blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Social Lion (1954, Jack Kinney)

A scene from SOCIAL LION, directed by Jack Kinney for RKO Radio Pictures.

Social Lion is such a truly awful cartoon, one would need to sit with pencil and paper to make notes on every moronic detail in its six minutes.

Director Jack Kinney–brother to co-writer Dick Kinney, who, with Milt Schaffer, writes a lousy story–doesn’t have bad ideas, particularly during the Africa scenes. The animation is bad, but Kinney’s direction shows some promise. Sadly, once the story moves–along with the titular captive Lion–to New York City, Kinney gets wrapped up in the moronic social commentary.

Writer Kinney and his co-culprit Schaffer come up with a plot too heady for kids and too stupid for adults. They also can’t figure out how to put any action in a cartoon about a lion being loose in New York City. They’re inept.

Actually, Lion‘s only adept feature is the uncredited narrator. Sure, the writing’s bad, but the performance isn’t.

1/3Not Recommended


Directed by Jack Kinney; written by Milt Schaffer and Dick Kinney; animated by Norman Ferguson; music by Oliver Wallace; produced by Walt Disney; released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Starring Paul Frees (Lions Club President / Drunks / Clothing salesman).


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