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A screen shot from 'Gertie on Tour-excerpts.'

A scene from "Gertie on Tour" from 1921

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Three Early Cartoonist Filmmakers
In the years following the very earliest animation, cartoonists and filmmakers developed several ways to give fictional characters movement. Individual artists had their own unique style of animation.

One early pioneer of cartoon films was Winsor McCay, who was from Spring Lake, Michigan. McCay worked as a cartoonist for several newspapers. He turned his comic strip hero, Little Nemo, into the subject of a highly successful animated film. After that, he made many more short cartoons including "Gertie the Dinosaur." In this film, Gertie, who lives in the modern world, encounters a train and dreams of being the life of the party.

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VIDEO CREDIT: McCay, Winsor. "Gertie on Tour-excerpts." Rialto Productions? 1921. Origins of American Animation, Library of Congress.