Burbank Video

From Home Video

Burbank Video was originally formed in the mid-1980s as a video label/company 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 folded, and Viking Video Classics became Troy Gold. James E. McGraw would remain president of Viking Entertainment until 1991 when Viking Entertainment became an in-name only unit of Video Treasures.

Between 1988-1989, 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.

From 1989-1990, Burbank Video was notorious for adding so-called "enhanced" sound-effects to many public domain cartoons, serial films and full-length films that they introduced on their own home video editions, and for placing their own copyright notice in the opening title cards to each one.

Around early 1991, Burbank Video bought out the catalogues of two video labels/companies; Jenal Entertainment, a video label/company that distributed licensed B-movies, and American Video, a division of Powersports Video. Around the same time, Burbank Video also bought out the North American video rights to several titles that were released by Active Home Video in the 1980s. 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 distributor for Burbank Video in the US.

In 1993, The Avengers star Patrick Macnee and rights owner EMI Films filed a lawsuit against several public domain home video labels, 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, EMG Video, Passport International Productions, Video Images and Showcase Productions. 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. The Burbank Video label eventually launched the "Hollywood Favorites" line in the summer of 1993. Burbank Video's distributor, Video Treasures, later merged with Starmaker Entertainment, which Handleman acquired in Q3 1994, to form Anchor Bay Entertainment in May 1995.

In 1997, Magnum Video Distributors re-issued some of the early-1989 Troy Gold and Burbank Video titles, though it's unknown if those re-issues were licensed by Anchor Bay Entertainment or not. Also, the re-issues solely referred to CD Video Manufacturing.

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. For the re-issues in fall 1986, the line was renamed 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 merger (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.

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]