In February 1914, McCay released “Gertie the Dinosaur” on the vaudeville circuit. Winsor McCay and his assistant John A. Fitzsimmons (who traced the backgrounds) made more than 10,000 drawings which they inked on rice paper and mounted on cardboard. By mounting them on cardboard, McCay was able to flip the drawings through a primitive machine to check his work. “Gertie the Dinosaur” turned into a moment hit. It is frequently attributed just like the first animation to feature a character with a distinct personality and as the main work of keyframe animation.

Gertie the Dinosaur

McCay was one of those massively significant pioneers who make totally different fine arts. As significant as Walt Disney and Chuck Jones are throughout the entire existence of animation as ultimate masters of the form, McCay was the man who united a large number of the specialized innovations that artists still use today, just as being the first to make characters with whom crowds began to fall in love.

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Watch the Gertie the Dinosaur below

McKay considered several names before settling on “Gertie”; “Jessie the Dinosaurus” was used in his production notebook. Disney animator Paul Sutherfield recalled McCay’s hearing in 1915 how he had chosen the name “Gertie”.

They overheard a gay couple talking to each other in the hall, and one of them said, “Oh, Bertie, wait a minute!” In a very sweet voice. He thought it was a good name, but he wanted to be the name of a girl instead of a boy, so he called it “Gertie”.


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