Loeki de Leeuw

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Loeki de Leeuw in the Efteling

Loeki de Leeuw (Loeki the Lion) is a Dutch stop-motion TV animation, broadcast on Dutch public television between 1972 and 2004, and again in 2019.[1] It featured a puppet lion in short sketches usually not longer than five seconds, which appeared as bumpers between commercial breaks. These animated shorts reached iconic status in the Netherlands[2], but were also broadcast in some other countries like France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, Japan and the United States. [3]


Loeki is a lion who usually encounters an absurd situation or does something clumsy in his films. Each short lasted only five seconds and was done almost entirely without dialogue, except for Loeki's catchphrase: "Asjemenou?" ("Well, I ever?" or more informally "What the heck?") which usually appeared as his closing statement to each film. When things turned out in his favour he typically said: "Voilà!" ("There you go!").[4] Loeki was named after the famous Dutch football player Louis Biesbrouck (Loek), but also it is said that his name is a derivation of the verb to look. The series also had a group of side characters [5] [6] [7], but Loeki was the most well known.


Loeki de Leeuw at the end of Carnival Festival, Efteling

Loeki, created by animator Joop Geesink [nl] (1913–1984) [8], came to national prominence when advertising was first allowed on Dutch television in 1972. Regulatory requirements had been drawn up in order that the public could make a clear distinction between the programmes and the adverts, and the solution chosen was a short break bumper which would signal the beginning and end of the advertisement breaks, as well as bumpers that played between advertisements. These bumpers consisted of humorous animations of Loeki and his friends, and were such a success with the public that Loeki soon started appearing in between individual adverts. [9] Studio Geesink, who made the animated shorts, estimate that over 7.000 [10][11] individual films were made, several of which survive on home-made VHS recordings which have been uploaded to YouTube. Some of these break bumpers also aired on WFLD.

Since Loeki de Leeuw was purely visual comedy it had no trouble being sold to other countries too. Some of his shorts have been broadcast in France, Austria, Italy, Japan and the United States.[12] In its later years, Westward Television[13] and LWT of the United Kingdom would occasionally use a short clip of Loeki at closedown. Some of these have been uploaded to YouTube. and also the german channel name Nord-3 & N3 start on February 22 1972 until December 2 2001. and later on Super RTL, 3sat, RTL II, ProSieben, Kabel 1, Sat.1, Das Erste and ZDF (with ducks on November 9 1990)

STER retired Loeki in late 2004,[14] citing increasingly unaffordable production costs; the time saved by axing Loeki's appearances would instead be sold to advertisers. [15]

Original puppets and props from Loeki's films have been exhibited since December 2006 in a large display at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum. They consist of a number of series on themes (holidays, sports, transport, etc.). Puppets, props and films also formed part of the exhibition "100 years of advertising classics" in the Beurs van Berlage between December 18, 2010 and March 6, 2011. [16]

Loeki made a one-off return to Dutch television on 30 January 2019, after a petition started by a radio show a week earlier reached more than ten thousand signatures within 24 hours. A Loeki short produced in late 2016, featuring the lion as a DJ, was shown shortly before 8pm that night on NPO 1; the film reached an audience of 1.4 million people. STER stated that they were seriously considering proposals to bring the character back on a permanent basis,[17][18][19] although the following month STER decided against reintroducing Loeki during its advertising blocks, again citing high production costs.[20]


Loeki is the mascot of the theme park Huis ten Bosch, in Nagasaki.[21] His name also inspired three Dutch-language TV awards, namely "De Gouden Loeki" ("Golden Loeki") for "best TV commercial", its Flemish counterpart "De Gouden Welp" ("The Golden Lion Cub") and "De Loden Leeuw" ("The Lead Lion") for "worst TV commercial". [22]

On March 16, 2005 Loeki was supposedly kidnapped by a student from Utrecht, because they did not want him to wither away in a dusty archive. It turned out to be a publicity stunt, when Loeki moved to the Efteling amusement park. After 2005, Loeki was used there to supplement the Carnival Festival. [23] This attraction was also designed in 1984 by Joop Geesink. Loeki was removed from Carnival Festival in 2012 and replaced by their original mascot, Jokie.

On August 21, 2005 Loeki returned to television in a commercial for Edah. This was Loeki's first appearance on commercial channels. This appearance used 3D animation rather than the traditional stop-motion format.

The European Football Championship 2008 used Loeki in an advertisement for supermarket chain C1000.

In June 2010 Loeki returned to Dutch TV for the World Cup 2010 promotional activities of Samsung. Loeki was featured in a TV commercial, online at Facebook, as a car sticker and in a life-size form as part of the Orange 'building wrap' on the Samsung headquarters in Delft. The various shapes of the famous multimedia advertising lion are provided by communication Quince.

Media adaptations[edit]

A pantomime comic strip was made about the character by Wil Raymakers. It ran in the children's magazine Okki from 1986 on. [24] In 2016 he also inspired an one-shot magazine named Loeki. [25] [26]


  1. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  2. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  3. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  4. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  5. ^ Kooijman, Jaap; Pisters, Patricia; Strauven, Wanda (2008). Mind the Screen: Media Concepts According to Thomas Elsaesser. ISBN 9789089640253.
  6. ^ http://www.beeldengeluidwiki.nl/index.php/Loeki_de_Leeuw
  7. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  8. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  9. ^ http://www.beeldengeluidwiki.nl/index.php/Loeki_de_Leeuw
  10. ^ Kooijman, Jaap; Pisters, Patricia; Strauven, Wanda (2008). Mind the Screen: Media Concepts According to Thomas Elsaesser. ISBN 9789089640253.
  11. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  12. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVG0QvIVKUI
  14. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  15. ^ https://www.trouw.nl/home/loeki-de-leeuw-na-ruim-22-jaar-van-het-scherm~a7c06941/
  16. ^ http://www.beeldengeluidwiki.nl/index.php/Loeki_de_Leeuw
  17. ^ "1,4 miljoen mensen zien comebackfilmpje Loeki de Leeuw in reclameblok". NU.nl (in Dutch). 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Loeki de Leeuw maakt tv-comeback met twee jaar oud YouTube-filmpje". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 30 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Loeki 1 minuut op tv, initiator had 'nog nooit zo lang op reclameblok gewacht'". NOS (in Dutch). 30 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  20. ^ https://www.ad.nl/show/loeki-de-leeuw-maakt-geen-comeback-op-tv~ae4728db/?referrer=https://myprivacy.persgroep.net/
  21. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  22. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/g/geesink_joop.htm
  23. ^ http://www.beeldengeluidwiki.nl/index.php/Loeki_de_Leeuw
  24. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/r/raymakers_w.htm
  25. ^ https://www.maxvandaag.nl/sessies/themas/media-cultuur/eigen-tijdschrift-voor-loeki-de-leeuw/
  26. ^ https://www.maxvandaag.nl/sessies/themas/media-cultuur/eigen-tijdschrift-voor-loeki-de-leeuw/

External links[edit]