The Adventures of Prince Achmed by Berlin avant-gardist Lotte Reiniger was one of the world's first feature-length animated films and premièred in 1926 (with Fritz Lang in the audience!). Employing her unsurpassed silhouette techniques, Reiniger hand-cut and crafted each individual image in this story based on The Arabian Nights. Assisted by husband producer/photographer Carl Koch and fellow animators Berthold Bartosch and Walter Ruttmann, the film took a painstaking 3 years and 300,000 camera shots to complete.
Sadly, much of Reiniger's unique work, including the original negative of this film, was destroyed in Berlin at the end of World War II. However, a nitrate positive had been preserved in the archives of the BFI (British Film Insitute) and, in 1999, 100 years after the birth of Reiniger, new prints were made from it and the original film restored. Fortunately too, Wolfgang Zeller's original music score had been preserved in the Library of Congress, Washington.
To this day it remains timeless, classic, sophisticated, poetic, delicate, magical... a defining example of the unique art of animation.