Random House Home Video
Random House Home Video was a home video unit established by Random House, publisher of Dr. Seuss's books. In 1995, they began distributing through Sony Wonder. The company went dormant around 2001, though Sony Wonder still used the company's logo on Arthur tapes and DVDs until 2006.
1st Logo (1983-1984, 1988)
Logo: On a gray background, a thick drawing of a small building "slides" up. Another building grows behind it and the last one "slides" from the right side of it, forming a stylized house with heavy black outlines (Random House's corporate logo). After that, a square wipes in behind the house, with five lines in the left side which colors itself in with rainbow colors while the right one stays blank. Finally, the white words "RANDOM HOUSE VIDEO" with a black drop shadow fly in from the bottom of the house and the rainbow. The logo then fades out, leaving us with the only the gray background.
Variant: Some Random House Video releases would have a multicolored gradient background (in which it has tan, blue, gray and other colors) instead of the actual gray background. Also, the warning screen scrolls on the same background as well.
Music/Sounds: A bell ring (the "T.BL-EXPA" patch off of Yamaha's DX7) when the first part of the house "slides" up and a bright string-like synth arpeggio that repeats itself as the bell fades to a synthesized drone.
Availability: Ultra rare. Seen on the earliest Random House tapes. It makes a surprise appearance on the 1988 VHS of U.S. Government In Action: The Senate.
2nd Logo (1984-2006, 2008-2009?)
Logo: On a shady amethyst-colored background, six rainbow-colored lines are drawn onto the screen by light rays, in different directions. The lines sharply angle around 45 degrees near the edge of the screen. As the lines begin to finish drawing, the parts of a stylized house (the same one from before) begin to slide onto the screen at the area where the lines suddenly slope. The rainbow and the house zoom out as the rainbow begins to retract. The sloped section disappears completely as a diagonal beam of light draws a sharp black outline around the house and the rainbow. The words "RANDOM HOUSE" fade in and zoom out underneath the rainbow/house combo, and the words "HOME VIDEO" zoom in below it from the center.
Variant: A cut-short variant exists that fades out just before the deep bass note happens.
Technique: All done by System IV computer animation effects.
Music/Sounds: A synth fanfare that ends with a synthesized cymbal crescendo as "RANDOM HOUSE" fades in. A chime arpeggio is heard as "HOME VIDEO" zooms in, followed by a deep bass note, and a brief synthesized autoharp stinger before the logo fades out.
Availability: Uncommon, but it was used for 22 years. It's seen on VHS tapes of Beginner Book Video, The Berenstain Bears (1980s series), Sesame Street, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, and Arthur. It also appeared on Sony Wonder DVDs of the latter series, like Arthur's New Puppy for example. The print logo was originally in black and white, but was given color from 1995 onward. This logo makes a surprise appearance on the 2008/2009 DVD of The Berenstain Bears: Kindness, Caring and Sharing, likely due to using an old video master. Also seen on Columbia TriStar Home Video's re-releases of Berenstain Bears tapes. The cut-short variant can be seen on VHS tapes of Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa.
3rd Logo (1988-1989)
Logo: We fade in to a white background where we see the Random House logo from before, with the white door, windows, and the five rainbow lines, though it looks animated and less detailed. We suddenly zoom out from the logo which actually improves its quality and that it is actually a printing on a filmstrip container against a coral pink background. It spins around and later opens up. A folded filmstrip comes out of the container, later unfolding. Floating by its side comes an audio cassette, with the dark blue-background label "RH", with the B&W Random House logo right beside it. The audio cassette and the filmstrip suddenly enter the "tape" edge of a VHS tape, which has the text "RANDOM HOUSE, INC." on the tape label, and also contains the Random House logo on the end label. The VHS enters a VCR that eventually lights up. We pan into a television screen with the Random House logo on a violet background, later filling up the whole screen. The logo zooms out, and the following text fades in:
RANDOM HOUSE PRESENTS
Depending of the video collection distributed on the tape, more text fades in below:
- On Newberry Video Collection tapes, it reads:
- On Caldecott Video Collection tapes, it reads:
Technique: Cel animation for the first half, computer effects for the second. This was animated by Michael Sporn Animation in New York.
Music/Sounds: A low-pitched, extended version of the 1st logo's theme with an additional synth fanfare.
Availability: Ultra rare. The Newberry variant was seen on tapes such as Call It Courage and the 1989 VHS of Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mt. St. Helens, while the Caldecott variant was seen on a 1988 VHS of The Polar Express.