The Adventures Of Prince Achmed

  • 1926
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Adventure, Animated, Fantasy

German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger's ground-breaking, silent, animated fantasy feature used cut-out paper silhouettes -- inspired by Indonesian shadow puppets -- to tell a tale that combines pieces of several stories from The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights. The story begins with a hideously ugly African sorcerer, who creates a flying...read more

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German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger's ground-breaking, silent, animated fantasy feature used cut-out paper silhouettes -- inspired by Indonesian shadow puppets -- to tell a tale that combines pieces of several stories from The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights.

The story begins with a hideously ugly African sorcerer, who creates a flying wooden horse that transports him to Baghdad, where he tricks the Caliph into giving him the hand of his daughter, Dinarsade. Young Prince Achmed, the Caliph's son, tries to rescue his sister by using his wiles to gain possession of the magical horse. But he neglects to ask how to stop it, and by the time he figures it out, he's far from home. Achmed falls in love with an island princess, Peri Banu, and spirits her away to China; he finally persuades her to marry him, only to lose her and the flying horse to the shape-shifting sorcerer. Before the prince finds his way home, he's thrown into a volcano, finds an unlikely ally in a powerful witch, saves the life of the legendary Aladdin, abttles monsters and, after many supernatural traivails, rescues both Peri Banu and Dinarsade from the forces of darkness.

Though academic debate about the identity of the very first animated feature film continues, THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED certainly predates Walt Disney's famous SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937) by a decade. Financed by a Berlin banker possessed by the then-quixotic idea of making a full-length animated film and painstakingly produced over a period of three years, PRINCE ACHMED was restored in 2003 and made widely available for the first time since its 1926 premiere.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger's ground-breaking, silent, animated fantasy feature used cut-out paper silhouettes -- inspired by Indonesian shadow puppets -- to tell a tale that combines pieces of several stories from The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thou… (more)
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