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When we are in the cinema or at home watching movies, we usually have to go through the opening with the logo of the film studio first. These logos have a very interesting history behind, but almost no one has ever thought about how they were made. For example, do you know what mountain the Paramount logo is depicting? How many stars surround it? Why are they there? Or what’s with the Walt Disney´s castle? Why is the boy fishing on the Dreamworks' logo? Are you intrigued already? Then get yourself comfortable while we show you the history of the most famous studios logos
If you are a fan of films, then you must have seen some logos that have left you wondering, ‘What’s the story behind that?’ Let me refresh your memory: the boy on the moon in the DreamWorks logo, the mountain in the Paramount logo and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion. You’re wondering comes to an end today. At Top 5’s finest, we delve into these 5 Stories Behind Famous Hollywood Studio Logos! Ready? Well, lets begin!
1. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer: Leo The Lion
Leo the lion on MGM has come a long way to be who we know him today. He was designed in 1924 for Samuel Goldwyn’s Picture Corporation in 1924. When Goldwyn merged with Metro Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer pictures, the newly formed MGM retained the logo. The first Lion, Slats, graced the opening of MGM’s silent films in 1924 to 1958. Jackie was the next MGM lion and his growl-roar-growl sequence as played over the phonograph could be heard by the audience. He was also the first lion to appear in Technicolor in 1932. Tanner was the next lion, and was probably the most famous lion of MGM. And that... is all she wrote.
2. DreamWorks: Boy on the Moon
Let’s start with what that SKG at the bottom of the DreamWorks logo means. In 1994, Steven Spielberg, Disney Studio chairman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and record producer, David Geffen, got together to find a new studio called DreamWorks. There was a lot of push and pull between the three before the logo currently used was settled on. Spielberg wanted the logo for DreamWorks to be reminiscent of Hollywood’s golden age. The logo was to be a computer-generated image of a man in the moon fishing. Dennis Muren, the Visual Effects Supervisor of Industrial Light and Magic who had worked with Spielberg on many of his films suggested a hand-painted logo. Robert Hunt, which is Muren’s friend would paint the logo. Hunt then sent an alternative version of the logo that showed a boy on a crescent moon fishing. And that is now the logo that you see in all Dreamworks films.
3. 20th Century Fox: The Searchlight Logo
The 20th Century Fox Film Corporation came about in 1935 when Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Film company merged. Landscape artist, Emil Kosa Jr., is credited with creating the original twentieth century pictures. If you are wondering who Kosa was, he was famous for his matte painting for the statue of Liberty that is showed at the end of the 1968 movie, Planet of the Ape and many other films. After the merger, Kosa replaced ‘Pictures Inc.’ with Fox to make the current logo. Neat huh?
4. Paramount: The Majestic Mountain
The Paramount Majestic Mountains logo was first drawn as a doodle by W.W. Hodkinson during a meeting with Adolph Zukor, who was one of the founders of Famous Players FAILM Company that eventually became paramount. It was based on the Ben Lomond Mountain from his childhood in Utah. The first logo was used in 1914 and it is now the oldest surviving logo in Hollywood. The original logo has 24 stars which symbolized paramount’s then 25 contracted movies stars. It’s now 22 stars. It beats me why those stars were reduced though.... Im guessing that it’s a tough business out there.
5. Warner Bros.: The WB Shield
Warner Bros. has had quite some history. And yes, it is legally Bros. not brothers. It went through 11 logos for it to settle on the one currently in use. The company was started by four Jewish brothers who emigrated from Poland: Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner. At the start, Warner Bros. had trouble attracting top talent. In 1925, after Sam’s urging, Warner Bros. made the first feature-length “talking pictures”. Harry famously said, “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” and that got the ball rolling for the studio to make Warner Bro’s famous.
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