Thursday, May 28, 2009
Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (1926)
The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a feature-length animated film by the german animator Lotte Reiniger. It is the oldest surviving animated feature film (two earlier ones were made in Argentina by Quirino Cristiani, but they are considered lost, and it featured a silhouette animation technique Reiniger had invented which involved manipulated cutouts made from cardboard and thin sheets of lead under a camera. The technique she used for the camera is similar to Wayang shadow puppets (though hers were animated frame by frame, not manipulated in live action). The original prints featured color tinting. The story is based on the elements taken from the collection 1001 Arabian Nights, specifically The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou featured in Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book. With the assistance of Aladdin, the Witch of the Fiery Mountain, and a magic horse, the title character battles the evil African sorcerer to win the hand of Princess Pari Banou.
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