The final McCay Day event was a Movie Night, complete with popcorn and drinks. A full room listened as librarian Chris Davies gave a great biographical talk, walking us through McCay's life and work. Then we watched a documentary on McCay followed by his movies "Little Nemo," "Gertie the Dinosaur," "How a Mosquito Operates," and "The Sinking of the Lusitania."
I've seen these films a number of times myself, but never with an audience. What a great experience it was! More than half the room was under 10, so I was really worried about how they would receive these nearly 100-year old films. After all, these kids have grown up on cartoons -- flashier, faster paced cartoons, with color and sound what's more. But the audience had a blast! As Nemo began stretching and shrinking Flip and Imp, the room filled with laughter! That came as a surprise to me, but I was delighted! Everyone roared as Gertie flung "Jumbo" into the lake. There were squeamish groans every time the Mosquito made another stab. And when the Mosquito film finished with a bang, everyone broke out into applause! It was truly wonderful to see how timeless these movies are. It speaks to McCay's genius, his brilliant comedic timing, and his ability to infuse his characters with Life... these are things audiences will always respond to.
I think it's great that a room full of kids got to watch Winsor McCay's films while sitting over the very geographic location where Winsor himself ran around as a little kid all those years ago.
Thanks for a great day to everyone involved! Can't wait for McCay Day 2009! See you there!