History / Information
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). 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.