RKO Radio Pictures never had its own in-house cartoon unit, but RKO's first experience was to distribute the Toby the Pup shorts by Winkler Pictures, who also made the Krazy Kat shorts for Columbia Pictures. In 1931, RKO bought out Pathé Exchange, which distributed Aesop's Fables by The Van Beuren Corporation, while cancelling the Toby the Pup cartoons, and replaced with Tom & Jerry, also by Van Beuren (no relation to the MGM cartoon character). For a period in the 1931-32 season, RKO released Aesop's Fables under the RKO-Pathé label, while releasing Van Beuren's Tom & Jerry cartoons under the RKO Radio Pictures label. RKO and Van Beuren skyrocketed in popularity with Rainbow Parade until 1936, when it switched to distributing cartoons and films by Walt Disney Productions. RKO wound up shutting the cartoon business for good with Disney moving to its own in-house distribution unit.
1st Logo (1930-1931)
Logo: On a black background, we see the standard Radio Pictures print logo from the era. Below it was "THE END" and above it was the title's logo. Below it was "a Winkler Picture". It was surrounded by a border.
Music/Sounds: The ending theme of the short.
Availability: Only seen on Toby the Pup shorts, most of them were lost forever.
2nd Logo (1933-1934)
Logo: On a gray background, we zoom up to a model of a knight riding a horse and holding a flag reading "RKO RADIO PICTURES present". The model has a shadow.
Technique: A zooming effect.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the cartoon.
Availability: Very rare. Only known to have appeared on Oscar E. Soglow's The Little King cartoons from 1933-1934. One of them, Christmas Night (1933) recently showed up on the WinStar VHS/DVD compilation Cartoon Crazy's Christmas.