MGM Cartoon Bumpers

Written and Compiled by Matt Williams and Argus Sventon

Before we begin, you may notice that a date is not used for these logos.  That is because dates are near impossible to determine with these logos.  As cartoon historian Jerry Beck notes: "MGM did the best job of adding reissue titles.  So good, most people can't tell that they are reissues.  Many Tom & Jerry's cartoons were re-released and given different titles."  That said, until more information becomes available on the exact dates, these logos will be considered inaccurate and dateless until then.  The logos are placed in my our best guess order : ) they may easily be in a different order.

Variations: Here is a listing for the different lions corresponding with each logo:

  • Lion 1: Brown lion with mane, roars once toward the right of the screen, then turns his head and roars once toward the left.  Used on: Logos 1-5 & 7.
  • Lion 2: Yellowish lion with no mane roars twice toward the right of the screen.  Used on logo 6 on your site.  Current MGM lion logo.
  • Lion 3: The aforementioned "quiet lion."
  • Lion 4: Unknown.

1st Logo
(Used until the 1940s)

Nickname: "MGM Lion"

Logo: The standard MGM lion logo, with the lion skewed near the top and "Metro Goldwyn Mayer" in the banner below.  The lion roars.

Variations: Following this logo, one of these four logos would appear:

  • A blue screen, containing the words "A HUGH HARMAN PRODUCTION", with "HUGH HARMAN" in a signature-like font.
  • A blue screen like the above, only it's now "A RUDOLF ISING PRODUCTION", again with "RUDOLF ISING" in signature.
  • Blue screen with notes in the background.  In a musical like scale, the words "HUGH HARMAN" and "RUDOLF ISING" appear, side by side; "A" is above and "PRODUCTION" is below.
  • In a HUGE, "art decoish" font, kinda like a slim version of the 1970s Filmways logo, are the initials "MGM".  "A" is above and "CARTOON" is below, and "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Presents" is seen above.  Copyright info is below.

End Title: "The End" is shown in script, then fades to "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Cartoon" in the same script font.  A small logo, with a drawing of a lion laying on a pedestal and "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" below it, is shown below.

FX: Just the lion.

Music: The lion roar is accompanied by a fanfare composed by Scott Bradley, MGM's principal cartoon conductor.  This music would be modified as the years went on.  This logo did not have music at first.

Availability: Turner, although he sucks at Colourization, is quite good at logo preservation, and you can see these when cartoons from the period are rerun on Cartoon Network.  You might also see this logo on some tapes.

Scare Factor: High for those who hate roaring lions (and there are quite a few of those out there), but considerably the scratchy prints may bother some.

2nd Logo
(Dates Unknown)

Nickname: (see first logo)

Logo: The lion logo, except the standard ribbon is placed on a red/yellow sunburst background.  Below the lion ribboning is "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" in its signature font, and then "CARTOON" in a big blue bold font.  "Color by Technicolor" appears underneath.  "TRADE MARK" has been removed.

End Title: The same as logo 1.

FX: Lion roaring again.

Music: A modified version of logo 1's fanfare.

Availability: A few Tex Avery cartoons; again, MGM was so good with their logo editing and reissues, that many people can't even tell that the logo was changed!

Scare Factor: Again, high for those that hate roaring lions, combined with the scratchy prints.

3rd Logo
(Dates Unknown)

Nickname: (see first logo)

Logo: The standard lion logo as before, but the ribboning has been simplified and is now red; the "Ars Gratia Artis" phrase is missing, along with the drama mask. Below the logo, we see "A METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER" in a bold font, with a HUGE "CARTOON" below it.  "Color by Technicolor" again follows, and the whole thing is on a red bg.

End Title: Blue bg, and at first we see "The End" in script.  This fades to "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer CARTOON."  "MADE IN HOLLYWOOD, USA" also appears.

Variations: By now, "Tom & Jerry" cartoons had custom titles-these were similar except that they have a red/yellow sunburst bg, and the "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Cartoon" is changed to "An MGM Tom And Jerry Cartoon."

FX: Lion roaring, again.

Music: Updated logo 1 fanfare; by now, it began blending into the opening themes of the cartoons.

Availability: More common than Logo 2; tacked on to films it didn't originally appear on, as well.

Scare Factor: Again, high for those that hate roaring lions combined with the scratchy prints.

4th Logo
(????-Early 1950s?)

Nickname: (see first logo)

Logo: Almost exactly the same as Logo 3, but the red background is brighter, "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" is now in script, "CARTOON" is in a bolder font, and "COLOR BY TECHNICOLOR" is in a different font.  Otherwise the same.

End Title: Same as logo 3's -- the Tom and Jerry variations also continued.

FX: Again, just the lion.

Music: The updated fanfare for logo 1, blending into the opening theme for the cartoon.

Availability: A bit less common than its predecessor, but still common.

Scare Factor: Again, high for those that hate roaring lions combined with the scratchy prints.

5th Logo
(Early 1950s?-1957)

Nickname: (see first logo)

Logo: It's similar to the last few, but now we've moved to blue ribboning on a blue bg.  In a nice touch, "A METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER" has been moved to the bottom ribbon, with "CARTOON" and the Technicolor line underneath it.

End Title: Same as logo 3's until about 1955, when MGM went to the CinemaScope process for its cartoons.  The end titles followed the same pattern but were a bit more :) stylized, would be the way to put it.

FX: Again, just the lion.

Music: Updated logo 1 fanfare, again.

Availability: By far, more common of all MGM cartoon logos.

Scare Factor: Again, high for those that hate roaring lions combined with the scratchy prints.

6th Logo

Nickname: (see first logo)

Logo: The new MGM lion design that has been put into use around this time, only "CARTOON" is tacked to the bottom in red!  One can only see the effort they put into this logo.

End Title: They varied with the cartoon.

FX: Just the lion again.

Cheesy Factor: Maybe it's just me, but the "CARTOON" tacked onto the bottom is just pitiful.  Couldn't they have done a nicer design around this time?

Music: The updated logo 1 fanfare.

Availability: Seen on the ABSOLUTELY PUTRID Gene Deitch "Tom & Jerry" cartoons, ugh!!

Scare Factor: Again, high for those that hate roaring lions combined with the scratchy prints.

7th Logo

Nickname: "Tom the Lion"

Logo: We start with a variation on the last logo, logo 6.  We have "CARTOON" in red below the logo, and "METROCOLOR" below that.  It looks, as a whole, much nicer.  The lion roars twice in the logo, then it fades out to reveal none other than Tom in the circle!  He meow-roars (which is the only way I can describe it).

Series Title: The ribboning fades into a simple red circle and moves upwards, Tom "roaring" all the while.  "T" and "M" appear besides it, and "and" appears below. "JERRY" appears letter-by-letter below all that as Jerry drops into the "Y," smiling pleasantly.  Tom notices this and hisses.

End Title: "the end" on black, fading to "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer TOM AND JERRY CARTOON" on black, with "Made in Hollywood, USA" below it.

FX/Cheesy Factor: Nice animation sequence from the Chuck Jones-led animation unit.

Music: The updated logo 1 fanfare leading into the trademark "Tom & Jerry" music.

Availability: Again, Tom & Jerry cartoons when Cartoon Network shows 'em!

Scare Factor: Minimal, the lion part may be scary for some, but the animated part makes the logo something special.  Also, the scratchy prints may bother some.  One of the most well liked logos, and one of the most creative as well.

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