September 15, 1914 [Gertie the Dinosaur]

Winsor McCay again accepts a challenge, and 10,000 drawings later Gertie the Dinosaur tumbles like a roly-poly snake, plump as a pudding, impassive in her expression--I believe she's grinning, but it could simply be the set of her circling lips. And the landscape stretches in line-drawn rocky curves--matching the arc of her gymnastic exhibition, Physical Culture antediluvian-style, with a sea-serpent and Jumbo the Mammoth, the tree eaten in a long chew-and-swallow, the lake drained in one gulp.--And McCay arrives as ringmaster, perched atop his own drawing, his pen now a whip, riding Gertie in proprietary confidence.

I think these animated drawings are a separate branch of film-art, more potential than real energy--that is, I think, capable of endless fantasy-images, but still needing to work harder to convince us to suspend disbelief.

Still, as Gertie munched on that mighty oak, I must admit it looked delicious.

No comments:

Post a Comment