Although Winsor McCay is primarily known for such whimsical flights of fantasy as "Gertie the Dinosaur" and the comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland", this recreation of the great ocean-liner tragedy is just as remarkable. Painstakingly realistic, the graphic detail and fluidity of motion in this cartoon are far ahead of their time. This was actually the first film to use cel animation, as the amount of detail McCay envisioned would have made drawing each picture individually near impossible. In fact, you really have to look closely at the human figures to tell that it isn't actual live footage. The torpedoes striking the hull, the subsequent explosions, the lifeboats and ropes flying over the sides, the passengers jumping overboard, the attempts at rescue, and the tragic fates of those unfortunates adrift in the ocean are all wonderfully and harrowingly realised. That the quality of this film isn't in the greatest condition anymore (at least the print of it I saw wasn't) somehow only makes it feel even more authentic. The final shot packs an emotional wallop infinitely greater than anything in Cameron's TITANIC.