Friday, April 29, 2011

Universal Studios Logo

Universal Studios has changed their logo over the years, along with many variations for specific films.  The newest and best known Universal music was written by Jerry Goldsmith in 1997.  As British comedian Bill Bailey said, "You'll know it because it's the music you can't fast forward through."  Here are a sampling of my favorite variations of the Universal logo. 

Universal Logo 1937-1946.  This logo has been been brought back for a few period films like Changeling and Leatherheads in 2008, and The Wolfman in 2010.  

Universal 75th Anniversary logo in 1990, incorporating many of the past studio logos with music by James Horner.

1997 brought Jerry Goldsmith's new music and updated logo - first seen in Lost World: Jurassic Park.

ET The Extra Terrestrial.  For the 2002 anniversary, the logo was arranged with John Williams' ET theme.  

Cat in the Hat - 2003.  Terrible movie, great animated version of the logo.

Van Helsing - 2004.  Black and white logo, which bursts into flames and transitions into the torch.  Great start to the movie.

Inglourious Basterds - 2008.  A recent film again uses an older logo - this time using the 1963 Universal logo.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World - 2010.  This is one of my favorites, the video game intro arrangement and arcade graphics are great for this movie.

For Universal's 100th Anniversary, they premiered a new logo in 2012 with The Lorax.  Goldsmith's tune is adapted and arranged by Brian Tyler.

Pitch Perfect - 2012.  A new fun one.  Paired with the new logo look, the theme is sung a capella by the cast before starting the film.

Oblivion - 2013.  The omnipresent Tet is show hovering over the Earth, which looks ravaged like in the film.

Pitch Perfect 2 - 2015.  Another a capella arrangement of the theme, sung by actors John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks.  This version also appears on the soundtrack.

Minions - 2015.  The Minions provide a vocal version of the theme, with a neverending finish.  This version also appears on the soundtrack.  

As always, there are many more that I can't even begin to mention, including The Flintstones, all 3 Mummy films, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Waterworld.  Why is it that some of the worst movies have the interesting logo changes? Discuss.


  1. Awesome post.

    There are obviously a TON of different film-specific logos.

    The 75th anniversary logo (See it on BTTF: Part 3!) with the great Horner score is very cool and Goldsmith's is classic, of course.

    And here's something interesting. I always wondered why The Scorpion King had a unique sounding arrangement of Goldsmith's theme. It's very similar to the Williams E.T. version of the same year, but with the traditional closing (No theme from E.T.).

    It turns out that starting with The Scorpion King on April 19, 2002, Universal dropped the E.T. Anniversary logo, but used a Williams arrangement of the full Goldsmith theme.

    It was only used until May 17 of the following month, after which it reverted back to the original Goldsmith version.

  2. Probably no one knows that before Jimmy McHugh's 1936 trademark music (BTW it was arranged by Frank Skinner), U's third music director, Heinz Roemheld, wrote one (I have a copy of the conductor part). Offhand, though, I don't know what early U films it was used in, but it was composed in 1931!