The cartoonist, Winsor McCay, brings the Dinosaurus back to life in the figure of his latest creation, Gertie the Dinosaur.




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Cast overview:
Winsor McCay ...
Winsor McCay
Roy L. McCardell ...
Roy McCardell


Winsor Z. McCay bets another cartoonist that he can animate a dinosaur. So he draws a big friendly herbivore called Gertie. Then he get into his own picture. Gertie walks through the picture, eats a tree, meets her creator, and takes him carefully on her back for a ride. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dinosaur | bet | drawing | pumpkin | museum | See All (36) »


The greatest animal act in the world!!! See more »

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Release Date:

15 September 1914 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gertie  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Winsor McCay's employer, William Randolph Hearst, was displeased with McCay's success outside of the newspapers, and used his contractual power to reduce McCay's stage activities. In late 1914 William Fox offered to market Gertie the Dinosaur to moving-picture theaters. McCay accepted, and extended the film to include a live-action prologue and intertitles to replace his stage patter. This is the version of the film generally seen nowadays; the original animation comprises roughly five minutes of the entire 12-minute film. See more »


[first lines]
Gentleman: We've got a puncture. Let's go into the museum while he fixes it.
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Featured in Dinosaur Movies (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

"And now Mr. McCay will show us what he thinks a Dinosaurus looked like in real life."
1 April 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Often erroneously touted as the first animation film ever made (J. Stuart Blackton's 'An Enchanted Drawing' of 1900 takes that title, at least in America), Gertie the Dinosaur remains, to this day, a charming example of early animation. The live-action segments bookending the animation scenes involve a group of real-life animators portraying themselves, as one of them, Winsor McCay, bets George McManus that he can make a "Dinosaurus" live again by a series of hand-drawn cartoons.

Six months – and ten thousand hand-drawn cartoons – later, McCay is ready to show off his hand-made creation. During dinner, McCay introduces his young, playful female Apatosaurus (?) named Gertie. She emerges somewhat tentatively from her cave, before proceeding to swallow a rock and then an entire tree. As McCay gives her instructions from off-screen, Gertie attempts to follow them, though her endless enthusiasm for mischief often leads her master to scold her. Gertie's playful persona is further explored when Jumbo, a passing Woolly Mammoth, threatens to steal her limelight. Though warned not to hurt the little creature, Gertie doesn't hesitate in picking up poor Jumbo by the tail and hurling him into the lake.

McCay's vision of a dinosaur – allegedly the first time that one had appeared on film – is a little scientifically shaky (I don't expect any dinosaurs to have been able to dance on their hind legs for any prolonged period of time), but I'm more than willing to forgive this in such an early film. What is a Woolly Mammoth doing back then, you may even find yourself asking? The trick is to completely shut out what we all know more than ninety years later, and to just appreciate what a stunning achievement this piece of animation actually was.

Just as the film explicitly states, the animation of Gertie required about ten thousand hand-drawn images (by both McCay and his assistant, John A. Fitzsimmons, who traced the backgrounds), which they inked on rice paper and mounted on cardboard. In the film, it took McCay six months. But, we might ask, shouldn't he have wagered something a little more valuable than just a single dinner? George got off easy, I say!

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