Written & Complied by Nicholas Aczel

Klasky-Csupo (pronounced CLASS-KEY CHEW-PO) started in 1982, when animators Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo set up a studio in the spare bedroom of their Los Angeles apartment. Over the next several years they produced animated commercials, network promos, station IDs, and graphics titles for other companies. Their big breakthrough came when Gracie Films’ owner James L. Brooks hired them to do outsourced animation for the 1989-92 seasons of Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons” (after which Film Roman took over the outsourcing), but since the show only gave Klasky-Csupo a mention in the credits it is not covered here. The company’s first logo made its debut on the world premiere of “Rugrats” on August 11, 1991.


1st Logo

Nickname: “Graffiti”

Logo: On a white background of dancing gray confetti, we see some transparent squares sliding from the right. In the first square some cubic shapes choppily form a K, the second square has a shoe morphing into an L, third has a footprint become an A, forth a snake twists into an S, fifth some mammals make a K, sixth an acrobat flips into a Y, then a scribble wipes a C, S, U, P, O into the remaining squares. As the last square passes, we zoom out to find the completed logo


in approximate colors shown above (they are constantly changing), and the INC appears one letter at a time. “KLASKY CSUPO” is seen in a graffiti font. The logo turns black and white and fades to black.

FX: The dancing gray confetti, the objects-morphing-into-letters.

Cheesy Factor: Overcooked. It’s hard to imagine a more 1990s logo than this. The logo cut from the end credits is very jarring, the background is cluttered with dancing confetti crap, the morphing animation effects are done by a series of extremely choppy quick-cuts, and what’s with the logo turning black-and-white anyway?

Music: A bass-heavy, turntable-scratching house tune with lots of percussion, leading into a dog barking at the end.

Availability: Can be seen on “Rugrats” episodes from the period when rerun on Nickelodeon. A warp speed variant appears on “Duckman” reruns on Comedy Central.

Scare Factor: Median, I know it’s supposed to be funny, but the fast pace of the logo can catch some off guard, the way it cuts roughly from the end credits and all those very weird graffiti animation/sound effects.

2nd Logo

Nickname: “The Robot”

Logo: We see a screen of purple static with blue and black paint splashing over it, and a hand moves from left to right dropping a piece of paper with an open mouth on it over the black paint splotch. Two big blue blinking eyes appear above the mouth. As the mouth speaks the words “Klasky-Csupo!” (in a robot voice), some white 3-D toy blocks with the words KLASKY CSUPO come spinning out of the mouth. The blocks arrange themselves similarly to the previous logo as the background blurs, and wipe effects from the top and bottom of the screen change the background to black. The “Y” in KLASKY also turns purple.

FX: The paint splashing, the animation of the mouth and eyes, the toy blocks spinning, the background transitions.

Cheesy Factor: Off the scale. The logo uses very low-budget special effects all over; they were probably intended as funny, but some might find them annoying.

Music: A playful robot-music tune with vocoder voiceover, ad-libbing and boing sound effects.

Availability: Seen on more recent “Rugrats” episodes as well as “Rocket Power,” “As Told By Ginger,” and “The Wild Thornberrys” all on Nickelodeon.

Scare Factor: Median, probably even higher than the first logo, the robot mouth and eyes don’t look particularly friendly, and the background transition effects and the music move at a fast pace bound to go over the heads of some. Adults will probably find it more annoying than scary, though.

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