Universal Animation Studios
Universal Animation Studios is the animation production arm of Universal Studios established on May 27, 1991 as "Universal Cartoon Studios" and as a division of Universal Family Entertainment. In 2006, it was renamed to its current moniker.
Universal Cartoon Studios
1st Logo (September 14, 1991-March 21, 2006)
Nicknames: "Jetty the Weak Jet Plane", "90s Globe", "Cartoon Airplane Passing Globe", "UCS Globe"
Logo: We see the 1990-1997 Universal Pictures logo proceeding as normal, but without "UNIVERSAL" coming from behind and circling the globe. While the globe zooms out and moves into its center position, a cartoon version of the biplane from the 1920s Universal logo (which is a yellow-orange biplane with a red face and light blue wheels), appears from behind the globe and flies around it and turning through with his tongue sticking out. He leaves a trail of smoke, which turns into "UNIVERSAL", in its similar corporate font from the 1990-1997 Universal Pictures logo with its gradient texture on it and is stretched up vertically (with the "R" backwards, reading "UNIVEЯSAL"). Then, the plane enters the bottom of the globe and flies through it, but doesn't turn this time, leaving another trail of smoke, which also turns into "CARTOON STUDIOS" in rainbow colors and in a Mickey Mouse-like font (named Ashley Crawford). As the globe and the words are in position, the plane comes into the middle of the globe and shockingly stops. Then, he takes a few steps back and realizes the "R" in "UNIVERSAL" is backwards, and giggles for a bit, and flips it around, causing it to spin briefly and making it in the correct way. Then, he floats and looks at the audience and happily looks at the "R" before he floats down, then he looks at us again.
Trivia: The print artwork logo (seen on Opus 'n Bill in A Wish for Wings That Work and on covers of VHS and DVD releases) was designed and illustrated by Eric Semones and the animation of the biplane and the company's name (used over the footage of the globe from the 1990 Universal Pictures logo) were done by Spaff Animation Incorporated. The part where the plane flies through the globe making the trail of smoke, which turns into the words, is a throwback to the 1923 and 1927 Universal Pictures logos.
- There is a variant where the animation of the plane and the text are slightly shifted up a bit and has the white emboss sharp-like effect on it. That was used on direct-to-video movies including The Land Before Time sequels (with the exception of The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock, which uses the 2nd logo instead (although the print version of this logo is used on the cover) and The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water which uses the standard version of the logo and cuts to black). The logo fades out early when the plane looks at the "R" before he floats down. That variant was also used on a few shows like Wing Commander Academy, The New Woody Woodpecker Show (some episodes use the standard version), and season 2 of Savage Dragon.
- On Back to the Future - The Animated Series and Fievel's American Tails, there is a prototype variant of the first variant where the globe and the starfield are a bit darker. Sometimes on the latter show, the words "CARTOON STUDIOS" are stretched a little horizontally.
- There is a videotaped version of the first variant where the logo has a better quality look and is a bit darker, which was seen on HBO prints and currently seen on iTunes and Netflix prints of The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island. It's also currently seen on Netflix prints of The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure and The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving as well.
- There is a short version of the logo that begins with the plane realizing the "R" in "UNIVERSAL" is backwards. Sometimes, it begins with the plane coming in the center and stops, or begins when the plane is giggling. There is also an extremely short version which only shows the plane flipping the "R".
- On VHS releases, the first "S" in "STUDIOS" turns purple while the plane giggles about the "R", which is due to the VHS chroma effect.
- On The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration, The Land Before Time XI: The Invasion of the Tinysauruses, and The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, the first variant of the logo looks a bit darker. Also, it's a bit enhanced.
- On Back to the Future - The Animated Series, the prototype variant of the logo is shown in the top left corner along with the 1991 Amblin Television logo on the top right, the Zaloom/Mayfield Productions logo on the bottom left, and the BIG Pictures logo on the bottom right, and it begins with the part where the plane flies around the globe on the bottom and ends at the part where the plane giggles.
- On Fievel's American Tails, the prototype variant of the logo is shown in the bottom middle corner along with the 1991 Amblin Television logo on the top left and the 1985 long version of the Nelvana Limited logo on the top right, and it starts and ends at the same points as the BTTF variant. On later episodes starting with "The Legend of Mouse Hollow", the logo animation stops when the plane takes a few steps back as he's about to look at the "R", leaving the animations for the Amblin Television and Nelvana logos to finish.
- On Shelly Duvall's Bedtime Stories and the first four episodes of Monster Force, the standard logo is still.
- On the Monster Force episode, "Prisoner of Kaliaga", the logo freezes one second later after the plane flips the "R".
- On the sixth episode of The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper, the standard version of the logo is seen on the right while the Harvey Entertainment logo is on the left. This variant was plastered by the HarveyToons logo with the said company's disclaimer underneath on the DVD release.
- There is a still artwork version of the logo that appears on the right along with the print Amblin Television logo on Opus 'n Bill in A Wish for Wings That Work. The word "UNIVERSAL" is stretched a bit farther and "CARTOON STUDIOS" is straight, and all have a yellow gradient color and there's a bit of smoke behind the plane. It was also a print logo that was used on covers of VHS and DVD releases.
- On Universal Kids prints of The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze and Alvin and the Chipmunks Meets Frankenstein, the logo plays in warp speed with the ending theme of the respective film. This is a result of time compression.
FX/SFX: The animation of the biplane and the text over the rotating model globe.
Music/Sounds: A classic orchestrated-type, whimsical fanfare which sounds almost similar to the main title theme from E.T. that later takes a comical tone when the plane appears. This was first used in December 1994 with the release of The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The logo music which actually debuted in 1994 was composed by Michael Tavera, who also composed the music for direct-to-video sequels to The Land Before Time.
- Starting in 1995, an alternative version of the fanfare is heard. The music was re-orchestrated and the sound effects were added (the buzzing when the plane flies around the globe, the tires squealing with the plane stops, a chipmunk laugh when the plane giggles, and the higher wobbly sound when the "R" spins). This was first used on The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving.
- On the DVD version of The Land Before Time IV: Journey through the Mists, there is a remixed version of the alternative fanfare with the sound effects intact.
- On Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein and The Land Before Time: More Sing-Along-Songs, the alternative music is a bit out-of-sync.
- Sometimes, the ending theme of the show plays over the logo.
- On the sixth episode of The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper, the music from The Harvey Entertainment Company logo is used.
Availability: Common. It appears on sequels of The Land Before Time franchise starting with The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure and ending with The Land Before Time XI: The Invasion of the Tinysauruses. After the 1997 Universal logo was introduced, the logo then appeared at the end of the movies starting with The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island. The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock has the 2nd logo instead (see below). It also appears at the end of the Balto sequels (Wolf Quest and Wings of Change), Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein, and Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman, among others. From 1998-1999 and 2003-2004, it was used in tandem with the 2nd logo. The short version appeared at the end of animated shows like Problem Child, Exosquad, The New Woody Woodpecker Show (where it appeared before the credits to fit in with Fox Kids' credit squeezing), Wing Commander Academy, Earthworm Jim (the TV series), Beethoven: The Animated Series, Monster Force, Savage Dragon, and the first six episodes of The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper. However, it is intact on the first episode on the VHS and DVD releases of said show.
- The still version appeared on Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories on Showtime and the first four episodes of Monster Force. However, it is intact on the VHS and DVDs of the former and the Volume 1 DVD release of the latter. DVD releases and Hulu viewings of some said shows like Exosquad have the logo intact.
- The extremely short version was seen on Vor-Tech: Undercover Conversion Squad. The last movie to use the logo was The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (although it has the print version of the Universal Animation Studios logo on the cover). This doesn't appear at all on Van Helsing: The London Assignment (2004) despite the fact that they produced the film and that the copyright notice at the end mention them.
Editor's Note: It's a nice logo for the animation studio for its time. A callback to the 1923 and 1927 Universal Pictures logos. It started to look outdated when Universal Pictures changed its logo in 1997 though.
2nd Logo (January 6, 1998-December 9, 1999, June 4, 2003-August 6, 2004)
Nicknames: "CGI Globe", "2000s Globe"
Logo: Same as the 1997 Universal Television logo, but the name reads as "UNIVERSAL CARTOON STUDIOS" as it fades in under the logo.
- Sometimes, the logo doesn't feature the text underneath the globe. Plus, the logo fades in and out.
- Like in the movie and TV logos, a small copyright appears at the bottom-right until 1999.
- On the Fractured Fairy Tales short, "The Phox, The Box, and the Lox" and Boo!, it's the last few seconds of the theatrical logo.
FX/SFX: The "fire" behind the globe and the company name fading in.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 1997 Universal Television logo.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the Fractured Fairy Tales short, "The Phox, The Box, and the Lox", it's silent.
Availability: Rare. Appears on The Land Before Time VI: The Secret of Saurus Rock, An American Tail - Treasure of Manhattan Island, and Hercules and Xena - The Battle For Mount Olympus (although the print version of the previous logo was on the cover art except for the DVD of An American Tail - Treasure of Manhattan Island). The version without the text appears on An American Tail - Mystery of the Night Monster. The version with the website URL appeared on the Fractured Fairy Tales short, "The Phox, The Box, and the Lox", which preceded Dudley Do-Right, the first 52 Boo! shorts on Qubo and The Mummy: The Animated Series after the Studios USA logo.
Editor's Note: It's just like the 1997 Universal Television logo of the time and was used in few films. Nothing too special about that.
Universal Animation Studios
(February 10, 2006-)
Nicknames: "Cartoon Globe", "CGI Globe II", "CGI Cartoon Globe", "CGI Morphing Globe", "2000s Globe II", "UAS Globe"
Logo: We first see a more animated version of the "UNIVERSAL" text revolving around the earth as it appears from the blackness to view from the left side (unlike the right side in the movie counterpart's logo) causing the globe to shine and the glow to appear behind it. The text shines once while it revolves. However, it continues to revolve after the fanfare is over, and the globe and the text gets squeezed so tight, that the glow behind the globe disappears and the "UNIVERSAL" text spins around the earth really, really fast. When it stops spinning, the globe is colored even more vividly and the "UNIVERSAL" text is now is white with an orange border. Then, "ANIMATION STUDIOS" in orange, appears traveling from behind the globe letter-by-letter, making a stop under the logo. Then, a comet comes from the top-right side and travels around the earth, causing the glow to appear again behind the globe. The globe shines.
Trivia: This logo was made by Riverstreet Productions and animated by Blur Studio.
- On The Land Before Time TV series on DVD, the shorter variant starts with the logo already formed, and the comet going around the earth is intact.
- On Curious George on PBS Kids, a still artwork version of the logo is seen.
FX/SFX: The globe and "UNIVERSAL" squeezing, "UNIVERSAL" spinning around the globe very fast, the globe becoming animated and the comet going past the logo, and the glow appearing behind the globe.
Music/Sounds: At the start, it has the 1997 Universal Pictures logo theme, then some squeezing sounds, and when the globe becomes animated, a majestic bell tune with a big whoosh noise as a comet flies by.
- On Curious George (2006 film), we hear George chattering at the end after the music finishes.
- In other cases, it used the closing theme of any show.
Availability: Common. It first appeared at the end of Curious George (2006 film). It also appears at the end of The Land Before Time sequels since 2006, starting with The Land Before Time XII: The Great Day of the Flyers. It has also appeared on Curious George 2: Follow that Monkey!.
- The short version appeared on the short-lived The Land Before Time TV series on Cartoon Network, and is still intact on DVD releases of the show as well as reruns on Universal Kids.
- The still artwork version currently appears on the 2006 Curious George TV series on PBS and is intact on DVD releases of said show as well. It also appeared at the end of Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle, Curious George: Royal Monkey and Curious George: Go West, Go Wild. This logo is still being used, even though Universal Studios debuted a new logo in 2012.
Editor's Note: It's a nice concept of the Universal logo changing into its cartoon look. It's starting to look outdated since Universal Pictures changed its logo in 2012.