Thursday, 18 March 2010

Winsor McCay....The Grandfather of Animation…..

Little Nemo:

So this was basically the first recorded combination of camera and art, the revolutionary idea starting of very simplistic, line work drawings, with very little colour, McKay uses this to his advantage to ‘bring to life’ his characters, by allowing us to see his creations take place, as though watching it from his own eyes….in particular, there appears to be quite a contrast between his characters, with the music in the background helping to convey elements further helping define them more, that said they are very reflective of the society at that time, with both movement, and styles, from that, it’s clear to say that challenging ability, rather than style……interestingly enough, McKay adopts the ‘Film within a film’ technique to portray how his ‘Animations’ both socially, and visually, quite a clever move in terms of publicity, and art which adds to the lack of ‘Narrative‘ his animation missed, it almost feels like a history lesson, rather than a film..…
Gertie The Dinosaur

At first, this appears to be quite dark, and sinister, following suite to ‘Little Nemo’, it employs the ‘Film in a film’ scenario, allowing us to once again see how the animation came about, this time however, McKay ups his game, challenging his social group for dinner, he creates ‘Gertie’ after a trip to a museum….To contrast this piece all around, to his previous, especially in terms of animation, McKay’s imagery has not only improved, but lengthened, which shows a growing interest and development in his work, manipulating both speed and movement, he almost gives Gertie attributes that are familiar to us, with dog-like characteristics, as well as an interactive background environment, it conveys a sense of believability, as McKay appears to be ‘Controlling’ Gertie with his own commands, he combines the reality with the drawn, giving life to the dinosaur, and it’s obvious this time around there’s more narrative to work from, aside from that he also creates a sense of cuteness, and humour in the drawn, which is an point for early animation….

The Sinking Of Lustinania


It appears this time that McKay feels a lot more about the ‘art’ rather than the animation, with the lack of his appearance in the piece, there seems to be a lot more seriousness to the nature of the animation, featuring the sinking of a ship full of innocents, he portrays his work as thought a window into real life events, his artistic direction completely blowing it’s predecessors away, with it’s beautiful, greyscale scenery, it captures the emotion of the animation perfect, with it’s fluent movements, McKay conveys the nature of the sea in almost ’theatre-like presence’, also conveying the sense of silent movies typical of that time period. That said, it’s imagery is the most breathtaking aspect of this film, amidst it’s sad undertone, conveyed through the bittersweet music, the use of dark/light silhouetting of figures falling from the ship, contrasting against explosive smoke that feels quite spectacular, in terms of visuals, compared to the depressing image of dead bodies floating amidst the fleeing boats, it certainly captures the essence of life, that brings reality to the tragic incident that occurred, to which McKay uses words to narrate the final message of the film, which feels almost propaganda in a sense, which makes you question whether the whole piece is from a biased point of view, that said, in most certainly is a crafted piece of beauty…that really makes me appreciate old school techniques, and attention to detail….

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