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General information  

  • Type : Subsidiary
  • Activity : animation, motion pictures, television shows
  • Founder : Arlene Klasky
  • Starting date : 1982
  • Cessation place : Hollywood

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Klasky Csupo (1982)

"The square peg that fits in the round hole (if it doesn't, why bother?)"

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  Summary  

Klasky Csupo, Inc. is a multimedia entertainment production company located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, founded by artist/producer, Arlene Klasky and animator, Gábor Csupó.

  Biography  

Klasky-Csupo was started in 1982 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 1988 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 teaser cartoons which featured a group of characters called the Simpsons, created by Matt Groening. Klasky Csupo produced and animated all 34 of the one-minute teasers, 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 Awards for Outstanding Animated Program with Gracie Films. In addition, 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. Csupó was "asked ," 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 made 75 redundant.

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. However K-C produced three new Rugrats specials between 1995 and 1996. The specials were so successful that the series was revived in 1997.

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, "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 Meyer, Taco Bell, Kraft & Nickelodeon. In 2002, the company became Ka-Chew.

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

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 the heart of Los Angeles. Between the late-1990s and 2000s, Klasky-Csupo began producing new shows Rocket Power, As Told by Ginger, Santo Bugito and Stressed Eric.

Also in 1998, Klasky Csupo took on the daring challenge to redesign McDonald's most sacred icon - Ronald McDonald. The worldwide corporate headquarters commissioned Klasky Csupo 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. A number of units were sold.

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 a series based on that special premiered in 2003. The series was put on hiatus in 2006 and officially canceled in 2008. Several previously unaired in the US episodes aired on Nickelodeon in November 2007 and August 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, including a series of direct-to-video features for the McDonald's fast food chain.

By 2004, Klasky-Csupo shut down production on most of its shows, including Rugrats, and in 2006, shut down production on all their shows except the new pilots they created. After 20 years since The Simpsons animation departed to Film Roman, Klasky Csupo started to have its animation credit in the ending credits of a Dexter's Laboratory music video ("Dee Dee and Dexter" by They Might Be Giants) and Futurama .

In fall 2006, Klasky Csupo announced development of 14 new animated pilots, which will be up for sale at a later date:

  • Ace Bogart, Space Ape
  • Big Babies
  • Commander Bunsworth
  • Ronnie Biddles
  • Chicken Town
  • Grampa and Julie, Shark Hunters
  • Sugarless
  • Zeek and Leo
  • Wiener Squad
  • Rollin' Rock Starz
  • Twinkle
  • Ricky Z
  • Junkyard Teddies
  • Little Freaks (based on a KaBlam! short)

The animation design in these pilots are in various styles, instead of the typical style that Klasky Csupo was famous for in the 1990s. As of 2010, these cartoons have yet to be finished.

In April 2011, kachew!, Klasky Csupo's commercial division, was renamed to 6-Point Media. Later, Klasky Csupo sold their Chicken Town pilot to Ellipsanime.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Klasky Csupo", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.