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As part of its yearlong centennial celebration, Universal Pictures is unveiling a new on-screen logo that will be seen for the first time in theaters in front of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, the new animated movie from Universal and Illumination Entertainment, which opens March 2. The new logo will then appear on all Universal’s movies going forward.
The new animated logo, an updated variation of the studio’s signature globe, is the seventh version of the Universal logo in the studio’s 100-year history.
It was created by the visual effects artists at New Zealand-based Weta Digital, which also created the effects for The Lord of the Rings franchise. Playing off of the theme of “global vision,” the logo is inspired by satellite imagery of the earth as seen from a clear night in space, but instead of focusing on the continents and what the studio describes as the “physical boundaries that separate people,” the new view is highlighted with tiny points of bright lights that pop across the globe — “symbolizing the thousands of communities brought together by their shared love of film,” the studio explained.
“Our Centennial year is the perfect opportunity to create a new logo that reflects our future while honoring our past,” Ron Meyer, Universal Studios president and COO, said. “Universal’s new logo celebrates the studio’s extraordinary legacy in creating lasting movie memories and connecting viewers across the globe.”
For the soundtrack, composer Brian Tyler (the Fast and Furious franchise) has created a new arrangement of Jerry Goldsmith’s score, which has accompanied the logo since 1997. Goldsmith’s original composition remains, but the orchestration has been bolstered with a choir, new string parts and drum cadence utilizing world percussion instruments.
“We wanted to utilize the classic melody that we all know and bring it into the 21st century, while still being very respectful of what Jerry Goldsmith did originally,” Tyler said. “I wanted it to be a celebration of all the great movies Universal has done over the years — connecting the past to the present.”
In addition to the new logo, other key initiatives of the Universal Centennial include: a major film restoration commitment, home entertainment offerings, theme park celebrations and a special anniversary gala featuring many of the filmmakers and artists who shaped the studios’ history. In addition, the studio will spotlight the 100th anniversary throughout various worldwide film festivals and other featured events, panels and activities. The studio has also created a web site, marking the centennial, at http://Universal100th.com.
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