Gertie the Dinosaur. 1914. USA. Directed by Winsor McCay. Preserved with funding from Celeste Bartos
These notes accompany the Early Animation program, June 2, 3, and 4 in Theater 2.
The art of film animation developed out of a long tradition of newspaper and magazine cartoonists both in Europe and the United States. The Frenchman, Emile Cohl (1857–1938), and the American, Winsor McCay (1871–1934), were politically tinged newspapermen who took advantage of the newly-invented concept of stop-motion photography, shooting a slightly varied drawing on each successive film frame. Although their work appears primitive beside Pixar technology, there must have been a sense of wonder and awe in early audiences who saw drawn figures come to a kind of life on the screen.