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 series 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, and then turns into a circle-jagged, grungy "K". It is centered like the purple "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 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 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on HBO (Retained on VHS and on HBO Family's HBO Storybook Musicals), the logo is the red in-credit version.
- A version exists on the first four seasons of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters where it fades to black earlier and the music/sounds trails off into the Nickelodeon "Scribble" logo.
- A still version of the logo (with graffiti still dancing and the logo already black and white with "Y" purple) was spotted on Stressed Eric.
- A still version with no graffiti in the background along with more clear lettering was spotted on the video game Rugrats in Paris: The Movie for PSX.
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.
- Early: While we pan past the boxes, we hear a lot of random sound effects (Like the scribbling sound when "CSUPO" is formed), due to the various activities going on in the logo, culminating with a dog barking. Also, there is a 15-note bassoon tune throughout the whole logo, and once the logo fades, we hear an elephant squeal.
- Later: Very similiar as the early version, but some SFX has been omitted.
- On Duckman, the the music is high-pitched and abridged.
- On the pilot episode of The Wild Thornberrys, the sounds from the next logo are heard instead.
- In exceptional cases, it used only the closing theme on some shows, like Stressed Eric and 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 DVDs of Duckman, DVDs of Santo Bugito, and VHS tapes, DVDs and digital downloads of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. The in-credit variant appears on reruns of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on HBO Family, as part of "HBO Storybook Musicals", which was actually where this logo premiered. 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 sounds 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 onto the liquid background (the eyes seem to wiggle like Jell-O) to make a face (named "RoboSplaat"). RoboSplaat 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 Splaat'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, RoboSplaat and the background disappear like a CRT Television, leaving just the K-C blocks, 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 repeat airings (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 recent airings 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, the rooster will be either in the top-left corner of the screen, or the center). The sun rises, and the rooster wakes up and opens its eyes. It yells "Waaaaaake uuuuuuuup!" as the blocks in the K-C logo float around. When the rooster is finished screaming, the sun 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.
FX/SFX: Great CGI animation, but however...
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 1991 logo's music. A faint robotic whisper of the company name can be heard at the end.
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 (The previous logo is shown at the end).
Scare Factor: Low. The rooster screaming and loud music will bother viewers, but it's otherwise a slight improvement over the previous logo.
4th Logo (December 21, 2016- )
Logo: Over a white background, we see a print version of the previous logo. A few seconds later, a more simplified version of RoboSplaat pops up from the left corner of the screen and furiously pushes the logo, making it crash off-screen.
FX/SFX: Flash animation...
Cheesy Factor: ...which looks choppy.
Music/Sounds: The sound effects from the ending of the 2nd logo. When the logo crashes, we hear the sound of metal crashing.
Availability: Currently seen on RoboSplaat!. It is unknown if it will appear on future shows from Klasky-Csupo.
Scare Factor: Medium to high. RoboSplaat's sudden appearance, his creepy look and the sound effects will likely scare those that were scared of the 2nd logo.