Hobo Moon Cartoons specializes in working with clients and developing animation from their concepts, creating storyboards that depict the script and narrative, designing characters and sets, logo design, video editing, use of technical software, as well as working toward production deadlines and meeting clients’ commercial requirements.

Gary Larson (2020)

The Far Side creator Gary Larson is back to his drawing board with New Stuff! Click on the links below to explore his new works.

https://www.thefarside.com/new-stuff/115/taxidermist

https://www.thefarside.com/new-stuff/118/probe-release

https://www.thefarside.com/new-stuff/121/cub-scouts

“I don’t want to mislead anyone here. This corner of the website—New Stuff—is not a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons. (Well, not exactly, anyway—like the proverbial tiger and its stripes, I’m pretty much stuck with my sense of humor. Aren’t we all?) The thing is, I thoroughly enjoyed my career as a syndicated cartoonist, and I hope, in spirit at least, we had some laughs together. But after fifteen years of meeting deadlines, well, blah blah blah … you know the rest. The day after I retired from syndication, it felt good not to draw on a deadline. And after moving on to other interests, drawing just wasn’t on my to-do list. Things change. But then a few years ago—and returning to the subject at hand—­something happened in my life, and it started with a clogged pen.

“Despite my retirement, I still had intermittent connections to cartooning, including my wife’s and my personal Christmas card. Once a year, I’d sit myself down to take on Santa, and every year it began with the same ritual: me cursing at, and then cleaning out, my clogged pen. (Apparently, the concept of cleaning it before putting it away each year was just too elusive for me.) As problems go, this is admittedly not exactly on the scale of global warming, but in the small world of my studio, it was cataclysmic. Okay, highly annoying.

“So a few years ago—finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen—I decided to try a digital tablet. I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again. I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.

“The New Stuff that you’ll see here is the result of my journey into the world of digital art. Believe me, this has been a bit of a learning curve for me. I hail from a world of pen and ink, and suddenly I was feeling like I was sitting at the controls of a 747. (True, I don’t get out much.) But as overwhelmed as I was, there was still something familiar there—a sense of adventure. That had always been at the core of what I enjoyed most when I was drawing The Far Side, that sense of exploring, reaching for something, taking some risks, sometimes hitting a home run and sometimes coming up with ‘Cow tools.’ (Let’s not get into that.) But as a jazz teacher once said to me about improvisation, ‘You want to try and take people somewhere where they might not have been before.’ I think that my approach to cartooning was similar—I’m just not sure if even I knew where I was going. But I was having fun.

“So here goes. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got this cool gizmo, and I’ve got no deadlines. And—to borrow from Sherlock Holmes—the game is afoot.

“Again, please remember, I’m just exploring, experimenting, and trying stuff. New Stuff. I have just one last thing to say before I go: thank you, clogged pen.”

Gary Larson

Run the Jewels feat. Lil Bub, Maceo, Delonte

Directed and animated by Cyriac (2016)

Official music video for “Meowpurrdy” from the Meow The Jewels album by Run The Jewels. Featuring Lil Bub, Maceo, and Delonte.

Animated by British artist Cyriak, the clip features a beastly, three-eyed cat, around which a kaleidoscopic collection of smaller cats gather, multiply and morph extra eyes, legs, tails and heads. This frightening feline, however, is no match for an angelic gray tabby, who descends from the sky and destroys the beast by being swallowed and coughed back up like an explosive hairball.

Killer Mike and El-P have donated all earnings from Meow the Jewels directly to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two high-profile victims of police brutality. Additional profits have gone to the National Lawyers Guild’s Mass Defense Committee.

Directed by Juan Meza-León

From the album Run The Jewels 3.

Rick and Morty is Adult Swim’s most scientifically accurate animated comedy. Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, it catalogues the bizarre misadventures of a bored scientific genius/drunkard and his socially awkward grandson, Morty. Their exploits tend to have unintended consequences for Morty’s dysfunctional family, especially his unfailingly mediocre father, Jerry. Watch Rick and Morty battle everything from interdimensional customs agents to Cronenberg monsters.

Cyriak & Sparks (2020)

The official video for The Existential Threat by rock and pop band Sparks, taken from the album A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip. Listen: https://sparks.lnk.to/dripCY. Animated and directed by Cyriak.

Danger near, danger here! Animator Cyriak is known for his outlandish and trippy visual collages, and they serve as the perfect visual complement to this offbeat track about the end of the world by the enigmatic art rock band Sparks. From the album A Steady Drip Drip Drip.

“When I was asked to make a music video for Sparks I could hardly believe it. They sent me the whole of their new album to choose from, and there was this one song that immediately stood out The Existential Threat.

“Not only did the music fit perfectly with my animation style, but the subject of existential dread is also something I have been fascinated by for as long as I can remember. It was like I could see the whole video inside my head as I listened to the song.

“The brief was totally open, but I felt this track deserved more than just some crazy visuals. It has a psychology driving it, and a feeling that hangs over us all, especially in these modern times of information overload.

“Are these threats real, or imaginary? Are they just a paranoid delusion, or do we ignore them at our peril?

“It was great fun making this video, and I hope it makes people think about their inevitable impending death in a more light-hearted way.”

Cyriak

Walt Disney (1976)

The wonderful thing about Tiggers is that I’m the only one.

Taken from Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, formely I love to laugh.

Trivia: It might interest you to know that in this clip, Paul Winchell provided the original voice of Tigger, while Jim Cummings took over Winchell’s role for the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh from season 3 until the end of its run (with the exception of the final episode: And Christmas Too, because Winchell made his brief reprise as Tigger). A couple of Winchell’s last performances were for Pooh’s Grand Adventure and the WDW attraction based on the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Len Lye (1933)

Experimental animation.

Despite the interest generated by his first film, Tusalava (1929), the early 1930s were a difficult time for artist and animator Len Lye. A series of projects were abandoned through lack of funding, and he supported himself by designing book jackets. By 1934 he was doing relatively menial work in the Wembley studios of Associated Sound Film Industries, while trying to convince investors to back his latest project with his long-time friend and collaborator, Jack Ellitt, provisionally titled Quicksilver. Lye had already produced dozens of set and costume designs for this ambitious science-fiction musical comedy but, although an American producer eventually expressed interest, the film that emerged bore little relation to the original concept, and neither Lye nor Ellitt benefited financially.

In the meantime, Lye turned his attention to puppet animation. He scraped together enough funding and borrowed equipment to produce a three-minute short featuring his self-made monkey, singing and dancing to ‘Peanut Vendor’, a 1931 jazz hit for Red Nichols. The two foot high monkey had bolted, moveable joints and some 50 interchangeable mouths to convey the singing. To get the movements right, Lye filmed his new wife, Jane, a prize-winning rumba dancer. Ellitt assisted in synchronizing the animation with the music.

Lye hoped to use the film to interest advertisers, but again had no success. However, on the strength of the film the head of the newly established Shell Film Unit, Jack Beddington, was later persuaded by Lye’s friend Humphrey Jennings to commission Lye to make a short animated advertising film, The Birth of the Robot (1935).

NBC News’ Joe Fryer looks back on the life and legacy of Carl Reiner, who over a decades-long career made his mark on Broadway, television and film.

Today we say goodbye to a comedy legend: Carl Reiner. He will be always missed, remembered, and loved. Thank you for the laughs. To read more about Carl Reiner click on the link below:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/entertainment/car-reiner-obit/index.html

The Hollywood Palace: Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner
The Dick Van Dyke Show: Mary Tyler Moore’s apology.

For millions of Americans, these are challenging times. For some insight into resilience from a generation that survived a depression and world war, Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz turns to funnymen Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. Via cyberchat, the two comedy writers, who first met in the 1950s (“Call it laugh at first sight”), talk about enduring World War II and coming out on top. Mankiewicz also talks with “Star Trek” actor and activist George Takei (who as a child was detained in a Japanese-American internment camp in the 1940s) about what Americans look for when facing an uncertain future.

Walt Disney (1950)

Have faith in your dreams.

Cinderella is an American animated musical fantasy film from 1950 by Walt Disney and RKO Radio Pictures. It’s based on the fairytale of the same name by Charles Perrault and is the 12th Disney animated feature film. The film was directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, and Wilfred Jackson. Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman wrote the songs, which include Cinderella, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes, Sing Sweet Nightingale, The Work Song, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, and So This is Love. It features the voices of Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald, Luis van Rooten, Don Barclay, Mike Douglas, William Phipps, and Lucille Bliss.

After Fantasia, Pinocchio, and Bambi all bombed in the box office, Cinderella was the greatest success since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Dumbo and helped the studio through their financial burdens.

In 1948, actors were filmed on large sound stages mouthing to a playback of the dialogue soundtrack. Disney had previously used live-action reference on Snow White and the Seven DwarfsPinocchio, and Fantasia, but as part of an effort to keep the production cost down, the footage was used to check the plot, timing, and movement of the characters before animating it. The footage was then edited frame-by-frame onto large Photostat sheets to duplicate, in which the animators found too restrictive as they were not allowed to imagine anything that the live actors did not present since that kind of experimentation might necessitate changes and cost more money. Additionally, the animators were instructed to draw from a certain directorial perspective to avoid difficult shots and angles. Frank Thomas explained, “Anytime you’d think of another way of staging the scene, they’d say: ‘We can’t get the camera up there’! Well, you could get the animation camera up there! So you had to go with what worked well in live action.”

Walt Disney hired actress Helene Stanley to perform the live-action reference for Cinderella. Animators modeled Prince Charming on actor Jeffrey Stone, who also provided some additional voices for the film. Mary Alice O’Connor served as the live-action reference for the Fairy Godmother.

From Rags to Riches: The Making of Cinderella

By 1950, the Animation Board had settled down to nine supervising animators. Although they were still in their thirties, they were jokingly referred by Walt Disney as the “Nine Old Men” after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s denigration of the Supreme Court. Including Norman Ferguson, the principal animators included Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Frank Thomas, and Wolfgang Reitherman.

Larson was the first to animate the title character whom he envisioned as a sixteen-year-old with braids and a pug nose. Marc Davis later animated Cinderella, in which Larson observed as “more the exotic dame” with a long swanlike neck. Because the final character design was not set, assistant animators were responsible for minimizing the differences. When Disney was asked what was his favorite piece of animation was, he answered, “I guess it would have to be where Cinderella gets her ballroom gown”, which was animated by Davis.

Milt Kahl was the directing animator of the Fairy Godmother, the King, and the Grand Duke. Originally, Disney intended for the Fairy Godmother to be a tall, regal character as he viewed fairies as tall, motherly figures, but Milt Kahl disagreed with this characterization. Following the casting of Verna Felton, Kahl managed to convince Disney on his undignified concept of the Fairy Godmother.

Unlike the human characters, the animal characters were animated without live-action reference. During production, none of Kimball’s designs for Lucifer had pleased Disney. After visiting Kimball’s steam train at his home, Disney saw his calico cat and remarked, “Hey—there’s your model for Lucifer”. Reitherman animated the sequence in which Jaq and Gus laboriously drag the key up the flight of stairs to Cinderella.

Zbigniew Rybczyński (1981)

Tango is a 1981 Polish animated short film written and directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 55th Academy Awards.

Zbigniew Rybczyński is a Polish filmmaker, director, cinematographer, screenwriter, creator of experimental animated films and multimedia artist who has won numerous prestigious industry awards both in the United States and internationally including the 1982 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Tango.

Tim Hill (2021)

This Memorial Day weekend, SpongeBob SquarePants, his best friend Patrick Star and the rest of the gang from Bikini Bottom hit the big screen in the first-ever all CGI SpongeBob motion picture event. After SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary is snail-napped, he and Patrick embark on an epic adventure to The Lost City of Atlantic City to bring Gary home. As they navigate the delights and dangers on this perilous and hilarious rescue mission, SpongeBob and his pals prove there’s nothing stronger than the power of friendship. Starring Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke and Clancy Brown.

Carlos Baena (2018)

From seasoned animator Carlos Baena (ILM, Pixar) and a crowd-sourced community of over 100 people, La Noria tells the tale of a grieving young boy who one day encounters dark creatures that turn his life upside down.

La Noria is an animated short film directed by filmmaker and animator Carlos Baena and produced as an online collaboration with artists from around the world.

Carlos was born and raised in Spain. He moved to the US in 1994 and has been living and working there ever since. La Noria is a very personal story for him and is very different than most animated films that he’s worked on. It combines suspense, horror, and emotion. It’s about a little boy who likes to draw and build toy ferris wheels who after a devastating loss encounters some creatures who turn his life upside down. Having found himself in a dark and difficult emotional situation at one point in his life, Carlos always wanted to tell a story based on the dark and emotional journey in a very visual way.

We wanted to do horror in animation. However, given the dark nature of the story as well as the psychological backstory of the main character, La Noria has a quality that is very different from most animated films. Creatively, we wanted to create a horror film that creates tension through horror rather than making people jump. La Noria has been inspired by the work of great spanish filmmakers such as Victor Erice, Alejandro Almenabar, Guillermo del Toro, and Juan Antonio Bayona. Being from Spain and given the quality of their films, Carlos looked up to their work often. Other filmmakers looked at for inspiration were Tomas Alfredson, Kim Jee-Woon, Ray Harryhausen, Stanley Kubrick, and Roman Polanski. Art wise, we studied the work of artists Clive Barker, Zdzislaw Beksinski, Nirasawa Yasushi, H.R.Giger, and Francisco de Goya to name a few.

We found that when pitching the film to the artists we wanted to collaborate with, that universally everyone could relate to a story of struggle and finding ourselves in a dark place at some point or another in some personal way.  We have all had that moment in our lives when everything went wrong. It’s in those moments when all you see are broken pieces around you, your courage has the ability to turn something dark into something unexpectedly beautiful. That is the essence of La Noria.

La Noria is bringing a new vision to animated films by exploring darker themes, elegant visuals and producing it using online production technology.

a-ha (1984)

At the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, the video for Take On Me won six awards—Best New Artist in a Video, Best Concept Video, Most Experimental Video, Best Direction, Best Special Effects, and Viewer’s Choice—and was nominated for two others, Best Group Video and Video of the Year. “Take On Me” was also nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Video at the 13th American Music Awards in 1986.

Take On Me is a song by Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha, first released in 1984. The original version was produced by Tony Mansfield and remixed by John Ratcliff. A new version was released in 1985 and produced by Alan Tarney for the group’s debut studio album Hunting High and Low (1985). The song combines synthpop with a varied instrumentation that includes acoustic guitars, keyboards, and drums. It is considered to be the band’s signature song.

A-ha released a less slick version of the song in 1984, but redid the tune after it proved to be a commercial flop. And despite releasing a revised rendition in 1985, Waaktaar-Savoy says, “it took, like, four months to reach number one in America. And it felt like years. Every week it would go up a spot, up three spots…. It would pick up, then slow down. [It] was a whole process.”

They teamed up with director Steve Barron, who directed Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, for a short-form piece that mixed live action with rotoscope animation — never before used in a music video. “It was a dream to work with talent like that,” Waaktaar-Savoy says of Barron. “Normally, videos took a week of shooting in a hangar. But for this, we did a whole day that was only to make the comic magazine. Then four months spent doing hand-drawn drawings. It was very thorough stuff.” Illustrator Mike Patterson drew more than 3,000 sketches for the final clip.

Weezer (2019)



Weezer had teamed with Calpurnia – the indie rock band led by Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard – for a nostalgic new video for their cover of a-ha’s Take On Me. The track appears on Weezer’s self-titled covers record, also known as The Teal Album.

Winsor McCay (1921)

Gertie the Dinosaur encounters the modern era.
McCay abandoned a sequel, Gertie on Tour in 1921, after producing about a minute of footage.

Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator. He is best known for the comic strip Little Nemo and the animated film Gertie the Dinosaur. For contractual reasons, he worked under the pen name Silas on the comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.

From a young age, McCay was a quick, prolific, and technically dextrous artist. He started his professional career making posters and performing for dime museums, and in 1898 began illustrating newspapers and magazines. In 1903 he joined the New York Herald, where he created popular comic strips such as Little Sammy Sneeze and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. In 1905 his signature strip Little Nemo in Slumberland debuted—a fantasy strip in an Art Nouveau style about a young boy and his adventurous dreams. The strip demonstrated McCay’s strong graphic sense and mastery of color and linear perspective. McCay experimented with the formal elements of the comic strip page, arranging and sizing panels to increase impact and enhance the narrative. McCay also produced numerous detailed editorial cartoons and was a popular performer of chalk talks on the vaudeville circuit.

McCay was an early animation pioneer; between 1911 and 1921 he self-financed and animated ten films, some of which survive only as fragments. The first three served in his vaudeville act; Gertie the Dinosaur was an interactive routine in which McCay appeared to give orders to a trained dinosaur. McCay and his assistants worked for twenty-two months on his most ambitious film, The Sinking of the Lusitania, a patriotic recreation of the German torpedoing in 1915 of the RMS Lusitania. Lusitania did not enjoy as much commercial success as the earlier films, and McCay’s later movies attracted little attention. His animation, vaudeville, and comic strip work was gradually curtailed as newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, his employer since 1911, expected McCay to devote his energies to editorial illustrations.

In his drawing, McCay made bold, prodigious use of linear perspective, particularly in detailed architecture and cityscapes. He textured his editorial cartoons with copious fine hatching, and made color a central element in Little Nemo. His comic strip work has influenced generations of cartoonists and illustrators. The technical level of McCay’s animation—its naturalism, smoothness, and scale—was unmatched until the work of Fleischer Studios in the late 1920s, followed by Walt Disney’s feature films in the 1930s. He pioneered inbetweening, the use of registration marks, cycling, and other animation techniques that were to become standard.

Walt Disney (1941)

The Reluctant Dragon is a 1941 American film produced by Walt Disney, directed by Alfred Werker, and released by RKO Radio Pictures on June 20, 1941. Essentially a tour of the then-new Walt Disney Studios facility in Burbank, California, the film stars radio comedian Robert Benchley and many Disney staffers such as Ward Kimball, Fred Moore, Norman Ferguson, Clarence Nash, and Walt Disney, all as themselves.

The first twenty minutes of the film are in black-and-white, and the remainder is in Technicolor. Most of the film is live-action, with four short animated segments inserted into the running time: a black-and-white segment featuring Casey Junior from Dumbo; and three Technicolor cartoons: Baby Weems, Goofy’s How to Ride a Horse, and the extended-length short The Reluctant Dragon, based upon Kenneth Grahame’s book of the same name. The total length of all animated parts is 40 minutes.

The film was released in the middle of the Disney animators’ strike of 1941. Strikers picketed the film’s premiere with signs that attacked Disney for unfair business practices, low pay, lack of recognition, and favoritism. At one theater, sympathizers paraded down the street wearing a “dragon costume bearing the legend ‘The Reluctant Disney'”.

Some critics and audiences were put off by the fact that the film was not a new Disney animated feature in the vein of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Pinocchio, but essentially a collection of four short cartoons and various live-action vignettes. On the other hand, Photoplay said it was “one of the cleverest ideas to pop into that fertile mind of Walt Disney and results in this rare combination of a Cook’s tour of the Disney studio, a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Mickey Mousedom and two of Disney’s latest cartoon features… Cleverly thought out and executed.”

Winsor McCay (1921)

In this animated silent short, a female centaur enters a clearing in the woods and picks flowers. She is met by a male centaur and the two romance each other. They then seek parental consent for their union. Unfortunately, only a small fragment of this beautiful animation survives as the rest is considered lost.


Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator. He is best known for the comic strip Little Nemo and the animated film Gertie the Dinosaur. For contractual reasons, he worked under the pen name Silas on the comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.

From a young age, McCay was a quick, prolific, and technically dextrous artist. He started his professional career making posters and performing for dime museums, and in 1898 began illustrating newspapers and magazines. In 1903 he joined the New York Herald, where he created popular comic strips such as Little Sammy Sneeze and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. In 1905 his signature strip Little Nemo in Slumberland debuted—a fantasy strip in an Art Nouveau style about a young boy and his adventurous dreams. The strip demonstrated McCay’s strong graphic sense and mastery of color and linear perspective. McCay experimented with the formal elements of the comic strip page, arranging and sizing panels to increase impact and enhance the narrative. McCay also produced numerous detailed editorial cartoons and was a popular performer of chalk talks on the vaudeville circuit.

McCay was an early animation pioneer; between 1911 and 1921 he self-financed and animated ten films, some of which survive only as fragments. The first three served in his vaudeville act; Gertie the Dinosaur was an interactive routine in which McCay appeared to give orders to a trained dinosaur. McCay and his assistants worked for twenty-two months on his most ambitious film, The Sinking of the Lusitania, a patriotic recreation of the German torpedoing in 1915 of the RMS Lusitania. Lusitania did not enjoy as much commercial success as the earlier films, and McCay’s later movies attracted little attention. His animation, vaudeville, and comic strip work was gradually curtailed as newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, his employer since 1911, expected McCay to devote his energies to editorial illustrations.

In his drawing, McCay made bold, prodigious use of linear perspective, particularly in detailed architecture and cityscapes. He textured his editorial cartoons with copious fine hatching, and made color a central element in Little Nemo. His comic strip work has influenced generations of cartoonists and illustrators. The technical level of McCay’s animation—its naturalism, smoothness, and scale—was unmatched until the work of Fleischer Studios in the late 1920s, followed by Walt Disney’s feature films in the 1930s. He pioneered inbetweening, the use of registration marks, cycling, and other animation techniques that were to become standard.

Winsor McCay (1921)

Unfortunately, only fragments of this beautiful animation survives as the rest is considered lost.

Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator. He is best known for the comic strip Little Nemo and the animated film Gertie the Dinosaur. For contractual reasons, he worked under the pen name Silas on the comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.

From a young age, McCay was a quick, prolific, and technically dextrous artist. He started his professional career making posters and performing for dime museums, and in 1898 began illustrating newspapers and magazines. In 1903 he joined the New York Herald, where he created popular comic strips such as Little Sammy Sneeze and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. In 1905 his signature strip Little Nemo in Slumberland debuted—a fantasy strip in an Art Nouveau style about a young boy and his adventurous dreams. The strip demonstrated McCay’s strong graphic sense and mastery of color and linear perspective. McCay experimented with the formal elements of the comic strip page, arranging and sizing panels to increase impact and enhance the narrative. McCay also produced numerous detailed editorial cartoons and was a popular performer of chalk talks on the vaudeville circuit.

McCay was an early animation pioneer; between 1911 and 1921 he self-financed and animated ten films, some of which survive only as fragments. The first three served in his vaudeville act; Gertie the Dinosaur was an interactive routine in which McCay appeared to give orders to a trained dinosaur. McCay and his assistants worked for twenty-two months on his most ambitious film, The Sinking of the Lusitania, a patriotic recreation of the German torpedoing in 1915 of the RMS Lusitania. Lusitania did not enjoy as much commercial success as the earlier films, and McCay’s later movies attracted little attention. His animation, vaudeville, and comic strip work was gradually curtailed as newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, his employer since 1911, expected McCay to devote his energies to editorial illustrations.

In his drawing, McCay made bold, prodigious use of linear perspective, particularly in detailed architecture and cityscapes. He textured his editorial cartoons with copious fine hatching, and made color a central element in Little Nemo. His comic strip work has influenced generations of cartoonists and illustrators. The technical level of McCay’s animation—its naturalism, smoothness, and scale—was unmatched until the work of Fleischer Studios in the late 1920s, followed by Walt Disney’s feature films in the 1930s. He pioneered inbetweening, the use of registration marks, cycling, and other animation techniques that were to become standard.