stereoscopic 3D theatrical animated logoShine was chosen to redesign and animate the logo in stereoscopic 3-D. This is the first time in the company’s 88-year history that the MGM logo and its lion mascot have been created in 3-D stereo.
To add dimension, Shine modeled a close up of Leo’s eye creating an element to pull back through for a dramatic reveal of the lion, laurels and filmstrip. All the elements of the logo were re-built in 3-D, and then placed on different planes to add dimensional layers and drama. The 1995 roar is reused once again as Leo roars and the company name is brought in from above to center the top screen, which completes the logo sequence.
The logo was first shown as a snippet in the teaser and theatrical trailers of the James Bond film Skyfall, then later as a full-length animated logo at the head of The Hobbit.
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.
Since 1917 (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 most popular including Tanner and Leo, the current (and seventh) lion. Tanner was used on all Technicolor films and MGM cartoons, and in use on the studio logo for 22 years. Leo has been in use since January 1957, a total of 58 years and counting.
Leo, the seventh lion, is MGM’s longest-lived lion, having appeared on most MGM films since 1957, eventually replacing George. He was born in Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands, Arnhem. He was also the youngest at the time MGM filmed him roaring (hence his smaller mane).
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