|Industry||Animation, motion pictures, television series|
|Founded||September 30, 1982|
|Headquarters||Hollywood, California, U.S.|
|Terry Thoren (CEO, 1994–2006)
Brandon Scott (Vice President)
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
The Wild Thornberrys
As Told by Ginger
The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald
Klasky Csupo (/ /) is an American multimedia entertainment production company which specializes in animation and graphic design and located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It was founded by producer Arlene Klasky, animator Gábor Csupó and their nephew Attila Csupó, hence the company's name.
The company was founded by Klasky and Csupo in a spare room of their apartment in 1982, and grew to 550 artists, creative workers, and staff in an animation facility in Hollywood. During the 1990s and early-mid 2000s, they produced and animated era-defining shows for Nickelodeon such as Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys, Rocket Power, As Told by Ginger and All Grown Up!. In the mid-2000s, Nick ended their long-running partnership with Klasky Csupo and its shows ceased production.
1982–91: Early years
Klasky Csupo was initially distinguished by its work on logo designs, feature film trailers, TV show titles, promos and spot ID's for a wide variety of clients, in the process earning a reputation as the industry's most imaginative and innovative studio. Building on its success, the studio opened its first facility in Hollywood in 1988 at the corner of Fountain and Highland Avenues. The studio soon grew to include six buildings that have become well known in Hollywood — in true Klasky Csupo style, the exterior walls of the buildings are decorated with large murals of its characters.
The studio's first big break came in 1987 when James L. Brooks of Gracie Films hired the studio to produce the title sequence for a new comedy series called The Tracey Ullman Show. In addition to the main title, Klasky Csupo was given the opportunity to produce a series of one-minute cartoons which featured a group of characters called The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening. Klasky Csupo produced and animated all 48 shorts, and when it became one of the most popular segments on the show, Fox Television began airing a weekly half-hour series entitled The Simpsons. Klasky Csupo produced every episode for the first three seasons of the series. The studio shared the 1989–1990, and 1990–1991 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, with Gracie Films.
In addition to that, Klasky Csupo produced the hit video "Do the Bartman". Klasky Csupo animator and colorist Gyorgyi Peluce conceived the idea of The Simpsons characters having yellow skin, and Marge Simpson having blue hair, opting for something which "didn't look like anything that had come before." Klasky Csupo was also responsible for an error during the episode "Homer's Odyssey" in which Waylon Smithers was animated with the wrong color, and was made African American.
In 1992, Gracie Films switched domestic production of The Simpsons to Film Roman from 1992-2016. Csupó was "asked [by Gracie Films] if they could bring in their own producer [to oversee the animation production]," but declined, stating "they wanted to tell me how to run my business." Sharon Bernstein of The Los Angeles Times wrote that "Gracie executives had been unhappy with the producer Csupo had assigned to The Simpsons and said the company also hoped to obtain better wages and working conditions for animators at Film Roman." Of the 110 people he employed to animate The Simpsons, Csupó laid off 75.
1991–2006: Major success with Nickelodeon
In 1991, Klasky Csupo began producing Rugrats, an animated show for Nickelodeon. Their next major series was Duckman for the USA Network. The show revolved around the home life and adventures of a dim-witted and lascivious private detective duck named Eric Duckman. The series ran from 1994 to 1997. During the same time, Nickelodeon released Klasky Csupo's second Nicktoon series, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. During this time, Klasky Csupo ended production on Rugrats because 65 episodes that they were contracted to do had aired (originally, due to the 65 episode rule). However, when "Rugrats" went into syndication, it exploded in popularity with ratings skyrocketing and advertising deals taking off, and Nickelodeon and Klasky Csupo resumed production on the series.
In 1993, Klasky Csupo worked with popular comedian Lily Tomlin and her partner Jane Wagner to bring the irascible little girl, Edith Ann, to television in two half-hour animated specials for ABC Television. The first, "A Few Pieces of the Puzzle," aired in January 1994 and received excellent critical acclaim and the second, "Homeless Go Home," aired in May 1994 to even better critical response and ratings.
In 1995, the studio debuted Santo Bugito, the first Tex-Mex animated comedy. Created by Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo, "Santo Bugito" is the story of a tiny town of 64,000,000 insects located on the border of Texas and Mexico. Music-driven and Latin-influenced, the series stars Cheech Marin, Joan Van Ark, Tony Plana, William Sanderson, George Kennedy, Marabina Jaimes, and David Paymer. "Santo Bugito" is highlighted by the music of Mark Mothersbaugh and a distinctive look.
Also that year, Klasky Csupo also established Class-Key Chew-Po with Chris Prynoski & John Andrews to continue the successful commercial animation business that had grown from the company's initial work in main titles and graphics. Class-Key Chew-Po had been an immediate success, building an impressive client list with work for companies like 1-800-COLLECT, Oscar Mayer, Taco Bell, Kraft, & Nickelodeon. In 2001, the company founded Ka-Chew, a live-action commercial division.
On December 23, 1998, CEO Terry Thoren concluded an eleven-month negotiation with Mercedes-Benz and moved the company into the state of the art studio in Los Angeles. Between the late-1990s and 2000s, Klasky Csupo began producing new shows Rocket Power, As Told by Ginger, and Stressed Eric.
In 1998, Klasky Csupo redesigned McDonald's mascot, Ronald McDonald. The company was commissioned to develop 6 animated videos which was distributed directly to consumers via McDonald's restaurants - 14,000 in the United States and 21,000 worldwide.
In 2001, in honor of the Rugrats 10th Anniversary, Klasky Csupo released a two-part special entitled, All Growed Up. The special featured the famous babies as pre-teenagers. It was popular enough that Nick commissioned a series based on that special, titled All Grown Up!, which ran from 2003 to 2008. Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys are the only Klasky Csupo shows to have theatrical movies based on themselves.
The company was also active in producing recorded music with the labels "Tone Casualties" and "Casual Tonalities". Gabor Csupo was a good friend of Frank Zappa and occasionally collaborates with Mark Mothersbaugh, who did most of the music for Rugrats. Klasky Csupo also produced a number of projects in commercial advertising.
In 2003, Klasky Csupo was then commissioned by Cartoon Network to direct a music video by the band They Might Be Giants for their song "Dee Dee and Dexter", which features Japanese-style animation, as a fourth music video for Cartoon Network's Dexter's Laboratory. In 2005, the company again did a project for Cartoon Network, when they produced Oogloo + Anju and The Topside Rag for Sunday Pants under Ka-chew!
2006–12: Decline and obscurity
Throughout the mid-2000s, Klasky Csupo ceased production on their Nickelodeon shows. Nick executives had become tired with the Klasky Csupo style of animation and soon ended their long-running partnership. In 2006, CEO Terry Thoren departed from the company, and they dissolved the remainder of their 401(k) program, leading them to a period of dormancy and inactivity.
In fall 2006, Klasky Csupo announced development of 28 new animated pilots (which were sold to Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., The N, Noggin, Nicktoons Network, & MTV until that year), which were to be up for sale at a later date, and posted to their YouTube channel in 2012. The animation designs in these pilots are in various styles, instead of the typical style that Klasky Csupo was famous for in the 1990s. As of 2010, some of the cartoons had yet to be finished.[needs update?] Gabor Csupo would later post the remains on his YouTube channel.
In 2012, Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo resurrected the company. Along with Craig Singer, they created “Ollie Mongo”, a digital comic book which is about a story of a teenage skateboarding zombie who lives 200 years in the future. They are currently working on "RoboSplaat!", a web series featuring the character from the 1998 Klasky Csupo logo, which is continuing its use as the main production logo. The web series premiered on December 21, 2016. An app based on the web series is also currently in development.
Klasky Csupo are also currently working on some 'top secret projects'.
On September 2, 2015, it was announced that Nickelodeon may "seek to experiment with retooled versions of classics" that could include Rugrats. The following day, The Independent announced that Rugrats 'could soon be back on our screens too'. At San Diego Comic-Con in 2016, Arlene Klasky stated that she would be willing to work on a revival of the series, along with co-creators Gabor Csupo and Paul Germain.
Three logos of this company were used. The original 1990 logo featured dancing graffiti turning into letters as the blocks slide.
In 1998, the well-known logo was released. Over a light purple background filled with TV static, a blob of black ink emerges from the center, soon followed by near blue ink. A hand passes by and drops magazine clippings of eyes and a mouth onto the blob. The mouth says the company name as the white K-C blocks fly out from the mouth. The blocks arrange themselves to form the K-C logo (like before, but refined to match the print logo). After that, the background and the face both disappear, similar to that of a CRT television screen turning off, also turning the "Y" in "KLaSKY" purple, flashing faintly. When the music ends, a lip flapping is heard, a duck honking is next, and finally a Hanna-Barbera styled boing. This logo comes in two versions: a widescreen 16:9 version (for movies) and a fullscreen 4:3 version.
The 2003 logo features a rooster on top of one of the buildings on a green city skyline. before the rooster wakes up a voice says wake up. The rooster has the eyes which are recycled from the Ink's eyes and crows as the sun brightens and the K-C blocks fly around. The K-C logo appears in a white flash when the rooster is finished crowing it mysteriously explodes. The logo is seen more grungier than in the previous logos.
The 1998 logo is currently used as the studio's main logo since the studio's re-opening. The character in the logo was given arms and legs and was named "Splaat" and stars in his own web series titled "RoboSplaat" and is voiced by Greg Cipes. The logo has also spawned many internet memes.
|Title||Original run||Notes||Made For|
|The Tracey Ullman Show (The Simpsons shorts)||1987–1989||Created by Tracey Ullman||Gracie Films & 20th Century Fox Television|
|The Simpsons||1989–present (animated from 1989–1992)||Created by Matt Groening, Seasons 1–3 only.|
|Rugrats||1991–2004||Created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain||Nickelodeon|
|Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||1994–1997||Created by Gábor Csupó and Peter Gaffney|
|Duckman||Created by Everett Peck, based on his comic book series||USA Network|
|Santo Bugito||1995–1996||Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó||CBS|
|The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald||1998–2003||Direct-to-video release||McDonald's|
|The Wild Thornberrys||1998–2004||Created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, Steve Pepoon, David Silverman and Stephen Sustaric||Nickelodeon|
|Stressed Eric||1998–2000||Created by Carl Gorham, Season 1 only||BBC Two, MTV|
|Rocket Power||1999–2004||Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó||Nickelodeon|
|As Told by Ginger||2000–2006||Created by Emily Kapnek|
|All Grown Up!||2003–2008||Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó
Spin-off from Rugrats
|Rugrats Pre-School Daze||2005 (UK)
|Rugrats Movie, TheThe Rugrats Movie||1998||Kovalyov, IgorIgor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien||The 1st Rugrats movie.||Nickelodeon Movies
|Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||2000||Bergqvist, StigStig Bergqvist and Paul Demeyer||$103.3 million|
|Wild Thornberrys Movie, TheThe Wild Thornberrys Movie||2002||Malkasian, CathyCathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath||The 1st Wild Thornberrys movie||$60.7 million|
|Rugrats Go Wild||2003||Eng, JohnJohn Eng and Norton Virgien||A crossover with Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys.||$55.4 million|
|Bridge to Terabithia||2007||Csupo GaborGábor Csupó||Live-action movie (uncredited)||Walt Disney Pictures
|Immigrants||2008||Adult-oriented film||Warner Bros.||$0.1 million|
|21 Jump Street||1987||main title||Stephen J. Cannell Productions|
|Elvira, Mistress of the Dark||1988||title sequence||NBC Productions|
|Mortuary Academy||Landmark Films|
|Brotherhood of the Rose (television movie)||1989||NBC|
|Anything but Love||main titles||20th Century Fox Television|
|Quantum Leap||Universal Television|
|Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers||title sequence||Trancas International|
|Shadrach||music video||Beastie Boys|
|Shocker||title sequence||Universal Pictures|
|Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day||1990||Television special
Based on the book by Judith Viorst
|Sesame Street||1990–1992||four shorts plus Monster in the Mirror featuring the Simpsons||Children's Television Workshop|
|In Living Color||1990–1994||main titles||20th Century Fox Television|
|I Feel So Good||1991||music video||Richard Thompson|
|Roc||main titles||HBO Independent Productions|
|Man Trouble||1992||title sequence||20th Century Fox|
|Mo' Money||Columbia Pictures|
|Great Scott!||main titles||Castle Rock Entertainment|
|Recycle Rex||Designed and created by David Cutler||Disney Educational Productions|
|Whatzupwitu||1993||music video||Eddie Murphy|
|Edith Ann: A Few Pieces of the Puzzle (television special)||Created by Lilly Tomlin||ABC|
|Edith Ann: Homeless Go Home (television special)||1994|
|MADtv||1995–2000||Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin cartoons||Warner Bros. Television|
|Clueless||1996–1999||main titles||Paramount Television|
|Kelly Kelly||1998||Warner Bros. Television|
|What's Inside Heidi's Head?||1999||Created by Nancye Ferguson and Mark Mothersbaugh
Company's first live-action series.
|The Wayne Brady Show||2001||main titles||Buena Vista Television|
|The Anna Nicole Show (main titles)||2002||Produced by ka-chew!||E!|
|The Osbournes (main titles)||MTV|
|Girls Behaving Badly (main titles)||Oxygen|
|Punk'd (main titles)||2003||MTV|
|Dee Dee and Dexter||Directed by Klasky Csupo.
Music video featuring Dexter's Laboratory.
Song by They Might Be Giants.
|The Ashlee Simpson Show (main titles)||2004||Produced by ka-chew!||MTV|
|The Princes of Malibu (main titles)||2005||GRB Entertainment|
|Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (main titles)||Bravo|
|Sunday Pants (Oogloo + Anju and The Topside Rag)||Cartoon Network|
|Passions (animated scenes)||NBCUniversal|
|This Film Is Not Yet Rated (title sequence and animation)||2006||BBC Films|
|The Simple Life (main titles)||20th Century Fox Television|
|Nip/Tuck (main titles and "Damien Sands" animated scene)||2007||Warner Bros. Television|
|Noodle and Doodle (Doggity's)||2010||PBS Kids Sprout|
|Ollie Mongo: Adventures in the Apocalypse||2012||Created by Arlene Klasky and Craig Singer.
Company's first print-related series/comic book.
|RoboSplaat!||2016–present||Created by Arlene Klasky.
Company's first web series.
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- "The Wild Thornberrys (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Rugrats Go Wild (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Bridge to Terabithia (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita) (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Ready Hankies for ka-chew! Animation on NBC Soap Opera". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 14, 2017.