The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918)

Article 4804 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-22-2015
Directed by Winsor McCay
Cast unknown, though it probably features Winsor McCay
Country: USA
What it is: Animated current events reenactment

The sinking of Lusitania is depicted via animation.

As I mentioned when I covered HOW WAR CAME, not all animation is necessarily fantastic, and outside of a couple of very minor details (a pair of fish show a hint of anthropomorphism in their reaction to an approaching torpedo, the smoke from the smokestacks behaves in a rather snaky fashion after the ship is hit with a torpedo which, though it is visually effective, seems rather unreal), this animated reenactment of a watershed moment leading to World War I is very realistic. Unsurprisingly, the short is also a work of propaganda, and a very effective one; with a wisely chosen soundtrack, this is a very moving and tragic. McCay’s animation is very impressive here; it’s detailed and constantly in action. Like GERTIE THE DINOSAUR, it opens with a live-action section involving the making of the short, but it maintains a serious mood throughout.


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