|Formerly||Klasky & Csupo (legal name until 1991)|
Klasky-Csupo, Inc. (stylized as KLaSKY CSUPO INC., doing business as Klasky Csupo, / / KLAS-kee CHOO-poh) is an American animation studio located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1982 by producer Arlene Klasky and Hungarian animator Gábor Csupó (hence the company's name) in a spare room of their apartment and grew to 550 artists, creative workers and staff in an animation facility in Hollywood.
During the 1990s and 2000s, they produced and animated era-defining shows for the children's network, Nickelodeon, such as Rugrats (which was one of the channel's original animated series, known as Nicktoons), Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys, Rocket Power, As Told by Ginger and All Grown Up!. They also animated the early seasons of The Simpsons for Gracie Films, as well as Duckman on USA Network. In 2008, Nickelodeon ended their long-running partnership with Klasky Csupo and its shows ceased production, resulting in the company becoming dormant for four years. In 2012, the company reopened and began production on a CGI-animated reboot of Rugrats, which premiered in 2021 on Paramount+, the streaming service of Nickelodeon's parent company Paramount Global.
Klasky-Csupo, Inc. got its start in 1982 when it was founded in the spare bedroom of a Hollywood apartment, where Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó were living while married. In 1983, Klasky-Csupo expanded and moved to a new location on Seward Street to open its first facility in Hollywood.
Klasky Csupo was initially distinguished by its work on logo designs, commercials, feature film trailers, TV show titles, promos and ident spots 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 left Seward Street to open its second 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 commissioned the studio to produce the title sequence for a comedy series titled The Tracey Ullman Show. In addition to the main title, Klasky Csupo was given the opportunity to produce and animate a new series of one-minute cartoons which featured a family 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 began airing a weekly half-hour series entitled The Simpsons. Klasky Csupo oversaw and animated every episode of the first three seasons of the series, resulting in the studio sharing the 1989–1990 and 1990–1991 Primetime Emmy Award 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 colorized as black with blue hair.
In 1992, Gracie Films switched domestic production of The Simpsons to Film Roman from 1992 to 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.
In 1991, Klasky Csupo created Rugrats, one of the first animated shows for Nickelodeon - known as "Nicktoons" - which was inspired by the couple's two sons and the idea of what they would do if they could speak. Their next major series was Duckman for the USA Network, which 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 originally ended production on Rugrats because 65 episodes that they were contracted to do had aired due to the 65 episode rule. However, when Rugrats went into syndication, it exploded in popularity with ratings skyrocketing and advertising deals taking off, prompting Nickelodeon and Klasky Csupo to resume 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. 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 Saturday morning animated comedy on television. Created by Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo for CBS, Santo Bugito tells the story of a small 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, and is highlighted by a distinctive look and the music of Mark Mothersbaugh, the Devo keyboardist who also composed the music of Rugrats.
The same year, Klasky Csupo established Klasky Csupo Commercials (rebranded as Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials in 1998) - helmed by John Andrews - in order 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, and Nickelodeon. In 2001, the company founded Ka-Chew!, a live-action commercial division.
The company was also active in producing recorded music with the record labels Tone Casualties and Casual Tonalities. Gabor Csupo was a good friend of Frank Zappa and occasionally collaborates with Mark Mothersbaugh. After Duckman and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters' were both cancelled in 1997, Klasky Csupo began producing The Wild Thornberrys for Nickelodeon, which premiered the following year and revolved around a girl named Eliza Thornberry who could talk to animals.
In 1998, Klasky Csupo produced its first feature-length film, The Rugrats Movie, which opened in the United States on November 20, 1998 as the #1 film in the country and grossed $141 million worldwide, becoming the first non-Disney animated film to gross over $100 million in the United States. It was then followed by two sequels, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000) and Rugrats Go Wild (2003), the latter of which was a crossover with The Wild Thornberrys. The Wild Thornberrys later got its own feature-length film in 2002.
That same year, Klasky Csupo was commissioned by McDonald's to develop The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, a series of six animated videos featuring the company's mascot, Ronald McDonald, which were distributed directly to consumers via participating McDonald's restaurants on VHS. On December 23, 1998, CEO Terry Thoren concluded an eleven-month negotiation with the car industry Mercedes-Benz and moved the company into the state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Klasky Csupo began producing two more shows for Nickelodeon such as Rocket Power and As Told by Ginger, as well as Stressed Eric - the studio's first adult-oriented production - for BBC Two.
In 2001, in honor of the tenth anniversary of Rugrats, Klasky Csupo released a two-part television special entitled All Growed Up, which featured all of the titular babies as preteens. It was popular enough that Nick commissioned a series based on that special, titled All Grown Up!, which ran on the channel from 2003 to 2008. On September 29, 2001, Class-Key Chew-Po signed animation director Chris Prynoski and his company Titmouse, Inc. for commercial representation.
In 2003, Klasky Csupo was commissioned by Cartoon Network to produce a music video by the band They Might Be Giants for their song "Dee Dee and Dexter", which features characters from Dexter's Laboratory drawn by the studio in anime style. Class-Key Chew-Po Animated Commercials and Broadcast Design were then folded into Ka-Chew! the following year. In 2005, the company again worked for Cartoon Network on the shorts Oogloo + Anju and The Topside Rag for Sunday Pants under Ka-Chew!.
In the mid-2000s, Klasky Csupo ceased production on their Nickelodeon shows, as Nickelodeon executives became tired of the studio's style of animation and soon ended their long-running partnership. In 2006, the longtime CEO of the company, Terry Thoren, left the studio 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 the development of 28 new animated cartoon pilots that were to be up for sale at a later date. Each pilot was animated in different designs, instead of the typical style the studio was famous for. As of 2010, some of the cartoons had yet to be finished.[needs update?] Gabor Csupo would later post the remains of the cartoons on his YouTube channel. One of the pilots, Chicken Town, was picked up as a series by French company Ellipsanime, though Klasky Csupo was not involved with it.
In 2007, Paul Demeyer left Klasky Csupo to found Wild Canary, taking some of Ka-Chew!'s clients with him. In 2008, Ka-Chew! celebrated its 10th anniversary by expanding its roster of directors before being absorbed into 6 Point Media in April 2011. That same year, the studio released its final film to date, Immigrants, which was originally produced as an unaired animated series for Spike TV.
In 2012, Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo reopened the company after nearly four years of dormancy. Along with Craig Singer, the studio created its first new project in four years, Ollie Mongo, a digital comic book about a teenage skateboarding zombie who lives 200 years in the future. In 2015, the company announced that they were working on RoboSplaat!, a web series featuring the "Ink Splaat" character with a robotic voice from the 1998 logo renamed "Splaat" (voiced by Greg Cipes), which is continuing its use as the studio's main production logo. The web series premiered on December 21, 2016 and an app based on the web series is also currently in development. That same year, Klasky Csupo also announced that they were 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 explained that she would be willing to work on a revival of the series along with co-creators Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain.
On July 16, 2018, Nickelodeon announced a revival/reboot of Rugrats, consisting of a 26-episode order. Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó will return as executive producers for the revived series. Using CGI animation rather than traditional hand-drawn animation used in the original series, the new Rugrats premiered on Paramount+, the streaming service for Nickelodeon parent Paramount Global, on May 27, 2021.
|1||The Simpsons (seasons 1–4)||1989–92||Matt Groening||Animation production||Gracie Films and 20th Television
|2||Rugrats||1991–2004||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó & Paul Germain||Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|3||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||1994–97||Gábor Csupó & Peter Gaffney||Games Animation, Inc.,
|4||Duckman||Everett Peck||Based on the comics of the same name.||Reno & Osborn Productions, Celluloid Studios (1995-1997), Paramount Television
|5||Santo Bugito||1995–96||Arlene Klasky & Gábor Csupó||Anivision
|6||The Wild Thornberrys||1998–2004||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, Steve Pepoon, David Silverman & Stephen Sustaric||Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|7||Stressed Eric (season 1)||1998||Carl Gorham||Absolutely Productions|
|8||Rocket Power||1999–2004||Arlene Klasky & Gábor Csupó||Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|9||As Told by Ginger||2000–06||Emily Kapnek|
|10||All Grown Up!||2003–08||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó & Paul Germain||Spin-off of Rugrats|
|11||Rugrats Pre-School Daze||UK: 2005, US: 2008||Spin-off of Rugrats. Mini-series.|
|12||Rugrats||2021–present||Revival/reboot of the original 1991 series.||Nickelodeon Animation Studio|
|Created by Arlene Klasky.|
Company's first web series.
|Dear Splaat||2016||Created by Arlene Klasky.|
Spin-off web series of RoboSplaat.
|The Rugrats Movie||1998||Igor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien||Nickelodeon Movies & Paramount Pictures||$140.9 million|
|Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||2000||Stig Bergqvist and Paul Demeyer||$103.3 million|
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie||2002||Cathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath||Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon.||$60.7 million|
|Rugrats Go Wild||2003||John Eng and Norton Virgien||Crossover with Rugrats & The Wild Thornberrys.||$55.4 million|
|Immigrants||2008||Gábor Csupó||Final film to date.||Warner Bros.||$0.1 million|
|Kevin's Kitchen||1995||Arlene Klasky|
|The Carmichaels||1999||Arlene Klasky & Gábor Csupó||Nickelodeon||Planned spin-off of Rugrats. Later remade as A Rugrats Kwanzaa special.|
|Psyko Ferret||2001||Atul Rao, Kim Saltarski, Greg van Riel,
Karen Krenis, Brian Strause, Emily Kapnek
& Paul Greenberg
|Citizen Tony||2003||Gabor Csupo||Spike TV, Global Tantrum|
|Stinky Pierre||Everett Peck|
|Bench Pressly||2004||Sean Abley, John Eng, Ahmet Zappa||Spike TV, Global Tantrum|
|What's Cooking?||Arlene Klasky||Nickelodeon|
|You Animal||Bruce Wagner||Spike TV, Global Tantrum|
|Chicken Town||2005||Niko Meulemans||Nickelodeon||CGI|
|Commander Bunsworth||Aglaia Mortcheva|
|Junkyard Teddies||Arlene Klasky||CGI|
|Rollin' Rock Starz||Gábor Csupó|
|SCHMUTZ||James Proimos & David Hale|
|Wiener Squad||Niko Meulemans||CGI|
|Zeek & Leo|
|Sugarless||Erin Ehrlich||The N|
|Twinkle||Dora Nagy||Nick Jr.||Planned first preschool animated series produced by the company.|
|Big Babies||2006||Arlene Klasky||Nickelodeon|
|Ace Bogart: Space Ape||Neal Sopata|
|Grampa and Julie: Shark Hunters||Jef Czekaj|
|Little Freaks||Erin Ehrlich|
|Ronnie Biddles||John Matta & Ken Daly|
|My Stupid Cat||Everett Peck|
|21 Jump Street||1987||main title||Stephen J. Cannell Productions|
|Eddie Murphy Raw||trailer||Paramount Pictures|
|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|
|Booker||Stephen J. Cannell Productions|
|Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers||title sequence||Trancas International|
|Shadrach||music video||Beastie Boys|
|Shocker||title sequence||Universal Pictures|
|Sesame Street||1990–1991||four shorts plus Monster in the Mirror||Children's Television Workshop|
|In Living Color||1990–1993||main titles||20th Television|
|Northern Exposure||1990||"Aurora Borealis: A Fairy Tale for Big People" (Aurora Borealis effect)||Universal Television|
|HBO Storybook Musicals||"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"||HBO|
|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|
|Magic Theatre||game design and animation||Instinct Corporation|
|MADtv||1995–1997||Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin cartoons||Warner Bros. Television|
|Bird in the Window||1996||short film|
|Clueless||1996–1999||main titles||Paramount Television|
|Kelly Kelly||1998||Warner Bros. Television|
|The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald||1998–2003||Direct-to-video series||McDonald's|
|Snowden's Raggedy Ann & Andy Holiday Show||1998||animation||Target|
|What's Inside Heidi's Head?||1999||Created by Nancye Ferguson and Mark Mothersbaugh
Company's first live-action series.
|Don't Rush Me||2000||music video||Juliana Hatfield|
|Flying Nansen||short film|
|Disney's One Saturday Morning||opening and bumpers||Walt Disney Television|
|The Wayne Brady Show||2001||main titles||Buena Vista Television|
|The Anna Nicole Show||2002||E!|
|Girls Behaving Badly||Oxygen|
|Cartoon Network Groovies||2003||"Dee Dee and Dexter" (with Titmouse, Inc.)||Cartoon Network|
|The Ashlee Simpson Show||2004||main titles||MTV|
|Dirty Little Thing||music video (with Titmouse, Inc.)||Velvet Revolver|
|The Princes of Malibu||2005||main titles||GRB Entertainment|
|Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List||Bravo|
|Sunday Pants||Oogloo + Anju and The Topside Rag||Cartoon Network|
|Passions||animated scenes||NBC Universal Television Studio|
|The Daly Planet||2006||main titles||Golf Channel|
|This Film Is Not Yet Rated||title sequence and animation||BBC Films|
|The Simple Life||2006–2007||main titles||20th Century Fox Television|
|Bridge to Terabithia||2007||creature designs||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Nip/Tuck||main titles and "Damien Sands" animated scene||Warner Bros. Television|
|Los Campeones de la Lucha Libre||2008||recording studio||FWAK! Animation|
|Noodle and Doodle||2010||Doggity's||PBS Kids Sprout|
|The LeBrons||2011||sound recording (season 1)||Believe Entertainment Group|
Spring Hill Productions
|Ollie Mongo: Adventures in the Apocalypse||2012||Created by Arlene Klasky and Craig Singer.
Company's first print-related series/comic book.
|Poppy Cat||2012–2015||recording studio for US dub||Cake Entertainment|
|Top Cat Begins||2015||recording studio||Ánima Estudios|