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Adventures of Prince Achmed [DVD] [2029] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714B2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 520,259 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: DVD
This is a remarkable film; made in 1926 by a handful of people under the direction of Lotte Reiniger, ten years before Disney's 'Snow White', this is the first animated feature film still in existence - and we can count ourselves lucky, since the original negatives were all lost in the war. Told in lovingly crafted silhouetted, with a first-class orchestral score, this is an engaging, magical adventure with echoes of the Arabian Nights and Chinese shadow theatre - modern kids might find it heavy going but the child in the rest of us should love it if we give it a chance. Beautiful and atmospheric, with a finely told dramatic story, this is a delightful film and the BFI have done a superb job in rescuing it from the archives and restoring it. Turn the lights down, take the phone off the hook, light some joss sticks and enjoy something quite unique.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Lotte Reiniger made this enchanting film with a small team, frame by painstaking frame. The characters and scenery remain shadows against tinted backgrounds - it plays like the dream shadow-theatre that you could never have actually made yourself. The stories, adapted from the Arabian Nights, are exciting and absorbing as well for young children, a little tiresome for adults, though Jean Renoir called this 'a masterpiece'. On this DVD we also get a well-made and thoughtful documentary on Reiniger which outlines her biography, has interviews with relatives and experts, and - best of all - contains many beautiful clips from her other shadow films which I hope will be released soon.
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Format: Blu-ray
Historians, film buffs, and Disney fanatics all cite Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) as the first animated feature. While it is the first animated feature as we Americans tend to think of animation, actually that “first” honor goes to a little known, innovative oddity from eleven years earlier. The Adventures Of Prince Achmed (1926) is a labor of love from the pioneering female German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger and her husband, Carl Koch.

What makes Achmed still unique 88 years later is animation entirely composed of cutout silhouettes. The result was one of the silent era’s most enchanting and captivating films. It is also a lucid reminder that the medium of film was at its most innovative in its infancy, before the rules were set and the mediums defined.

Reiniger lucked into a patron for her artistic efforts: Louis Hagen supplied her with enough film stock and financing to proceed with her project. Using scissors and black construction paper as her primary tools, Reiniger spent three years meticulously working in an attic on Achmed with a small crew that included her husband/cinematographer, Koch.

Influenced in part by Georges Méliès and Arabian Nights, Reiniger created a world of sensuous, exquisitely detailed beauty. The film has an almost surprisingly coherent and linear narrative, given that Reiniger was embraced by the European avant-garde. Unfortunately, the director had difficulty booking Achmed, and with the exception of Dr. Doolittle And His Animals (1928), the rest of her career was relegated to short films. There was work on a third feature, to be based on Maurice Ravel’s enchanting opera, “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges”; unfortunately, rights to the music could not be secured and the film was abandoned.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
What a beautiful film! the artistry in the silhouette work is incredible, not only in itself, but that the figures move with such fluidity, its astonishing, everyone should see at least one Lotte Reiniger film in their life to absorb the magic these films conjure up.
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Format: DVD
The only example of Lotte Reiniger's exquisite art at present available, it is difficult to convey the magic and beauty of this film. Animated sillhouettes show an enchanting story . Whilst beautiful, it is not the best example of her work. Tantalising morsels are shown in the excellent 'extra' which shows the staggering talent behind these cut-out scenes and players. Where are all those delightful short fairy stories which first enchanted me on Children's Television in the 1950s ? Please bring them together and release them to us soon.
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