Golden Book Video

Jan 22, 2016

Golden Book Video was a line of children/family animated and live-action videos marketed by Western Publishing, beginning in 1985. They featured characters and stories from Western's print publications, such as Little Golden Books, and were originally released on VHS video cassette for under $10.

The videos made use of limited animation techniques to add motion to original illustrations from Western's print books; Western called this approach "bringing storybooks to life". As production was carried-out by multiple companies (usually Studio Consultants Inc., Universal Recording Corp. and Animagination Inc., among others), contents of the videos varies. Typically, they featured a full voice cast, with background music sourced from production music libraries (the KPM/Associated Production Music library, in most cases), although original songs were recorded for some videos, occasionally with sing-along lyrics appearing on-screen. The video adaptions often carried original material that was not present in the original books. Some of their video releases were mastered with Dolby Stereo.

Beginning in 1986, Golden also began releasing Golden Book Music Videos, which usually contained similar limited animation set to new illustrations and a full-length story incorporating a combination of classic children's songs and new original songs. Golden Book Video also started the Golden Step-Ahead Video series, featuring educational videos dealing with subjects such as simple reading/letter phonics, basic mathematics, what going to school is like, etc.

In 1987, Golden Book Video started straying away from book adaptations, and began releasing general entertainment (i.e. cartoon episodes, TV specials, etc.) under their then-new "GoldenVision" banner, along with some newly created content (usually live-action) but GoldenVision also released the Golden Step Ahead videos, but by 1990, the GoldenVision banner was dropped: but it later got picked up again with all new products, including general entertainment productions, were released under the regular Golden Book Video banner before it got removed again: which later became the SchoolHouse Rock Sing Along Songs series.

Also starting in 1989, many of the earlier "storybook adaptation" videos were reissued under the "Golden Book Video Classics" banner, which often would have the same famous golden spine on the sides of the box similar to Little Golden Books. Beginning in 1990, Golden Book Video also began releasing several older CBS after-school special cartoons produced by Bosustow Entertainment under this banner.

Random House and Classic Media (now DreamWorks Classics) bought out Golden Books Family Entertainment in 2001.