United Productions of America

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

United Productions of America was originally formed in 1941 as the Industrial Film and Poster Service by a group of ex-Disney animators during the Disney strike of 1941. It initially produced war and propaganda films, but in 1948, it got its big break to produce films for Columbia Pictures, supplanting its original in-house cartoon studio. Although the company made the last few cartoons featuring Columbia's The Fox and the Crow, it managed to make its own creations Gerald McBoing Boing and Mr. Magoo, which was proven to be successful. UPA would later be supplanted as Columbia's cartoon provider by Hanna-Barbera in 1958. Henry G. Saperstein bought out UPA in 1960, and the studio closed its doors in 1970. The library became the roots of Classic Media in May 2000. The company never used a logo until 1950.



1st Logo (November 2, 1950-1970)

Visuals: On a custom background, the UPA logo of the era is shown. It consists of a blue ellipse with a "U" in it, a yellow ellipse with a black "P" in it, plus a red ellipse with an "A" in it.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, the logo is in black and white.
  • On The Jaywalker, the "UPA" is shown without ellipses and has the words "U" in blue, "P" in yellow and "A" in red.
  • An ugly version appears on the short The Tell-Tale Heart.
  • On 1001 Arabian Nights, there are three trumpets holding a man, which turns into the UPA logo from the era.

Technique: A still, hand-drawn graphic.

Audio: The theme of the cartoon.

Availability: It was seen on their cartoons produced by this company such as Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing-Boing as well as TV shows and specials that they produced such as Gay Purr-ee.

2nd Logo (January 30, 1958-1960s)

Visuals:

  • Opening: On a red background, a trumpeter walks in with his carrying case, takes his trumpet out, and plays some notes on it. A smaller trumpeter falls out of the trumpet and starts playing the same notes his own trumpet. An even smaller trumpeter falls out of that trumpet and attempts to play the same notes, only to blow a sour note that spooks the others. Afterward, the three trumpeters each blow a note, producing ellipses that line up in the center and form the UPA logo.
  • Closing: The UPA logo from the opening is first shown. The three trumpeters walks backward past it and suck the ellipses into their trumpets. The biggest trumpeter then blows out a black bubble with "The" inside it, and the other two blow out three bubbles containing letters that spell "end".

Variants:

  • On the Ham and Hattie shorts, after the logo is formed, the littlest trumpeter walks in and blows his horn, producing a yellow bubble that engulfs the screen and reveals the Ham and Hattie title card.
  • A 1960s variant has white text reading "CARTOON FESTIVAL" appearing under the UPA logo after it's formed.

Technique: Traditional animation by Rod Scribner.

Audio: A jazzy theme with horns and drums.

Availability: Was originally created for UPA's short-lived Ham and Hattie series, but it also appeared on the unreleased Bric 'n Brac pilot and the promotional film Inside Magoo.

Legacy: This fanfare was also used on the 2nd logo of the Spanish company Motion Pictures S.A..

3rd Logo (1965-July 29, 1970)

Visuals: On a blue background, there is the phrase "HENRY G. SAPERSTEIN" and under it "PRESENTS" in black. After a few moments, it fades to the card that says "A UNITED PRODUCTIONS OF AMERICA RELEASE", with the UPA logo over "RELEASE", which consists of the same UPA logo as seen on the last two logos. The byline "ANOTHER DEI COMPANY" is seen under the logo.

Technique: Fading effects.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on non-animated UPA releases and the American release of the Godzilla movie Invasion of the Astro Monster.