Background: In 1981, Klasky-Csupo (pronounced "CLASS-key CHEW-po") or (CLASS-KYY PSU-po) was formed in a bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, California. The name of the company derives from the last names of the two producers Arlene Klasky and Hungarian-born animator Gábor Csupó. During The Tracey Ullman Show (1987-1990) days, Klasky-Csupo produced the animated Simpsons shorts, consisting of 48, before The Simpsons became a full-time network series in 1989. After those initial skits, Klasky-Csupo worked with 20th Century Fox Television and Matt Groening to produce the first three seasons of the animated sitcom until 1992, when Film Roman took over production. In 1990, the duo cut a production deal with Nickelodeon, and there they made the cable network's most successful animated series, Rugrats (1991-2004). After that, Klasky-Csupo made other successful animated shows such as The Wild Thornberrys (1998-2004), Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (1994-1997), Rocket Power (1999-2004), As Told By Ginger (2000-2006), All Grown Up (2003-2008), Duckman (for USA Network and Paramount Television), and The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald (a promoted cartoon available exclusively at McDonald's restaurants; 1998-early 2001). The company also produced Spy vs. Spy cartoons for Cartoon Network's MAD (a resurrection of MADtv).
1st Logo (September 15, 1989-December 19, 1998; October 20, 2002-March 1, 2003; May 21, 2015)
Nicknames: "The (Dancing) Graffiti", "Scribbles", "The Personification of All That is Cheesy", "Weird Stuff", "Weird Klasky-Csupo", "That Strange Logo After Rugrats".
Logo: On a white background with shapes that change frequently (In the style of the title cards from the TV show Rugrats), we pan past a row of box outlines. Each box has a drawing of an object turning into a letter:
- 1st Box: Blue cubic shapes forming a green "K" in Arial Bold, which is not centered.
- 2nd Box: A dark blue hat that stretches into an boot, which then turns into an "L" in a Baskerville-like font that is centered correctly.
- 3rd Box: An orange pattern that shrinks and turns into a choppy, lowercase "a" in Glass Houses font that is positioned in the upper right corner of the box.
- 4th Box: A light blue cone with rings surround it that turns into a crayon with a layer on it, and then turns into a silhouette of a lizard, which turns into an "S" in a Gill Sans-like font that sits in the bottom-left of the box.
- 5th Box: A pink silhouette of a cow that turns into a butterfly and then quickly turns back into a cow, but from a different point of view, before it turns into an alligator, and finally into a circle-jagged, grungy, half-toned "K". It is centered like the dark blue "L" in the 2nd box.
- 6th Box: An acrobatic performer forming a tan "Y" in a Arial Bold, which hangs a little off the bottom-right corner of the box.
The next five squares have a blue scribble writing the stenciled "CSUPO" on them (in Helvetica), which the first few letters are blue, but the P is teal when it is being drawn, but then it turns to orange once it's finished, and the O is purple. Everything described up to this point happens in a VERY FAST pace. After this, we zoom out, and while we zoom out, "I N C.", in red, appears letter-by letter. Then we see the complete boxes arranged with "KLaSKY" on top of "CSUPO". In "CSUPO" , the "C" is red, the "S" is yellow, and the "U" is blue. Then the logo turns black and white while the "Y" turns purple a second later.
- When this logo debuted on HBO's animated special Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the logo is red & black and is in a in-credit.
- On the first four seasons of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters the logo fades to black earlier and the music/sounds trails off into the Nickelodeon "Scribble" logo.
- On Stressed Eric, the logo is already-formed with the background kept changing.
- A still version with the white background along with more clear lettering was spotted on the PS1 version of the Rugrats in Paris: The Movie.
FX/SFX: The objects forming the letters in the logo...
Cheesy Factor: ...some of which are very choppy and/or incredibly cheap, looking like it was done on Adobe Flash despite that medium not even existing during this time. Plus, the black & white transition and purple "Y" are unnecessary. This logo also features so many random sound effects that you don't even hear on other 90s closing logos. It's one of the weirdest logos out there, but it's also very creative.
Music/Sounds: A bit complicated, but here it goes:
Throughout the entire logo, a 24-note synth-cello line (sounding much like an old portable Casio keyboard) plays that adds vibrato to its last two notes. A catchy drum-machine loop (time signature possibly 5/4) and a strange film projector-like sound (sounding much like a bingo machine) play as well; the former stops once the logo zooms out, while the latter stops when the transition to B&W starts. As the letters pan, there are also corresponding sound effects with the actions of said letters:
- First K: No effect since the music hasn’t started yet.
- L: A rather abrupt “blocky” sound (possibly meant for the first letter).
- a: Two notes of a rock guitar.
- s: A fast paced “twirling” sound.
- Second K: A rising, choppy cowbell sound.
- Y: A boing sound which fits with the acrobat jumping.
During the formation of “CSUPO”, a scribbling sound is heard (which was later omitted in 1992) along with two old-timey car honks (abridged to one in 1992), soon followed by a dog “yipping” six times in a high-pitched fashion, similar to a Chihuahua’s barking. As the logo zooms out, a warm synth gradually glissandos to G-5 (on a piano scale) along with a bass note playing in the same key, albeit four octaves lower, the latter of which sustains for the remaining time. An elephant trumpets twice as the logo nearly finishes its transformation to B&W.
It is rumored that Mark Mothersbaugh (the frontman of Devo and composer for Rugrats) did this logo's music.
- On Duckman, the music is high-pitched and slightly abridged.
- On the pilot episode of The Wild Thornberrys, the next's logo music is heard.
- In exceptional cases, it used only the closing theme on some shows, like the Rugrats episode "I Remember Meville/No More Cookies".
- On "Bird in the Window", it is silent.
Availability: Uncommon. Currently seen on Rugrats episodes from the era on The '90s Are All That on TeenNick, DVD, and VHS, including episodes from season 8 and excluding Angelica and Suzie's Pre-School Daze when it was used instead of the next logo (however, current prints of season 8 episodes use the next logo). An example of this is the 2002 Rugrats: Halloween VHS. It's also seen on Santo Bugito. The in-credit variant appears on A&tTHNGVBD. Also seen on early episodes of The Wild Thornberrys.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- Low to medium for the normal version. The random SFX may catch you off guard, along with the jarring cut from the credits, but it's a memorable logo and a favorite for those who remember seeing it.
- Minimal for the Duckman version. The sounds may still catch you off guard.
- Medium to high for The Wild Thornberrys pilot variant. The music from the next logo can be unnerving if you are not expecting it.
- None with the closing theme, the "Bird on the Window" version, and the in-credit & the still versions.
However, it gets worse with the next logo...
2nd Logo (October 8, 1998-October 20, 2008; July 13, 2012, November 30, 2012)
Nicknames: "The Face"
Logo: Over a static purple background, a black ink stain on a blue background with a liquid effect appears by splattering all over the screen. A hand passes by and drops magazine clippings of eyes and a mouth in yellow-orange bars onto the liquid background (the eyes seem to wiggle like Jell-O) to make a face. The face then says the company name as white blocks fly out from his mouth. The blocks arrange themselves to form the K-C logo (like before, but refined to match the print logo). During the face's screen time, there are holes in the liquid background which reveal some of the purple background that emerge from the center and slide off screen from many different directions. After that, the background and the face disappear like a CRT television turning off, and the "Y" in "KLaSKY" turns purple and flashes faintly.
- Strangely, this logo appeared on early airings of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Wet Painters/Krusty Krab Training Video". It was an editing mistake made by Nickelodeon when they first started doing the split-screen credits. (How? Well, normally, Nick makes custom split-screen credits for each toon and it's producers. K-C was the only one that produced multiple Nicktoons, and Nick created a generic one for these shows [which mentioned Klasky and Csupo as producers and included the face]. But on the said episode of SpongeBob, Nick flubbed and used the K-C split screen credits for that episode, and that's why the SSF was used.) As of 2006, the logo is plastered by the United Plankton Pictures logo on later reruns (which was in the original credits to begin with). Still, it is one of the oddest editing mistakes ever made.
- As part of the 2012 re-launch of Klasky-Csupo, RoboSplaat was given arms and legs, and stars in his own web series, which premiered in his Facebook page on December 21st, 2016.
- Video games from the company have a still, slightly bigger logo which completely skips RoboSplaat. All of the boxes and letters in "KLaSKY" (except for the "Y", which is smaller) are medium gray, the letters in "CSUPO" are white, and "INC." (like in the first logo) is on the right of "CSUPO". The background can be either black or white.
- There was a different variant where the animation was cheaper (e.g. the liquid just waves like a flag, there's no static purple background [which explains very few holes emerging from the center once the liquid background has splattered onto the screen], the eyes of RoboSplaat are flipped vertically instead of being animated to look down/up). There is a black background instead of a static purple background (since the logo transitions from the end of the credits); the logo blurs and cross-fades to the KC logo rather than disappearing like the TV turning off (along with the the purple "Y" in "KLaSKY" zooming in over the regular "Y") and, to top it all off, RoboSplaat constantly looks at the viewer (in the normal logo, RoboSplaat stares at the blocks, but the blocks are placed directly in the center of the screen, so it appears that Splaat is looking at the viewer) throughout his screen time and smiles as if he accomplished something before the logo wipes to black
- On the studio's reopening video, it is in 16:9 full screen at 1080p HD, it is starts at where the hand drops the magazine clippings, and after the we hear the duck quacking twice, the logo flies off to the right of the screen.
- This logo comes in 3 versions:
- a standard 4:3 version (for TV shows and full frame versions of their film output)
- a 1.78:1 widescreen version (used for theatrical features and the final season of All Grown Up)
- a 2.35:1 scope version (seen at the end of The Wild Thornberrys Movie).
FX/SFX: The animated paper-clippings that form RoboSplaat, the static background, the ink, and the print logo. All CGI animation.
Cheesy Factor: The ink splatter is a cheap chroma-key effect, we hear random sound effects again, and the cheap Angela Anaconda-esque style of both the moving hand and especially the unnecessarily creepy appearance of Splaat are very ugly indeed. The alternate variant is even more cheaply animated (one example of this is Splaat's eyes zooming in instead of being dropped by the hand, which also happens in the original variant but is less apparent), and why does Splaat stare at the viewer and smile? It's very unnerving.
Music/Sounds: A splattering sound when the ink appears, and a bouncy beeping version of the 15-note bass jingle from the 1991 logo plays during RoboSplaat's screen time. The company name is stated in a robotic voice (hence the "Robot" nickname. The voice was supplied by the "Boing" novelty voice in the the text-to-speech program on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X). After the company logo appears, we hear a couple of cartoon sound effects: a lip-flapping sound, a duck quacking, and a boing sound. None for the video game variant.
- Sometimes the music is in warp speed.
- On early TV airings of Rugrats, the theme is low-pitched.
- On later returns of Rugrats and the studio reopening video, the boing sound is absent.
- On The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, the alternate variant, the music is in warp-speed as the logo fades to black.
- On Rocket Power, the last note of the show's end theme trails off into the logo (meaning you hear a rock chord before the regular music plays). Some Rugrats episodes also had the last note of the end theme echoing into the logo.
Availability: Was common in the past, but not so much anymore. It can be found on episodes such as those of later Rugrats seasons (not counting season eight, they used the previous logo, though current prints of these episodes have this logo) starting in 1999, Rocket Power, The Wild Thornberrys, As Told By Ginger, and on All Grown Up. The first use of this logo was in the rather obscure cartoon The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald. This logo was used on K-C films from The Rugrats Movie to Immigrants (which used this logo at the end; not counting Rugrats Go Wild, which used the next logo below). It's also at the company's website too, and can be found on the main page when first being browsed. The alternate variant only appears at the end of The Wild Thornberrys Movie. The still variant appears on Rugrats: Royal Ransom and Rocket Power: Beach Bandits for PS2 and GC, among others. The alternate variant reappeared on the video of the studio's reopening. Recently appeared on Pysko Ferret.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- Standard Version: Medium to nightmare. RoboSplaat's face looks very creepy, the ink splatter is very sudden, and the rest of the logo is Max Headroom levels of random and disjointed. Children will probably find the logo nightmare-inducing (though some can find it funny, and even cute), though adults might find it merely annoying. Minimal for those who are used to it. Nonetheless, it's a very popular logo, being what most people (satirically or not) think about in the discussion of "scary logos".
- Alternate Variant: High. The added bonus of RoboSplaat smiling at us can be an even more unsettling sight. The black background and unexpected transition from the credits to the logo doesn't help. It can be decreased to low for those who expected this, which is unlikely considering that it only appeared on one movie.
- Still Variant: None, as it skips RoboSplaat altogether, which makes it a lot less scary for those who are scared of the normal logo.
3rd Logo (June 13, 2003, October 20, 2008)
Nicknames: "The Rooster", "Crazy Rooster", "The Collision of Pathé and Klasky-Csupo"
Logo: On a green city skyline, we see a rooster's silhouette on one of the buildings (depending on the aspect ratio used, the rooster will be either in the left side of the screen, or the center). The sun rises, and the rooster wakes up and opens its eyes. It crows loudly as the blocks in the K-C logo float around. When the rooster is finished screaming, the sun flashes and brightens, as the rooster mysteriously disappears, and the K-C logo appears in the center. It looks "grungier" than the one in the past two logos.
Variant: The logo comes in two formats, A 4:3 fullscreen version and a 2.35:1 scope version
FX/SFX: All CGI animation. The animation is much better than the previous logo, but...
Cheesy Factor: ...it seems rather tacky and ugly-looking (which was probably an intentional design choice). Also, it is somewhat hard to hear the rooster's yelling with the loud music blaring.
Music/Sounds: A very loud techno theme that appears to be yet another remix of the 1989 logo's music. Before the rooster wakes up, a voice says "Wake up", before there is a camera flash sound effect. Also, there's a, "POP!" sound when the rooster opens its eyes. A faint robotic whisper of the company name can be heard at the end.
Music/Sounds Variant: On a special "sizzle reel" Klasky-Csupo made for their 25th anniversary, the 2.35:1 scope version is used at the beginning, however we do not hear the faint robotic whisper. Instead, we hear techno-like music that starts the video.
Availability: Rare. It was seen at the start and the end of the 2003 film Rugrats Go Wild and at the beginning of the 2008 film Immigrants (despite the previous logo being shown at the end).
Scare Factor: None to Low. The rooster screaming and loud music can bother viewers, but it's otherwise an improvement over the previous logo. We're still not done with the scary logos, however...
4th Logo (December 21, 2016- )
Nicknames: "The Face II", "Super Scary Face II", "(The) SSF II", "Splaat II", "Splaat's Return", "Splaat Is Back", "The Return Of The SSF", "Super Cheesy Face"
Logo: On a white background, we see the Klasky Csupo logo in the same grungy font as the previous logo. Suddenly, Splaat comes in from the left side of the screen, and pushes the logo off the screen.
FX/SFX: Splaat pushing the logo.
Cheesy Factor: The animation looks more tacky and cheaper-looking than the 2nd logo, though this is intentional as this is the animation style of what it comes from.
Music/Sounds: The same cartoon sound effects from the end of the 2nd logo, as well as some different sound effects when Splaat appears, such as a bonk sound, and a crash sound.
Availability: It's a special logo created for the web series RoboSplaat. It is unknown if it will be used on the company's other projects.
Scare Factor: Like the 2nd logo, it can range from medium to nightmare. The cartoon sound effects may get to some, and Splaat coming in may scare those who were scared of the 2nd logo. Splaat staring at the viewer can be unsettling too. Even if you're scared of Splaat, it's still nice to see him make a comeback.