Synopsis by Craig Butler
In this silent cartoon, famed cartoonist Winsor McCay is shown at his club, where he is regaling his friends with his latest idea: creating pen drawings that move. His friends laugh uproariously at the suggestion, which prompts McCay to enter into a bet that in one month's time he can return with 4000 pen drawings that will move. McCay returns to his studio and orders several barrels of ink and several immense packages of drawing paper. Although things do not run totally smoothly -- the boy who dusts for McCay makes a tremendous mess of things at one point -- by the end of the month, McCay is ready to show his animated drawings to his friends. First, a drawing of Flip appears, as if drawn by an invisible hand. Color is added, and the words "watch me move" appear above him. He does indeed move, and is soon joined by his friend Inky, who is formed out of blocks, and the two jump up and down. Nemo then pops in as if by magic, and as he bows, his friends go through a series of contortions as if in a funhouse mirror. Flip and Inky disappear, and a pen flies into Nemo's hand. He uses it to draw the beautiful Princess and gives her a gigantic rose that quickly grows behind him. A huge dragon appears; when he opens his mouth, it forms a throne. The Princess and Nemo sit in the throne and the dragon moves offscreen, as Flip and Inky reappear in a car. The car crashes, and they fall on top of a doctor who has just appeared on the scene. At that point, McCay's hand appears holding the last drawing, marked "4000."
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance, High Production Values