Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Logo Variations

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by
Sean Beard, Jess Williams, Nicholas Aczel, KramdenII, Internet Movie Database and others

Captures by
Eric S.

These are the logo variations seen throughout the years by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, with more to be added overtime.

The Big House (1930):

  • Jackie is seen moving within the filmstrip circle but doesn't roar. A fast-tempo fanfare is heard, ending with a flourish.

Davy Jones' Locker and Hell's Fire (both 1933):

  • These two Willie Whopper shorts, produced in Cinecolor, feature a still MGM logo with Jackie on a blue BG.

The Chinese Nightingale (1935, 1980s BBC1 airing):

  • The background is blue instead of black. This was because the BBC1 globe ident played before the cartoon, in which the globe ident was mechanical and its colors were digitally inserted (via chroma key).

Petunia Natural Park (1939):

  • A rotoscoped version of Jackie the Lion is used. It was considered to be an animated version of the 1928 footage of the logo.

Blitz Wolf, The Early Bird Dood It!, Chips Off the Old Block, and Fine Feathered Friend (1942):

  • We see the red/yellow sunburst MGM Cartoon logo, with Tanner the Lion roaring in delayed motion as synced to jazzy opening music known as "The Tiger Rag".
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (Blitz Wolf, The Early Bird Dood It!, Chips Off the Old Block, and Fine Feathered Friend, 1942).png

Some of the Best (1949):

  • The Jackie logo animates as usual, but the logo freezes towards the end so an announcer can speak before cross-dissolving into the opening credits: "This, ladies and gentlemen, is Leo the Lion, proud trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This year, 1949, marks his silver anniversary; twenty-five years during which his familiar roar has preceded those four famous words which signify the very best in motion picture entertainment: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents...'."

The Next Voice You Hear (1950) *and Westward the Women (1951):

  • A still image of Jackie is shown. The deliberate practice of showing the MGM Lion sans roaring predates the variation seen on Ben-Hur *(1959).

Ben-Hur (1959):

  • A still image of the 1957 MGM logo with Leo looking at the left. The logo is still because director William Wyler thought that a roaring lion would create the wrong mood for the opening nativity scene.

North by Northwest (1959):

  • The MGM logo is seen in monochrome and a shadow effect over an aquamarine background.
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  • On a 1995 Encore airing, the background is in a darker shade of green and the logo is in gold, possibly due to film quality.
MGM (North by Northwest, Encore Airing).png

Tom and Jerry:

  • The Chuck Jones cartoons (1963-67) have the MGM logo replace Leo the Lion with Tom Cat (voiced by Mel Blanc).
  • The Gene Deitch cartoons frequently use this:
    • Switchin' Kitten (1961): At the end of this cartoon Jerry climbs into a mouse hole decked out with an MGM ribbon, and roars, his face taking on lion-like traits.
    • Tall in the Trap (1962): *The MGM logo appears as a "wanted" poster, with Leo drawn in the T&J *style below the words "WANTED", "ARS GRATIA ARTIS" on a yellow banner below him, and "A METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER CARTOON" below that. As a guitar rendition of the T&J theme plays, the poster gets shot.
    • Sorry Safari (1962): The start of the cartoon replaces the MGM logo with an actual lion growling in the jungle, with an in-credit text saying "A METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER CARTOON".
MGM Cartoons(30).jpg
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Postman's Knock (1962):

  • After the MGM lion roars, it turns into a still drawing, which zooms out. It then appears on the back of a letter.
  • A Soviet Russian print of the movie had a still variant of the logo, with the "ARS GRATIA ARTIS" text removed and the text in Russian, saying "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer England".

MGM's The Big Parade of Comedy (1964):

  • We see the MGM logo with the sign "OUT TO LUNCH" over the circle, hiding Leo's head as he roars. Suddenly the sign flips up to reveal an animated person trapped in Leo's mouth kicking, beating, and yelling "Ow! Ow! Get me outta here!"

Your Cheatin' Heart (1964):

  • Jackie is shown with Leo's roar overdubbed on the soundtrack. Only on the colorized version (the black-and-white version has Leo instead).

The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967):

  • The original UK release of this movie features the MGM lion transforming into a vampire. The mask at the bottom is missing. The alternative prototype version also exists as well when the MGM lion fades to a slight-different design of a vampire, the prototype versions only appeared in some older European release.
MGM (Fearless Vampire Killers, Prototype).png
  • The American release of the movie begins with an animated sequence with the characters Abronsius and Alfred. After the intro, the characters are still on screen where the MGM logo zooms in and roars, much to their surprise. After the second roar, the lion grows fangs and the characters run off.

Brewster McCloud (1970):

  • Instead of Leo roaring, we hear Rene Auberjonois saying "I forgot the opening line.".

Night of Dark Shadows (1971):

  • When the MGM lion roars at the beginning of this film, no sound comes out. The '90s home video release has the standard version instead.

Westworld (1973):

  • The Scope logo is cropped to and shown at a 1.5:1 aspect ratio, as though it was part of a television broadcast that follows it, in which recent Delos guests are interviewed.

Hearts of the West (1975):

  • The 1930s logo (w/ Jackie the Lion) is used.

That's Entertainment, Part II (1976):

  • In place of the standard logo, we get a live-action clip of a book labeled "II" being pulled off a shelf, and opened to a page with a still picture of the 1924 logo (with Jackie), minus the marquee below. The words "MGM presents" are in a Serif font above the logo.

Way Out Games (1976-1977, MGM Television):

  • After Leo roars once, the "Wog", the show's cartoon mascot, flies past the logo to the right as Leo "looks" on. (Uncertain at this time if all 13 videotaped episodes of this program are still extant.)

Tarzan the Ape Man (1981):

  • The classic Tarzan call is heard in place of the roar.

Strange Brew (1983):

  • A rather cheap looking rendition of the MGM logo fades in, but the lion, instead of roaring, belches and appears disinterested. The camera then pulls back from the logo and pans towards the Great White North set, where Bob and Doug are trying to make the lion roar but give up as they realize they have to start filming their movie. Around half a minute later, the lion finally roars in the background, and Bob comments, "Geez, now that hoser's growling!" The standard version (the MGM/UA version) appears at the very end, following the credits.

Certain Lamb-Chop Videos (1984):

  • On Shari Lewis tapes that were released by MGM/UA Home Video, we see the MGM/UA print logo against a blue background. As a majestic fanfare plays, the logo zooms in. It turns out this was all a backdrop, and Lamb-Chop bursts through the hole. The lamb laughs and says, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists present the Shari Lewis Home Entertainment library. Rawr!"
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Nothing Lasts Forever (1984):

  • The 1957 three-roar MGM logo is used, but with a slight difference. Each roar is Tanner's first roar which all end in the growl. Even the end credit logo is different. The old MGM marquee logo is used but with the text "MGM/UA Entertainment Co." underneath.

Wise Guys (1986):

  • The MGM lion has a different roar track. After the second roar, the logo spins away from the screen, screaming, and transitions to the credits.

O.C. and Stiggs (1987):

  • As in Brewster McCloud, Robert Altman yet again played around with Leo. Instead of roaring, the lion utters the title characters' names in a California surfer accent.

MGM Sing Alongs (1997, VHS Series):

  • The MGM lion roars once, then darkens to where the silhouette of the lion ("Leo Lionheart") is seen inside the hole with the director saying, "Cut! That's a wrap!" Then it transitions to the program.

The Lionhearts (1998-2000, MGM Television):

  • The MGM lion roars once, transitioning to the intro. The cartoon version of the lion seen ("Leo Lionheart") and his family appears in the ribboning. He soon pulls himself out, wearing a leather jacket. And the print MGM logo is shown at the end.

3 Strikes (2000):

  • The 75th Anniversary version of the 1986 logo gets locked up behind prison bars.
MGM (3 Strikes).jpg

Josie and the Pussycats (2001, US Version):

  • The MGM lion morphs into a screaming fan.

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002):

  • A crocodile is in place of the lion and features the actual sound of the crocodile roaring.

Soul Plane (2004):

  • The logo turns into an orange print version on a blue background.

The Brothers Grimm (2005):

  • The second roar is replaced with a wolf's howling.

The Pink Panther (2006):

  • Leo roars first, but before he can finish his 2nd roar, the logo opens up and an animated Inspector Jacques Clouseau steps out and looks around. He leaves, revealing the Pink Panther behind, who closes the door. Leo's jaw drops and grunts as he is slammed back.

Casino Royale (2006):

  • The 2001 version of the 1986 logo is in black & white.

The Cabin in the Woods (2010):

  • The logo, and a still version of the United Artists logo, crossfade into each other on a complicated red background, and move onto the opening credits. This was intended to appear in the film on its intended release; however, MGM's financial difficulties prevented that from happening. The final 2012 release of the film uses the 2005 Lionsgate "horror" logo as well as a newer credits sequence.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011):

  • The 2008 logo is silent with the film's opening theme playing over.

Hope Springs (2012):

  • The first movie to use the 2012 MGM logo, though in this case it's shortened, fading in before the first roar.

Robocop (2014):

  • The lion's roar is replaced with Samuel L. Jackson's character doing a vocal warmup.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015):

  • The lion's roars are replaced with cell phone rings.

Poltergeist (2015):

  • The logo flashes as a deformed and glitched up version then flashes back.

The Addams Family (2019):

  • The logo plays normal until the second roar, where Leo turns into Kitty Kat. Then a ball falls down and Kitty leaps out from the ribbon and knocks the ball off screen, before jumping off screen as the logo falls down to reveal The Addams Family's house, revealing that the entire logo is a prop.
MGM (Addams Family 2019).jpeg

Candyman (2021):

MGM 2021 Candyman.jpg

Licorice Pizza (2021):

  • The 2011 version (which lacks the URL) of the 2008-2012 logo is used. At the end of some prints, the 1966-68 logo is seen.
MGM (Licorice Pizza trailer).jpeg
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