7 September 2006 | MartinHafer
Simply marvelous--a must for fans of early animation and cinema
This is a very early cartoon, but it starts off in a most peculiar manner. The cartoon's creator, Winsor McCay, is shown talking to a group of friends about his creations--explaining a little about the process. Then, the camera goes to his studio and he shows some of the steps needed to produce an animated cartoon. Then in the final portion of the film, his cartoon comes to life and there are some amazing (for their time) animations that are also hand-colored. While none of this stuff will make you forget Looney Tunes or Disney, it is an amazing insight into the process and as such it's an item of extreme historical importance. Cute and watchable--even today.
By the way, when I saw the film again, I noticed that the very famous John Bunny was one of the people in the beginning of the film. While practically no one today would recognize him (other than cinema nuts like myself), this rotund man was perhaps the first comedian in film. Sadly, most of his movies have been lost over the years and he died rather young in 1915. I've seen just a few of his remaining films, but his round face is hard to miss in this film.