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, their physics more potential than real energy—that is, I think they're capable of endless fantasy-images, but still need to work harder to convince us to suspend disbelief.

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


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