Slats,Jackie,Telly,Coffee,Tanner,George and Leo.....
They are the real names of the seven lions which were used in creation and improvisation of the logo of the MGM albeit most of us think that it is just one named Leo .
In 1917 initially for the execution of the project Goldwyn studio also hired the services of the best known animal trainer named Volney Phizer while the lion was a Dublin born 'Slats'.The lion did not roar for sure since it was an era of silent movies but was asked to look around!Goldwyn studio successfully used this lion till 1928 in black and white movies.In between the bond between Slats and Volney Phizer became so close that when the lion died in 1936,he was buried with honour in the estate of the later.
Jackie was the second lion used for the purpose by MGM but first to roar in the screen which was trademarked including the sound.His trainer was Melvin Kootz. Jackie's head was filmed in a frame while the roar was recorded separately.MGM successfully used this roaring mascot from 1928 in more than 100 movies.When Jackie retired in 1931, he was sent to zoo at Philadelphia.
Paw imprints of Leo, the lion.
Lions Telly and Coffee could stay only a very short period of 7 years between 1927-1934 with MGM.Tanner(1934-56) was the largest among all the lions while sixth lion named George was with MGM only for a very short period 1956-58.Finally Leo was inducted in 1957 and his roar is what the world hears since then.On walk of fame in Hollywood, along with prominent actors, actresses and directors, Leo was given the honour of impressing his paw prints in wet cement in 2014!
Innovative marketing techniques ....
MGM has successfully experimented allowing several alterations to the studio logo in many contexts. Some of the Tom and Jerry cartoons released through MGM from 1963-67, in place of the lion, MGM introduced Tom meowing in the style of the lion to the amusement of the viewers. When MGM did a horror movie in 1967, the lion was animated with blood dripping from the mouth! MGM allowed a crocodile in place of the lion in an animal based movie in 2002-The crocodile hunter-collision course!
Once the logo of the lion clicked, MGM has perfectly marketed the logo in various other fields than movies. Leo the lion stands out on the front in their luxury resorts at Las Vegas where we had a chance to stay for few days. Leo the lion also is statued outside Culver Hotel, California.