July 30th, 2008

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Tubing Again

Cartoonist Winsor McCay, creator of Little Nemo, did a number of silent animated films in the 1910s and 1920s, and various YouTubers have posted a few of them. Among the McCay films is this 1911 short featuring about eight minutes of live action with McKay doing drawings and such (and a couple of his friends attempting what appears to be a Vulcan mind-meld with him), followed by a couple of minutes of his hand-colored animations. For the impatient, the two minute animated section alone is posted here.

NOTE: The various "related videos" titled "Little Nemo Part 1" etc. are in fact not McCay's work, but Japanese animations made in the 1990s, borrowing from his comic strips.

Authentic McCay silent films at YouTube include How a Mosquito Operates (rather disturbing), from 1912; Gertie the Dinosaur, from 1914; The Sinking Of the Lusitania, which is sort of a belated animated newsreel story which wasn't released until 1918, long after the event; Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend (subtitled Bug Vaudeville), an oddly charming 1921 piece that might become disturbing for arachnophobes at about 5:40 in; and a surviving two minute fragment of his 1921 film The Centaurs.

Also interesting, though not by McCay, is a short film from 1910 by French animator Emile Cohl, called The Hasher's Delirium. Good heavens! I see a number of other Cohl selections among the related videos, so I've got something to explore on my next YouTube visit. Cohl's IMDb page lists over two hundred films, but I'd imagine most have been lost.