(Roughly) Daily

“Animation isn’t the illusion of life; it is life”*…

Lotte Reiniger’s Papageno, 1935 (with music by Mozart)

A unsung pioneer…

A decade before Walt Disney Productions came into existence, making its name synonymous with animated films, there was another pioneer of the art form — Lotte Reiniger.

Reiniger’s filmmaking career spanned 60 years, during which she created more than 70 silhouette animation films, including versions of “Cinderella,” “Puss in Boots” and “Hansel and Gretel.” She’s perhaps best known for her 1926 silent film “The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” a fantastical adaptation of “The Arabian Nights” that was among the first full-length animated features ever made [and the oldest still in existence]…

Beginning with “Prince Achmed,” she also created an early version of the multiplane camera, which gave two-dimensional animation a hitherto unexplored depth, movement and complexity. She called her device a tricktisch, or trick table…

Reiniger’s tricktisch, or trick table, gave two-dimensional animation a previously unexplored depth.

More of Reiniger’s work: The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) and a Nivea commercial (1920).

More of Reiniger’s remarkable story: “Overlooked No More: Lotte Reiniger, Animator Who Created Magic With Scissors and Paper” (gift article) from @nytimes, and on Wikipedia.

Chuck Jones


As we sit with the shadows, we might recall that it was on this date in 1935 that Mickey’s Garden was released.  Directed by Wilfred Jackson, it was the second Mickey cartoon produced in color and the first color appearance of Pluto. It is also, notably, the first short on which Ollie Johnston (a cleanup artist at the time, ultimately, one of Disney’s “Nine Old Men“) worked.

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