Gertie the Dinosaur
When walking around Disney’s Hollywood Studios you may notice a giant green dinosaur in the middle of Echo Lake that is seemingly out of place. After all, we are not in Dinoland, aren’t we in old-age Hollywood? Why is there a brontosaurus in the middle of Hollywood?! You start thinking to yourself “hmm…I must have missed that Disney movie…”
As it turns out, Gertie the giant green dinosaur has not been featured in any Disney movie, but Walt Disney Imagineering does not make “giant” mistakes, and Gertie is in a perfect spot. Gertie the Dinosaur was one of the first animated short films that premiered in 1914. The short film was created by the American animator Winsor McCay.
Many credit Gertie the Dinosaur with founding the idea of adding personality to animation. One of Walt Disney’s most well-known achievements was being excellent at creating animation with not just personality, but by also incorporating story and emotion. There is no doubt that Gertie the Dinosaur influenced how animation was going to be created in the future.
Even though Walt was only a child at the time that Gertie the Dinosaur premiered, he discussed the importance that Gertie played in animation during “The Story of Animated Drawing” on his Disneyland television series in 1955. (See a clip of this show in the link below) Walt credits McCay with being a pioneer of animation.
“Winsor McCay’s Gertie and other animation novelties stimulated a great public interest and created a demand for this new medium. This, in turn, encouraged other pioneers to creative efforts that in time, led to the establishment of the animated cartoon as an industry.” – Walt Disney
Make sure to stop by and check out Gertie the next time you are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!