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Background: Gracie Films is the film and television production company of James L. Brooks, established in 1986. Their first production was The Tracey Ullman Show, an early hit for FOX. They soon produced Broadcast News, another hit. They began to produce hit after hit such as Big, The SimpsonsSay Anything, and The War of the Roses, making them one of the most successful independent studios of all-time.


1st Logo (April 5, 1987 - February 2009)

Nicknames: "Shhh!", "The Dark Cinema"

Logo: It is seen in the middle of black background with two thick white lines sandwiched it. We start off in a cinema, with lots of chattering going on. Then, after a few seconds, a female silhouettethat is close to us makes a "shush" gesture. Then, the audience becomes silent, the lights dim, and the projector comes on and casts a blue light to the screen, and then these words in white appear:

GRACIE FILMS

It then cuts to the words "IN ASSOCIATION WITH"

Variants:

  • The Simpsons has featured many alternate variations of the logo over the years, with different music, sound effects, and/or dialogue. One recurring variation is on Halloween episodes, where a woman screaming is heard followed by a creepy pipe organ playing the theme. For a full comprehensive list of variations, see The Simpsons Archive's Alternate Credits Guide.
  • The only visual variation of this logo on a Simpsons episode was in the episode "Last Tap Dance in Springfield".
  • On the webisodes of The Critic, the logo is in the center of the screen, is brighter and blue, is still, and it starts where the lights are already dimmed. This variant uses the end theme of the show.

FX/SFX: The woman's hand raising and making a shush gesture, the lights dimming, and the company name fading in.

Cheesy Factor: The animation of the lady's hand is quite choppy.

Music/Sounds: The sound of an audience muttering and murmuring is heard, followed by a shushing sound effect, and then a 9-note electric piano theme with drums composed by Jeffrey Townsend. The tune is very similar to the refrain of "King of Wishful Thinking" by Go West, but since this logo predates that song by six years, this is most likely a coincidence.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On Halloween episodes of The Simpsons, starting with II, the audience sounds and the "Shhhh!" is replaced with a woman screaming very cowardly and that same tune played on a creepy organ that basically matches Halloween very much. Numerous other alternate versions of the theme have been used over the years (see "Variants" above). Earlier Halloween shows lack some parts of the audio.
  • On most 1992-present episodes of the Simpsons that use the standard closing theme, we often hear the final note of the music play right as the logo starts, often drowning out the murmuring.
  • Some episodes might use a soundbite from the episode, or use a voiceover from a character in that episode that plays alongside the jingle. Others have sound effects and/or voiceovers completely replacing the jingle.
  • On some Simpsons episodes that feature songs during the closing credits, such as "Dancin' Homer" and "Monty Can't Buy Me Love", the closing song continues playing over the Gracie Films logo. This includes some syndication prints that shift the closing music so it starts after the last commercial break, causing the music to end over the logo.
  • A low pitch version was used at the end of a specific Simpsons episode.
  • On many Simpsons episodes since Season 4, the logo is shown without the murmuring (you hear the "Shhh!" right after the last note of the closing theme, which is heard right at the start of the logo). With the show's cable debut on FXX on August 21, 2014, new syndication prints which are cropped (with some parts stretched) to fill the 16:9 screen now feature two credit cards for the Spanish Language audio track inbetween the copyright card and the Gracie Films logo, so now this is not seen on the new syndication prints. However, this is preserved on the DVD releases, existing local syndication prints, and on Simpsonsworld.com (cable subscription to FXX required; 4:3 option must be selected).
  • An even shorter version is found on the short-lived Phenom, which cuts off the first two notes along with the murmuring and "Shhh!".

Availability: Common. Debuted on The Tracy Ullman Show. Can be seen commonly on all episodes of The Simpsons from The Simpsons Christmas Special ("Simpsons Roasting On an Open Fire") to "Lisa the Drama Queen". It also be seen on The Simpsons Game on the Nintendo DS and XBOX 360 ports only. Lesser known shows that have this include What About JoanSibsPhenom and The Critic. The webisode variant can be found on The Critic webisodes on its Complete Series box set. Don't expect to see this logo on films like Jerry Maguire and As Good as It Gets.

Scare Factor

  • Normal: Minimal to high, due to the lights dimming and the woman shushing.
  • Treehouse of Horror: High to nightmare, mainly due to the scream and organ.
  • Treehouse of Horror VII: Nightmare, because the organ is slower and the scream is higher pitched.
  • The Critic: Medium to high; the logo starting where the lights are already dimmed can be more unsettling than the normal variant.
  • Other Audio Variants: Minimal to medium, depending on the variant.

2nd Logo (September 16, 2003, July 27, 2007, March 1, 2009-present)


Nickname: "The Improved Shhh"

Logo: Same as the previous, but it is much more clearer with slightly better animation that looks like it was done in Adobe Flash.

Variants:

  • The PS2/Gamecube/Xbox/PC game The Simpsons: Hit & Run uses this logo, but with smoother animation and with flickering effects as the screen lights up. The Simpsons Game has the variant below on all ports of the game except for the ones for the Nintendo DS and XBOX 360.
  • The Simpsons Movie has this logo appear at the very end of it, but it looks like a slightly rushed attempt at recreating the original logo, as the background of the lit up screen room (apart from the "shushing woman") appears to be a photo still of the original logo, which fades into a Flash-esque animation with a darker blue light and a smoother font.
  • The Simpsons has featured many alternate variations of the logo over the years, with different music, sound effects, and/or dialogue. One recurring variation is on Halloween episodes, where a woman screaming is heard followed by a creepy pipe organ playing the theme. For a full comprehensive list of variations, see The Simpsons Archive's Alternate Credits Guide.
  • On the mobile game The Simpsons Arcade, it is brighter and blue, has a hideous black outline, and is up against an arcade monitor.

FX/SFX: Same as before. 

Music/Sounds: Same as before.

Music/Sounds Variants: Some episodes of The Simpsons has the sound of quote of the show, sometimes without the music.

Availability: Common. First seen on The Simpsons Hit & Run video game, and on all episodes of The Simpsons starting with "Take My Life, Please". It also currently plasters over the previous version on FXX's airings of pre-March 2009 episodes of The Simpsons (the audio variants heard with it over time are left intact, and play under this logo as a result.)

Scare Factor:

  • Normal version: None, the improved audio makes it a lot less scary.
  • Halloween version: Same as logo 1.
  • Other Audio Variants: None to low.

3rd Logo (July 2012-)

Nickname: "The Print Logo"

Logo: On the black background that is the darkened theater, we see the audience (Including the "Shhhh!" lady) in black, outlined with teal, but unlike the previous logos, the white lines is absent. The animation plays as normal like the previous logos, but after the projector turns on the usual text fades in as it zooms slightly foward to get into the usual spot.

Variant: On The Edge of Seventeen, it fades out after the text gets to the usual spot.

FX/SFX: Same as the previous logos.

Music/Sounds: It starts with the same murmuring and "Shhhh!" as the previous logos does, then it was followed by a timpani roll.

Music/Sounds Variant: On TEoS variant, it's the same music as the previous logos.

Availability: Current. The normal version is only seen on The Simpsons theatrical short Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare', playing theatrically in front of Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Scare Factor: Low. The timpani roll and pitch black theater can get a few. None to minimal for the TEoS variant.

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