After a century of roaring audiences on the big screen, the MGM lion is no more. Namely, the live-action version of Leo the Lion has now been replaced by a computer-animated Leo instead. Leo roars in a way that looks a lot like the live-action version, but the noticeable change could still annoy viewers who have long become used to the classic Leo. You decide how you feel about it, and you can watch the CG mascot presentation below.
While MGM’s mascot is known as a single lion named Leo, in fact, the studio used eight different lions for the company’s logo since 1916. The last version of the lion that had been in use since 1957 prior to CG’s introduction -Leo. in fact it was called “Leo”, although the ones before him had different names. For 64 years, Leo has done very well in his job of welcoming viewers to MGM movies, but the powers that be are feeling that the time has simply come to make a change.
While we’re now looking at the computer-animated Leo the lion, MGM has been planning to reveal the new mascot for a long time. Developed in collaboration with Baked Studios, the lion would originally debut with the premiere of No time to die, the latest James Bond movie. Due to the pandemic, that film has suffered several significant delays, which has also pushed back the presentation of Leo to audiences in movie theaters. Rather than wait for the film’s release this fall, MGM opted to release the logo this week on YouTube.
To see the new Leo on the big screen, he is now set to make his theatrical debut in July with the premiere of Dog, a new comedy starring Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin. It will follow with another appearance in theaters next month when the Arethra Franklin Respect biopic, starring Jennifer Hudson as the iconic singer, has its official premiere. We can assume that CG-Leo will remain a fixture in other upcoming MGM releases, potentially for more than six decades, as the live-action lion did before him.
MGM Studios seems to be quite satisfied with the look of the new logo. In a tweet posted after the logo unveiling, the studio writes: “The new MGM logo is worth its weight in gold.”
Still, not everyone is willing to accept the changes. A reply tweet to the new mascot reads, “This looks great all things considered, but the CG lion is a bit off putting, like why don’t you just use a real lion?”
Another adds: “It just looks weird and weird in my opinion. They could have recycled images of the MGM lion into the new logo.”
And to better see the differences, another Twitter user posted side-by-side comparison photos of the real lion alongside the CGI. You can take a look at that below.
Whenever major changes are made to something, it is likely to generate a variety of opinions. The first look at the new lion that the lion comes from. MGM on YouTube.