Screen Gems (1921-1946)
Margaret J. Winkler opened their animation studio in 1921 as M.J. Winkler Pictures to produce animated film shorts, using various vanity cards, which include "Color Rhapsody", "Phantasy", and "Fable" among others. Winkler would then take control of Out of the Inkwell and Felix the Cat until 1923, when they partnered with Walt Disney to produce Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit until 1928. Charles B. Mintz joined the company in 1926 and became Winkler Pictures after Mintz became married to Winkler in 1924. Besides Krazy Kat, which Winkler was producing for R-C Pictures, then Paramount Pictures beginning in 1925, the company also produced Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoons for Universal Pictures from 1927 until 1929 and Toby the Pup cartoons for RKO Radio Pictures. In 1931, the company was relocated to Los Angeles and Winkler Pictures became The Charles Mintz Studio. Columbia Pictures Corporation released their cartoons starting in 1929 and then later acquired a stake in the company in 1933 and launched "Screen Gems". However, when Mintz became indebted to Columbia in 1939, he ended up selling his studio to them. Under new management, the Screen Gems became a full time animation studio in 1940 until 1946 when Columbia closed its animation unit. Columbia would later supplant its animation outings with United Productions of America in 1948 and Hanna-Barbera in 1957, whose only theatrical cartoon was Loopy De Loop before exiting theatrical animation for good in the late 1960s.
The "Screen Gems" name was inspired by an early Columbia Pictures slogan, "Gems of the Screen", itself based on an American patriotic song entitled "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean".
1st Logo (1929-1939)
Note: Krazy Kat was the first cartoon series ever to be produced at the Mintz-Winkler studio.
Logo: It's Columbia Pictures' then-current print logo used onscreen. Usually it was used as a closing logo, with the print logo framed by a TV screen-like outline, the cartoon series' name at the top, which is overlapped by "The End" in a fancy script font, and below it was "A CHARLES MINTZ PRODUCTION".
- On 1929-1930 Krazy Kat cartoons, the logo can be barely seen on the second card of the opening credits.
- At the end of early Krazy Kat cartoons, the text "A KRAZY KAT COMIC" or "A WINKLER KRAZY KAT COMIC" is shown below the print logo.
- On B&W cartoons from 1931-1939, at the bottom of the outlined shape is the text "a Charles Mintz production". Starting in 1933/1934, the text is bolder.
- On The Restless Sax, "THE END" appears in a bolded sans-serif font is shown over the logo.
- Starting in 1934/1935, the text "Recorded by RCA Victor "HIGH FIDELITY" Sound System" is shown below the logo. This was used on B&W cartoons, and on the Color Rhapsodies until 1935.
- On 1935-1938 color cartoons, the text "The End" is not shown over the logo.
- Starting in 1937, the Columbia Pictures print logo is upgraded.
Technique: None. For Krazy Kat, traditional animation is used.
Music/Sounds: The intro/outro of the cartoon's music, or a custom fanfare.
Availability: Rare, as many of the Krazy Kat and Scrappy shorts were reissued by Samba Pictures, Inc. Most of the films with the logo were destroyed, because of KFS' practices with destroying the master Barney Google film prints. Most of the Color Rhapsodies featuring the logo had fallen victim to plastering with the reissue titles.
2nd Logo (1938-1946)
Logo: It's Columbia Pictures' 1936 logo, noticeably redrawn, with blue clouds, the words "COLUMBIA" in chiseled letters and the clouds behind the Torch Lady (who is holding an American flag) drawn in blue. Starting in 1942, the American flag was changed into a plain periwinkle drape (as in the movie logo).
- On the Phantasies and Fables, the logo is in black and white, and the "COLUMBIA" text is lighter.
- On the intros of Phantasies and Fables starting in 1941, "Presents" appears or fades in below.
- On The Playful Pest, "Presents" appears in a different font.
- Starting in 1942, the opening version has the word "Presents" below the Torch Lady, and it has orange clouds and having a purple company name, with the Torch Lady holding a pink (or purple due to film deterioration) drape.
- An earlier version of the closing logo exists where the text is shifted up, and below it was the text "A CHARLES MINTZ Production" is shown below the logo. This was only seen on Window Shopping.
- An end title gag version was shown on Way Down Yonder in the Corn where the white screen explodes to reveal the log.
- Another end title gag version was seen on The Greyhound and the Rabbit, where the ship flies into the logo.
- On The Tangled Angler from Fables, "A COLUMBIA FABLE" are absent.
- On Tangled Travels, both "The End" and "A COLUMBIA PHANTASY" are absent.
Closing Title: It's the standard logo, but with the cartoon's title, and below it was (for color cartoons only), the text "IN TECHNICOLOR") is shown below the logo. On B&W cartoons and on color cartoons since 1942, the text "The End" appears in a script font.
Music/Sounds: The theme of the cartoon.
Availability: Rare. Most of the color cartoons with the logo have fallen victim to wiping with the reissue titles. Recently, this has turned up on a few Color Rhapsody cartoons shown on MeTV's Toon In with Me.
3rd Logo (1945-June 30, 1949)
Logo: On a black or blue background, we see the text "The End" in cursive. Below it was the following cartoon series title.
- On Phantasy cartoons from 1945 to 1946, the logo is in black and white.
- Starting in 1946, the logo appeared within the "Merrie Melodies"-esque bullseye.
- On 1947 Phantasy cartoons, the "Merrie Melodies"-esque bullseye is brown. It was spotted on Wacky Quacky.
- On 1947 Color Rhapsody cartoons, the "Merrie Melodies"-esque bullseye is blue.
- On 1947-1948 Phantasy cartoons, the "Merrie Melodies"-esque bullseye is with two dark teal rings and a teal-light teal outline.
- On 1948-1949 Color Rhapsody cartoons, the "Merrie Melodies"-esque bullseye is with two blue rings and a red-yellow outline.
- On Phantasy cartoons from 1947 to 1948, the text "IN CINECOLOR" was shown below the logo. Starting with Leave Us Chase It, the text "in Cinecolor" is in a different font.
- On most color cartoons, the text "in Technicolor" was in script below the logo.
Music/Sounds: The ending theme of the cartoon.
Availability: Rare, as most cartoons have fallen victim to wiping with the opening logo. It was last seen on the Color Rhapsody short of Cat-Tastrophy.
Background: As with Warner Bros. and MGM, Columbia too reissued a large portion of its color cartoon library beginning roughly when the studio closed in 1946.
1st Logo (Late 1940s-1950s)
Logo: On a blue background with white stars is a yellow shape. On the shape are the red words "a COLUMBIA FAVORITE" and below, the name of the cartoon and "Color by TECHNICOLOR" on a rainbow print. Several characters from the Columbia cartoons are surrounding the logo (a la the 1942-1946 Color Rhapsodies logo and the 1942-1944 Phantasies logo) including Li'l Abner's pig Salami from Porkuliar Piggy (1944), the buffalo and Indian from Lo the Poor Buffal (1948), the turkey and moose from Topsy Turkey (1948), the Daffy-esque duck and the hunter from Wacky Quacky (1947), and the dog and cat from Flora (1948) among others.
Closing Title: Early reissued cartoons had the original end titles. On later cartoons, the words "A COLUMBIA FAVORITE" and (below) "The End" (in script) appear on a background which varies depending on the cartoon (along with the fonts for the text).
Variant: On the 2003 rerelease of Skeleton Frolic (1937), the black words "Directed by UB IWERKS" were added below the title of the cartoon.
Music/Sounds: The intro of the cartoon theme.
Availability: Can be found on reissue prints of cartoons like: The Way of all Pests (1941), Bon Bon Parade (1935), Window Shopping (1938), Frog Pond (1938), Mr. Moocher (1944), The Fox and The Grapes (1941), Skeleton Frolic (1937), The Herring Murder Mystery (1943), Mountain Ears (1939) and Rocky Road to Ruin (1943) among others.
2nd Logo (1950s-1960s)
Logo: On a background with colorful rombs, on the top of the screen are the words "A COLUMBIA FAVORITE" in white letters. Below it's the cartoon name in big yellow letters and below it is the text "PRINT BY TECHNICOLOR" or "COLOR BY TECHNICOLOR". On the bottom of it the words "REPRINT" are written in an inflated bottom script.
Closing Title: Same as the previous logo.
Trivia: This title was designed by United Productions of America.
- On UPA-reissued cartoons like The Magic Fluke (1949), the copyright stamp was added below "COLOR BY TECHNICOLOR". This is followed by the credits and then the UPA logo appears.
- On Totally Tooned In, the "REPRINT" script is blacked out.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.
Availability: Can be found on reissue prints of cartoons like: Kitty Caddy (1947), Boston Beanie (1947), Up 'n Atom (1947), Concerto in B-flat minor (1942), The Magic Fluke (1949), Mother Hubba-Hubba Hubbard (1947), Be Patient, Patient (1944), Foxy Flatfoots (1946), and Kuku Nuts (1945), among others. The end titles also appear on the UPA cartoons, as well as several rereleases of Loopy De Loop, but the latter cut it out on Turner prints, and went back to the original end titles.