CotD: Proving that animation can be political as well as escapist, Winsor McCay took on “The Sinking Of The Lusitania” in 1918 ~
The Sinking Of The Lusitania (1918) – Theatrical Cartoon
Animated account of the sinking of the cruise ship the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 by the German submarine U-39. The ship carried approximately 1,500 passengers, many of them Americans. Two torpedoes sank the ship and took 1,150 lives.
The film opens with Winsor McCay seated at a desk with an assistant, preparing to start work on the film. They show that the first job consisted of the creating of waves, followed by a scene of the Lusitania passing the Statue of Liberty. We next see the German submarine in low profile, followed by a closer view, showing some of the crew on deck. The Lusitania is torpedoed, with much smoke writhing about the ship. There were many famous individuals on board, including wealthy sportsman Alfred G. Vanderbilt and theatrical entrepreneur Frohman.
We then see lifeboats being lowered from the ship, which is sinking by the bow. The final scene shows the victims strewn between lifeboats and the open sea.