Have you ever heard of Winsor McCay? He was a comic artist and animator, best known for his charming Little Nemo in Slumberland story. The movie you're probably thinking of was a Japanese remake, and it was introduced to the US in 1992. McCay's original film was simply called Little Nemo, and it was made in 1911 - that's a hundred years ago! What's much more impressive is that McCay drew all 4,000 cells of this film himself. (On a side note, the talented Hayao Miyazaki worked on the modern Little Nemo in Slumberland until creative differences separated him from the project)
McCays' strips stood out for his time because of his mastery of cartoon pacing and motion. His most popular comics were "set in the dreams of their characters and featured fantasy art that attempted to capture the look and feel of dreams." Although he never became very popular, he has always had a strong following - influencing prominent cartoonists such as Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), and Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are).