United Plankton Pictures, Inc.
This is the vanity card of the late Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants.
1st Logo (1997)
Nicknames: "Early SpongeBob"
Logo: On a white background, there is a picture of SpongeBob drawn in the same style as the Plankton creatures in the second logo (and similar to that of the SpongeBob drawing seen on the show's title card), over a sand coloured background with blue swirls in rows covering it. Over top the picture of SpongeBob, are the words "Created By" in black, and underneath SpongeBob, it says "Stephen Hillenburg" in the same color and font.
Music/Sounds: The end theme of the pilot.
Availability: Only found on the original cut of the SpongeBob pilot, produced in 1997. This version never aired, and was only released to Nickelodeon employees on a VHS entitled "The Best of NickToons 1998." Copies of this original edit circulate online.
Editor’s Note: The style of this card is a preview of the more familiar logo below.
2nd Logo (May 1, 1999- )
Nicknames: "Friends of the Sea", "Holding Hands", "The Underwater Logo", "The Plankton Logo", "Plankton's Friends"
Logo: On a moving ocean background with a reflection of light (which is also seen on one part in the SpongeBob intro), we see some crudely drawn sea creatures, one of them being a less detailed drawing of the character Plankton, holding hands. The words "United Plankton" are above, and the words "Pictures inc." are below, both written in the "Krabby Patty" font.
Trivia: In the SpongeBob episode "Plankton's Army", Plankton's family visits the Chum Bucket and he enlists their help into taking over the Krusty Krab to steal the Krabby Patty formula. They are based off the characters in the logo.
- A superimposed version can be seen over the final scenes of SpongeBob episodes. This began in June 2012 when Nickelodeon (and recently Nicktoons as of May 5, 2014) started playing the credits over the parting scenes of most of their shows.
- Starting in 2012, the logo is slightly redone for HD-produced episodes. The ocean background is now greenish-tint, the Plankton creatures are drawn more smoothly, and the logo is in 16:9 widescreen.
- From Nickelodeon's rebrand from 2009 until sometime in 2010, sometimes it will have a copyright notice (as recycled from the 2008-2009 Nickelodeon "Lightbulb" logo cheaply added in).
FX/SFX: The ocean background moving.
Music/Sounds: Usually, the SpongeBob SquarePants end theme or whatever theme was used on the credits finishes over it. On Nick and Nicktoons (and the January-February 2016 MTV airings) airings with split-screen credits, there is the sound of crashing waves and seagulls, which from September 2000 until Nickelodeon's rebrand in 2009 would extend onto the Nickelodeon logo that was used during the era.
- On non-split-screen airings of the SpongeBob SquarePants episodes "Texas"/"Walking Small", cows (presumably from the episode's closing theme, which is Junior Brown performing the SpongeBob theme) are heard in the background.
- On early SpongeBob video releases, it's silent.
- Early split screen versions had a foghorn sound.
Availability: Ultra common. It's currently seen on SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons; due to its immense popularity, it is extremely easy to find on television and on home media.
- When the episode "Wet Painters"/"Krusty Krab Training Video" aired in 2002, due to an editing mistake on Nick's part, the Klasky-Csupo "Robot" logo was shown in place of this on airings with split-screen credits.
- On November 30, 2011, during an airing of the episode "Pest of the West", this was replaced with the Rainbow S.r.l logo.
- The cow variant can be seen on Amazon Video and on DVD.
- The final episode to use the original version of the logo was "Hello Bikini Bottom!". The enhanced version was first seen at the end of the episode "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!", as well as all episodes beginning with "Extreme Spots"/"Squirrel Record".
- The audio variant is extinct, as it was last seen when MTV aired the show in February 2016 because instead of using the show's original credits, it used split-screen credits Nickelodeon used from September 2009 until June 2012. It made surprise re-appearances on both a June 2018 Nickelodeon USA airing of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "The Hot Shot" and a November 2018 airing of the episode, "Truth or Square" because of the fact Nickelodeon messed up the two episodes' credits and the split-screen credits template was used.
- This can also be seen on the recent Kamp Koral short "I'm Urchin You to Leave".
Editor's Note: This is a memorable logo for fans of SpongeBob and/or those who grew up watching the series.
3rd Logo (November 19, 2004, February 6, 2015, August 14, 2020-March 4, 2021)
Logo: On the background of the opening of the film, we see:
- On The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: "in association with United Plankton Pictures" in a black pirate/treasure map font.
- On The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water: "A UNITED PLANKTON PICTURES PRODUCTION" in gold.
- On The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, TBA.
FX/SFX: It is an in-credit logo, so the fade in/fade out.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme/sounds/dialogue of the film.
Availability: Can be seen at the beginning of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water and the Canadian, Netflix and Paramount+ prints of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
Editor's Note: None.