Director: Jack Kinney
Release date: October 15, 1954
‘Social Lion’ was the last of three ‘special cartoons’ Jack Kinney directed in 1954, after his own Goofy series had stopped. It is, unfortunately, not a very successful cartoon. Its narration is trite, its timing poor and its animation, by veteran Norm Ferguson, heterogeneous: the full animation of the lion is awkwardly out of contact with the highly stylized animation of the humans.
Unfortunately, ‘Social Lion’ would be the great animator’s last statement. the Disney studio fired Ferguson in July 1953. He died four years later of a heart-attack, at the premature age of 45.
The cartoon reuses the weird safari song from Kinney’s earlier, way more successful short ‘African Diary’ (1945).
Watch ‘Social Lion’ yourself and tell me what you think:
‘Social Lion’ is available on the DVD ‘Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities’