Twilight Sparkle's Retro Media Library
Twilight Sparkle's Retro Media Library

Universal Pictures was founded on April 30, 1912 by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, and Jules Brulatour. It is the oldest movie studio ever in the United States of America.

Universal Pictures


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One of the earliest logos ever seen on video, it can be found on the 1984 VHS of The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).


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Seen for 10 years from the 1930s to the 1940s, this logo is still intact on films released during those years.


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In 1945, J. Arthur Rank merged Universal Pictures with International Pictures, changing the name to Universal International. This was the first logo to feature a colorful globe. It can be found on films like Great Expectations (1947), the Abbott and Costello films, and Spartacus (1960), so if you're a fan of 1950s films, then you will see this logo.


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When MCA, Inc. took over Universal Studios, the name "Universal International" was reverted back to "Universal Pictures". There were at least two versions of this logo. The first variant had the word "Universal" sandwiched between the words "A" and "Picture", making the logo read "A Universal Picture". In 1971, the byline "An MCA Company" appeared on the logo although the "A Universal Picture" and "A Universal Release" as well as "Universal (minus the MCA byline) Presents kept on being used until 1973. Since then, Universal Pictures was known to be affiliated with MCA, Inc., also known as Music Corporation of America. The logo is seen on films like Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), American Graffiti (1973), Jaws (1975), The Wiz (1978), On Golden Pond (1981), Scarface (1983), the first two Back to the Future films, The Land Before Time (1988), and The Wizard (1989). The "A Universal Release" variation in scope was seen on "King Kong Escapes." The "A Universal Picture" variation was last seen on films released in 1970.

All logos up to the 1971 Universal Pictures logo were available on VHS since the format was invented. The 1971 logo was last seen on Bird on a Wire, which was released on VHS on November 15, 1990.


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If you're a fan of Universal Pictures films, this logo shouldn't be hard to find, as it appears on all early to mid 1990s films, including Kindergarten Cop (1990), Beethoven (1992), Jurassic Park (1993), The Flintstones (1994), Babe (1995), and The Nutty Professor (1996).

For the logo's first year, it also included the words "75th Anniversary" on top of itself. This variant was last used on October 3, 1991 with the A Kiss Before Dying VHS. As of November 7, 1991, the logo's standard variant was seen on any newer films on VHS.

In home media, the logo itself was first seen on the Back to the Future Part III VHS from November 8, 1990, and made its last appearance on That Old Feeling on October 7, 1997. Its last regular appearence was on trailers and TV spots for The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) but the film itself uses the next logo.

After MCA was reincorporated to Universal Studios, Inc. in 1996, the logo became bylineness for its last year.


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On December 9, 1996, after MCA became defunct, the company became Universal Studios, Inc., and this next logo began appearing in theaters beginning on May 23, 1997. Beginning in 1999, the web address "" appeared under the logo on any new Universal Pictures films. The web address made its last appearence on films released in 2010.

Movies that have this logo include The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Babe: Pig in the City (1998), The Mummy (1999), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Jurassic Park III (2001), the 20th Anniversary Edition of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (2002), The Cat in the Hat (2003), Peter Pan (2003/2004), Cinderella Man (2005), and Curious George (2006).

The logo made its VHS debut on The Lost World: Jurassic Park on November 4, 1997, and was last seen on the Blu-ray Disc releases of Big Miracle and Wanderlust on June 19, 2012.


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In 2011, Universal Studios became a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation. Shortly after this, on January 10, 2012, the studio unveiled its current logo, promoting its 100th anniversary. The logo is currently seen on new releases from Universal Pictures in theaters. The Lorax, released on March 2, 2012, was the first film to use this logo, while the trailer for this movie had the 1997 logo instead. The byline "100th Anniversary" was last seen on Mama, on January 18, 2013, and starting with Identity Thief (February 8, 2013), the logo now just reads "Universal: A Comcast Company".

Illumination Entertainment


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Films distributed by Illumination Entertainment always contain this logo.

Film history

Before Illumination Entertainment, Universal's last film designed for kids released in theaters was The Tale of Despereaux, on December 19, 2008 (the trailer of that film was released alongside Disney and Pixar's WALL-E). At that time, Despicable Me was just recently announced as Illumination's first film.

A lot of events occurred to Illumination's films alongside production of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

During development of Season 1...

These films were in development:

Other events:

  • Later in 2009, "I Hop" was pushed back a month to April 1, 2011, before it was renamed just "Hop".
During development of Season 2...

These films were in development:

During development of Season 3...
  • Despicable Me 2 was officially scheduled for release on July 3, 2013.
During development of Season 4...
  • Illumination announced a Despicable Me spin-off film focusing on the Minions (December 19, 2014) and another new film after it (July 3, 2015).
During development of Season 5...

These films were in development:

During development of Season 6...

These films were in development:

  • The Secret Life of Pets (July 8, 2016)
  • Sing (December 21, 2016)
  • Despicable Me 3 (June 30, 2017)
  • A How the Grinch Stole Christmas remake (November 10, 2017)
During development of Season 7...

These films were in development:

  • Despicable Me 3 (June 30, 2017)
  • A How the Grinch Stole Christmas remake (November 9, 2018)
During development of Season 8...

These films were in development:

  • The Grinch (November 9, 2018)
  • Sequel to The Secret Life of Pets (July 3, 2019; originally July 13, 2018)
  • Sequels to Minions and Sing
During development of Season 9...

These films were in development:

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2 (June 7, 2019)
  • Sequels to Minions and Sing
During development of both Seasons 9 and 10 (the clip shows)...
  • The Minions sequel was officially titled "Minions: The Rise of Gru".