Leo the Lion (MGM)

Leo the LionMGM lionJackieLeoSlats1960 MGM Metrocolor logo with Leo the Liona lionGeorgeLeo LionheartLion
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss.wikipedia
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Goldwyn Pictures

GoldwynGoldwyn Pictures CorporationGoldwyn Company
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss. The original logo was designed by Howard Dietz and used by the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation studio from 1916 to 1923 (see left).
The studio proved moderately successful, but became most famous due to its iconic Leo the Lion trademark.

Production logo

vanity cardopening logoclosing logo
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss.
Production logos are usually seen at the beginning of a theatrical movie or video game (an "opening logo"), or at the end of a television program or TV movie (a "closing logo"). Many production logos have become famous over the years, such as the 20th Century Fox's monument and searchlights and MGM's Leo the Lion.

Howard Dietz

DietzDick Howard
The original logo was designed by Howard Dietz and used by the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation studio from 1916 to 1923 (see left).
He also served as publicist/director of advertising for Goldwyn Pictures and later MGM and is often credited with creating Leo the Lion, its lion mascot, and choosing their slogan Ars Gratia Artis.

He Who Gets Slapped

film adaptation
Goldwyn Pictures was ultimately absorbed into the partnership that formed MGM, and the first MGM film that used the logo was He Who Gets Slapped (1924).
It was also the first film to feature Leo the Lion as the mascot for MGM.

Samuel Goldwyn

Sam GoldwynGoldwynSamuel Goldfish
Since 1916 (and when the studio was formed by the merger of Samuel Goldwyn's studio with Marcus Loew's Metro Pictures and Louis B. Mayer's company in 1924), there have been seven different lions used for the MGM logo.
Goldwyn Pictures proved successful but it is their "Leo the Lion" trademark for which the organization is most famous.

White Shadows in the South Seas

film of the same name
He was a wild lion brought from the Nubian part of Sudan, and the first MGM lion to roar (recorded long after he was filmed; at least three different recordings of roars/growls were used), which was first heard via a gramophone record for MGM's first production with sound, White Shadows in the South Seas (1928).
Loosely based on the travel book of the same name by Frederick O'Brien, it is known for being the first MGM film to be released with a pre-recorded soundtrack, and also the first time Leo the Lion (MGM) roars in the introduction.

Lionel S. Reiss

Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss.
Eventually he became art director for Paramount Studios and is credited to be the creator of the Leo the Lion logo of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Marcus Loew

LoewLoew's Inc.
Since 1916 (and when the studio was formed by the merger of Samuel Goldwyn's studio with Marcus Loew's Metro Pictures and Louis B. Mayer's company in 1924), there have been seven different lions used for the MGM logo.
Goldwyn Pictures owned the "Leo the Lion" trademark and studio property in Culver City, California.

Louis B. Mayer

Louis MayerMayerLouis B. Mayer Pictures
Since 1916 (and when the studio was formed by the merger of Samuel Goldwyn's studio with Marcus Loew's Metro Pictures and Louis B. Mayer's company in 1924), there have been seven different lions used for the MGM logo.
The primary screening facility for Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television—the Mayer Theatre—is named after him. Mayer permitted the university's sports teams to use the MGM lion as their mascot.

Rotoscoping

rotoscoperotoscopedrotoscoped animation
A colorized variation of the logo can be found on the colorized version of Babes in Toyland (1934), also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers; an animated version (done via rotoscope) appeared on the 1939 Captain and the Kids cartoon Petunia Natural Park.
The 1939 MGM cartoon "Petunia Natural Park" from The Captain and the Kids featured a rotoscope version of Jackie.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

MGMMGM Studiosmgm.com
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss.
The logo, which features Leo the Lion, was created by Dietz in 1916 for Goldwyn Pictures and updated in 1924 for MGM's use.

McPherson Museum

Jackie died on February 26, 1935 and his pelt is currently on display in the McPherson Museum in McPherson, Kansas.
Pelt of a lion that is Jackie, the second of the five lions featured at the beginning of classic MGM films.

Lion

lionsAfrican lionmane
Since 1916 (and when the studio was formed by the merger of Samuel Goldwyn's studio with Marcus Loew's Metro Pictures and Louis B. Mayer's company in 1924), there have been seven different lions used for the MGM logo. He was a wild lion brought from the Nubian part of Sudan, and the first MGM lion to roar (recorded long after he was filmed; at least three different recordings of roars/growls were used), which was first heard via a gramophone record for MGM's first production with sound, White Shadows in the South Seas (1928).
Lion symbolism was used from the advent of cinema; one of the most iconic and widely recognised lions is Leo, which has been the mascot for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios since the 1920s.

Ben-Hur (1959 film)

Ben-HurBen Hur1959
Three MGM films, Raintree County (1957), Ben-Hur (1959), and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), utilized a still-frame variation of this logo (Raintree County and Mutiny of the Bounty, however, would also have the lion's roar played along with their opening scores).
Concerned that a roaring Leo the Lion (the MGM mascot) would create the wrong mood for the sensitive and sacred nativity scene, Wyler received permission to replace the traditional logo with one in which Leo the Lion is quiet.

The Viking (1928 film)

The Viking1928The Viking'' (1928 film)
Also, an extended version of the logo featuring Telly appeared at the beginning of the film The Viking (1928), and Telly had the same roar as Coffee's.
The film carries MGM's Leo the Lion logo in color, featuring a different lion then the one shown on Black-and-White films.

Ralph Helfer

Tana HelferToni Helfer
Leo was purchased from famous animal dealer Henry Trefflich, and trained by Ralph Helfer.
Perhaps Helfer's most famous animal he trained was Zamba, who appeared in the MGM logo as Leo the Lion from 1957 to the present.

Mark Mangini

Mark A. Mangini
It was also at this time that the original lion roar sound (which, in fact, sampled Tanner's roar) was replaced with a remade, stereophonic one, redone by Mark Mangini (and made of tiger sounds; as Mangini would later explain, "[L]ions don't make that kind of ferocious noises [sic], and the logo needed to be ferocious and majestic."
Mangini is renowned for recording and editing a new roar track for Leo the Lion, the MGM lion mascot (ironically, tiger sounds were used for the effect).

The Dot and the Line

The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower MathematicsThe Dot and the Line ... a.k.a. The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
Tanner, also trained by Mel Koontz, was used on all Technicolor MGM films (1934–1953) and cartoons (1935–1958, 1963–1967, except for 1965's The Dot and the Line), replacing Telly and Coffee.
Unlike other MGM Cartoons from 1963–67, the lion in this film is Leo.

Art for art's sake

l'art pour l'artapolitical contentars gratia artis
The logo features a graphic image of a reclining lion (from a side view) on a pedestal that has the text "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Picture" inscribed on it. Behind the lion is a semi-circular film ribbon with the "Ars Gratia Artis" motto ("Art for art's sake"), much like the film ribboning of the company's primary logo.
A Latin version of this phrase ("ARS GRATIA ARTIS") is used as a motto by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appears in the circle around the roaring head of Leo the Lion in its motion picture logo.

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Crocodile Hunter
In the teaser trailer for Australian comedy adventure movie starring Steve Irwin The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, the lion is shown in the MGM logo roaring (using the same roars as Leo) before Steve appears on screen and introduces himself.
The film was theatrically released on July 12, 2002 in the U.S. by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which used a crocodile in place of the usual Leo the Lion for its title credit logo sequence.

Henry Trefflich

Trefflich pet storeTrefflich, Henry
Leo was purchased from famous animal dealer Henry Trefflich, and trained by Ralph Helfer.
Leo the Lion (MGM)- The lion used in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) logo from 1957–present. He was known as one of the gentlest lions in Hollywood at the time.

Hold That Lion! (1947 film)

Hold That Lion!1947 Three Stooges shortHold That Lion!'' (1947 film)
In addition to being used as MGM's lion mascot, Tanner also made an appearance in the Three Stooges short Hold That Lion! (1947).

Our Gang

The Little RascalsLittle RascalsOur Gang/The Little Rascals
Many of the short subjects produced by Hal Roach studios during the late 1920s and 1930s (such as Our Gang and Laurel and Hardy) featured a variation of the secondary logo in their closing titles.
Under the terms of the sale, Roach was required to remove the MGM Lion studio logo and all instances of the names or logos "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer", "Loew's Incorporated", and Our Gang from the reissued film prints.

The Lionhearts

The Lionhearts
The Lionhearts focuses on the behind the scenes life of MGM's mascot, Leo Lionheart, and his family.

Mascot

mascotsschool mascotadvertising character
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss.