Lotte Reiniger – Early Animation at it’s Best
December 28, 2008
Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981) was a German artist and animator who created a plethora of animated films and shorts during her lifetime. Reiniger is noted for her creation of “Silhouette Animation” and credited with the development of the first full length animated feature “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” in 1926. Reiniger’s animation style may have been influenced by the Indonesian art of Wayang shadow puppets.
Each of Reiniger’s shadow figures were painstakingly cut and joined together with wire by hand. Each joint was moved individually and photographed as early stop motion animation.
After the filming, the backgrounds were color tinted. Below are some amazing stills from various films.
The final project appears as the below clip from Lotte Reiniger’s “Cinderella” from the early 1950’s
You can see the influence that Reiniger’s animation had on other noted animators such as Mary Blair. Blair developed concepts for Disney classics such as “Alice in Wonderland”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Peter Pan”, and “It’s a Small World” Some of Blair’s concept sketches for Disney are below.