I totally get what you’re saying, Lindsay, and I agree with you. Disney is Disney because he was a very good businessman. I just wish imaginations like McCay’s could have gotten as much traction as a boring mouse. It’s a bit like the Tesla/Edison divide. Altho I feel bad comparing Disney or anyone to Edison. At his very worst Uncle Walt wouldn’t have publicly electrocuted an elephant.
In Walt Disney’s defense, he’s not the patriarch of animation because of his animating skills, he’s the patriarch of animation because of his business and leadership skills in the field of animation. We know him because he was a groundbreaking entrepreneur, aficionado of technology, and lover of storytelling. His creation of a boring cartoon mouse is sort of beside the point.
Sorry, I get a little sensitive when it comes to Disney. Calling Disney merely an animator is like calling Lincoln merely a lawyer. He was a lot more than that.
In a much better world Winsor McCay would be the patriarch of animation and not that Disney guy.