Klasky Csupo

Klasky/Csupo, Inc.
Industry Animation, motion pictures, television series
Founded September 30, 1982 (1982-09-30)
Founder Arlene Klasky
Gábor Csupó
Attila Csupo
Headquarters Hollywood, California, U.S.[1]
Key people
Terry Thoren (CEO, 1994–2006)
Tracy Kramer
Norton Virgien
Brandon Scott (Vice President)
Products HBO Storybook Musicals
The Simpsons
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
The Wild Thornberrys
Rocket Power
As Told by Ginger
The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald
All Grown Up!
Owner Arlene Klasky
Gábor Csupó
Website www.klaskycsupo.com

Klasky/Csupo (/ˈklæski ˈp/) is an American multimedia entertainment production company which specializes in animation and graphic design and located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.[2] It was founded by producer Arlene Klasky, animator Gábor Csupó[3] and their nephew Attila Csupó,[4] 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 started in 1982[5] in the spare bedroom of a Hollywood apartment where Klasky and Csupo were living while married.

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."[6][7][8] 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.[9]

In 1992, Gracie Films switched domestic production of The Simpsons to Film Roman from 1992-2016.[10] 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."[10] 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."[10] Of the 110 people he employed to animate The Simpsons, Csupó laid off 75.[10]

1991–2006: Major success with Nickelodeon

In 1990, Klasky Csupo began producing Rugrats, one of the very first animated shows for Nickelodeon.[11] 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.

After Duckman was cancelled in 1997, Klasky Csupo began producing The Wild Thornberrys for Nickelodeon.[12] The cartoon, premiering in 1998, revolved around a girl who could talk to animals.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] 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. Gabor Csupo would later post the remains on his YouTube channel.

Chicken Town was picked up as a series by French company Ellipsanime, though Klasky Csupo was not involved with it.[16]

In April 2011, ka-chew!, Klasky Csupo's commercial division, was absorbed into 6 Point Media.[17]

2012–present: Resurrection

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.[18] The company is currently working on "RoboSplaat!", a web series featuring the character from the 1998 logo, which is continuing its use as the main production logo. The web series premiered on December 21, 2016.[19] An app based on the web series is also currently in development.[20]

As of 2015, Klasky Csupo are working on some "top secret projects".[21]

On September 2, 2015, it was announced that Nickelodeon may "seek to experiment with retooled versions of classics" that could include Rugrats.[22] The following day, The Independent announced that Rugrats 'could soon be back on our screens too'.[23] 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.[24]

In July 2016, it was reported that Nickelodeon was in talks with Klasky Csupo and Paul Germain about a possible reboot of Rugrats.[25][26]

On July 16, 2018, Nickelodeon announced a revival of Rugrats, consisting of a 26-episode order and a live-action movie using CGI for the characters. Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó will return as executive producers for the TV show, though they won't be involved with the live-action movie.[27]


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 character in the 1998 logo 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 disappears. 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.


Television shows

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[28] 1989–present (animated from 1989–1992) Created by Matt Groening, Seasons 1–3 only.
Rugrats 1991–2004; TBA 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
Rama's Storm 1994-1996 Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó Syndication
Santo Bugito[29] 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, NBC
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! 2003–2005 Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó
Spin-off from Rugrats


Film Year Directors Notes Co-productions Box office
The Rugrats Movie 1998 Igor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien The 1st Rugrats movie. Nickelodeon Movies
Paramount Pictures
$140.9 millon[30]
Rugrats in Paris: The Movie 2000 Stig Bergqvist and Paul Demeyer $103.3 million[31]
The Wild Thornberrys Movie 2002 Cathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath The 1st Wild Thornberrys movie

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon

$60.7 million[32]
Rugrats Go Wild 2003 John Eng and Norton Virgien A crossover with Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. $55.4 million[33]
Immigrants 2008 Gábor Csupó Adult-oriented film Warner Bros. $0.1 million[34]


Title Year Notes Made For
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.
Cartoon Network
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)[35] 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.

See also


  1. Berton, Brad (1999-02-02). "Hollywood About to See a Lot More of 'The Rugrats'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  2. "Klasky Csupo Inc." BNET. Retrieved on April 9, 2010.
  3. Eller, Claudia (2000-11-17). "Rugrats Duo Draws on Shared Vision". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  4. "KLASKY CSUPO SIZZLE REEL (2007)". YouTube. 2001-08-02. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  5. "House of toon style". Variety. Retrieved 2008-02-09.
  6. Ortved, John (2009). Simpsons Confidential: The uncensored, totally unauthorised history of the world's greatest TV show by the people that made it (UK ed.). Ebury Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-09-192729-5.
  7. Cagle, Daryl. "The David Silverman Interview". MSNBC. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  8. Sheff, David (June 2007). "Matt Groening". Playboy. 54 (6). Archived from the original on 2007-10-13.
  9. Rhodes, Joe (2000-10-21). "Flash! 24 Simpsons Stars Reveal Themselves". TV Guide.
  10. 1 2 3 4 Bernstein, Sharon (1992-01-21). "'The Simpsons' Producer Changes Animation Firms". Los Angeles Times. p. 18. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
  11. "Move over, Bart Simpson". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  12. Mifflin, Lawrie (November 13, 1997). "Nickelodeon Adds to Children's Hours". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  13. Graeber, Laurel (July 30, 2000). "She Can Talk to the Animals (Don't Tell)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  14. Shattuck, Kathryn (July 15, 2001). "FOR YOUNG VIEWERS; TV's No. 1 Babies Celebrate Their 10th Birthday". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  15. "Klasky Csupo News". Klaskycsupo.com. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  16. "Chicken Town" via www.imdb.com.
  17. Six Point Harness (April 27, 2011). "John Andrews Partners With Six Point Harness To Launch 6 Point Media" (Press release). Animation World Network. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  18. "Ollie Mongo Adventures in the Apocalypse Issue 1".
  19. "Splaat". www.facebook.com.
  20. "Splaat". www.facebook.com.
  21. "Splaat". www.facebook.com.
  22. Steinberg, Brian (2 September 2015). "'Rugrats' Revival? Nickelodeon Mulls Return of Classic Shows".
  23. "Hey Arnold! is coming back, and possibly Rugrats too". 3 September 2015.
  24. Venable, Nick. "Could The Rugrats Return To Nickelodeon? Here's What The Creator Says". CinemaBlend. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  25. "Could The Rugrats Return To Nickelodeon? Here's What The Creator Says". 21 July 2016.
  26. "Rugrats: Could the Characters Be Returning to Nickelodeon? - canceled TV shows - TV Series Finale". 27 July 2016.
  27. "'Rugrats' Relaunch Set With Nickelodeon Series, Paramount Movie". 16 July 2018.
  28. Bernstein, Sharon (1992-01-21). "The Simpsons' Producer Changes Animation Firms". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  29. "The rugrats' real mom and dad". Business Week. October 16, 1995. Archived from the original on December 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  30. "The Rugrats Movie (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  31. "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  32. "The Wild Thornberrys (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  33. "Rugrats Go Wild (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  34. "Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita) (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  35. "Ready Hankies for ka-chew! Animation on NBC Soap Opera". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
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