In 1991, "Gertie the Dinosaur" was one of 25 films added by the Library of Congress' National Film Preservation Board to the National Film Registry.
In the early years of the 20th century, Winsor McCay was a cartoonist for a New York newspaper and the creator of the comic strip "Little Nemo" McCay was also a notable vaudeville performer featured in the major circuit theaters such as the New York Palace. He built his act around his cartoon sketches.
McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" made in 1909 was the first major animated cartoon to catch the public imagination. It is said that 10,000 separate drawings were required for "Gertie."
A story regarding the initial release of this cartoon, which may or may not be true:
McCay had a very tough time getting a distributor for "Gertie the Dinosaur," and one fellow offered him an absurdly low figure for his creation.
McCay protested, observing that the price of the film stock needed to produce the cartoon was more than the amount offered.
The distributor's reply went something like this: "It was worth more before you drew all over it!"