Burbank Video

From Home Video

Burbank Video was originally formed in 1983 as a video label that distributed licensed films and educational and musical documentaries on home video.


The company technically dates its origins back to 1972 when James E. McGraw formed a record and video distribution company based in Burbank, California, called Viking Entertainment, late 1981 when a public domain video label based in Los Angeles, California, called SRO Video, was formed, and 1984 when a video label also based in Los Angeles, California that distributed both workout and public domain titles, called Video-SIG was formed. SRO Video titles were mainly released to the rental market. In late 1982, SRO Video spun off its home video distribution business into a new company, called Opening Night Productions, while retaining its rental video business. In mid-1984, Opening Night Productions changed its name to Curtain Call Video, upon its introduction of public domain television titles. A year later, in mid-1985, Viking Entertainment acquired Curtain Call Video. The label was later renamed to Video Classics and its location was consolidated. Many customers began to confuse the label with the Australian video label, so in mid-1986, the label was renamed again to Viking Video Classics. In late 1987, Viking Entertainment acquired Video-SIG and was sold to Troy, Michigan-based Handleman Company. Later in early 1988, Video-SIG was merged with Viking Video Classics to form a new video label, called Troy Gold. James E. McGraw would remain president of Viking Entertainment until 1990, when the Viking Entertainment name was dropped.

Around early 1989, Handleman Company acquired Burbank Video, along with Video Treasures. Viking Entertainment's Troy Gold label was later merged with the original Burbank Video incarnation to form a new incarnation of the latter label, thus Burbank Video became a subsidiary of Viking Entertainment.

From early to late 1989, the company was notorious for adding so-called "enhanced" sound-effects to many public domain cartoons, serial films and full-length films that they introduced on home video, and for placing their own copyright notice in the opening title cards to each one.

Around early 1991, Burbank Video bought out two video labels; Jenal Entertainment, a video label that distributed licensed B-movies, and American Video, a division of Powersports Productions. Both were eventually absorbed. Around the same time, Burbank Video also bought out the North American rights to the pre-late 1980s Active Home Video titles from Active Home Video's parent company, Remtrak Corporation. Since then, many of the titles previously released by Active Home Video were re-released under the Burbank Video label. In April 1991, Video Treasures became the parent label of Burbank Video.

In late-1992, The Avengers star Patrick Macnee and rights owner EMI Films filed a lawsuit against several public domain home video distributors, which he referred to as "The Pirates," over unauthorized home video releases of several The Avengers episodes and the audacity to claim that said episodes were in the public domain, even though they weren't. Among those were not only Burbank Video, but also Hollywood Select Video, Shokus Video, Video Images and Showcase Productions. As a result, the Burbank Video label was absorbed into Video Treasures for a couple of months, and a couple of older titles were re-issued with the Video Treasures logo on the product label, in place of Burbank Video. Macnee threatened to plank the companies in the ocean, and soon after, the companies had to pay heavy damages and the legal copyright was later re-established in mid-1993. The Burbank Video label was resurrected afterwards, with the launch of the new "Hollywood Favorites" line. Burbank Video's parent label, Video Treasures, later merged with Starmaker Entertainment, which Handleman acquired in 1990, to form Anchor Bay Entertainment in May 1995. The Burbank Video label was absorbed again in October 1995 with the clamshell re-issue of "Our Gang Comedies."

In early 1996, Anchor Bay Entertainment licensed the rights to some documentary titles previously released by Burbank Video to Marathon Music & Video.

In 1997, CD Video re-issued some of the early-1989 Troy Gold and Burbank Video titles without authorization and with terrible print master jobs. Shortly after, Anchor Bay Entertainment filed a lawsuit against CD Video.

Under the SRO Video label (1981-1983)[edit]

Under the Opening Night Productions label (1983-1984)[edit]

Under the Curtain Call Video label (1984-1985)[edit]

Under the Viking Video Classics label (1985-1987)[edit]

Miscellaneous releases[edit]

Kartoon Klassics (1985-1987)[edit]

Sherlock Holmes (1985-1987)[edit]

Kartoon Bonanza (1986-1987)[edit]

Kartoons Kartoons (1986-1987)[edit]

Kartoons Kartoons was a video line of one hour color-toned public domain black-and-white cartoon compilations that ran by Viking Video Classics from 1986 to 1987. The line consisted of black-and-white Warner Bros. cartoons from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series, from 1931 to 1943. Initially, it was known as Kartoon Parade. The line was re-issued in the fall of 1986 and was renamed to Kartoons Kartoons.

Under the Troy Gold label (1988-1989)[edit]

Under the Burbank Video label (1983-1995)[edit]

Original incarnation (1983-1988)[edit]

After the acquisition and merger by Handleman Company (1989-1995)[edit]

Late 1990[edit]

Catalog number Title Country of origin Original year Length Version MPAA rating Film format Tape count Tape break placement (if applicable) Color Released Note(s)
590 Road to Bali 1952 USA 91 min TBD NR Academy 1 N/A Color Late 1990
  • Reuses the mid-1980s Unicorn Video Inc. print master.


Catalog number Title Country of origin Original year Length Version MPAA rating Film format Tape count Tape break placement (if applicable) Color Released Note(s)
590 Road to Bali 1952 USA 91 min TBD NR Academy 1 N/A Color 1992
  • Some copies were sold through Avon.

Holiday titles[edit]

Due to the contents of these titles being in the public domain, these titles were released way out of season.

Documentaries (1983-1987, 1989-1992)[edit]

Burbank Combat Classics (1990-1992)[edit]

Classic Comedy Television (1985-1992)[edit]

Classic All-Star Cartoons (1991-1993)[edit]

Hollywood Matinee Serials (1991-1993)[edit]

Hollywood Favorites (1993-1995)[edit]

Under the Video-Sig label (1984-1988)[edit]

Under the Jenal Entertainment label (1988-1991)[edit]

Under the American Video label (1986-1991)[edit]


  • Los Angeles, California (1981-1987) (ultimately consolidated into Viking Video Classics' Burbank operations)
  • Burbank, California (1983-1991) (ultimately consolidated into Video Treasures' Batavia operations)
  • Batavia, Ohio (1991-1992) (ultimately consolidated into Handleman's Troy operations)
  • Troy, Michigan (1992-1995)
  • Ajax, Ontario (1989-1995) [Canadian operations through HGV Video Productions]