of Fire and VHS releases of Victory and Cruising.
  • It also appears on reissues of Modern Times and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that are packaged in Magnetic Video boxes (and sometimes even have Magnetic labels).
  • The Pete Smith variant was presumably seen on select Australian releases from this era by the company.
  • One of the last releases to use this logo was a 1983 reissue of Rude Boy.
  • This logo was retained on a 1984-era reprint of Hello, Dolly!.

2nd Logo (September 1982, July 1983-November 13, 1984)

Logo: On a blue background, two grids are moving from the top and bottom of the screen converging in the center of the screen. "CBS" comes from the top at an angle, with "FOX" coming from the bottom at an angle. The background has an orange flash, in which "CBS" and "FOX" are cut in a segmented line font as it moves toward the flash, and "CBS" and "FOX" right themselves in the center of the screen. The letters of the word "VIDEO" fly in from the bottom center of the screen one at a time. Then the trademark symbol fades in on the right/bottom corner of the logo.


  • There is a still version found at the end of some UK promos.
  • There is a black and white variant. This can be seen on the 1983 VHS of The Pride of the Yankees and many other films in said colors.
  • There is a variant with the text "THE HIT LIST" appearing. The variant has a different transition at the beginning.

Technique: Computer effects, with the orange flash done in Scanimate.

Music/Sounds: A triumphant 25-note horn march fanfare, sampled from the Bruton Music library track "National Trust" composed by Keith Mansfield.

Music/Sounds Trivia: When Bruton reissued the track on CD, they removed the prologue section from which the CBS/Fox music came, possibly because it became so associated with the CBS/Fox logo.

Music/Sounds Variant: A closing variant was used at the end of most Australian PAL releases carrying this logo, featuring a voice-over reminding the viewer to "Don't forget to rewind this tape before returning it to your video library."

Availability: Rare. Most videos that may have used this logo were issued in the same oversized boxes that were used by 20th Century-Fox Video.

  • It possibly first appeared on the 1982 US retail VHS of Star Wars as a prototype logo.
  • Videos that feature this logo include the 1983 release of the aforementioned Star Wars, among many others, in a similar fashion to what was described in the first logo.
  • One of the last releases to use this logo was the 1984 VHS/Betamax/LaserDisc release of The Empire Strikes Back.
  • The "THE HIT LIST" variant can be seen on a promo/trailer tape from the era.

Legacy: The iconic music makes its debut.

3rd Logo (October 1984-2000)

Logo: On a black background, we see a mirrored, twin stair-like texture that shines a lot. The "stairs" rotate counter-clockwise and turn out to be the CBS/FOX logo in blue with a segmented line between the two words on a black marble background. Then the word "VIDEO" shines in below "FOX", and the whole logo shines with pride.


  • This logo is referenced in a scene in the music video for the song "DVNO" by French electronic music duo Justice. Said scene references both this logo and the Universal Pictures logo at the same time.
  • This logo was designed and animated by Compugraph Designs in New York, NY.
  • The equipment employed in this logo were a Bosch FGS-4000 CGI machine, Quantel DPB-7001 paint system, and an Abekas A-60 digital compositor.
  • The staff of Compugraph Designs included Ed Kramer, Mike Saz, Janet Scabrini, Nat Zimmerman, and Bill Mahler.

Variants: There are a few variations of this logo:

  • A variation was seen in black and white. This was shown on re-releases of 1940s, 1950s and 1960s films.
  • On widescreen releases, the logo would zoom out to a screen with two rectangles, one on the left and one on the right, on an almond-staged orange/purple background. The two rectangles on the sides would expand, and "SPECIAL WIDESCREEN EDITION" is below the screen on the stage.
  • There may be either the words "STEREO", "STEREO SURROUND", the Dolby Surround logo, the Ultra-Stereo logo or the Chace Surround Stereo logo appearing in the bottom left corner.
  • On late 1989-early 1990 prints, from just before CBS/Fox started printing their tapes at Rank Video Services America, during the FBI Warning screen, which appears on the beginning of such tapes at that time, a still version of this logo appears a couple of times, staying on the screen for about five seconds before cutting back to the warning. This has been spotted on prints of License to Kill, Iron Eagle (the 1989 re-print), Die Hard, Magic Memories on Ice, The Mighty Quinn, The January Man, Buying Time, The Abyss, Commando (the 1989 re-print), In Like Flint, and Billy Joel: Live from Long Island (the 1990 re-print) from the time period.
  • Memories of Me has an almost still version where the logo shines.
  • On the 1984 VHS of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, there is a still version where the logo does not shine at all. The entire logo fades in, stays on-screen for a couple of seconds, and then fades out.
  • The standard version (matted to widescreen) makes a strange appearance on the 2000 Image Entertainment DVD of The Twelve Chairs.
  • On releases from Contacto Video in Colombia, the CBS/FOX Video logo shrinks down to the lower right of the screen. Then the Contacto Video logo animates, then it shrinks and moves to the upper-left of the screen.

Technique: Advanced CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: Same as the 2nd logo, but the mixing (most noticeably with the opening horns) is slightly different.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the widescreen variant, a big "WHOOSH" sound is heard at the beginning (if listening under stereo, it is out-of-phase considering that it was intended to be used in Dolby Surround or Dolby Pro Logic), then twinkling glockenspiel sounds and an organ note (also in out-of-phase stereo, but almost) ending with a synthesized thunder sound.
  • On the 1990 VHS of The Sound of Music, the logo is silent.
  • At the end of PAL tapes in Australia, there is a variant with a voice-over from Channel Seven's Don Rainsford, who says "Please rewind this cassette before returning it to your video library" at the end.
  • Another variant used Chelsea Brown saying "Could you please rewind your cassette before returning it to your video library?".
  • The completely still variant seen on the 1984 VHS of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly has no music at all.
  • On an Argentinian VHS of The Lightship from Gativideo, the 1981 TCF theme is used.

Availability: Very common. This logo lasted for 16 years and was used on a massive variety of releases, so it should be easy to find on VHS tapes available in second-hand shops, charity shops and on Amazon and eBay.

  • Can also be seen on early-to-mid 1991 Media Home Entertainment releases and BBC Video releases.
  • The widescreen version can be found on the first prints of the widescreen editions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi (preceded on both tapes by the widescreen version of the 1991 Fox Video logo) and all the DVDs from Bruce Lee's "Master Collection" box set, except Bruce Lee: The Legend.
  • The Dolby Surround variant can be found on some VHS releases containing Dolby Surround.
  • The Chace Surround Stereo variant is extremely rare and can be found on the original VHS release of the 1945 version of State Fair, a 1990 VHS of Planet of the Apes, a LaserDisc of The Day the Earth Stood Still and the first U.S. VHS of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • The "STEREO" text version can be seen on the 1995 Hong Kong LaserDisc of Return of the Jedi (plastering the 1981 20th Century Fox logo).
  • This is retained on the 1994 UK VHS releases of the Star Wars trilogy, but not the 1992 or 1995 US VHS trilogies, despite showing the logo on the covers and labels of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, their LaserDisc counterparts actually use this logo.
  • The Ultra Stereo version is rare and can be found on the VHS releases of Satisfaction, Mindgames, Survival Quest, and Frankenstein Unbound.
  • A rare post-1991 solo appearance happens on the 1992 VHS of Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child, where it's not even accompanied by the BBC Video logo.
  • Also seen on Media Home Entertainment releases from the early part of 1991 such as The Applegates and Sonny Boy, among others.
  • Strangely, it appears on a Canadian Malofilm Video release of Ambition (the U.S. Media/Fox VHS used the first Fox Video logo instead), and Shout! Factory TV/Tubi's print of The Compleat Al.
  • One of the first releases to use this logo was Snoopy Come Home.
  • The last releases to use this were FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue, Our Friend Martin and Walking with Dinosaurs. Strangely, this does not appear on the 1998 VHS of Rusty: The Great Rescue, as well as the mid 90's Star Wars trilogy release, despite the print logo appearing on the packaging and tape label.
  • This logo also appeared on all of the tapes from the Star Wars Trilogy: The Definitive Collection UK VHS set (though it is not the widescreen variant), however this did not appear on the tape for A New Hope despite the print logo appearing on packaging.

Legacy: This is considered one of the most memorable logos ever made, especially thanks to the epic music, great CGI for the time, and its lengthy lifespan.

CBS/Fox Video All Time Greats

(1989?-Early 1990s?)


  • Opening: The CBS/Fox Video logo in silver inside a black box with a white outline zooms up and has three black lines (each one getting larger further down) come up with it. "ALL TIME GREATS" then zooms and it has a larger line with an upside down triangle on it. This all happens against a blue gradient background.
  • Closing: The same as the opening version, only "YOURS TO KEEP FOREVER" appears under it.

Technique: Computer effects.


  • The CBS/Fox Video theme from the previous logos.
  • On the closing version, a male British announcer says, "All Time Greats from CBS/Fox Video, favorite films to keep and enjoy, forever".

Availability: Rare. Can be seen on promos for films released under this label on other releases under this label.

MGM/CBS Home Video
20th Century-Fox Video
20th Century-Fox Video (South Pacific)
CBS/Fox Video
Fox Video
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