Winsor McCay

Gertie the Dinosaur
R: Winsor McCay. B: Winsor McCay. D: Winsor McCay, George McManus, Roy L. McCardell. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1914

McCay‘s employer, William Randolph Hearst, was displeased with McCay’s success outside of the newspapers, and used his contractual power to reduce McCay’s stage activities. In late 1914, William Fox, offered to market Gertie the Dinosaur to moving-picture theaters. McCay accepted, and extended the film to include a live-action prologue and intertitles to replace his stage patter. This is the version of the film generally seen nowadays; the original animation comprises roughly 5 minutes of the entire 12-minute film.”

“A 1914 short animated film by Winsor McCay that inspired many generations of animators to bring their cartoons to life. Although not the first animated film, as is sometimes thought, it was the first cartoon to feature a character with an appealing personality. The appearance of a true character distinguished it from earlier animated ‘trick films’, such as those of Blackton and Cohl, and makes it the predecessor to later popular cartoons such as those by Walt Disney. The film was also the first to be created using keyframe animation.
The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, and was named 6 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time in a 1994 survey of animators and cartoon historians by Jerry Beck.”

>>> Winsor McCay’s film Little Nemo on this site: Early Cartoons