Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)    1 Stars


Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)
Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)

Director: Winsor McCay

Cast: Winsor McCay, George McManus, Roy L. McCardell

Synopsis: The cartoonist Winsor McCay brings the Dinosaur back to life in the figure of his creation, Gertie the Dinosaur.






In some ways, Gertie the Dinosaur can be seen as little more than a remake of Winsor McCay’s 1911 short Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N. Y. Herald and His Moving Comics. Instead of dining with friends when he accepts a bet that he can’t make his characters come to life, he’s visiting the Natural History Museum when he wagers that he can bring a dinosaur to life. We even see the same mishap of a large stack of McCay’s drawings spilling onto the floor at the hands of a hapless assistant in the same way as they did in the earlier movie.

Although there’s no getting away from the sheer scale of the painstaking, hand-cramping work involved in creating some 10,000 individual sketches, it also has to be said that Gertie doesn’t really get up to much once we finally get to meet her. After chowing down on a tree and a rock, she lifts first one leg and then the other at the behest of the title cards. She eats a pumpkin which appears to be the size of a peanut when in her mouth, and then gives a cartoon version of McCay a ride. She’s certainly a cute dinosaur, though, with a playful character and a fondness for scratching herself with her tail, and McCay’s animation is seamless and smooth, which is something of a wonder when one considers that he drew each of those 10,000 sketches individually

(Reviewed 18th April 2015)

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