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GoodTimes Entertainment, Ltd. was an American home video company that originated in 1984 under the name of GoodTimes Home Video. Though it produced its own titles, the company was well-known due to its distribution of media from third parties and classics. The founders for the company were the brothers Kenneth, Joseph and Stanley Cayre (often referred to and credited simply as the "Cayre Brothers") of Salsoul Records. Its headquarters were in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The company had a distribution facility in Jersey City, New Jersey and a duplication facility in Bayonne, New Jersey.
|Industry||Home video company|
Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment
|Headquarters||Midtown Manhattan, New York City|
|Products||Now-public domain works and anime|
GoodTimes began with the distribution of copies of public domain titles. Though the company also produced and distributed many low-priced fitness videos, its most recognized line of products were the series of low-budget traditionally animated films from companies such as Jetlag Productions, Golden Films, and Blye Migicovsky Productions, as well as a selection of the now-public domain works of Burbank Films Australia.
Many of its home-video titles — such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Sinbad, The Little Mermaid, The Three Musketeers and Thumbelina — were named similarly or identically to big-budget animated films from other studios (though their plots were sometimes very different), and GoodTimes would often release these films close to the theatrical/home-video releases of other studios. This was largely legal, as the stories on which the big-budget movies were based were folk tales that had long been in the public domain and the major studios had little room to claim exclusive rights to the stories or the main characters. The Walt Disney Company sued GoodTimes because the VHS artwork closely resembled Disney's, allegedly creating the potential of confusing consumers into unintentionally purchasing a GoodTimes title, when they instead meant to purchase a film from Disney that was otherwise nearly identical in appearance.
As a result of the aforementioned lawsuit, GoodTimes suddenly found itself required by law to print its name atop all of its future VHS covers, in order to clearly demonstrate to the public at large that this was very much not the "blockbuster" title that they would be purchasing just then. Despite these changes, however, GoodTimes would still remain freely capable of producing precisely the same kinds of animated films which had created all the controversy here to begin with, often using "knockoff" cloned titles, characters and stories existing in the public domain such to exploit any renewed, fleeting popularity/marketing pushes by other studios, carried out for entirely different films.
In the 1990s they expanded the company into GT Publishing, a division of the company that published children's books under the Inchworm Press imprint.
Expanding from home video distribution, GoodTimes founded its spin-off, GT Interactive Software as a way to distribute video games. This company was sold to the French game publisher Infogrames in 1999.
At different times, GoodTimes contracted with Hanna-Barbera, DiC Entertainment, Nelvana, Columbia Pictures, Worldvision Enterprises, NBC, HBO, Orion Pictures, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures to release inexpensive tapes of many of their films and TV series. In addition, GoodTimes released several compilations assembled from public domain films, movie trailers, earlier television programs and newsreels. Most of these were credited to Film Shows, Inc.
In July 2005, GoodTimes filed for bankruptcy and its assets were then sold to Gaiam. Gaiam then spun off its home video assets to Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment in 2012, which in turn was sold and merged into New Video in 2013. Despite closure in 2005, GoodTimes Entertainment also had involvement co-producing Wulin Warriors, an edited version of Pili produced by Broadway Video and Animation Collective for Cartoon Network's Toonami block in 2006, but was pulled after two episodes aired due to poor ratings and complaints.
In 2007, the company folded into GT Media, first releasing these products: the GT Express (a countertop grill) and the 2007 DVD release of The Retrievers, and currently distribute Asylum mockbusters and some GoodTimes re-releases.
- "Company Information." GoodTimes Entertainment. June 17, 2000. Retrieved on March 15, 2010.
- Edwards, C. (January 8, 2014). "The Ultimate Guide to Animated Mockbusters". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- Nichols, Peter M. (1993-09-10). "Home Video". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
- Nichols, Peter (1993-09-17). "Disney loses suit over Good Times' 'Aladdin' video". Bangor Daily News. Bangor Publishing Company. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- "History of GoodTimes Entertainment Ltd. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2017-11-04.