Universal Pictures will turn a century old on April 30, and in advance of their 100th birthday, the studio has trotted out a new (shiny!) logo that touts their triple-digit age. Why they didn’t get Willard Scott to do one of those Smuckers Jam birthday label shout-out things on The Today Show, I simply don’t know, but there’s still time! Of course, that new logo is neat and all (and, again, shiny!), but what’s most exciting about this news is the studio’s announcement that they will also celebrate their centennial with the restoration of thirteen of its most famous films.

THR reports that the studio has restored All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Abbott and Costello’s Buck Privates, Dracula (1931), the Spanish-language Dracula (which was filmed on the same set at night), Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The studio plans to release the restorations throughout 2012. Many of the restorations will be sold in “collectible book style packaging with memorabilia.” Moreover, Universal is reportedly quite happy with the work on previously damaged films, particularly when it comes to crisper sound in Frankenstein and “appalling graininess” in To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, fans of Out of Africa can breathe a sigh of relief – as “Meryl Streep loses a weird wobble in her walk possibly caused by projectors that enlarged the sprocket holes.” I wish it was Universal’s 100th birthday every day!

Regarding the new logo, Universal Studios President and COO Ron Meyer said, “It didn’t change the logo in a way that audiences wouldn’t completely understand, but it brought us up to date.” Ron, I just can’t argue with logic like that. Meyer continued, “A hundred years is a real milestone. And, I mean, what could be more important than movies? Seriously!” No, Ron, seriously?

We will also see an animated version of the new Uni logo with their next animated outing, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. And, with Universal’s panache for making film-appropriate logo variants for certain films, we can expect to see that new logo with a few tweaks for fun throughout its use (something like The Flintstones’ Univershell log0).

While reporting on a new studio logo might sound a touch fluffy, we here at Film School Rejects are just buckwild about studio logos and title cards – don’t you remember Matt Patches’ epic variant logos piece from April? No? Nooo? Here, check it out again.


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