Winsor McCay (born on this date in 1871) was one of the most popular newspaper cartoonists of his day, and his highly idiosyncratic strips like "Little Nemo In Slumberland" and "Dream Of The Rarebit Fiend" have gained followers ever since with their highly surreal premises and gorgeous art. McCay was also quick to realize the potential of animation as his early films attest.
The following is his second film, made using thousands of rice paper cells, and painstakingly drawn and redrawn by McCay himself. He made 9 other films, which he would tour from city to city with. He was not technically the first animator, but he may have been the first true animation visionary.