Lotte Reiniger’s career in animation and her first full-‐length animated film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed
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Lotte Reiniger was the woman responsible for making the world’s first full-‐length animated film, Die Geschichte des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed, 1926). Along with her collaborators, she worked on the film for three years during the era of the Weimar Republic in Germany. The Adventures of Prince Achmed was shown in theatres all over the world including Berlin, France, London, New York, and Tokyo, and was always met with many positive reviews. Reiniger’s career was a long and prominent one, but her work is virtually unknown outside of animation studies. While there is not a lack of materials written on Reiniger and her work, there is still very little assessment of her accomplishments. The purpose of this thesis is to establish the art historical significance of Reiniger’s career, specifically that of The Adventures of Prince Achmed. This thesis treats Lotte Reiniger and the artists who collaborated on her films, their animation techniques, and how their films were made. Reviews from The Adventures of Prince Achmed’s earliest showings and Reiniger’s contemporaries’ assessments of her workmake it clear that she was a brilliant artist. I compare The Adventures of Prince Achmed with other animated films being made at the time, and consider the artists that have been inspired by Reiniger’s work up to the present in order to more fully assess the impact of the film on historically significant forms of film art.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Animation: definitions and explanations -- Lotte Reiniger's bibliography -- The Weimar Republic in Germany -- The Arabian Nights and the narrative of the Adventures of Prince Achmend -- The making of The Adventures of Prince Achmed -- The Adventures of Prince Achmed's premiere -- Reiniger's contribution to animation -- Conclusion