Silent Movie Day Review: The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)


Title: Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed
Release Date: 23 September 1926
Director: Lotte Reiniger
Production Company: Comenius-Film GmbH | Milestone Films

In honor of National Silent Movie Day, I watched the oldest surviving animated feature film. Director Lotte Reiniger invented a technique of silhouette animation using illuminated cutouts animated frame by frame.  The style is a bit mindblowing and I can imagine that it was the type of thing that might have been big as a midnight stoner movie in the 1970s.  On the other, the style is similar to shadow puppets going back to antiquity, so maybe it wasn’t so unusual for audiences in 1926.  The film illustrates stories adapted from One Thousand and One Nights.  It’s quite mesmerizing to watch and worth checking out for its historical importance as well as the intricate details.

Rating: ****