Family Home Entertainment

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Family Home Entertainment
Industry Home video company
Fate Folded into Lions Gate Entertainment
Successor Lions Gate Entertainment
Founded 1980
Defunct 2005
Key people
Noel Bloom, Sr.
Products Kids/family distribution arm
Parent Independent (1980-1985)
International Video Entertainment (1985-1990)
Live Entertainment (1990-1998)
Artisan Entertainment (1998-2004)
Lions Gate Entertainment (2004-2005)

Family Home Entertainment (FHE) was an American home video company founded in 1980 by Noel C. Bloom. It was a division of International Video Entertainment, which had its headquarters in Newbury Park, California.[1]


General information[edit]

FHE released children's and family-oriented programming, most notably popular 1980s television cartoons, including The Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem, ThunderCats, Inspector Gadget, Defenders of the Earth, Pound Puppies, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, Gumby, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Care Bears, and Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars, and other non-animated shows like Baby Einstein and the Laurel and Hardy comedy series from the 1920s and 1930s by Hal Roach. It also had a one off theatrical release division, FHE Pictures, established in 2002; its first and only release was Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. FHE was one of the two distributors for most of the seasonal Rankin/Bass television specials aired on CBS, a relationship that began in 1989. The other distributor for this library was Vestron Video, a now-defunct company which would be ironically acquired by FHE's then-parent Live Entertainment in 1991. However, it would lose the home video rights to the Rankin/Bass library in 1998 to Sony Wonder and Golden Books Family Entertainment. The company has also released several VHS releases of British kids' cartoons and animation in the US since the 1980s (i.e., Roobarb, Wil Cwac Cwac, James the Cat and Fireman Sam), as well as some Japanese anime, such as Robotech and The Adventures of Ultraman, plus the Australian Dot films. Their output wasn't always children and family friendly, though; in the early '80s, several titles were released under the "World of Horror" label directly by FHE, including Journey into the Beyond and The Child (which was later rebranded as a Monterey Home Video release).[2] Since 1982, they also released Filmation's TV shows such as Lassie's Rescue Rangers, The Lone Ranger, Shazam!, Blackstar, and The New Adventures of Zorro, plus the only Filmation movie released at the time, Journey Back to Oz. Or sometimes, when FHE issued Laurel and Hardy videos by Hal Roach, it showed both the FHE logo and the Artisan Entertainment logo although in reality it was an Artisan release up until 2005.

Early FHE releases were distributed by MGM/UA Home Video, including the very first release of few episodes of Gumby. In the late 1980s, FHE's releases were distributed by MCA (most notably in Canada). Canadian releases were distributed by two companies in the early 1980s, which were International Home Entertainment Canada (IHEC) and Vidéo Screencraft, IncEntertainment.

In 1982, the company introduced USA Home Video as a non-family division of the company. In 1985, the company changed its name to International Video Entertainment, and then to Live Entertainment, with "Family Home Entertainment" as an imprint of IVE/Live. They would later go on to become Artisan Entertainment, which has since been acquired by Lions Gate Entertainment. In 2005, FHE was folded into Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Today, the bulk of the FHE releases are now on DVD including The Care Bears and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Once prominently available but today fallen into obscurity was the Australian animated film, Grendel Grendel Grendel, an adaptation of John Gardner's novel, Grendel, starring Peter Ustinov in the title role.

Here's a breakdown of which properties FHE lost over the years:

  • Rankin/Bass: 1989-1997 (rights transferred to Sony Wonder and Golden Books Family Entertainment in 1998, later became Classic Media in 2001 whereas Sony Wonder was later shut down in 2007. It then shifted to Genius Products however that too was dissolved by 2009 causing it to shift distributors once again, this time going to Vivendi Entertainment later as a unit of Gaiam until 2013 when it was merged and absorbed into New Video by its new parent, Cinedigm which has remained to this day sans the purchase of Classic Media by Dreamworks Animation and subsequently renamed DreamWorks Classics in 2012).
  • Gumby: 1982-1989 (now distributed by NCircle Entertainment).
  • Filmation: 1982-2000 (After L'Oreal's entertainment unit, Paravision, Inc. filed for bankruptcy and closed down in 1989 and being dormant for 6 years, it was acquired by Hallmark Cards in 1995 thus forming the Hallmark Entertainment division. However, it would be sold once again, this time going to Entertainment Rights in 2004. Unfortunately, it too filed bankruptcy and was later sold and subsequently merged into DreamWorks Classics who coincidentally are the current right holders of the Rankin/Bass library. Now distributed by New Video).
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog: 1985-2003 (once prominent but now fallen out of print)
  • Baby Einstein: 1999-2001 (lost the home video rights when it was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2001 and subsequently shifted to its home entertainment arm. Eventually however, it was shuttered by Disney in 2009 after its founder left the company).
  • The Hal Roach catalog (Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, etc.): 2000-2005 (home video rights initially carried over to Lionsgate when it acquired Artisan/FHE in 2005. However, it then lost the rights in 2009 to Vivendi Entertainment, later Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment and now known as New Video as of 2013).
  • The Republic Pictures library: 1998-2005 (initially continued with Lionsgate after 2005 when it acquired FHE. However, it eventually lost the rights in 2012 when Artisan/FHE's successor Lionsgate declined to renew its lease with Paramount Pictures in 2012. Olive Films took over distribution of the library from Lionsgate and is the current distributor of the library through its parent company Melange Pictures LLC).
  • The DIC Entertainment catalog: 1983-2005 (initially continued to be distributed by Lionsgate for a very short duration as a result of its acquisition of FHE in 2005 after previously acquiring it back from Disney in 2000 of which it had the rights from 1996-2000. However, it later lost the rights to the DIC library to Shout Factory that same year which is the current home video distributor for the DIC catalog).
  • The Sunbow Productions catalogue: 1983-1998 (home video rights shifted to Sony Wonder when it purchased the company in 1998 only to be bought by TV-Loonland in 2000. It was subsequently closed in 2004. Sony Wonder itself would also shutter three years later in 2007. Hasbro eventually bought the library in 2008 and subsequently shifted the home video rights to the catalog once more, this time going to Shout Factory in 2009.



  1. ^ Holston, Kim R. Richard Widmark: A Bio-bibliography. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990. 103. Retrieved on September 3, 2011. "500 N. Ventu Pk. Road" "Newbury Park, CA 91320" ISBN 0-313-26480-5, ISBN 978-0-313-26480-1.
  2. ^ A couple of World of Horror titles from Family Home Entertainment

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