Background: In 1981, Klasky-Csupo (pronounced "CLASS-key CHEW-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 (August 11, 1991-June 8, 2004). After that, Klasky-Csupo made other successful animated shows such as The Wild Thornberrys (September 1, 1998-March 11, 2004), Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (October 29, 1994-December 6, 1997), Rocket Power (August 16, 1999-August 2, 2004), As Told By Ginger (October 25, 2000-November 14, 2006), All Grown Up (April 12, 2003-August 17, 2008), Duckman (for USA Network and Paramount Television), and The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald (a promoted cartoon available exclusively at McDonald's restaurants from 1998 to early 2001). The company currently produces 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) ==
Nicknames: "The (Dancing) Graffiti", "Scribbles", "The Personification of All That is Cheesy", "Weird Stuff", "Weird Klasky-Csupo" "Rugrats" "That strange logo at the end of Rugrats"
Logo: On a white BG with shapes that change frequently, we pan past a row of box outlines. Each box has a drawing of an object turning into a letter. Here they are:
- 1st Box: Blue cubic shapes forming a green "K" in Arial Bold, which is not centered.
- 2nd Box: A purplish-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 "a" in a Glass House 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 Helvetica, 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.
- 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.
- An abridged version with higher-pitched music was used on Duckman with the music somewhat resembling the next logo.
- An in-credit variation was on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day on HBO Storybook Musicals and on the credits for the music video of "Shadrach" by the Beastie Boys.
- A version exists on the first two seasons of AAAHH!!! Real Monsters where the logo fades out early and the music trails off into the Nickelodeon "Scribble" logo."
FX/SFX: The objects forming the letters in the logo.
Cheesy Factor: The animation is bad, some of the letter animations are choppy, so many random sound effects that you don't hear on other 90s closing logos, and the graffiti is bad. Also, why does the logo turn black & white anyway?
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 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.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The early variant of the logo music appears at the end of the song "Alanis", from Neil Cicierega's Mouth Sounds mixtape.
- In exceptional cases, it uses the closing theme, like Stressed Eric and the Rugrats episode "I Remember Meville/No More Cookies".
- On Bird in the Window, the logo is silent.
- A version exists on the 1998 pilot of The Wild Thornberrys where the logo plays as usual, but with the 1998 "Robot" logo audio instead. The pilot aired on September 1, 1998, and the "Robot" logo was introduced on October 8, 1998, so the "Robot" logo might had been intended to debut on this pilot, but for unknown reasons, was changed back to the "Graffiti" logo, but keeping the "Robot" audio intact. Interesting, but still very strange, not to mention that all other episodes with this logo use the normal music/sound variant.
- On Santo Bugito, a slightly rearranged version of the music is heard.
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 eight and excluding Preschool Daze when it was used as a placeholder between the next logo and the final logo (however, current prints of season eight episodes use the 2nd logo). Preserved on DVDs of Duckman, DVDs and VHS tapes of Santo Bugito, and VHS tapes, DVDs (via Amazon.com) 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, which was actually where this logo premiered (although it was first seen when HBO aired it). Also seen on early episodes of The Wild Thornberrys. Also at the end of 1997-1998 episodes of Plum Landing.
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- Original and Abridged versions: Low to medium. The cut from the credits to the logo is jarring, the random sound effects, animations, and styles may catch you off guard, and the fast pace of the abridged may suck you up, but it's a memorable logo and a favorite for those who remember seeing it.
- The Wild Thornberrys Pilot variant: Medium to high. The sounds from the next logo are pretty creepy, combined with the jarring cut and random animations. It can be jarring if you expect the regular audio and wind up with this. In addition, its highly unlikely people would expect this due to this version being only a one time occurrence, it will also bring back bad memories to the people scared of the next logo.
- With the closing theme: Low, as it does not stop the cut from the credits nor the effects.
- In-credit and "Still" variants: None.
Of course, this is nothing compared to the follow-up...
2nd Logo (October 8, 1998- ) Edit
Nicknames: "The Face", "Super Scary Face", "(The) SSF", "Robot", "Splaat", "Ink Splaat", "Disjointed Facial Features", "That Even Stranger Logo After Rugrats", "The Signature Scary Logo", "Boxes from Hell II", You Know for Kids. "The Demonic SpongeBob"
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 (named "Splaat"). Splaat 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, the background and Splaat 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". This was an editing mistake made by Nickelodeon when they first started using split-screen credits; normally, Nick makes custom credits for each of its series and its producers. K-C was the only one at the time that produced multiple Nicktoons, and Nick created a generic one for these shows [which mentioned Klasky and Csupo as producers and included Splaat], but, on the said episode of SpongeBob, Nick accidentally used the K-C split screen credits for that episode. This was fixed in 2006 and the United Plankton Pictures logo has been seen on the episode ever since, but it's still one of the oddest editing mistakes ever made.
- On October 2015 to circa May 2017 airings of Hey Arnold! on The Splat, this logo appeared instead of the Snee-Oosh logo for the same reason stated above. This was fixed by the time the programming block was rebranded into "NickSplat".
- At the July 2012 Comic-Con venue in San Diego, California, the day before Klasky-Csupo was relaunched, Arlene Klasky mentioned that she found, as claimed, "a bunch of fan mashups" of their production logo, in which she also added that the mashups might have been created in part with how many people explained their experience with the logo as kids, and how it "scared" them, so she later decided to give the "robot" character a name: Splaat. Splaat was also given arms, legs and a more noticeable ability to speak; his voice is done by Greg Cipes. The character was originally intended to be in an animated PSA, with Splaat explaining his confusion onto why these mashups exist, and then adding that he is, in fact, not a robot, but rather an ink splat, which is how his name originated. He stars in his own web series, which you can see here. You can see Splaat's PSA here, or the full Comic-Con event here. It is also worth mentioning that, according to Klasky, this logo was not intended to be scary.
- Video games from the company have a still, slightly bigger logo which completely skips Splaat. 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 Splaat 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 black at 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, Splaat constantly looks at the viewer (in the normal logo, Splaat 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, the variant is in 16:9 full screen at 1080p high definition, it is cut to 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. The "boing" sound effect is not heard.
- This logo comes in 3 versions: a standard 4:3 version (for TV shows and full frame versions of their film output, though some films have slight letterboxing), a 1.55:1 widescreen version (matted to 1.85:1 for theatrical features released in the US (1.66:1 in Europe) and to 1.78:1 for both home video releases of those films and the final season of All Grown Up), a 16:9 HD version (for the studio's reopening video) and a 2.35:1 scope version (seen at the end of The Wild Thornberrys Movie).
- On The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, the animation is choppier and in a more washed-out color scheme, and in warp speed as well, resulting in the audio being out-of-sync. To accommodate this, the ending sound effects are sped up (this also occurs on the alternate variant).
- On The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, the logo cuts to black just as the "Boing" sound effect plays.
- Sometimes on All Grown Up, the "Y" in "KLaSKY" is pink instead of purple. This variant is extinct; it was last seen on 2011 reruns of the show on Nick.
- On NickSplat, the ink splattering is omitted, and the rest of the logo is in warp speed.
FX/SFX: The "animated" paper-clippings that form the face, the static background, the ink, and the print logo. All CGI animation.
Cheesy Factor: The ink splatter is a cheap chroma-key effect, Splaat looks unnecessarily creepy and his mouth and eye movements are very choppy, and we hear random sound effects again. 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 24-note bass jingle from the 1990 logo plays during Splaat's screen time, except the first measure of the jingle has been cut, meaning that only 18 notes are played. Another "beepy" instrument plays the same jingle in the background, only it comes in a quarter measure late. 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 several cartoon sound effects: a tiny boing, a lip-flapping sound, a duck quacking twice, and the classic Hanna-Babara boing.
- Sometimes the music is in warp speed (most likely on PAL television or media due to speedup).
- On the still video game variants, it's silent.
- On early television airings of Rugrats episodes with this logo, the logo theme is low-pitched.
- Some recent airings of Rugrats omit the boing sound.
- On Rocket Power, the last note of the end theme of said show trails off into the logo (a rock chord before the jingle plays). Some Rugrats episodes also had the last note of the end theme echo into the logo.
- On 2004-2008 airings of Rugrats, the boing sound trails off to the Nickelodeon logo.
Availability: Fairly common. It can be found on episodes such as those of later Rugrats seasons (not counting season 8; 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, all of which are currently airing on TeenNick's The Splat; it is also shown in place of the previous logo on airings with split-screen credits. Debuted on the rather obscure cartoon The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald. This logo was used on K-C films from The Rugrats Movie to The Plum Landing Movie (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 in Paris: The Movie for PSX, Rugrats: Royal Ransom for PS2 and GC (both with the white background) and Rocket Power: Beach Bandits, also for PS2 and GC (with the black background), among others. The alternate variant reappeared on the video of the studio's reopening. Recently appeared on Pysko Ferret. This logo also appeared on the obscure Rugrats spin-off Rugrats Pre-School Daze. This can appear on Klasky-Csupo's first live-action series, What's Inside Heidi's Head?, because it was a series of interstitials as opposed to a series. Also at the end of post-1998 episodes of Plum Landing (the show kept using this logo, even though a new logo was introduced in 2016).
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant:
- Standard version: depending on how you feel about Splaat, it can range from low to nightmare. Splaat's face looks like something that came right out of a child's nightmare, the ink splatter is sudden and jarring, and the entire thing has a random and disjointed feel to it. Children will probably gain nightmares from this, though others can find it funny or annoying. Nonetheless, it's one of the most infamous children's logos ever made, and is very popular among and outside the logo community due to its "scary" status.
- Alternate variant: Medium to nightmare; the added bonus of Splaat smiling can be even more unsettling. The black background and unexpected transition from the credits to the logo doesn't help. It can be decreased to medium for those who expected this (although it would be unlikely expected due to only appearing once and only once).
- Still variant: None, as it skips Splaat altogether.
3rd Logo (June 13, 2003; October 20, 2008) Edit
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 movie or show, 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 UUUUUUUP!!!" 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: All CGI animation. The animation is much better than the previous logo, but...
Cheesy Factor: The CGI animation for the rooster seems a little tacky, and it is kinda hard to hear the rooster's yelling with the loud music blaring. Not to mention, if you look closely at the rooster's eyes, they seem to be recycled from the 2nd logo.
Music/Sounds: A techno theme that appears to be yet another remix of the 1991 logo's music. The "Klasky-Csupo" computer vocal from the "SSF" logo is heard at the end.
Availability: Rare. Seen on the 2003 film Rugrats Go Wild and the film Immigrants, which was released on October 20, 2008.
Scare Factor: None to low. The rooster screaming, "WAAAAAAAKE UUUUUUUUUP!!" can startle unexpected viewers, otherwise just plain harmless and an improvement over the previous logo. This is perhaps K-C's best logo by far, even though the first one is more memorable.
(4th Logo) (2016-) EditNicknames: "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 none 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.