Winsor McCay, Animation Inspiration
Winsor Zenic McCay – how’s that for a name guys and gals? – was an early American cartoonist and animator,. While he was mostly known as Windsor McCay, and celebrated for the comic strip Little Nemo and the animated cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur (1914), he also used the pen name Silas for his work on Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. McCay was prolific and his work was so innovative that he outshone all the early animation competition. In fact, the fact that he set such a gold standard gets lost in the overwhelming influence he had on heavy hitters like Walt Disney.
McCay created animated short films in which each frame of each cartoon (with thousands of individual frames in each film) hand-drawn by himself or his assistants. Then McCay went one further. He took his animated act on vaudeville circuit where he presented lectured, made drawings and then he interacted with his animated characters, performing such tricks as holding his hand out to “pet” his animated creations.
The star of McCay’s groundbreaking animated film Gertie the Dinosaur is classified by film and animation historians as the first cartoon character created especially for film to display a unique, realistic personality. In the film, Gertie causes trouble and cries when she is scolded, and finally she gives McCay himself a ride on her back as he steps into the movie picture.
Now enough with the chitty chat – let’s watch some tons.