Winsor McCay, America’s Greatest Cartoonist, And Gertie (1970)

21 Dec
Director   Winsor McCay
Producer   Blackhawk Films (restoration)
Contributors   Winsor McCay, George McManus, Roy McCardell
Length   22 min
B&W/Color   b&w
UO Library Catalog description:  Winsor McCay, America’s greatest cartoonist, and Gertie (1909): Based on the vaudeville novelty, with McCay supplying onstage commentary and sound effects, this version uses live action and animation. Gertie the dinosaur (1914?): Gertie the dinosaur eats trees, interacts with McCay, and surveys her surroundings. Origially released as various versions of combination live action and animated motion picture shorts circa 1909-1914.
Call # FILM Ma164
Genre  animation
Rare  yes
Online  yes; Internet Archive (Gertie)
Copyright status  public domain
Physical condition  good
Oregon-related  no


This is actually in Super-8, not 16mm. 300+ libraries own the DVD Winsor McCay: The Master Edition, which collects his work. It may seem slightly egotistical to direct a film whose title dubs you “America’s Greatest Cartoonist,” but as both the creator of Little Nemo and a major pioneer of film animation, he was probably just being honest; he drew each frame of the film on paper, as cel animation had not been invented yet. The Gertie vaudeville tour involved lectures, live cartooning, and then a showing of the film in which McCay would interact with the dinosaur in a manner similar to a lion tamer. At the end, he disappeared behind a screen as an animated version of himself entered the film and rode away on Gertie’s head. Originally released 1914.

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