The Origins of Animation | Chicago Reader

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This compilation of silent films by some early giants of cinema chronicles the birth of an art form. Included are four works by James Stuart Blackton, who drew on his vaudeville persona as the “Komikal Kartoonist” for a 1900 Thomas Edison short, The Enchanted Drawing, and cofounded the Vitagraph Company, where he directed both animated and live-action films. Celebrated comic-strip artist Winsor McCay stars alongside his own creations in Little Nemo (1911) and Gertie the Dinosaur (1914); John Randolph Bray's Colonel Heeza Liar at Bat (1917), about a bumbling American's entry into the trenches of World War I, shows the influence of political cartoons and caricature. The program was curated by Northwestern University professor Scott Curtis, who is also the featured speaker at this screening. 90 min.

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