Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Unit 5 - Timeline - Winsor McCay (1871 - 1934)

Born in Michigan, USA, 1871. His name used to be Zenas Winsor McKay before he dropped Zenas for Winsor. He started drawing at an early age and never stopped. The details he puts in his work is amazing. At the age of 13, he drawn a shipwreck on the school blackboard which then was photographed which many copies have been sold.

In 1912, he made an animated film called How a Mosquito Operates. The film is also known to be called as Life of a Mosquito, The Story of a Mosquito or The Hungry Mosquito. The film shows a Mosquito looking for food before spotting a man that walks pass it and decided to follow him. Following to the man's bedroom, the Mosquito had a chance to drink the man's blood once he falls asleep. Getting that chance, the Mosquito starts drinking his blood. However, being too greedy, the Mosquito drank too much blood which ended up as a disaster.

I missed watching this animation as I was seeing Gaby at the time. However, I did watch it on youtube. When watching this, I felt uneased on how the man managed to go back to sleep without having to get up and check if there is any mosquitos around. I wouldn't like to wake up having mosquito bites on my face. That is why I use lemon spray so that they won't go near me.

In 1914, he created a film called Gertie the Dinosaur which he made to be interactive. By doing so, he says things for Gertie to do and she does it. I found this animation to be humorous when she eat things that is way beyond logic and that she throws Jumbo the Mammoth into the lake. This film was when things started to become serious for his work by the mass of details put into it. Also, I didn't know that there was an animation that was used to be an interactive. Sadly, the animation is only interactive to the animator itself as Winsor knows what to do and say to Gertie.

The Sinking of the Lusitania was a another animated film he made to show an actual event which happened in 1915. The animation was made 3 years after the event. 25 thousand photographs were taken to create this animation. The animation shows the sinking of the Lustitania which sanked when nearing the coast of Ireland before getting hit by a torpedo from a German U-Boat. Two years after the disaster, USA declared war on Germany which lead in World War 1. I didn't know what to feel when watching this but I knew that Germany were a nasty lot at the time, causing the war the first place then being defeated at the end.

Winsor's work inspired large successors like Walt Disney and Max Fleischer which helped develope the world of animations to what it is now. This made him to be the first animator to earn his place down in film history. In 1934, he died at the age of 64 in Brooklyn, New York, USA.

IMDb. (1990). Winsor McCay. (Accessed on 24th March 2011)

Ranju. (2008) Winsor McCay. (Accessed on 24th March 2011)

World News. (2011). How a Mosquito Operates Still). (Accessed on 24th March 2011)

Animation Art. (2011). Gertie the Dinosaur Still. (Accessed on 24th March 2011)

Big Cartoon DataBase. (1998). Sinking of the Lustitania Still. (Accessed on 24th March 2011)

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