Lions on the Loose (lost documentary short film; 1941)

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Lions on the Loose.jpg

Poster for the film.

Status: Lost

Lions on the Loose was a PG 9-minute documentary short film released on May 24th, 1941.[1]


Lions on the Loose is about two lion cubs (which go unnamed) escaping the local zoo. The cubs find a house, which leads them to play with toys in the playroom before moving to the kitchen as the lion cubs are hungry. After they caused enough trouble from the house, the lions would go into the wild where they would have several run-ins with other species of animals, including a giant snake (most likely a python).[2]


Lions on the Loose was a joint partnership between Loew's Incorporated and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (otherwise known as MGM). The short film was directed by Marjorie Freeman, who worked on other short films such as Alice in Jungleland and Jungle Man. Not only was she the director, but also a writer, cinematographer, and an actor in the film, playing herself. The only other actor credited in the film is Pete Smith, who was the narrator of the film. Composer Scott Bradley composed the music for the film.[3] The film's photographer was Mervyn Freeman while the editor for the film was Philip Anderson. On January 11th, 1956, ABC broadcasted the 18th episode of MGM Parade, which had footage from Grand Hotel, as well as Roger Moore from Diane and the entirety of Lions on the Loose.[4]

In October and November of 2018, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) reaired Lions on the Loose.[5] Since 2018, no footage of the film has appeared anywhere online. Despite this, there are reviews by people that suggest that the short film is still watchable, either at an archival building, or MGM itself. In July of 2019, an eBay user got a hold of some stills from the film and was selling them for $75. The user posted how it was printed at MGM Laboratories in Culver City, California, proving that MGM may have the film in its archives.[6]





  • Lions on the Loose might be the first movie/documentary on record that has recorded ringtails (members to the raccon family).

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