The Adventures of Prince Achmen. 1926. German. The oldest surviving animated film in history.
Nonono, you don’t understand how AWESOME this movie is
because it’s not done by a big production firm, or someone with a name as big as Walt Disney, no
the writer and “mind” behind this film was a WOMAN
yes, my dear tumblr peeps, the very first trick animator in the world was a young German woman who had an idea, and enough friends and time to make a feature-length animated film. And it took her three years
because the way this movie (and some shorter works she actually did before Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed) are done is really, really complex. You see those leaves, and the hair of the figures? Yes.
That’s hand-cut paper.
Lotte Reiniger - that’s her name, my friends - always loved the art beind the Chinese shadow puppetry, and after she heard a lecture by Paul Wegener (famous vor the early movies Der Golem and Der Student von Prag) about the possibilites of animated movies, she wanted to combine these two things.
And guys, how she combined it…
Most of the puppets and scenerey she made all by herself. Her friends set up a special table that was lighted from underneath, and in the later movies she would even change the colours of the background mid-scene to change the atmosphere. Above it was a camera, shooting photos of the scenes that she moved milimetre for milimetre for those 16 pictures per second she needed for her movie.
Which makes Die Abenteuer von Prinz Achmed not only the first animated feature-length movie, but also the first stop-motion movie.