United Productions of America (UPA)

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United Productions of America

Type Animation studio, media distributor
Status Defunct (purchased)
Lead by Robert "Bobe" Cannon, John Hubley, Henry G. Saperstein
Founder(s) Zack Schwartz, David Hilberman, Stephen Bosustow
Founded 1941
Defunct 2000
Also known as Industrial Film and Poster Service (1941-1945)
Subsidiary companies Benedict Pictures Corporation
Succeeded by Classic Media

United Productions of America (UPA) was an American company founded in 1941. Beginning as an animation studio, UPA produced several theatrical shorts for Columbia Pictures such as the Mr. Magoo series, and went on to find success with the television series Gerald McBoing-Boing it produced for CBS. When UPA's financial condition declined in the 1950s and 1960s, it was purchased by producer Henry G. Saperstein, who initially increased the quantity of television output it produced before turning the studio toward distribution instead.

Benedict Pictures Corporation (ベネディクト・プロ,   Benedikuto Puro, lit. "Benedict Pro[ductions]"), a subsidiary of UPA, financed three kaiju films in partnership with Japanese studio Toho in 1965 and 1966; UPA would go on to license numerous other Toho productions for release to theaters, television syndication, and home video from the 1960s[1] through to the 1990s.[2][3] Benedict also helped realize Hanna-Barbera's 1978 Godzilla cartoon, for which they were credited as a copyright holder of the Godzilla character alongside Toho.

UPA became defunct in 2000 following Saperstein's death in 1998, and was sold to Classic Media, itself acquired by DreamWorks in 2012 and then by Universal Pictures in 2016.

Selected productions

Benedict Pictures Corporation

United Productions of America

Selected releases

In addition to the aforementioned films, UPA held the U.S. television and home video rights to the following Toho films:


  1. UPA's version of Terror of Mechagodzilla was produced for and distributed to television. UPA sold its theatrical rights to the film to Bob Conn Enterprises, which subsequently released a differently-edited version as The Terror of Godzilla; UPA would distribute the theatrical version, re-titled Terror of Mechagodzilla, to television and home video beginning in the 1980s.[6]


This is a list of references for UPA. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Boxoffice 1964, p. W-2.
  2. Sciacca 1987, p. 48.
  3. Variety 1998, p. 44.
  4. Boxoffice 1966, p. 10.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Variety 1970, p. 6
  6. Ryfle 1998, pp. 204, 205.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Broadcasting 1987, p. 182


  • "Hank Saperstein Obtains 'Giant Moth' From Toho". Boxoffice. Boxoffice Media LP. 1 June 1964.
  • Sciacca, Tom (23 September 1987). "Godzilla, Japan's Monster Hit". Variety. Cahners Publishing.
  • "Obituaries: Henry G. Saperstein". Variety. Cahners Publishing. 29 June 1998.
  • "New Recording System Used For 'Astro-Monsters' Film". Boxoffice. Boxoffice Media LP. 6 June 1966.
  • "Pair Toho Monsters; May Take $3-Mil; Maron Presses His Luck In New Duo". Variety. 2 September 1970.
  • "NATPE 87: Westin Canal Place exhibitors". Broadcasting. Vol. 112 no. 3. Broadcasting Publications. 19 January 1987.
  • Ryfle, Steve (1 April 1998). Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G". ECW Press. ISBN 1550223488.


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