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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