Studio logos are an iconography all their own, but nothing puts a grin on my face like a spiffy send-up of a traditional company emblem tailored made to gel with the film I’m about to watch. Don’t get me wrong — nothing’s going to top classics like Alfred Newman’s Fox fanfare, Jerry Goldsmith’s Universal tune or the countless other openings ingrained in our cinematic memories. But when someone takes the recognizable logo and makes it their own…well, that’s when I get giddy.
For decades, movie studios have been allowing filmmakers to tinker slightly with the prestigious logos that preface every film they release. Nothing too crazy — maybe a color shift or a throwback to a retired bumper — but nothing that would tarnish their reputations. These days, most movies are free to run wild. Many stick to the time-honored traditions of their studios, but the ones that don’t feel that much more special.
Regardless of a film’s quality, a great logo is like the cherry on top for most movie buffs. Here are fourteen modern variants that bring a little extra magic to the pictures they kick off:
The Flintstones – Universal
After introducing us to the live-action Flintstones with a recreation of the cartoon’s opening, the Universal logo flies in with the first of many terribly hilarious, Stone Age puns: Univershell.
Edward Scissorhands – Fox
There’s a sad innocence to Edward Scissorhands, and Tim Burton captures that from the get-go with the inclement weather of his 20th Century Fox variant. The combination of a gentle snow and Danny Elfman’s soft, soprano score is enough to get the tears flowing — and the movie hasn’t even started yet.
Superbad – Columbia
Greg Motolla took the 1976 Columbia “sunburst” logo and, through the power of funk, made it even more old school. A studio has no right looking “cool,” but then again, neither does a guy calling himself McLovin.
Constantine – Warner Bros.
Director Francis Lawrence wants to assure the audience of Constantine that they don’t have to worry about life after death. Even in Hell, they’ll still be able to enjoy feature films from Warner Bros.
Bedtime Stories – Disney
Disney starts Bedtime Stories off on a high note, turning Cinderella’s castle into part of a pop-up book. The concept plays to a fantastical, whimsical feeling that the movie wishes (upon a star) to evoke.