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Golden Book Video
IndustryHome video
Founded1985; 37 years ago (1985)
Defunct1996; 26 years ago (1996)
FateAbsorbed into Golden Books Family Entertainment
SuccessorGolden Books Family Entertainment
Area served

Golden Book Video was a line of children/family animated and live-action videos marketed by Western Publishing, beginning in the holiday season of 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.[1]

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".[2] 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 APM 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 by 1990, the GoldenVision banner was dropped and all new products, including general entertainment productions, were released under the regular Golden Book Video branding.

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 1991, Golden Book Video also began releasing several older CBS after-school special cartoons produced by Bosustow Entertainment under this banner.

By 1996, Golden Book Video was absorbed into its parent company's Golden Books Family Entertainment division, and Sony Wonder would then distribute VHS and DVD tapes of Western Publishing properties afterwards.

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

VHS Releases

This article is missing information about additional VHS releases. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (April 2020)


  1. ^ Two Companies Introduce Video Titles for Under $10, Billboard Magazine, Jan. 26 1985
  2. ^ Low Video Prices, Billboard Magazine, Jan. 26 1985