A beloved Hollywood studio has given its decades-old mascot a sleek makeover, and honestly, it really is not worth the negative reaction it has received on social media. But hey, haters gonna hate. It matters not because MGM now has a new-ish look.
MGM has officially replaced their long-standing lion logo, which has gone by the name “Leo” for decades now. The real Leo the Lion—which has actually been eight different lions since 1916—is now a CG-animated lion. You can check out the flashy new logo in the tweet below:
The new logo looks fantastic, but predictably, some fans have complaints and have made sure we all know what they are. It was unavoidable. People really don’t like change, even if it does not affect them at all. Here is a good example, just in case you are curious:
Being a major movie studio, MGM and its films are constantly in the news. No Time to Die‘s many delays have guaranteed that. But this is really big news. Like, Gina-Carano-getting-fired big news without that same level of verbal abuse and vitriol. But this is a HUGE change, one that many didn’t expect or deem necessary. MGM, on the other hand, has been planning this for quite a while. The new logo was originally set to debut in front of No Time to Die but was moved around to accommodate the ever-changing, pandemic-impacted release schedule. Now, we will get our first glimpse of it on the big screen this summer. More on that below!
For an idea of just how long the original Leo was used, here’s some brief history: the studio last changed the “Leo” logo back in 1957. The change came after years of lion-switching and logo adjusting. The other seven lions MGM used all had different names, but because audiences seem to enjoy alliteration, the name “Leo” stuck and is now used to refer to any version of the logo.
The names of the other MGM lions are, in order of appearance: Slats, Jackie, Bill, Telly, Coffee, Tanner, and George. The images of these lions were retired by 1957, replaced by the logo that has ushered us into countless MGM films for 64 years. Now, a CG logo has replaced Leo, and purists aren’t super happy.
Polish-American painter and Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss created the original MGM logo. At the time, Reiss was primarily known for art inspired by his Jewish heritage, but his credited work on Leo has been just as important to his legacy.
It will be interesting to see how audiences continue to respond to the change. If they even notice, honestly. The reaction so far has been decidedly mixed, but MGM seems comfortable and confident in their decision to release the logo early. But the people involved with changing the mascot did a bang-up job making it look as realistic as they could, and only eagle-eyed viewers will be able to catch every visual adjustment.
You can catch the new-and-improved Leo the lion on the big screen when the Channing Tatum-led comedy Dog hits theaters in July.