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Winsor McCay

Discussion in 'toonzone Animation Wiki' started by MonkeyFunk, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. MonkeyFunk

    MonkeyFunk Kids and grown-ups love me so

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    '''Winsor Zenas McCay''' (born Zenas Winsor McKay) was an [[American animation|American]] animator.

    The date and place of his birth are uncertain; he is thought to have been born in 1867 in Canada. During his late teens, while studying at Cleary's Business College, he put his artistic talents to commercial use by drawing portraits of customers at a dime museum for money. Throughout the remainder of the 19th century McCay took his business to a string of different employers, including the National Printing & Engraving Company, Kohl & Middleton's New Dime Museum and the ''Cincinnatti Commercial Tribune''.

    In 1904 McCay created his first comic strip, ''Mr. Goodenough'', for the ''Evening Telegram''. This short-lived venture was followed by various other strips, most of which - including ''Sister's Little Sister's Beau'' and ''Phurious Phinish of Phoolish Philipe's Phunny Phrolics'' - are not well-known today. Far more successful was ''Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend'', which began in September 1904 and lasted until 1913. In 1905 McCay created another hit with ''Little Nemo in Slumberland'', a strip detailing the weird places visited by a small boy in his dreams. The following year McCay took his work in another new direction as he began working part time as a vaudeville entertainer, drawing sketches at high speed in front of an audience.

    In 1911 McCay created a short film, ''[[Little Nemo]]''. Mostly live action, the film tells the story of McCay making a bet with his friends that he can draw four thousand pictures in a month to create a work of animation. The fruits of his labour form the climax of the film, in which animated versions of the characters from the titular comic strip perform in a largely experimental piece with very little plot. The short was screened as part of McCay's vaudeville act.

    The following year McCay completed a second short, ''[[How a Mosquito Operates]]'', based on one of his ''Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend'' strips. In 1914 came ''[[Gertie the Dinosaur]]'', which provided an animated character for McCay to interact with during his act; at the climax, McCay would walk offstage and an animated version of himself appeared onscreen to ride off on Gertie's back. The film was a critical success but McCay's stage career displeased his boss in the newspaper industry, William Randolph Hearst, who refused to let his journalists publicise ''Gertie'''s premier and ordered McCay to focus on his career at the ''New York American''.

    To Hearst's displeasure, McCay completed another film in 1918: ''[[The Sinking of the Lusitania]]'', an anti-German propaganda short about the titular atrocity. McCay went on to make three more films - ''[[The Centaurs]]'', ''[[Gertie on Tour]]'' and ''[[Flip's Circus]]'' - which today exist only in fragments. His last contribution to animation was a series of three shorts, made around 1921, based on his ''Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend'' strip: ''[[Bug Vaudeville]]'', ''[[The Pet]]'' and ''[[The Flying House]]''.

    McCay died July 26, 1934.

    ==Selected Filmography==
    * ''[[Little Nemo]]'' (1911)
    * ''[[How a Mosquito Operates]]'' (1912)
    * ''[[Gertie the Dinosaur]]'' (1914)
    * ''[[The Sinking of the Lusitania]]'' (1918)
    * ''[[Bug Vaudeville]]'' (c. 1921)
    * ''[[The Pet]]'' (c. 1921)
    * ''[[The Flying House]]'' (c. 1921)

    [[Category:Animation creators|McCay, Winsor]]
     

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