Who is Lotte

LOTTE REINIGER was an inventor and an innovator. Her unique style of storytelling and visual contrast inspired many, including modern day filmmakers Henry Selick, Anthony Lucas and ourselves. Her 1926 film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed was the first ever feature length animation. She also invented the multi-plane camera allowing her to create a sense of depth in her films, which was a major contribution to the field of animation.

LISTEN to Lotte's charming biography

TOLD by Susan Stone of the Dead Ladies Show PODCAST:

"Through her pioneering fusion of silhouette craft with the emerging medium of animation film, Reiniger’s work transforms a handmade form – traditionally practiced by women with no access to formal training – into a distinctly modern and aesthetically radical medium." - Tashi Petter


"No one else has taken a specific animation technique and made it so utterly her own.... To date she has no rivals, and for all practical purposes the history of silhouette animation begins and ends with Reiniger." - Philip Kemp, the BFI

LOTTE REINIGER (1899-1981) was an animator, an inventor, a storyteller, and a trailblazer. Her unique style inspired many, including modern day filmmakers Henry Selick, Nora Twomey and many others. Her 1926 film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is the oldest surviving feature length animation, and while directing it, she invented the multi-plane camera, which was a major contribution to the field of animation. Her films are imbued with an unmatched grace and beauty due to her passion for an aesthetic she transformed so distinctly. Lotte once said that animation is “not so much a technical implement as the expression of the spirit behind it.” Sadly, her career was suddenly upended when the Nazi Regime overtook her hometown of Berlin. She was forced to leave in 1936, and she wasn’t able to find a permanent home again until the 1950s, and then finally, she and her husband became British citizens in 1961, but despite all of this, she continued making films up until her death in 1981. Her last film was created in front of a live audience in 1980 inside the Dusseldorf Filmmuseum while sitting at her iconic tricktisch (or animation table) that they still have on exhibit there.


Women Film Pioneers Project: Comprehensive Profile of Lotte Reiniger

Lotte Reiniger: The Film Pioneer and Her Silhouette Films.

Myth-buster: Who invented the multiplane camera?

Purchase DVD: The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Biography: The British Film Institute Biography of Lotte Reiniger

Reading material: In depth history of Lotte Reiniger

Lotte Reiniger:  Animation World Network