British Board of Film Classification

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
youjustfailedfilms, FanCentralNetwork, XthebiglogofanX, Logobumpersticker, Giratalkaiga, GreenT30 and DatuDimatablan

Captures by
DatuDimatablan and LogoFun13-YT

Editions by
DatuDimatablan

Background

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), originally the British Board of Film Censors, is a non-governmental organisation that is funded by the film industry and responsible for the national classification and censorship of films within the United Kingdom. It has a statutory requirement to classify home video releases and some video games under the Video Recordings Act 2010 (previously, the Video Recordings Act 1984; it was accidentally repealed earlier in the decade).

Feature Film Bumpers

1st Bumper (January 1, 1913-1932?)

Bumper: On a gray background, we see a rectangular chalk-like frame with a crown at the top, surrounding the arched words "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" with the Board's street address below that text. Below the address is a notification in cursive writing, saying "This picture, (name of film), has been (certification description)" with the film's certification symbol at the bottom right corner.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description Notes
U Passed for Universal Exhibition Suitable for everyone
A Approved for Adult Audiences Not suitable for anyone under 16 years of age

Trivia: In 1921, the London County Council prohibited anyone under 16 years of age to watch an A-rated film unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Near extinction. Was seen in British cinemas during the time period. It is unknown if this card has been revisited anywhere else.

2nd Bumper (1932?-1967?)

Bumper: We see the arched words "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" on a black background with the Board's emblem and street address below it. Below this is a notification saying "This is to certify that (name of film) has been (certification description).", with the certification symbol at the bottom right.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description Notes
U Passed for Universal Exhibition All ages admitted
A Passed for Public Exhibition to Adult Audiences Anyone under 11 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian; mandatory in some areas
H
1932-1951
Passed as Horrific Only age 16 and up are admitted; mandatory in some areas
X
1951-1967
Passed for Public Exhibition When No Children under 16 are present Only age 16 and up are admitted; mandatory in the entire United Kingdom

Trivia: In 1951, the X certificate was introduced as the first mandatory certificate, allowing only patrons aged 16 and over. This replaced the H certificate.

Variants:

  • A special variant released from September to October 1939 appended this phrase to the certificate description: “and complies with the requirements of the Ministry of Information”, seen on Nurse Edith Cavell, which was given a U rating.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Practically extinct on VHS releases. Should be intact on the American version of TCM.

  • It is also intact on Dentist on the Job (1961), which can be found (albeit the first three minutes or so) as an Easter egg at the beginning of the 2001 Special Edition DVD of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).
  • The A rating variant makes a surprise appearance on the 1984 VHS of The 39 Steps (1935).

3rd Bumper (1967?-1971?)

Bumper: On a black background, we see "BRITISH BOARD of FILM CENSORS" in a Helvetica-like font. Below that to the right is "President" and "THE RT. HON. THE LORD HARLECH K.C.M.G." (William David Ormsby-Gore, 5th Baron Harlech, the Board's then-incumbent president) below that. To the right of those two is the Board's street address. The title of the film appears below the President's credits; on the bottom left, there is a notification saying "This film has been passed" and to the right of is the film's rating symbol. To the right of that are the signatures of the President, the Examiners (in initials), and the Secretary.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description Notes
U Passed for Universal Exhibition All ages admitted
A Passed as More Suitable for Adult Audiences Anyone under 11 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (1967-1970)
All ages admitted, but not suitable for anyone under 8 years of age (1970-1971)
AA
1970-1971
Passed as suitable only for exhibition to persons of fourteen years and over Only age 14 and up
X Passed as Not Suitable for Minors due to the Extremely Graphic Content Only age 16 (1967-1970)/18 (1970-1971) and up

Trivia:

  • This marked the first time the certification symbols have been updated since their inception 54 years before. The new symbols, which are black borderless boxes with white letters that are in a font similar to Microgramma Bold Extended, replaced the original octagon-shaped, bordered, and Gothic-lettered symbols that were in use since 1913.
  • On July 1, 1970, the AA certificate was introduced as a mandatory certificate allowing only patrons aged 14 and over. The A certificate now allowed anyone of any age to be admitted, but any content of the film given this certificate may not have been suitable for anyone under 8 years of age. The minimum age for admission in X-rated films was raised to 18.

Variants:

  • The film's title may be abbreviated to its initials, such as on On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), where the title is indicated as "O.H.M.S.S." on the certificate.
  • A version exists where everything in the bumper is more centered and a slightly different font is used (except for the rating symbol, the title of the film and the signatures on the bottom). In this variant, "BRITISH BOARD" appears above "of FILM CENSORS" and the street address appears below that, the President's credit appears below that, and the President's, Examiners' and Secretary's credits all appear below the text "This film has been (certification description)" and the film's rating to the right of that.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extremely rare. It is unknown if it appears on any VHS releases, but this can be found on some old 35mm prints of films released during this bumper's lifetime on eBay.

4th Bumper (1971?-December 18, 1982)

Bumper: On a black background, we see "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" at the left and below it, the location of the BBFC. Under it is some small info about the BBFC, including the President's and the Secretary's signatures. On the right, we see a coloured rectangle with a pattern consisting of the organisation's full name in small type and stacked on the left of it. On the rectangle is the name of the film and a line below it. Under it is "THIS FILM HAS BEEN PASSED" and the film's certification symbol.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol
(with background colour)
Description Notes
U Passed for Universal Exhibition Suitable for all ages
A Passed as Adult Supervision Recommended for Young Children All ages admitted, but suitable for ages 8 and up
AA Passed as Adult Accompaniment Required for Children Under 14 Anyone under 14 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
X Passed as Extremely Graphic Only age 18 and up

Variant: Until June 18, 1975, Stephen Murphy was the BBFC's Secretary of the Board (then the title for the organisation's chief executive officer) and his signature for said position was on cards for films made before this date such as The Wicker Man (1973). When James Ferman became Secretary, his signature was added to future cards and his title was changed to "Director".

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Rare. This bumper is seen on some pre-cert VHS releases from the UK.

  • It is unknown if the U version appears on any home media releases.
  • The AA version is on Norman Loves Rose (1982) and Creepshow (1982).
  • The UK Blu-ray releases of Gregory's Girl (1981) and the aforementioned The Wicker Man retain their original theatrical cards, which are the A and X variants of this one, respectively.
  • The X version is the easiest to find; it appears on The Evil Dead (1981), Bruce Lee - The Man, The Myth (1976), Shivers (1975), Visiting Hours (1982) and The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977).
  • If you go to see a 35mm screening of a movie released from 1971 to 1982, there's a good chance this card will appear at the start of the movie.

5th Bumper (December 19, 1982-December 31, 2002)

Bumper: On a black background, we see "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" in a serif font at the top and below it, the location of the BBFC. Under it is "This is to certify that", then the name of the film (in a bold Arial font, also uppercased) and a line below it. Under it is "has been passed" and the film's rating, with a description of it under it. The signatures of the President and the Director are written to the left and right, respectively.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description Notes
1982-1985 1985-Sep 2002 Sep-Dec 2002
Universal Children (Uc) Universal Children (Uc) Universal Children (Uc) Particularly suitable for children Only for home video releases
Universal (U) Universal (U) Universal (U) Universal (U) UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all.
Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (PG) PARENTAL GUIDANCE - Some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
12
(see note)
Only for persons of twelve years and over. Introduced in 1989 for cinemas and 1994 for home video
12A May be unsuitable for children under twelve years. Children under twelve must be accompanied by an adult. Shown for a limited time only in cinemas
15 15 15 15 Only for persons of fifteen years and over.
18 18 18 18 Only for persons of eighteen years and over.
Restricted 18 (R18) Restricted 18 (R18) Restricted 18 (R18) Restricted 18 (R18) To be shown only in licensed cinemas to persons of not less than 18 years.

Trivia: The cinema 12 certificate was modified and renamed 12A. Those under 12 could now be admitted to 12A films, provided that they were accompanied by an adult aged at least 18 years old, although the BBFC recommends that 12A films are generally unsuitable for children under 12 years old. Contrary to popular belief, the certificate was not introduced for the film Spider-Man (2002); the first film to receive it was actually The Bourne Identity. However, Spider-Man and other 12-rated films still on general release at the time were reclassified as 12A. Introduction of the 12A followed two years of consultation and a trial period in Norwich, during which time the certificate was known as PG-12. The video 12 certificate remained unchanged. Shortly after the new certificate was introduced, all of the symbols were graphically modernised but retained all their main features (colour, shape, etc.).

Variants:

  • When the BBFC changed their name in 1984, the card was modified accordingly. The word "CENSORS" is replaced with "CLASSIFICATION", and "has been passed" now says "has been classified for cinema exhibition".
  • On January 26, 1985, William David Ormsby-Gore (Lord Harlech), the then-incumbent president of the BBFC, died in a car accident while still in office. Out of respect for his memory, the section where the President's signature would usually go is covered up for films classified from that date until George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, succeeded him in June 1985.
  • In the earlier days of the card's use, the text was larger and in a different font.
  • On video releases, the text is shifted to the left, and says "has been classified for supply as a video recording".
  • The early video cards had ludicrously over-sized text for the title.
  • The 12/15/18 variants of the video card had "Suitable" tacked on to the front of the phrase, and the numbers were written as numbers rather than words. The PG variant also reads "General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children".
  • Video versions after 1986 omit the word "that" from "This is to certify that".
  • Until August 1, 1989, home video releases often featured unofficial cert symbols with a plain background; from that point on in time, the official cert symbols were used.
  • When Andreas Whittam-Smith became President on December 10, 1997, the card underwent a slight change; the basic layout remained the same but the appearance of the certificates was slightly different.
  • On Screen Original releases, the film's name is written in a more crude font, and adds "SCREEN ORIGINAL PRESENTS" above the name.
  • On some CBS/Fox, Curzon Video and Castle Pictures rental releases, an alternate placeholder is used with the text "The following feature has been categorised by the British Board of Film Classification as" followed by the rating symbol.
  • On some Palace Video releases, "This is to certify", the name of the movie, and "has been classified to supply as a video recording" are removed from the card.

Technique: Usually none. However, a few Medusa tapes have a special transition for the card.

Music/Sounds: None.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On some Krypton Force tapes, Strauss' Radetzky March (serving as the intro music for the Krypton Force ident) plays in the middle of the card.
  • On the Palace Video release of The Snowman (1982), the last note of the Palace Video ident's music is played over the card.

Availability:

  • Cinema version: Probably rare, however it can be found on old VHS releases.
    • The U version appears on the original retail release of The Transformers: The Movie (1986).
    • The PG version is found on The Cartier Affair (1984) and Strictly Ballroom (1992).
    • The 12 version is a really tough find but it can be found on the sample tape of Dances with Wolves (1990).
    • The 12A version does not appear on any home releases.
    • The 15 version is seen on High Spirits (1988), Cantonen Iron Kung Fu (1979), and Missing in Action (1984).
    • The 18 version is the easiest to find - it's seen on I Drink Your Blood (1970), Tenebrae (1982), Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), The Return of the Living Dead (1985), Sweet Sixteen (the horror film on Replay Video, not the Ken Loach film), Tuareg: The Desert Warrior (1984), and Cujo (1983).
    • It is unknown if an R18 version exists, though it is quite unlikely.
    • If you go to see a 35mm showing of a movie from 1982-2002, this card will most likely show up before it.
    • The latest known film to be released with this card is City of God, released at the start of 2003. It also made a surprise appearance with the July 2019 theatrical re-release of The Matrix (1999).
  • Home video version: Insanely common. Basically any Warner Home Video release from around 1986-1997, most Medusa Home Video releases, Krypton Force, and Screen Originals releases and others had this before the movie.
    • The Uc version can be found on the early Guild Home Video releases of Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends and the Palace Video release of The Snowman. The blank version appears on Palace Video's retail release of Night of the Demons (1988).

6th Bumper (1982-1985)

Bumper: On a black background, we see this text:

THIS FILM HAS BEEN PASSED
BY THE
BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS
AND GRANTED A
(BLANK)
CERTIFICATE

where (BLANK) is filled with the relevant rating of the movie that follows (either U, PG, 15, or 18).

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: It is unknown how often this bumper was used, if very frequently at all. It appears to be generic filler for a different card. If you went to a 35mm screening of a movie from 1982-1985 (such as Explorers (1985)), there's a slight chance this could have appeared instead of the usual bumper.

7th Bumper (January 1, 2003-December 31, 2011)

Bumper: On a black background, at the top left of the screen we see the new BBFC logo with "British Board of Film Classification" below it in a small font. Below that is "This is to certify that" and the title of the film below it in a bold Arial font - that is on a line, and below that line is "has been classified for cinema exhibition". The certification symbol and its meaning are now to the right of the screen. The signatures of the President and the Director are below the main part, and the BBFC's web address "www.bbfc.co.uk" is to the top right of the screen.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description
Universal Children (Uc)
2003-2009
Universal Children - Particularly suitable for children
Universal (U) Universal - Suitable for all
Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance - Some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
12A May be unsuitable for children under 12 years. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
15 Only for persons of 15 years and over.
18 Only for persons of 18 years and over.
Restricted 18 (R18) To be supplied only in licensed sex shops to persons of not less than 18 years.

Variants:

  • When initially introduced at the start of 2003, the cards were designed and printed in a 4:3 aspect ratio regardless of the aspect ratio of the film they preceded. From around late 2004, they were printed according to the aspect ratio of the film they preceded, with CinemaScope films having wider cards, for example. This change seems to have occurred around July or August 2004; the earliest film confirmed to have a ratio-relevant card is the re-release of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962), classified on August 27, 2004.
  • From late 2008, when the BBFC started making their cards digitally rather than printing the titles on physical cards, the text for the movie title became smaller.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen in cinemas before all films from the start of 2003 to the end of 2011.

  • Films using this card include the 2006 remake of The Omen, released to British cinemas (as well as around the world) on June 6, 2006, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2005), many Disney-Pixar films during the era (beginning with Finding Nemo (2003) and ending with Cars 2 (2011)) and others.
  • The last film released with it was The Artist (2011).
  • An R18 version presumably exists, because Deep Throat (1972) was classified R18 on film in 2005, though due to the conditions under which R18 films must be shown, and the fact that Deep Throat is probably the only film ever given a theatrical R18, it'll likely never surface.
  • If you go to see a 35mm screening of a movie from between 2003-2011, this card will most likely turn up before it.

8th Bumper (January 1-February 29, 2012; September 14, 2012)

Bumper: Based on the original 1913 rating bumper, on a white background, we see an old-looking certificate. Inside it is the arched phrase "British Board of Film Classification" with "Celebrating 100 Years 1912-2012" inside it. Below that is "This is to certify that" in cursive writing, a dotted line and "has been classified for cinema exhibition" below the dotted line. At the bottom are the signatures for the president and the director, and either side of those are the cert symbol and description and the BBFC Centenary logo.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description
Universal (U) UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all
Parental Guidance (PG) PARENTAL GUIDANCE - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
12A May be unsuitable for children under 12. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
15 Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
18 Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

This is same for all the other 2012 Retro Cards.

Trivia: This and the other Retro Cards were made in celebration of the BBFC's 100th anniversary, having started operations in 1912 and to show what the BBFC rating bumpers were like over the years.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen in cinemas before all films released from January 1 to February 29, 2012. Examples include The Muppets, The Woman in Black and War Horse.

  • It was also seen before Premium Rush, released on September 14, 2012, due to that film originally being intended for a January release.

9th Bumper (March 1-April 30, 2012)

Bumper: Styled off and quite similar to the 1932 bumper, with the following features:

  • The word "Classification" in place of "Censors" (text still uppercase)
  • The BBFC Centenary logo replacing the old Board emblem; the words "BRITISH BOARD OF" and "FILM CLASSIFICATION" are to the left and right of the logo, respectively
  • The phrase "CELEBRATING 100 YEARS 1912-2012" (in an italic serif font, with "1912-2012" in a much smaller size) replacing the Board's street address
  • The phrase "has been classified for cinema exhibition" replacing "has been Passed for/as (rating description)"
  • The certification symbol and its corresponding description are placed directly below the "has been classified for cinema exhibition" text, then the reference number and the Board's website address being displayed below
  • The signatures for the President and the Director being located at the bottom left and bottom right of the frame, respectively

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before films released from March 1 to April 30, 2012. Examples include The Hunger Games, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (The Pirates!: Band of Misfits in the United States) and Avengers Assemble (Marvel's The Avengers in the United States).

10th Bumper (May 1-June 30, 2012; 2019)

Bumper: This is a revamp of the 1967 bumper. On a black background, we see filming boundaries surrounding the screen, which has "BRITISH BOARD of FILM CLASSIFICATION - CELEBRATING 100 YEARS 1912-2012" at the top with the BBFC Centenary logo next to it. Below that is the standard "This is to certify that (name of film) has been classified for cinema exhibition" with the cert symbol and description at the bottom right and the two signatures to the left.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before films released from May 1 to June 30, 2012, including Men in Black 3, Moonrise Kingdom and Rock of Ages.

  • It was also seen before the 2019 re-releases of Jaws (1975) and presumably Don't Look Now (1973), due to those using DCP prints from 2012.

11th Bumper (July 1-August 30, 2012)

Bumper: Modeled off the 1971 bumper, except the background colour of the right part of the bumper now matches the colour of the cert (green for U, yellow for PG, orange for 12A, pink for 15, and red for 18) and the heading of the left part now says "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CLASSIFICATION" with the BBFC Centenary logo above it and the BBFC website address (www.bbfc.co.uk) and the signatures of the President and the Director below it. The stacked text of the leftmost side of the coloured rectangle also now says "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CLASSIFICATION", the phrase "HAS BEEN PASSED" becomes "HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED FOR CINEMA EXHIBITION", and the certification symbol is in a black background with white text, but having the same shape as the standard variant. Below the certification symbol is the rating description, with the reference number displayed below.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in the cinema before films released from July 1 to August 31, 2012. Examples include Ted, The Three Stooges, the re-release of Total Recall (1990), and The Dark Knight Rises.

12th Bumper (August 3, 2012)

Bumper: On a white background, we see drawn curtains with two stars at the top of them, and the BBFC logo (in blue and gold) between the stars. Below that are multiple drawn things, including a red soda cup, a bag of popcorn, tickets, a hot dog, fries, two pencils (which contain the President's and Director's signatures) and a camera which is projecting a space where the certification symbol (in this case, "U") goes. There are also spaces for the reference number and title.

Trivia: This card was made by 10 year old child Jason Bangar from Birmingham as part of a competition made by the BBFC where children ages 5-18 would design their own BBFC card to promote a certain film and the winner would would have their card shown in cinemas before it.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was only seen in cinemas before Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.

13th Bumper (September 1-October 31, 2012)

Bumper: Similar to the 1982 bumper, except with the updated certification symbol and the BBFC Centenary logo. The web address is also below the "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CLASSIFICATION" text.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before films released from September 1 to October 31, 2012. Examples include ParaNorman, Skyfall and Ruby Sparks.

  • However, Premium Rush used the January-February 2012 bumper instead since it was originally classified for release in January.

14th Bumper (November 1-December 31, 2012)

Bumper: Same as the 2003 bumper except with the BBFC Centenary logo in place of the regular BBFC logo and "A Century of Cinema" next to it.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Was seen in cinemas before all films released from November 1 to December 31, 2012, although Argo and Pitch Perfect used the previous bumper since they were originally classified for release in October. Examples include Parental Guidance, Seven Psychopaths, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

15th Bumper (January 1, 2013-April 26, 2019)

Bumper: We see a smaller white BBFC logo with "Age Ratings You Trust" below it in the top left corner and, on the top right corner, the certificate's reference number with the Board's web address (www.bbfc.co.uk) below. Both the "Age Ratings You Trust" text and the web address are in a secondary colour based on the film's rating (green for U, yellow for PG, orange for 12A, pink for 15, and red for 18). Below the BBFC logo is the standard "This is to certify that (name of film) has been classified for cinema exhibition" message except the line and the "has been classified for cinema exhibition" text are in a brighter shade of the same secondary colour. Below that is the certification symbol with the consumer advice (called "Insight" from 2014) and meaning next to it with the meaning also being in the certificate's secondary colour.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description
Universal (U) UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all
Parental Guidance (PG) PARENTAL GUIDANCE - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
12A May be unsuitable for children under 12. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
15 Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
18 Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

Variants:

  • For films certified from February 24, 2014 until the retirement of this bumper, the consumer advice is changed; the BBFCInsight logo is now present with the consumer advice, which now looks slightly different (it would be "strong bloody violence, strong language" for Olympus Has Fallen (2013).)
  • From March 12, 2016 onward, David Cooke's signature is replaced by that of the new Director, David Austin.
  • From 2015, the Insight does not appear on the card if it contains spoilers for the film. This occurred on The Neon Demon (2016) and The Survivalist (2015).
  • The Insight for Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) also does not appear on the card, but for an unknown reason.
  • On the card for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), the Insight logo is missing.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Common. It was seen in British cinemas during that time period.

  • The last film known to be released with this bumper was Eighth Grade, released on April 26, 2019.
  • However, it is still possible to see it; if you go to see a re-release of a film that was originally shown between 2013 and 2018, as well as re-releases of older films that had a BBFC submission in that timespan, it will most likely appear.

16th Bumper (February 6, 2019- )

U rating
PG rating
12A rating
15 rating

Bumper: We see a similar smaller BBFC logo with the text "View what's right for you" next to it on the top left of the card, and this text:

Get more info on our app
bbfc.co.uk/app

on the top right side. Below this is the certificate, and next to that is a space for the film's title and the Insight below that, which are different colours depending on the certificate (green for U, yellow for PG, orange for 12A, pink for 15, and red for 18). Below the Insight is the meaning of the certificate, with the signatures of the President and the Director on the bottom.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description
Feb 2019-Oct 2020 Oct 2019-
Universal (U) Universal (U) Universal. Suitable for all.
Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance. General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
12A 12A Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
15 18 Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
18 18 Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

Trivia:

  • The reason why the ratings have been changed was to help provide a more digital feel to it with streaming services per request by 95% of teenagers according to research, especially since Netflix partnered with the BBFC to classify almost all of their library and according to ITV News, it would give young people a more consistent guide so they can make a more conscious decision.
  • Much like the 12th bumper seen before Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil variant was designed by May McGlone from Worthing as part of their BBFC Black Card Competition. The prize for the winner was walking through the red carpet at the film's UK premiere. The runner-ups can be seen here.
  • Also, for the Jurassic World Dominion variant, it was designed by Aaron Larway as part of the Create The Card Competition 2022. Prizes for the winner include a private screening of the film, a framed copy of the card and a goodie bag full of merchandise. The runner-ups only received the goodie bag, however. The runner-ups can be seen here.
  • There was another specially made background variant made as part of a Create The Card Competition 2022/2023 and it's to be shown before Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. However the winner has yet to be announced by the end of January.

Variants:

  • The BBFC certificates underwent a graphical redesign in late 2019 (now in a solid background color, with smoother edges for the triangles on the U and PG certificates, and the text in a plain, white Helvetica font), with the new symbols appearing with this bumper before films released on October 31, 2019. The BBFC's logo was redesigned as well, which appears in the top left corner. The bumper is otherwise identical.
  • Packaged media continued to use the 2002 certification symbols until late April 2020, where a transition period has been allowed for usage of either the old or new symbols until October 5, 2020, when only the 2019 symbols are allowed to be used.
  • On Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019), the usual black background is replaced by a stylised drawing of Maleficent over a pastel purple-pink background. Additionally, the signature of the designer of the background (with "Black Card Designer" displayed below the signature, in a different font from the one used for the words "President" and "Chief Executive") is displayed to the left of the reference number, and the rating symbol (in this case, PG) uses the new design.
  • On Jurassic World Dominion, the black background was replaced with a dotted painting of a T-rex roaring with two palm trees behind and has a sunset in the background.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Current; seen in British cinemas before every film.

  • The first film known to be preceded by it was Alita: Battle Angel, released on February 6, 2019.
  • However, it did not immediately start to appear before every film; several films released between February 6 and April 26, 2019 still had the previous bumper, including If Beale Street Could Talk, The Kid Who Would Be King (though certain screenings were allegedly preceded by this bumper), Instant Family and Wild Rose.
  • The first film to be released with a card featuring the 2019 certificate design was Sorry We Missed You, released the day after the new certificates were implemented (Doctor Sleep, released the day they were implemented, still used the 2002 cert design).

Trailer Bumpers

1st Bumper (1971?-December 18, 1982)

Bumper: On a black background, we see "BRITISH BOARD OF FILM CENSORS" at the left and beside it, the text "(rating symbol) TRAILER ADVERTISING (A/AN) (rating symbol) FILM" with a horizontal white line dividing each side (e.g. “U trailer advertising an AA film” means that the film is rated AA and its accompanying trailer is rated U).

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description Notes
U Passed for Universal Exhibition Suitable for all ages
A Passed as Adult Supervision Recommended for Young Children All ages admitted, but suitable for ages 8 and up
AA Passed as Adult Accompaniment Required for Children Under 14 Anyone under 14 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
X Passed as Extremely Graphic Only age 18 and up

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extremely rare; presumably used with several trailers in cinemas (as was the purpose) around the time, but prints of this age are hard to find.

  • Available as an extra on the DVD of Scanners (1981), which is attached to the theatrical trailer.

2nd Bumper (December 19, 1982-)

Bumper: On a black background, we see an age rating for the trailer at the top and below it, the age rating of the film that it advertises, with accompanying text.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Notes
1982-1985 1985-2002 2002-2020 2019-
Universal (U) Universal (U) Universal (U) Universal (U) Universal (all ages)
Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (PG) Parental Guidance (some scenes may not be suitable for young children)
15 15 15 15 Only age 15 and up
18 18 18 18 Only age 18 and up

Variants:

  • Since 2002, some trailers only shows the 2002 version of the ratings for the trailer without any text at the bottom. (e.g. if the film has not yet been certified).
  • The cinema variants rearrange the "TRAILER ADVERTISING" text horizontally and remove the white border. These also appear on Palace and Guild videos.
  • On a UK 35mm trailer reel to Robots, the card cuts to a custom variant of the 20th Century Fox logo.
  • On the theatrical trailer to The Magic Roundabout (2005), the rating has a green-ish tint, due to color grading from the digital intermediate process.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None. However, before Nukie (1987), the trailer's opening music plays over the card.

Availability: Rare, but it can be found on old British VHS rentals between the 1980s and the mid-1990s, mainly from (CBS/)Fox Video, Palace Pictures, VFO, Medusa Communications, Castle Pictures, Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment, Videoform Pictures, Capital Home Video and Guild Home Video. Also played before trailers in cinemas. It can also be seen for a split second on the theatrical trailer to The Magic Roundabout (2005) released on both to the internet a few months before release and on a AOL Free Trial CD-ROM promoting the film (albeit in its original few seconds). It doesn't show up on the 2-disc Special Edition DVD of the film though.

Video Bumpers

1st Bumper (1990-1996)

Bumper: On a black background, we see one of the BBFC certification rating symbols (see below). After a couple of seconds, the black background fades to a dark green background, with a blue box with a green border near the left side of the screen as the certification rating symbol zooms out inside the blue box. At the right of the screen is radio broadcaster and ex-Top of the Pops presenter Simon Bates talking to us about what the film is like (see Music/Sounds section for details), then towards the end, the certification rating fades to a white screen that contains a black outlined box with: "VSC" on it, and "The Video Standards Council" under the box, sort of like this:

VSC
The
Video Standards
Council

After Bates finishes talking, the VSC logo zooms in, taking up the whole screen, then a red tick fades in.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description
Universal (U) UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all
Parental Guidance (PG) PARENTAL GUIDANCE - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
15 Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
18 Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

Although the 12 rating was introduced in 1989, it wasn't used on videos until 1994, by which time a new bumper was made.

Trivia:

  • While this bumper was usually the last bumper to appear during the opening trailer reel, a few VHS tapes, such as Rabid Grannies and Captain Ron, placed this bumper at the very beginning of the tape, the latter after the warning screens.
  • This bumper was parodied in the Harry Enfield and Paul Calf 18 rating bumpers and the beginning of a British commercial for the 1996 video game Primal Rage.

Variants:

  • On the 1992 UK rental VHS release of Grand Canyon, a still image of the 15 certificate at the very start of this bumper faded from and to black.
  • On RCA/Columbia/Columbia Tristar VHS releases, the bumper fades in and out.
  • On titles from other companies, the bumper cuts in and fades out.

Technique: Live-action, plus computer effects for the zooming.

Music/Sounds: Bates says "Whenever you rent or buy a video, you need to be sure that the film you choose is suitable for the audience at home. To help you, there are certificates given to films which tell you broadly what the film is like." Depending on the bumper, any one of these lines follows it:

  • Universal (U): "This film has been classified "U". That means, quite simply, "Universal". In other words, it can be seen by people of all ages. There will be nothing unsuitable for children, and the whole family might well enjoy it."
  • Parental Guidance (PG): "This film has been classified "PG". That stands for "Parental Guidance". Which means that parents might want to check up on it before showing it to their younger children. If it's an action film, it might have some violence. If it's romantic, it might have some sexy scenes or very brief nudity. It might also have some of the mildest swear words."
  • 15: "This film has been classified "15". Which means it's unsuitable for anyone younger than that. It's an offence for a shop to supply a "15" video to anyone below that age, so don't ask them to break the law. "15" films may have a fairly adult theme, or contain scenes of sex, violence or drugs, which, while not particularly graphic, are unsuitable for younger teenagers. They may also contain sexual swear words."
  • 18: "This film has been classified "18". Which means it's for adults only. It's an offence for your shop to supply an "18" video to anyone under that age, so don't ask them to break the law. An "18" film will certainly have an adult theme and might well contain strong scenes of sex or violence, which could be quite graphic. It may also contain some very explicit language, which will frequently mean sexual swear words."

After explaining the rating, he finishes with "Video certificates are there to give you the chance to make an informed choice. They allow you to have piece of mind, and be entertained. Thanks for listening. Enjoy the film."

Availability: Rare. Only appeared on rental VHS tapes from Buena Vista (1991-1994), Guild Home Video (1990), RCA/Columbia/Columbia TriStar (1990-1992), 20/20 Vision (1990-1992), Virgin Video (1990-1991), CBS/Fox Video (1990-1991), Fox Video (1991), The Video Collection (1991-1996), Medusa Pictures (1990), Vestron Video International (1990-1991), First Independent (1991), Castle Pictures (1990), and Cannon Video (1990). Examples of where to find each variant:

  • U: Dakota, Shipwrecked, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, The Little Kidnappers, Felix the Cat: the Movie, The Final Days, Working Trash, Rosie and Jim: Butterflies, Rosie and Jim: Sailing, Playbox: Busy Bee, King of the Wind, Avalon, and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
  • PG: The Wizard, UHF, Dream Machine, California Man (titled Encino Man in America), Home Alone, Buddy's Song, The Freshman, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (both released by New Line Cinema in North America), Sister Act, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (one of the final Buena Vista releases with this bumper), The Unpredictable Michael Barrymore Live, Hocus Pocus, Legend of the White Horse, The Gods Must Be Crazy II, Ghostbusters II, The Three Musketeers (1993), What About Bob, Father of the Bride (1991), Three Men and a Little Lady, The Rocketeer, Robin Hood (1991) (not to be confused with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), Catch Me if You Can (1989), UPWorld, Captain America, Captain Ron, Cool Runnings (Blockbuster/Ritz edition), Bloodhounds of Broadway, Little Man Tate, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (retail), Cannonball Fever, Give Me a Break, Oscar, Absolute Strangers, Animal Attraction (1989), Animal Behavior, Another Stakeout, Arachnophobia, Born Yesterday (1993), Ernest Goes to Jail, Ernest Scared Stupid, The Maid, Straight Talk, The Karate Kid 3, Troop Beverly Hills, Desert Law, Chances Are, Steel Magnolias, The Secret of the Ice Cave, Rockula, and Billy Bathgate (which is actually rated 15; this is likely a tape manufacturing error).
  • 15: The Abyss, Air America, Aspen Extreme, Betsy's Wedding, Beverly Hills Brats, Blood Oath, Blue Heat, Boyz n the Hood, Catchfire, Chattahoochee, The Chocolate War, Come See the Paradise, Communion, Deceived, Desire and Hell at Sunset Motel, Desperate Hours, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, The Doctor, Drop Dead Fred, F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion, Far Out Man, Fighting Justice (aka True Believer), Flatliners, The Fourth War, Ghoulies Go To College, Glory, The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Heart Condition, Hidden Agenda, Hudson Hawk, I Love You to Death, Immediate Family, Johnny Handsome, Lambada, Look Who's Talking, Look Who's Talking Too, Love at Large, Love Hurts, Madhouse, A Man Called Sarge, Masters of Menace, Me and Him, Miracle Mile, Mr. Frost, Mr. Wonderful, Music Box, Navy Seals, Next of Kin, Nuns on the Run, Old Gringo, One Good Cop, Over Her Dead Body, Pacific Heights, The Package, Payback (1990), The Pope Must Die, Postcards from the Edge, Powwow Highway, Pump Up the Volume, The Return of Swamp Thing, Return to the Blue Lagoon, Reversal of Fortune, The Rose Garden, Run, Scenes from a Mall, She's Out of Control, Short Time, Sleeping With the Enemy, Son-in-Law, Spies, Lies & Alibis, Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, Stranded, Stop at Nothing, Three Fugitives, Too Hot to Handle (aka The Marrying Man), True Identity, Vital Signs, War Dancing, The War of the Roses, Welcome Home Roxy Charmichael, Windprints, Winter People, Worth Winning, and Young Guns II: Blaze of Glory.
  • 18: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes, Backstreet Dreams, Bad Dreams, The Big Hurt, Blood In Blood Out, Blue Steel, The Boost, Bugsy, Buying Time, Casualties of War, The Comfort of Strangers, Creepers (aka The Crawlers), Criminal Law, Damned River, Downtown (1990), Drugstore Cowboy, Dune Surfer, The Exorcist III, Fear (1990), Flight of the Innocent (La corsa dell'innocente), Future Force, The Handmaid's Tale (1990), Heathers, The Hot Spot, The Immortalizer, An Innocent Man, Keaton's Cop, The Kiss, The Krays, Last Exit To Brooklyn, Leviathan, Lock Up, Mike Reid's Pussy in Boots, Miller's Crossing, Misery, Monkey Shines, Mortal Thoughts, Never Cry Devil, Night of the Warrior, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Operation Paratrooper, Phantom of the Opera (1989), Predator 2, Prom Night III: The Last Kiss, Q&A, Rabid Grannies, Renegades, Revenge (1990), Scissors, The Sheltering Sky, Shocker, The Silence of the Lambs, Snake Eater, Society, Stir, Street of No Return, Talk Radio, Terror at the Opera, Tina Turner: What's Love Got to Do With It (titled What's Love Got to Do With It in America), True Blood, The Unborn, The Under Achievers, Vampire's Kiss, War Party, and Watchers 2.

Legacy: This bumper became a source for YouTube Poops and both of the parodies mentioned above.

2nd Bumper (1990's-1995)

Bumper: On a white background, we see one of the BBFC certification rating symbols (see below). After several seconds, the certification rating fades to the same VSC screen from the previous bumper. A red tick then fades in.

Certification Symbols and their Descriptions:

Symbol Description
Universal (U) UNIVERSAL - Suitable for all
Parental Guidance (PG) PARENTAL GUIDANCE - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
12 May be unsuitable for children under 12. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
15 Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
18 Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

Technique: The fading.

Music/Sounds: A male voiceover (Mark Roman) telling us what the film is like. The quotes are similar to Simon Bates' quotes from the previous bumper with some differences.

Music/Sounds Variant: On the 12 certificate rating variant, a different male announcer explains what the film is like.

Music/Sounds Trivia: The 12 certificate rating variant includes an ending line that is the same as in Bates' bumpers.

  • Universal (U): "This film has been classified "U". That means, quite simply, "Universal". In other words, it can be seen by people of all ages. There will be nothing unsuitable for children, and the whole family might well enjoy it."
  • Parental Guidance (PG): "This film has been classified "PG". That stands for "Parental Guidance". Which means that parents might want to check up on it before showing it to their younger children. If it's an action film, it might have some violence. If it's romantic, it might have some sexy scenes or very brief nudity. It might also have some of the mildest swear words."
  • 12: "This film has been classified "12". "12" films are suitable for older children. They may have stronger moments of violence, or references to teenage experience but nothing gratuitous. There may also be a swear word or two that you wouldn't hear in a "PG" movie. "12" films are unsuitable for younger children, and it's an offence for your shop to supply a "12" video to anyone under that age. Video certificates are there to give you the chance to make the informed choice. They allow you to have piece of mind, and be entertained."
  • 15: "This film has been classified "15" which means it's unsuitable for anyone younger than that. It's an offence for a shop to supply a "15" video to anyone below that age. "15" films may have a fairly adult theme, or contain scenes of sex, violence or drugs, which, while not particularly graphic, are unsuitable for younger teenagers. They may also contain sexual swear words."
  • 18: "This film has been classified "18" which means it's for adults only. It's an offence for your shop to supply an "18" video to anyone under that age. An "18" film will certainly have an adult theme and may contain graphic scenes of sex or violence. There might also be some very explicit language, which will frequently mean sexual swear words."

Availability: Rarer than the previous bumper, having only been used on rental videos from Warner Bros. and MGM/UA. Examples of where to find each variant (In alphabetical order):

  • U: Black Beauty (1994), Brother Future, Carry on Columbus, Free Willy, Frogs!, Hypersapien: People from Another Star, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Rover Dangerfield, The Secret Garden (1993), Sweet 15, Thumbelina (1994), and Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Vacation.
  • PG: Angel Street, Babylon 5, Benny & Joon, Born to Ride, Carry on Columbus, The Company, The Company II: Sacrifices, Curly Sue, The Cutting Edge, Defending Your Life, Delirious, Dennis the Menace (1993), Devil's Treasure (aka Treasure Island; not to be confused with the 1950 Disney film of the same name), Fatal Deception, The Flash, The Flash II: Revenge of the Trickster, The Flash III: Deadly Nightshade, Forever Young, Getting Even with Dad, Going Under, Graffiti Bridge, Ivory Hunters, Judgement in Berlin, Ladybugs (released by Paramount Pictures in North America), Lionheart, Major League II, The Man in the Moon, Mannequin 2: On the Move, Maverick, Memphis Belle, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, The Meteor Man, Mister Johnson, Montana, My Blue Heaven, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, Of Mice and Men (1992), Pure Country, Rad, Rich In Love, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Rocky V, Son of the Pink Panther, Stalin (1992), Stay Tuned, Teen Agent, Time Trax, To My Daughter, Wait Until Spring, Bandini, War of the Buttons, White Hunter Black Heart, and Willing to Kill.
  • 12: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Clean Slate, Grumpy Old Men, The Pelican Brief, That Night, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, and Wyatt Earp.
  • 15 (this is the easiest bumper to find, considering how many tapes it was featured on): 50/50, American Kickboxer 1 (not to be confused with the Jean-Claude Van Damme film series, Kickboxer), Barbarians at the Gate, Batman Returns, Bed of Lies, The Big Steal, Blown Away, Body Snatchers, The Bodyguard, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Boyfriend from Hell, Cast a Deadly Spell, Citizen Cohn, City of Joy, Class Act, Company Business, Criminal Justice, Crisscross, Crooked Hearts, The Crush, Curacao, The Curse of the Dragon, Dark Justice, Dave, Dead Solid Perfect, Deadly Intentions... Again?, The Death Merchants, Death Merchants II: The Mafia Connection, Demolition Man, Descending Angel, Dirty Tricks (aka Running Mates), Disturbed, Dogfight, Doublecrossed, Dragonfight, El Diablo, Empire City, The Face of Fear, Fatal Instinct, Final Pulse, Fires Within, Flirting, Framed, Freejack, The Fugitive, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Guilty By Suspicion, Hometown Boy Makes Good, A House of Secrets and Lies, The Human Shield, In the Arms of a Killer, Innocent Blood, It's Nothing Personal, JFK, Judgment (1991), Killer Rules, Kung Fu, Lambada: The Forbidden Dance (possibly a relation to the previously mentioned Lambada; released by Cannon Video and distributed by Warner Home Video), The Last of the Mohicans (released by 20th Century Fox in North America), Lean on Me, Lethal Weapon 3, Libestraum, Made in America, The Mambo Kings, McBain, Meeting Venus, Men Don't Leave, Midnight Sting (aka Diggstown), Mortal Sins, A Mother's Justice, The Mummy Lives, Murder in Mississippi, Night Visions, Not Without My Daughter, Nothing But Trouble, Other People's Money, Passenger 57, Pink Cadillac, The Power of One, Power Play: The Jackie Presser Story (aka Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story), Prison Stories: Women on the Inside, Quick Change, Quigley Down Under, Rescue Me, Roger and Me, The Russia House (1990), Sarafina! (released by Hollywood Pictures and Miramax Films in North America), Seven Minutes, Singles, Sommersby, South Central L.A., Stanley & Iris, Stephen King's IT, Stephen King's The Stand, Stephen King's The Tommyknockers, Taking Back My Life, Thelma and Louise, This Boy's Life, Til I Kissed You, Under Siege, Unforgiven, Untamed Heart, Walker Texas Ranger: One Riot One Ranger, White Sands, Women & Men: Stories of Seduction, and The Women of Brewster Place.
  • 18: American Cyborg: Steel Warrior, American Ninja 4, American Ninja 5, American Samurai, The Assassin (aka Point of No Return), The Borrower, Chain of Command, Crime Lords, Dead-On, Death Warrant, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Delta Force 3: The Killing Game, Eternity, Falling Down, The First Power, The Forgotten One, Frankenstein Unbound, Goodfellas, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Hellbound, The Hitman, Hurricane Smith, Impulse, In the Spirit, Jungle Assault, The Last Boy Scout, Midnight Ride, Naked Tango, New Jack City, Nightbreed, No Place to Hide, Out for Justice, Over the Line, Presumed Innocent, Prison Heat, Relentless 3, Renegade, The Rookie (1990), Roots of Evil, Rush (1991), Salt on Our Skin, Scanners II: The New Order, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Sketch Artist, Sketch Artist 2: Hands That See, Street Knight, Terminal Bliss, Tobe Hooper's Night Terrors, To the Death, and True Romance.
  • Strangely, several films, amongst others, contain no VSC bumper whatsoever, despite their videos being released during their usage, such as Adrift, An Innocent Man, Clean and Sober, Dinosaurs The Movie, Dolly Dearest, Dreams (1990), Eve of Destruction, Fear (1990), A Few Good Men, Fire, Ice And Dynamite, The Grifters, The Gun In Betty Lou's Handbag, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, Joe Versus the Volcano, Let Him Have It, Maniac Cop 2, Misery, Mortal Passions, Mr. And Mrs. Bridge, Mr. Destiny, Music Box, Nemesis, Night and the City, Only You (1992), Revenge of Billy the Kid, Reversal of Fortune, Shattered (released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in United States), A Shock to the System, Spaced Invaders, Strictly Ballroom, Thunderheart, Timebomb, and Twister.

3rd Bumper (1995-2006)

Bumper: On a static background, we see a hand holding a remote, pressing the on button, and it cuts to a screen made up of TV static opening up halfway (similar to a widescreen aspect ratio), and a rating symbol zooms up. It fades out, some text appears (depending on the certification list below) and movie clips displayed in 4:3 slide or fade in at certain points. After the text disappears, the static screen wipes to a pink old-movie fashioned screen that features a circle that changes between having a BBFC certificate, a film countdown and a movie clip as it slowly zooms out. After it reaches it furthest point, the old-movie fashion screen closes, turning itself off like a CRT television. Then a white flash appears, revealing the certificate. Finally, it fades to a black-gray gradient screen that contains a black outlined, white filled box with "VSC" on it, and "The Video Standards Council" under the box, sort of like this:

VSC
The
Video Standards Council

A red tick is then drawn.

Trivia: While this bumper was usually the last bumper to appear during the opening trailer reel, Columbia Tristar and 20:20 Vision VHS tapes and previewless titles instead placed this bumper at the very beginning of the tape following the warning screens.

Variants:

  • A hand with the remote shot is on a light static background and the light is yellowish green on the U and PG rating variants. A different hand is in a different position and the light is red on the 12, 15 and 18 rating variants.
  • On the Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK and Buena Vista/Disney U rating variants, the movie clips on the static screen fade in instead of sliding at certain points.
  • The movie clips vary on Warner Home Video/MGM/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK, Buena Vista/Disney, Fox, and FilmFour/VCI releases (more info below).
  • On releases with the Buena Vista/Disney, Fox, and FilmFour/VCI variants, the VSC screen cuts to black after a couple of seconds.
  • On releases with the Warner Bros./MGM/UA Home Video/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK variants, the VSC screen fades to black after a couple of seconds.
  • On releases with the Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies variants, the VSC screen immediately fades to black after its completion.
  • On the U-, PG-, and 18-rated Buena Vista/Disney variants and each Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK variant, the rating circle on the old-movie fashioned screen stays on screen for a couple of seconds before slowly zooming out.
  • On Columbia Tristar, 20:20 Vision, Mosaic Movies, and FilmFour/VCI releases, the animation of the rating circle zooming out begins upon its appearance.
  • On the 12- and 15-rated Buena Vista/Disney variants, the animations of the 12 and 15 rating circles zooming out fade in a few inches away from the viewer. As a result, the furthest point of the circle is "3" on the film countdown instead of "2".
  • On Columbia TriStar Home Video, 20:20 Vision and Mosaic Movies releases, the movie clips in each variant are replaced with a translucent rectangular screen showing random flashing images of various stuff related to the content of a movie slowly sliding in and out in an unbalanced fashion. The movie clips in the circle are also replaced with the same random flashing images from the translucent screen.

Certification Symbols, Animations and Text:

  • Universal (U): A green triangle with "U" on it, starting out blurry but becoming clear, spins in on a white background in a widescreen aspect ratio. It fades to the static background. The text reads "family enjoyment", with "enjoyment" in a yellow sans font and "family" in a blue cursive font, which slides in separately, before coming together. The word "enjoyment" tilts about 90 degrees to the left, then the "o" takes up the whole screen. The screen fades to the old-fashion screen instead of wiping in. At the end of the bumper, the same spinning animation appears in an open matte fullscreen ratio.
    • Clips used (in this variant, two film clips fade in at various points during the TV static screen part; the movie clip on the upper right corner is in 4:3 on the Buena Vista/Disney variant and 16:9 on the Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK variant):
      • Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK: Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Vacation, Free Willy, and Black Beauty (1994).
      • Buena Vista/Disney: Aladdin (1992), The Jungle Book (1967), and Honey I Blew Up the Kid.
  • Parental Guidance (PG): A yellow-orange triangle with "PG" on it, sliding up against a background with the same symbol but close up for the start of the bumper. It slowly fades to the static background, leaving "PG" in the close up certificate and the smaller certificate, before they fade out. The text reads "Parental Guidance", fading in one at a time. At the end of the bumper, the certificate zooms in with a unfolding effect on a white background.
    • Clips used (in this variant, two film clips slide in at various points during the TV static screen part):
      • Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Gone with the Wind, and Dennis the Menace (1993).
      • Buena Vista/Disney: Sister Act and Cool Runnings.
  • 12: A white circle, outlined in red, with "12" on it, zooming in against the static background. The text reads "Reference to teenage life", fading in one at a time. At the end of the bumper, the flash reveals the certificate on a black background.
    • Clips used (in this variant, four film clips slide in at various points during the TV static screen part):
      • Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Pelican Brief, and Wyatt Earp.
      • Buena Vista/Disney: Cabin Boy.
  • 15: Another white circle, outlined in red, with "15" on it, zooming in against the static background. The text reads "some sex OR violence", fading in one at a time. At the end of the bumper, the flash at the end of the bumper is replaced by an animation of a hand stamping in the certificate on a black background.
    • Clips used (in this variant, four film clips slide in at various points during the TV static screen part):
      • Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK: Batman Returns, Demolition Man, The Fugitive, and The Bodyguard.
      • Buena Vista/Disney: The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Consenting Adults, and The Distinguished Gentleman.
      • Fox Video: The Abyss and My Cousin Vinny.
      • FilmFour/VCI: Brassed Off and Secrets & Lies.
  • 18: A red circle with "18" on it. At the start of the bumper, the certificate is replaced with the words "18 or over", fading in one at a time, then "18" turns white and takes up the whole screen before fading out. The text reads "adult THEME", wiped in one at a time, later changing to "SeLF Awareness". The 18 rating zooms out over the circle over the old-fashioned movie screen, instead of that screen wiping in. At the end of the bumper, the flash reveals the certificate on a white background.
    • Clips used (in this variant, five film clips slide in at various points during the TV static screen part):
      • Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Lethal Weapon 2, and Above the Law.
      • Buena Vista/Disney: Tina: What's Love Got to Do With It (titled What's Love Got to Do With It in America) and Pulp Fiction.
      • FilmFour/VCI: Same as the 15 variant.

Technique: Just about everything.

Music/Sounds: Various sound effects: a tuning sound effect at the beginning, a beep when the white screen opens, and during the old-fashioned movie screen's time, a projector running can be heard in the background. Another beep is heard when the screen closes, followed by a loud whoosh and a drawing sound effect. An announcer is heard talking about what the film is about.

  • The female announcer is Floella Benjamin for the U and PG ratings, and the same male announcer from the Guild Home Video piracy warnings (Emilio Delgado) is used for the 12, 15 and 18 ratings. The voiceover always starts with "When you rent or buy a video, you need to know that the film you choose is suitable for the audience at home. To help you understand what the film is like, you can look at the certificate it has been given." and ends with "Video certificates are there to give you the chance to make the right choice. Thanks for listening."

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the 15 certificate rating variant, the appearance of the 15 certificate is accompanied by a stamping thud sound effect instead of a whoosh.
  • In between the two sentences listed above, Floella Benjamin says on the U and PG variants:
    • Universal: "This film has been classified "U". That means it can be seen by people of all ages, and there will be nothing unsuitable for children." (Due to this dialogue being shorter, the voiceover pauses at various points and most of the old-fashioned screen part has no voice-over, compared to the other versions of the bumper described below.)
    • Parental Guidance: "This film has been classified "PG". This stands for Parental Guidance; it means that parents may wish to check the film before showing it to their children. If it's an action film, it might have some limited violence. If it's romantic, it might have some sexy scenes, or very brief nudity. It might also contain some milder swear words."
  • In between the two sentences listed above, Emilio Delgado says on the 12, 15, and 18 variants:
    • 12: "This film has been classified as "12". That means this film is unsuitable for anyone younger than 12. A film with a "12" certificate may contain stronger moments of violence, or references to sexual experience. There may also be swear words that you wouldn't find in a "PG" film. It is an offence to supply a video classified "12" to anyone below that age."
    • 15: "This film has been classified as "15". That means this film is unsuitable for anyone younger than 15. A film with a "15" certificate may have a fairly adult theme, or may contain scenes of violence, sex or drugs, which are unsuitable for younger teenagers. It may also contain sexual swear words. It is an offence to supply a video classified "15" to anyone below that age."
    • 18: "This film has been classified as "18". That means this film is only suitable for people aged 18 or over. A film with an "18" certificate will almost certainly have an adult theme, and might well contain scenes of sex or violence, which are quite graphic. It may also contain explicit language, including sexual swear words. It is an offence to supply a video classified "18" to anyone below that age."

Availability: Quite common. Check your VHS tapes for this rating bumper. Seen on many British retail and rental VHS releases from Warner Home Video, MGM/UA Home Video, Icon Film Distribution, Redbus Film Distribution/Home Entertainment, Helkon SK, Buena Vista Home Video, Walt Disney Home Video/Disney Videos, Touchstone Home Video, Hollywood Pictures Home Video, Miramax Home Entertainment, Dimension Home Video, Columbia TriStar Home Video, Mosaic Movies, 20:20 Vision, FilmFour/VCI, and a few from Fox Video/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

  • The Warner Home Video/MGM/UA Home Video/Icon Film Distribution/Redbus Home Entertainment/Helkon SK variants are the most common since they appeared on British Warner Home Video, pre-2001 MGM/UA, Icon, and Redbus/Helkon SK VHS releases.
  • The Buena Vista/Disney variants appear on the British VHS rental releases of titles released by Disney and its subsidiaries (Buena Vista, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax, and Dimension). They also appeared on their UK VHS retail releases of The English Patient and Ransom as well as the 1997 FilmFour VHS rental release of The Country Club Plaza due to tape manufacturing errors.
  • On FilmFour/VCI VHS releases, only their versions of the 15 and 18 rating bumpers were used.
  • On British Fox Video/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment VHS releases, only their version of the 15 rating bumper, which appeared only on the 1995 UK rental VHS releases of Airheads and Speed (1994), was used.
  • The Columbia Tristar Home Video/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies variants appear on British VHS releases from each aforementioned company.
  • The Columbia TriStar Home Video/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies variant of the 15 bumper surprisingly appeared on the 2000 UK DVD release of Pink Floyd: The Wall released by Sony Music Entertainment; it may have also been used on other Sony Music Entertainment DVDs that have BBFC certificates.

Examples of where to find each variant:

  • Appearances on retail VHS tapes (some of these are reissues of older tapes):
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK U variant: Animaniacs videos, The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot (titled Quest for Camelot in the United States), Free Willy 3: The Rescue, FairyTale: A True Story (released by Paramount Pictures in North America), Thomas and the Magic Railroad (released by Destination Films in North America), Dennis Strikes Again!, Hackers, A House in the Hills, The New Age, Pokèmon 3: The Movie, Addams Family Reunion (1998), 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tom & Jerry videos, The Challenge, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, The Wizard of Oz (1939), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Napoleon, and Air Bud (released by Walt Disney Pictures in North America).
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies U variant: Stuart Little 2, Fly Away Home, and The Swan Princess (released by New Line Cinema and Turner Home Entertainment in North America).
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK PG variant: The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in America), Pokémon: The First Movie, Jack Frost, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), PG-rated Friends videos, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Cats and Dogs, Of Mice and Men (1992), The Great Escape (1963), Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island, Sunchaser, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Osmosis Jones, Scooby-Doo: The Movie, The Witches, Maverick, and Doctor Zhivago.
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies PG variant: First Knight, Evolution, Daddy Day Care, Bicentennial Man, The Madness of King George, and Men in Black II.
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK 12 variant: 12-rated Friends videos, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Ocean's Eleven, Hearts In Atlantis, and Bend It Like Beckham (released by Fox Searchlight Pictures in North America).
    • Columbia TriStar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies 12 variant: Spider-Man (2002), Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), and America's Sweethearts.
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK 15 variant: The Client, License to Kill, WCW Uncensored 1999, Valentine, Angel Eyes, The Pledge, Rain Man, Swordfish, Rock Star, The Wolf, and Phantasm IV.
    • Buena Vista/Disney 15 variant: The English Patient.
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies 15 variant: The Quick and the Dead, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and Bats.
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK 18 variant: 3000 Miles to Graceland, Training Day, Exit Wounds, Replicant, WCW Uncensored 2000, Carrie (1976), Diabolique, Goodfellas, Disclosure, Lethal Weapon Double Feature, Raging Bull, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
    • Buena Vista/Disney 18 variant: Ransom.
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies 18 variant: Snatch, Double Team, Maximum Risk, Never Talk to Strangers, Universal Soldier: The Return, and Wishmaster (released by Live Entertainment in North America).
  • Appearances on rental VHS tapes:
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK U variant: Shiloh, Space Jam, The Never Ending Story 3: Escape From Fantasia (released by Miramax Films in North America), The Iron Giant, and The Importance of Being Earnest.
    • Buena Vista/Disney U variant: The Lizzie McGuire Movie, George of the Jungle (1997), The Princess Diaries, Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Spy Kids 3D: Game Over, Man of the House, and Inspector Gadget (1999).
    • Columbia Tristar U variant: Stuart Little and Madeline (1998).
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK PG variant: Kangaroo Jack, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Bogus, See Spot Run, Vegas Vacation, Carpool, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, You've Got Mail, New York Minute, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban, Hope, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Manchester United Beyond the Promised Land, Wild America, What a Girl Wants, and Whale Rider (released by Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment in North America).
    • Buena Vista/Disney PG variant: The Haunted Mansion, Mission to Mars, Jack, Freaky Friday (2003), I'll Be Home for Christmas, Mighty Joe Young, Spy Hard, Holes, The Count of Monte Cristo, My Favourite Martian, In the Army Now, A Kid in King Arthur's Court, Operation Dumbo Drop, and Remember the Titans.
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies PG variant: Matilda (1996), Call Me Claus, Godzilla (1998), The Mask of Zorro, Spider-Man 2, Men in Black, Men in Black 2, Big Fish, A Knight's Tale, and Evolution (2001) (released by DreamWorks Pictures in North America).
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK 12 variant: Bio-Dome, Hackers, The Bridges of Madison County, Three to Tango, Sphere, What Women Want (released by Paramount Pictures in North America), The Avengers (1998), Best In Show, Catwoman, Chasing Liberty, City of Angels, Dirty Work, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Eight Legged Freaks, Empire Records, GoldenEye, Grand Isle, In Pursuit of Honour, Joe's Apartment, The Man in the Iron Mask, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Miss Congeniality, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, Ocean's Twelve, Pay It Forward, The Perfect Storm, Practical Magic, Something's Gotta Give, The In Crowd, Two Weeks Notice, The Whole Ten Yards, Wild Wild West, Swimfan (released by 20th Century Fox in North America), and A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) (released by DreamWorks Home Entertainment in North America).
    • Buena Vista/Disney 12 variant: Reign of Fire, Armageddon, The Other Sister, Keeping the Faith, Coyote Ugly, Six Days, Seven Nights, Unbreakable, Chocolat, Bounce, Shanghai Noon, The Hours (released by Paramount Pictures in North America), Chicago (2002), The Recruit, Kate & Leopold, The Waterboy, Shanghai Knights, Bruce Almighty (released by Universal Studios in North America), and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies 12 variant: The Cable Guy, Spider-Man (2002), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Net, For Better or Worse, Mona Lisa Smile, Blue Streak, Big Daddy, 50 First Dates, Mr. Deeds, 13 Going on 30, The Forgotten, Street Fighter (1994) (released by Universal Studios in North America), Hellboy (2004), xXx (2002), and Doctor T & the Woman (released by Artisan Home Entertainment in North America).
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK 15 variant: South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Payback, Bless the Child, We Were Soldiers, The Hunted (all released by Paramount Pictures in North America), Michael Collins, Three Kings, Kevin & Perry Go Large, Heat (1995), Conspiracy Theory, Eraser, Executive Decision, Get Shorty, Incognito, Outbreak, Rob Roy, Striptease, Tank Girl, Trial by Jury, 187, A Time to Kill, The Postman, Tin Cup, Lethal Weapon 4, U.S. Marshals, The Negotiator, Analyse This, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Troy, Spartan, The Whole Nine Yards, Cabin Fever, The Gift, Before Sunset, Under Suspicion (2000), Basic, BOA, Wicked, Felicia's Journey, Heist, Murder By Numbers, Gossip, Deep Blue Sea, The Big Tease, The Replacements, Dreamcatcher, Torque, Taking Lives, Maybe Baby, Snow Job, Proof of Life, The Exorcist: The Beginning, Jeepers Creepers, The Rage: Carrie 2, and Ronin.
    • Buena Vista/Disney 15 variant: Gone In 60 Seconds, Jackie Brown, Crimson Tide, Little Voice, Good Will Hunting, The 6th Day, Air Force One (released by Columbia Pictures in North America), Vengeance (released by 20th Century Fox in North America), Snake Eyes, The Talented Mr. Ripley (both released by Paramount Pictures in North America), The Insider, High Fidelity, Starsky & Hutch (released by Warner Bros. in North America), Scary Movie 3, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Firelight, Playing By Heart, The Rock, The Hurricane, Mystery, Alaska, Ride (1998), and The Country Club Plaza (despite being released by FilmFour).
    • FilmFour/VCI 15 variant: Secrets & Lies (released by 20th Century Fox in North America), East is East, Brassed Off (released by Miramax Films in North America), Dogma (released by Lions Gate Films and Columbia Tristar Home Video in North America), The Yards, Career Girls, Velvet Goldmine, and Best Men.
    • Fox 15 variant: Speed (1994) and Airheads.
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies 15 variant: The Patriot, Bad Boys II, Charlie's Angels, Still Crazy, Erin Brockovich (released by Universal Studios in North America), Jerry Maguire, The Foreigner, The Craft, Anger Management, Gothika, Panic Room, Layer Cake, The Devil's Own, White Chicks, Citizen X, Legends of the Fall, The Tailor of Panama, The Bone Collector (released by Universal Studios in North America), Black Hawk Down, and Autumn In New York (released by MGM in North America).
    • Warner Bros./MGM/Icon/Redbus/Helkon SK 18 variant: The Art of War, Natural Born Killers, Species, Species II, Interview with the Vampire, The Specialist, L.A. Confidential, Ghost Ship, Sweet Sixteen (2002), Escape Clause, Fire Down Below, Fled, Lord of Illusions, Soldier, Thinner (released by Paramount Pictures in North America), Eyes Wide Shut, The Devil's Advocate, And Your Mother Too, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, and House on Haunted Hill.
    • Buena Vista/Disney 18 variant: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Scream (1996), Starship Troopers (released by TriStar Pictures in North America), Cop Land, Veronica Guerin, Pulp Fiction, Con Air, Chasing Amy, Scream 2, Scream 3, Bringing Out the Dead (released by Paramount Pictures in North America), End of Days, Nightwatch, Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, From Dusk Till Dawn 1-3, Kill Bill Vol. 1, and Kill Bill Vol. 2.
    • FilmFour/VCI 18 variant: Sexy Beast.
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies 18 variant: Hollow Man, The End of the Affair (1999), Bad Boys, Till the End of the Night, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, The Replacement Killers, 8MM, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Orgazmo, Screamers, Laurel Canyon, and The Punisher (2004) (released by Lions Gate Home Entertainment in North America).
  • Appearances on DVDs:
    • Columbia Tristar/20:20 Vision/Mosaic Movies 15 variant: Pink Floyd: The Wall (released by MGM/UA theatrically in North America).

Legacy: Thanks to its omnipresence, this bumper spawned numerous variants over the years, most of which were over-utilized, had wasted potential, and/or contained mistakes.

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