1st Logo (April 28, 1996-November 28, 1997)
Nicknames: "The Constellation", "The Starry Sky"
Logo: We see the print Orion Pictures logo of the era on a white screen, with either the word "ANIMATION STUDIOS" in spaced-out letters underneath, or with the word below the word "PICTURES" reading "ANIMATION STUDIOS". In the later case, the arcade game bursts out of the logo in his pong-form, looking back and forth afterward. Copyright info is below.
- A longer version, seen only on the season one finale of 80s Games, has Pac-Man biting in reverse before the arcade game appears, causing them to flip around briefly.
- Another variation has just the still logo without the arcade game or any animation. This version has a byline reading "a division of Shark-Dragon Productions, Inc." underneath, and under that is a Orion/Metromedia byline.
- Some episodes of The Orion Pictures Animated Show have a blue, red, or yellow background instead.
FX/SFX: None for the original version, but the arcade game bursting out in the "80s Games" variant.
Music/Sounds: None for the original version, but sound effects that correspond with the logo in the "80s Games" variant.
Music/Sounds Variant: On later 1996-1997 episodes of The Orion Pictures Animated Show, the still logo variant (with the "ANIMATION STUDIOS" text) is seen with the audio from the 1994-1999 SDP All-Stars "Comedy" logo. On the episode "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey to the World of the Cartoon" the logo has the audio from the 1997-2002 SDP logo (which ironically was first heard on another episode called "Mars Needs Women in the Cartoon Land") playing instead.
Availability: The still version can be seen on reruns of MGM Animation Presents (formerly The Orion Pictures Animated Show) and earlier season 1 episodes of 80s Games (with the Tri-Pong segment). The "80s Games" variant appears on later season 1 episodes of Dexter's Laboratory (with Asteroids vs. Centipede segment).
Scare Factor: Depending on the logo variant: None for the original variant. Low to medium for the "80s Games"variant. You may be caught off-guard by the arcade game's sudden appearance.
Final Note: In 1997, this unit merged with Shark-Dragon Productions, Inc. and used the Shark-Dragon brand name for their shows, renaming back to its original name in 2001 when Shark-Dragons's animation department was folded into MGM Animation even though the original name came back in 2000 with the original Taxi Cars pilot.
2nd Logo (2000-2001, June 3, 2006)
Nicknames: "The Orion Factory Building", "Leo the Lion", "The Cartoon Network Studios Factory Building Rip-Off"
Logo: On a red background, we see the original Orion Pictures Animation Studios factory building. Under it is the MGM print artwork logo in a white box with "ANIMATION STUDIOS" inside of the black rectangular shape. An MGM Animation byline appears below.
Variant: There is another variant where "METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER ANIMATION STUDIOS" is written in the white impact font. There is no byline below.
Music/Sounds: None. In other cases, a sound byte from a pilot is heard.
Availability: The first variant was seen on pilots for The Door of the World, Remote Control Operations, Inc., Taxi Cars and possibly, Insert Name of the Robots. The second variant appeared on the failed Porno and Sex pilot on Cinemax.
Scare Factor: Low. The factory logo can get to some.
3rd Logo (June 8, 2001-March 31, 2012)
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion II", "The Grungy Leo the Lion", "The Cartoon Network Studios Grungy Checkerboard Rip-Off"
Logo: Depends on the show, but the "standard" logo is as follows: Over a white background, a green laser passes over a blinking, grungy MGM print artwork logo, causing it to stop blinking. The same happens with the text "ANIMATION STUDIOS" in grunge style.
- 2001-2003: The custom logos for the shows during the early years featured the byline "A Subsidiary of MGM Animation".
- 2003-2005: Funky You and Hackers variants feature the byline "An MGM Company".
Variants: Sometimes it's just a still logo. Sometimes the word "ANIMATION STUDIOS" is in a different grunge styled font.
Custom Variants: All variations have a "sketched" look and often involve the logo opening and/or closing:
- Taxi vs. Gods/God of the Wars: Jesus, with a smirk on his face, stands next to David and Goliath. He attempts to chop their heads off with his scythe, but fails because they hid in their shirts. The logo is usual against a black background, although one variant of this used the standard white with the MGM Animation byline.
- Taxi Cars (Season 2): A taxi car is driving by, causing it to close.
- iPad Phones (Season 1): An phone app turns his back into a jet engine, blasting off in the process while smiling.
- Flames and Fires (Season 1): Slatom pokes Bobby, as he becomes larger and larger, roaring and squeezing aside him.
- Blower Hero: Ren blows a trumpet. Captain Steve walks up with a large cork and places it in the trumpet. Jay continues to blow on it.
- Brain Electronics: Rob and Jay swing on a vine (Adam, visibly uncomfortable, is being held by Jake). Jake swings off the screen, however Jay hits the edge of the logo.
- Fargo: The Animated Series: Marge Gunderson slices the edges of the logo, causing it to close. There are two variations of the logo; One variant has a red-orange center with the ANIMATION STUDIOS part of the logo shaking up & down. Another variant had a red center, this time with ANIMATION STUDIOS not shaking, with a different sword slicing sound effect. This version has an MGM Animation byline.
- Pandas and Aliens: Jay the Panda warns The Dead Boy not to touch a button. Then, while The Jungluar Boy is watching, The Dead Boy touches the button, causing a shock.
- 80s Games (Seasons 3-4): Pac-Man stands next to Q*bert, who presses a button, causing Pac-Man to explode. After a flash of light, Pac-Man appears, scorched and visibly annoyed. Like the Gods of the Wars variation, the background is usually black, although white would also be used for the same reason stated above.
- War vs. Shock (Seasons 3-4): Jay turns on the Lightrix, chooses an alien and pushes the button, triggering a flash of green light.
- War vs. Shock: Alien Terror/Mars vs. Alien: We see a close-up of a grown-up Jay's eyes. We then zoom out on him, as he does in the War vs. Shock original variant. On Mars vs. Alien, the logo is slowed down and it doesn't close after the flash of green light.
- Four Weddings and a Funeral: The Cartoon Series: Charles is tackled by Carrie. They both smile at each other.
- Class of 5000: A piano plays and Sunny Jay appear at the first of the line, smiling and taking his hat off leading the other main characters of the show on the ride through the piano. Eventually, the last one falls on to the piano
- Out of Bobby's Head: Two of Bobby's cartoon friends, Jay and Ramer, hit each other with hammers.
- Funky You (Movie/Seasons 4-6): The girls, Sexy, Bloom, and Bubber each zoom in and beat up Jojo Bojo. This variant first appeared on The Funky You Movie.
- Barbershop: The Animated Serie: Calvin Palmer, Jr. walks by with a bag of food. He eats the "o" in "Goldwyn". An banana falls out of the bag and replaces the "o".
- James Bond 007: The Animated Series (Seasons 2-3): Monsters lift the Leo the Lion part of the logo to escape, but James Bond jumps on top and squashes the monsters and then finally jumps away from the screen.
- Fuzzy vs. Hero: A superman (custom model, not the Man of Steel himself) from the show shoots a few laser blasts at the screen, then stops with a confused look getting itself.
- Beauty Shop: The Cartoon: Gina Norris accidentally fires a rocket, as it catches Lynn by his shoe, causing a nervous laugh by Gina at Terri.
- Silence of the Lambs (Season 4): Clarice Starling shows off his poses, then kisses the screen. His lips get stuck in the logo.
- Austin: Christmas Bash: The original 2001 logo is shown, but with a still picture of Jesus with his David firing and Goliath saying "All that work and nothin' to show for it!"
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Donkeys: Donkey is seen with Captain Ponker. Donkey is giggling in a really annoying way. Ponker gets annoyed and closes the logo out of annoyance.
FX/SFX: Whatever the animation in the variation is.
Music/Sounds: The sound effects in the variation. In the standard one, It's either a laser sound or the outro of the end theme (as on Dead Man Walking: The Animated Series).
- The first 2001 episode of 80s Games (when former show writer Larry Huber took over production) had the custom 80s Games logo, but with the audio from the 1997 Shark-Dragon logo playing over it (with the weird laugh at the end). This was most likely due to an editing error (but it's not too bad).
- Seasons 1-2 episodes of James Bond 007: The Animated Series and season 1 episodes of Taxi Cars plays a one-liner from the episode, à la King of the Jungle.
- On the Hackers cartoon miniseries, Shark-Dragon sound effects are heard.
Availability: Common. The standard version was first seen on the premiere of Pandas and Aliens and appears on Roadshow Heroes Animated (Boomerang airings cut this out, though), Dead Man Walking: The Animated Series, and early episodes of James Bond 007: The Animated Series, War vs. Shock, Taxi Cars, and season 4 episodes of The Silence of the Lambs and the variations appear on their respective shows. However, the standard version also appeared on the first airing of Cody Breads (the future airings of said movie have the next logo below). Most of the variations during the MGM Animation Presents era are rare and hard to find, though 80s Games' variation survives on the short-lived revival of the show when the seasons 3 and 4 episodes are reran on Boomerang. The Silence of the Lambs variant appeared when HBO ran a mini-marathon of the show on March 16, 2008. The still version appears on Baby James: A Lawsuit Against Companies from episodes 5-9 and Hackers. However it only remained on War vs. Shock: Mars vs. Alien, while other shows like Flames and Fires and iPad Phones started using the next logo starting in their 2nd seasons.
Scare Factor: None to medium, depending on the version shown.
4th Logo (September 6, 2010- )
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion III", "The MGM Roaring Lion", "The MGM Cube Lion", "Metallic Ribboning"
Logo: Against a black background with the spotlight of dark plus signs, we see three rectangles drop down forming the 2008 MGM logo. (The blue rectangle dropping to the bottom, turning the part of the 2008 logo and bounces once. The pink rectangle sliding in from the left and turning another part of the 2008 MGM logo. And the yellow-orange rectangle zooming in and turning the part of the 2008 MGM logo.) Then the second filmstrip opens showing a different clip of the show's characters (depending on each show). Under the logo as the stars disappear, the words "MGM" wipes in and "ANIMATION STUDIOS" slides in from the right and pushes the text causing it to shake briefly forming the words, "MGM ANIMATION STUDIOS". Then the clip in the fourth square turns metallic gold. Sometimes, the clip in the second filmstrip doesn't turn metallic gold.
Trivia: This logo was made to fit with the new MGM Animation re-brand.
Variants: Inside the 2nd filmstrip, there is a different clip depending on each episode of said show or each TV movie:
- Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series (Seasons 1-4): A clip from the episode, "Action Figures" where Agent Cody Banks and Natalie Katerina Connors are shooting when they're looking up action figures on the computer. The sound clip of them shooting guns is from the episode, "Death Poorly Guns". There is the early version where it uses a clip from another episode, "Riddle vs. Pipes" where Agent Cody Banks and Natalie Katerina Connors are shooting guns twice. So far, the "Riddle vs. Pipes" version was only used on the first episode, "Creepy Stolen Action" while the "Action Figures" version was used in every episode from "Zombie Lands to the World" to "On the Right Mess" (except original airing) and "Terror Tales of the Dead III". The "Riddle vs. Pipes" version is not intact on the first two seasons DVD release.
- Supernova: The Cartoon: Nick Vanzant is seen while panning up to its head, with Nick saying "Sound of Supernova!".
- Flames and Fires (Seasons 2-5): A clip from the episode "The Fire!", with the Slatom saying "This zombie is so creepy!"
- Timer Falt and Zombie On: Only the first three parts of the MGM logo appear. The 2nd filmstrip doesn't appear at all
- iPad Phones (Seasons 2-3): A clip from the first episode "The World of the Wars", with iPad transforming.
- Cody Breads: A clip of Cody performing his fire-breathing move.
- Hard of the Spies: A clip from the episode "Funstro", with The Fart saying "All right, used the volcano explosion to boom?"
- 3 Strikes: The Toon: A clip of Robert "Rob" Douglas wearing the virtual reality goggles and gloves walking and moving his arms on the red yellow diagonal striped background.
- On Zombie On (excluding the pilot TV movie) and Incredible Hard, the logo (with the three parts of the MGM logo) is superimposed over the ending of the episode on the bottom-left after the credits
- On War vs. Shock: Space of Alien, there is surprisingly no animation whatsoever in the fourth square, as it stays metallic gold. This was also seen on the 2014 Funky You special Dance Laboratory.
- On Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series, there is a small in-credit version of the logo that appears at the end of the credits. It appears in every episode since season 4 starting with "The Christmas Special".
FX/SFX: The rectangles forming the 2008 MGM logo, the animation of the show's clip in the second filmstrip.
Music/Sounds: The 1995 MGM roar, only the sound looks piano-synthesized and look more remixed.
Music/Sounds Variants: On Supernova: The Cartoon, there is a techno alien version of the 1995 MGM roar. On Timer Falt, the TV pilot movie of Zombie On, and War vs, Shock: Space of Alien, the 1995 MGM roar is in a different style. On 3 Strikes: The Toon, it's the short version of the show's ending theme. On Zombie On and Incredible Hard, it's the finishing theme of the episode.
Availability: Common. It debuted on Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series and was used during it's first four seasons and the s5 episodes, "On The Right Mess" and "Terror Tales of the Dead III". It was also used on seasons 2-5 of Flames and Fires, seasons 2-3 of iPad Phones, and the shows, 3 Strikes: The Toon, Supernova: The Cartoon, Timer Falt, and Hard of the Spies. This is plastered over with the MGM Worldwide Televison Distribution logo on some episodes of Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series and Supernova: The Cartoon on iTunes and HBO Video. It also appeared on the TV movie, Cody Breads (except for the first airing which has the standard version of the previous logo). However, it might be intact on the Blu-ray and DVD release of said movie. DVD releases of Flames and Fires and Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series also have the logo intact. As of now, it only currently remains on War vs. Shock: Space of Alien since other shows started using the next logo below and as the in-credit variant on Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series since season 5. Recently, it also appeared on Funky You special: "Dance Laboratory Red 70s Evolution".
Scare Factor: None to low, due to the dark background.
5th Logo (August 30, 2013- )
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion IV", "The Grungy Leo the Lion II", "The New Grungy Leo the Lion"
Logo: On a white background, we see a slightly reworked version of the 2001 MGM Animation Studios logo, only with the 2011 print artwork logo (which is the current version of the print artwork logo with the words "MGM" is shown below). Also, the word, "ANIMATION STUDIOS" is smaller and is spaced-out.
Trivia: This logo was made to fit with the MGM Black and White rebrand.
Variants: Like in the 3rd logo, the logo opens up which this time shows a different clip from the show depending on each variant and is not in a sketch look and closes after the clip finishes:
- Autumn in New York: The Animated Series: A clip from the episode, "Funny Sads" with Will Keane sitting on a blue bench saying to the ice cream "That was quite sad."
- Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series (Season 5 and onward): Same clip as the previous logo with the same shooting gun sound clip.
- Flames and Fires (latter half of Season 5 and onward): Same clip as the previous logo.
- Heartbreakers: The Cartoon: Max Conners is thrown by Page Conners and to Mr. Appel, who then throws Max Conners to a slightly startled Dean Cumanno, who throws Max Conners in the air with a visible smile.
Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo.
Music/Sounds Variant: On Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series and Heartbreakers: The Cartoon, it's silent with the tail end of the closing theme at the beginning.
Availability: It was first seen on the sneak peak of Autumn in New York: The Animated Series. It also appears on Agent Cody Banks: The Animated Series and Flames and Fires since season 5 (the former starting with "Silver Powers" and the latter starting with "Love Funniers"), Steven Universe, and might be seen on other MGM Animation Studios made shows in the future.
Scare Factor: None.