Working in video store over the years, certain things stick with you. Not just the quirkiness of customers or the ability to quote movies, but small things. Like the intros for certain film companies or advertisements that ran on VHS tapes. I have always been opposed to these ads, but that did not stop several of them from being burned into my memory. One such ad was the Land Before Time VHS Pizza Hut Commercial.
This commercial ran on every copy of The Land Before Time that I ever saw. Which, when it was released on VHS, was a pretty big deal. When we had copies in to sell, we merely needed to put it on the TVs that we had in the stores and in our windows. Shortly thereafter a flood of parents, often dragged in by their children, would come in and demand their copies. It was easy money. But not without sacrifice.
For every time that we fired up this beloved film we had to sit through this now famous Land Before Time VHS Pizza Hut Commercial. It is a pretty cute commercial the first time you see it. In it a young boy goes to a birthday party at Pizza Hut. While there he takes his Mom’s advice on how to behave with a twist. Soon he is the hit of the party. Beloved by all, he has what appears to be a great time and his Mother is very proud.
It is swell to see some vintage pizza hut footage and the commercial itself is pretty charming. But try watching this multiple times per day. Maybe even watching it a couple of times a week. At the time, it was driving me nuts.
Nowadays I look back on my time in the video store with fond memories. This advertising gem only makes me smile. While I am still not a fan of advertising in my home media, I guess I am glad to have seen it be a “thing.” So enjoy this commercial and remember how luck you are to live when you do. You have options to watch you films commercial free and if they do run ads, you can skip them much more easily.
Watch the Land Before Time VHS Pizza Hut Commercial
Okay, I got something else to add. Watching this again made me very happy. But if advertising is bad, how can I feel good about it? This is a real conundrum. I need to think on it. Perhaps I will come to a conclusion after watching this commercial just a couple of more times.
When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters in December of 2016. It kind of became a big deal. Like over a billion dollars worth of a big deal in fact at the box office. Of course it was easy to see why, a likeable collection of rascals. As well as being an entertaining movie that helped to give a backstory to the events of 1977’s Star Wars.
Now for myself I absolutely enjoyed this different, grittier look at the Star Wars universe. Having said that I would certainly not want every single new film in the franchise to echo this type of tale. I found Rogue One to be not only thrilling but a moving story of hope. I would point out that in addition to its message of hope it included the awesome new character that is Admiral Raddus. Of course as I have demonstrated in past posts – I am rather partial to the Mon Calamari.
Overall I felt that Rogue One managed to capture a little of the feel of the original Star Wars. That was helped and occasionally…hindered…by unexpected cameos. However with the film available right this minute on digital with DVD and Blu-Ray expected to hit shelves on April 4th. An enterprising artist, Damien Kazan, decided to put together a trailer.
A trailer I should add that looks like it was released in the early days of VHS trailers. If you have not seen the film for yourself yet, there are some things that might be considered SPOILERS!
I want to thank the one and only Daniel XIII, for the heads up on this fan trailer for Rogue One. After watching it I felt I needed to share it with you all – hopefully it will give your day a little boost.
How close was the Rogue One VHS trailer to the original Star Wars home trailer?
Thanks to Plains Video you can see for yourself. I can recall seeing a similar running announcement at a local video store of my youth!
Ah, Betamax. There have been many times when technological formats that are sort of similiar must go head to head. Like in the case of HD DVD versus the Blu-Ray format. Of course if you go back a little further there was the competition between Video High Density video discs vs LaserDisc and VHS. And if you are of a certain age you might recall when it was the VHS format versus Betamax fighting for your hard earned money.
I wasn’t aware that Betamax actually ceased being made way back in…2016?! That is the truth though – which means it lasted for 40 years. Not to shabby a legacy for the “loser” of the videotape format war.
I was only in contact with a Betamax unit once in my youth. You have to remember this was back when both it and the VHS units were quite beautiful. In addition to being incredibly large with myriad buttons and dials as well as featuring top-loading mechanisms.
As I was saying though – I only once had any sort of experience with a Betamax. This was in 1982 and my Father rented Star Wars. I want to point out this was during the time when renting a Betamax or VCR unit was a bit of an ordeal.
First of all you needed to have the membership to the video store which required the usual identification. However you also needed to literally leave a deposit on top of the rental fee – generally a $100 dollar bill or at least a check if you were trusted by the store.
Now having said all of that, thanks to the Retroist who pointed this video out to me. We can travel back in time to 1978 to visit Ray Glasser. In the almost ten minute video he gives those of us from the future a personal tour of his Betamax collection.
The television and movies in his collection are rather staggering. Everything from Star Trek, to King Kong and the Burns and Allen show, to name a few. So without further ado let us join Ray Glasser back in 1978 and enjoy his Betamax collection tour!
So I logged onto my You Tube Channel, and was greeted by notifications. Now, for me, on a normal day, notifications on my You Tube Channel are usually someone +1’d a comment I made, a comment someone else made on a video I commented on, a comment someone else made within a conversation I also made a comment for, and in more rare cases, someone subscribed to me. I’m well aware that critics are around, especially among nitpickers on You Tube, so I’m always prepared for that. And spam comments. I’m always on the lookout for that. I remember having to put something about spammers on my old You Tube Channel.
But today, it was a comment, and an interesting one. It was from someone who also owed a 1990 print of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, and how he had a different type of edit that ended the Pizza Hut commercial on his video. This type of error is always intriguing, and he said he thinks it was a mistake made on the production end when the VHS was made. I guess no two copies are alike, wouldn’t you say?
When I was in my basement a two weeks ago, doing the laundry (I promise, that’s really what I was doing), one of the other tapes I grabbed from the shelf was my 1989 print of The Land Before Time. Not one of those sequels, but the original film. This was another one of those “Mommy and Daddy Take the Kids to the Movies” things, except instead of turtles with mad ninja fighting skills, it was about little dinosaurs trying to reunite with their families in the face of tragedy. Ever want to upset my entire family into silence? Watch Littlefoot’s mom die. Boom. Quiet.
That actually happened – we were watching the movie for the second time (when we got it as a birthday present for our seventh birthday in 1989), and the death of Littlefoot’s mother put the hush-hush over our living room.
And if this was a spoiler to you…where have you been since 1988? We ’80s babies all know this was that other tragic animated death, the other being the death of Optimus Prime.
Wait…you didn’t know that either? Where have you been since 1986?!
I’m not sure what it is with Don Bluth movies, but apparently he likes children (even the anthropomorphic animal kind) to suffer some kind of harsh tragedy – remember how Fivel got separated from his family in An American Tale? How about all the tragedy that happened in The Secret of NIMH? The only thing that wasn’t tragic about that film was the fact that it was so well-done, and beautifully animated despite the story and dark nature of the film. Littlefoot’s mother dying wasn’t the first tragedy to befall a Don Bluth-animated anthropomorphic animal child.
This is slowly turning into a mucho depressing piece. And we’re also getting sidetracked – let’s get to the real reason you are here, which is not to read about all the times we were emotionally scarred by Don Bluth movies and Optimus Prime dying.
Let’s shift away from all of this, and look at something we all seem to love around here – old VHS tapes!
Yes, this is much better!
The video itself is one of the original prints, and much like my copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, Pizza Hut ran a promotional campaign around the movie. Now, unlike that video, the Pizza Hut commercial on this one actually has tie-ins from this movie in the commercial.
That commercial was featured over on my blog as Throwback Thursday’s commercial pick for last week, and involves a birthday party and the practicing of good etiquette. But since this is Pizza Hut, we only have to proclaim that we used good manners, ‘cuz we’re gonna party!
And don’t forget, “Share, share, use your silverware!”
Trust me, you read my articles for the educational value they provide!
The video reminds us to stay tuned after the feature for more previews. Which is proof that MCA Home Video was the Marvel of its time!
Then we see this…
For a Universal-based home video label, the logo is pretty low budget…but starry! Which makes it somewhat pretty.
And if you followed the instructions and watched after the film, you were reminded of what we paid for a VHS tape back in 1989:
I never complain about the cost of boxed sets on Blu-Ray when I know what my parents paid for me to have movies in the late 1980s-early 1990s.
So, it’s a video you want to see, is it?
Then press play, and relive 1980s home video glory!
Don’t ever complain about how much anything costs again – you saw
Allison’s videocassette collection isn’t a thing of beauty, but it sure is nostalgic. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can also find more like this on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and she’s on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.
I can still picture the hard plastic case—the only one in our VHS tape collection—peeking out above the other paperboard covers. And I remember the feeling of permanence when writing those two timeless words in blue pen on the card insert: Weird Science
My family was not rich. My mom and dad worked hard and thankfully had the help of my grandmother and aunts in raising me and my three siblings—yep, four wild kids in one house. Suffice to say: the latest technology was NOT of utmost concern (at least to any of the adults). To be honest, it was not of much importance to us children either; tech fads were not a big thing just yet.
So, getting our first VCR was kind of an understated yet monumental moment in our lives. Until this landmark occasion, repeated viewings were left to the powers that be at broadcast television companies—unless you factor in HBO, who would replay any given movie about 30 or so times in as many days. (AND without commercials! What?!)
The huge, almost-briefcase-sized VHS video cassette recording machine sat up on a shelf under the cable box with its enormous (by today’s standards) square-inch buttons for Play, Stop, Rew, Ffwd, Pause and Record. The first VHS tape we had, it may have come with the purchase, was equally epic. An actual hardcover plastic box (“heavy-duty” if you will) that had kind of a gray craquelure feel to it. The title card would slip into a clear plastic on the front.
We’d later switch to TDK or Sony or whatever cheaper brand was available. We’d also begin recording more than one movie to a tape with the discovery of what SP, LP and EP meant. But, for the very first cinematic gem we would immortalize to cassette, it would be one movie and that one movie only.
In my memory, I seem to recall kind of leading the charge on what we would record. I may have been the only one who really cared; my older sister was ahead of me and my two younger siblings by four years and arguably the most popular of all of us. I said arguably guys, don’t get mad at me.
To my point, she was probably too busy with an actual social life to care about television. And my younger siblings, sorry again guys, may have just been outvoted by me. Because I, of course, was older and arguably wiser.
In any case, the very first film we (or I, really) recorded on VHS was that bastion of motion pictures: Weird Science.
Generations after mine will never understand the concerns of “taping” a movie from TV:
• Making sure the VCR or TV is set to channel 3.
• Hitting BOTH play AND record buttons (why wasn’t the one button enough?).
• Pausing the tape for commercials if you weren’t recording a cable show.
• Remembering to un-pause when the show started again after the break.
• Making sure the tape head was clean.
• Specifying AM or PM if you were programming something to record.
• Having a blank tape (or enough space left to get the whole recording).
• Checking to be sure the copy protection tab was intact (or taped over).
• Staying awake through the whole movie to not get the next movie or interstitials.
All that aside, I’m fairly certain we recorded the ‘80s classic from HBO. The film written and directed by John Hughes, of course, featured Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith and Kelly LeBrock. Hughes was on a bit of a tear after writing and directing Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club (both of which also featured Hall).
Danny Elfman sang the Oingo Boingo theme song which somehow fit right in on 1980s’ pop radio. The story is a basic Frankenstein remake but, instead of the mad scientist, you have two pubescent geeky teens. And naturally instead of a monster, the unpopular mechanics use a (laughably “state-of-the-art”) computer to simulate a dream woman into being.
Looking back, recording Weird Science not only set the tone for my love of films. The film itself reflects my life experience. Nerdy, young, fun, interests in movies and music and comedy and science and the arts, with a love—and deep respect—for women. As well as a general happiness of just being alive.