Lotte Reiniger (1926)

The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a 1926 German animated fairytale film by Lotte Reiniger. It is the oldest surviving animated feature film. The Adventures of Prince Achmed features 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.

Several famous avant-garde animators worked on this film with Lotte Reiniger, among them Walter Ruttmann, Berthold Bartosch, and Carl Koch.

The story is based on elements taken from the One Thousand and One Nights, specifically “The Story of Prince Achmed and the Fairy Paribanou” featured in Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book.