Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Winsor McCay's "The Sinking of the Lusitania" (1918)

The First World War had already torn the globe apart by the time the United States became involved in 1917. Propaganda posters, cartoons and films flourished in an effort to produce anti-German sentiment within the nation. Many of them have since become iconic. One of them is particularly interesting - an animated documentary on the Lusitania disaster of 1915. It was created by the famous cartoonist, Winsor McCay (of "Gertie the Dinosaur" fame) in 1918.

Although the film is clearly a piece of anti-German propaganda, it nevertheless gives an interesting interpretation of the sinking. Some of the facts are incorrect, such as when it says that U-39 attacked with two torpedoes (it was U-20 with one). It is important to be mindful of this while watching the film. McCay, however, is able to show what happened with remarkable detail and clarity using nothing more than simple animation.

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating animation...those plumes of smoke are mesmerizing. Thanks for sharing!