USA/Canada Warning Screens

NOTE: During the DiscoVision days and going into the MCA Videodisc era, there was no real warning screen.


Ushe warning screen

Warning: On a blue background, we see the generic warning text in white.

FX/SFX: None.

Trivia: The entire warning text was used in the end credits of Universal's films during this era, and is still used currently (albeit with "THE" placed in between "UNDER" and "LAWS").


  • Sometimes the text was chyroned.
  • Other times, it appeared as a card.
  • It also existed as a filmed variant.
  • A black and white variant was used on B&W films.

Availability: Ultra rare. It was seen only on Universal laserdisc/DiscoVision releases of the time, after the movie ends. This was also seen on non-DiscoVision releases pressed at the DiscoVision plant such as the Magnetic Video laserdisc of Alien, the Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment laserdisc of Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Special Edition, and the Paramount Home Video laserdisc of Charlotte's Web (all issued in 1981). It was also seen on some MCA Home Video/Videocassette releases such as the 1981 VHS of The Andromeda Strain, the 1982 VHS of The Eiger Sanction (both from MCA Videocassette), and the 1984 MCA Home Video release of Rear Window. This was also used on the 1979 Fotomat rental Betamax of Saturday Night Fever, which used the DiscoVision master.

Scare Factor: Minimal.


Ushe warning screen 01

Warning: On a black background, we see a small warning in white Impact font.

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: Extremely plain-looking. The word "Exhibition" is also misspelled.

Availability: Seen on a handful of DiscoVision releases, as most of them went directly to the logo.

Scare Factor: Minimal.

1980-2005, 2006

Warning: On a black background, we see the word WARNING at the top of the screen, in red and in Helvetica font. Below it we see the standard warning text, in smaller print and in white.


  • Some MCA Home Video releases have a screen freeze of this warning.
  • On black and white movies, it's all in B&W.
  • Starting in 1983, the warning screen began use on MCA Home Video laserdiscs. The wording was altered for laserdiscs and was created by a character generator.
  • On most French Canadian releases from MCA/Universal and Alliance, the warning is white and scrolls up.
  • Beginning with 1988 on laserdiscs and videodiscs and 1991 on VHS, the warning look more modern and with the red WARNING in the top center of the screen. The laserdisc/DVD version has the word "WARNING" was slightly larger and colored a regular shade of red and doesn't have a drop shadow, and the warning text was somewhat modified. The VHS version has the text in fire engine red and has a drop shadow and regular warning text. The VHS version premiered on Kindergarten Cop.
  • There is a Canadian variant in which the words "Title 17, United States Code, Section 501 and 506" are replaced with the Anti-Piracy message from the Canadian Bureau of Protection of Film and Videocassette with the toll-free number (1-800-363-9166) and the words "All calls confidential". This is spotted on the 1988 VHS release of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, later Cineplex Odeon Video releases, and on most Alliance Home Video/Alliance Atlantis releases from 1992 to 2005, before that company started to use its own Interpol warning. Used from 1988 to 2005. A French version of the warning exists.
  • On PolyGram Video releases, the word "FBI WARNING" and the warning text is modified.
  • On Thorn-EMI Video releases, the word "WARNING:" is in white and the warning text is modified.
  • On Woodhaven Entertainment releases, everything is in Cambria and the word "WARNING" is very larger.
  • On some pre-2005 Lionsgate DVDs, certain Trimark DVDs and 2007-2011 Anchor Bay releases, everything is in center and the font is different.
  • Until 1990, the warning fades to the stay tuned ID from the era. It also makes a surprise appearance on the VHS of Twins.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None, but on Descriptive Video Service VHS's, a DVS narrator reads out the warning, depending on the DVS tape.

  • A female narrator (Rena Baskin) says "A warning appears" then reads out most of the warning text on the DVS VHS's of Field of Dreams and Beethoven.
  • Rena Baskin also reads out part of the warning on the DVS VHS of Apollo 13.
  • Another female DVS narrator (Pat Lentz) says "A warning appears" and reads out the warning in full on the DVS VHS of Meet the Parents.
  • Yet another female DVS narrator (Chloe Leaman this time) says "A warning" and reads out most of the warning text.
  • A male DVS narrator (Miles Neff) says "An FBI warning" before reading out most of the warning text on the DVS VHS of Seabiscuit. He also says simply "Warning" and reads out the first two lines on the DVS VHS of Ray.

Availability: On every MCA Videocassette Inc. and most MCA Home Video releases. This includes all VHS and Betamax releases from MCA Home Video, all MCA/Universal Home Video releases, Universal Studios Home Entertainment releases, DreamWorks, Trimark Home Video, and certain 2001-2006 Lionsgate Home Entertainment releases, as well as all releases from Cineplex Odeon Video and all from Alliance Releasing Home Video, particularly Night Crawl. Can also be found on later KVC Home Video releases as well as Plaza Entertainment releases (including Family Universal Network releases). Later laserdisc releases from DiscoVision and early releases from MCA Videodisc did not have this warning. MCA Videodisc releases usually didn't have copyright warnings at all. The warning makes a surprise appearance at the start of the 1982 Vestron Video release of Benji and the 1985 PolyGram Video releases, and the 1988 MCA Home Video release of E.T. The Extra Terristrial, the 1990 MCA/Universal Home Video release of Rear Window, the 1990 MCA/Universal Home Video release of The Great Outdoors, the 1998 MCA Home Video release of Twins, the 1999 USA Home Entertainment release of The Game, the 2000 Carolco Home Video release of Basic Incstinct and the 2006 Universal Studios Home Entertainment release of The Cat in the Hat. The DVD version was seen on Universal and DreamWorks DVD releases of the era, as well as Trimark, Goodtimes and HBO DVD releases and certain 2001-2006 Lionsgate DVD releases.

Scare Factor: Medium, the word "WARNING" is an eyesore to look at, especially for the laserdisc variant. None for the 1988/1991 variant.


Warning: On a blue background, we see the following demo tape warning in white scrolling up:

This cassette is the property of

MCA/Universal Home Video, Inc.,

and MCA reserves all right, title

and interest in and to the cassette

and its content. The quality of the

video and audio elements of this

picture are subject to change.

Use is strictly limited to viewing by

MCA's customers in connection

with the selection and purchase of

retail copies of this cassette.

Duplication or distribution of this

cassette is prohibited and is in

violation of Federal and

international copyright laws.


  • Later, after MCA/Universal Home Video became Universal Studios Home Video, the MCA/Universal text on the warning was replaced with it.
  • Starting in 2004, a darkish shade appears at the bottom

FX/SFX: The text scrolling.

Availability: Rare. It only appears on screener tapes made by the company to show to retailers.

Scare Factor: None.


Warning: Same as the 2004-2013 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment warning.

Variant: On Universal Music releases, the text appears in English first, then French and Spanish.

FX/SFX: None.

Availability: Seen on all Universal releases from 2005-2012 such as The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie.

Scare Factor: None.


Warning: Same as the 2011-present Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment warning.

Variant: On some releases, the word "" is underlined and in blue.

FX/SFX: None

Availability: Brand new. Seen on the newest Universal releases on DVD and VOD, such as The Grey, Side Effects, and Safe House, among others.

Scare Factor: None.

International Warning Screens

Non-USA, general


See CIC Video Warning Screens.

United Kingdom


Warning: Same as the PolyGram warning.

Variant: Sometimes on rental releases along with DVD and retail releases (only from 2001-2002) the text is in Arial font.

FX/SFX: None.

Cheesy Factor: Same as the PolyGram warning.

Availability: Seen on Universal VHS and DVD releases from 1999 to 2002. Examples are Guest House Pardiso, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, The Mummy, Jurassic Park, Bridget Jones' Diary, The Mummy Returns and Jurassic Park III. It can be seen on DreamWorks, Channel Five, Right Entertainment and Abbey Home Entertainment Releases in the UK. Used in tandem with the next warning.

Scare Factor: None.


Warning: The warning in Arial Black with "COPYRIGHT NOTICE" on the top fades in, and after 20 seconds it fades out.


  • On some releases, the text spacing is altered.
  • On some DVD releases, the font is thinner and the text is slightly different.

FX/SFX: None.

Availability: Seen on Universal releases from 2002 to present for examples: About a Boy, and Thunderbirds. It can be seen on DreamWorks, Abbey Home Media and Right Entertainment VHS and DVDs. Used in tandem with the previous warning.

Scare Factor: None.