The Adventures of Prince Achmed DVD+Blu-ray

aka Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed, Lotte Reiniger, 1926

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Film Details

Directed by Lotte Reiniger

Produced in 1926

Main Language - Silent

Countries & Regions - European Film, German Film

Film Description

The earliest surviving animated feature film (preserved in the BFI National Archive), Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) was an astonishing labour of love, taking three years and 300,000 camera shots to make. Reiniger herself cut out every single silhouette herself and hand-tinted the film frame by frame. The result is an enchanting film which still stands as one of the greatest classics of animation - delicate, lively, inventive, poetic and also filled with action.

Based on 'The Arabian Nights', the film tells the epic tale of Prince Achmed, who is tricked into mounting a magical flying horse by a wicked sorcerer. The horse carries Achmed off on a series of adventures, over the course of which he joins forces with a young Aladdin, battles ogres and monsters and romances the beautiful Princess Peri Banu.

Made in card, cut entirely by hand, and then manipulated using sheets of lead joined by wires, Reiniger’s exquisite shadow characters move intricately through colourful worlds of demons, witches, beautiful princesses and flying castles.

Newly mastered to High Definition, this exquisite film is presented with the original Wolfgang Zeller score, as well as a newly-created track which combines Zeller score with a voice over (by actress Penelope McGhie) based on Reiniger's own telling of the tale.

DVD+Blu-ray Details

Certificate: PG

Publisher: BFI

Length: 66 mins

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Format: DVD+Blu-ray B&W

Region: 2

Released: 19th August 2013

Cat No: BFIB1165

DVD+Blu-ray Extras

  • 2 discs
  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • Original Wolfgang Zeller score
  • Newly recorded alternative narration based on Lotte Reiniger's own translation of her German text Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed, spoken by actress Penelope McGhie
  • The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle (Reiniger, 1928) - a series of three short films based on the classic stories by Hugh Lofting
  • The Flying Coffer (Reiniger, 1921): a poor young fisherman tries to rescue the Emperor of China's daughter who is imprisoned in a sky high pagoda
  • The Secret of the Marquise (Reiniger, 1922): an early advert for Nivea skin care products
  • The Lost Son (Reiniger, 1974): the New Testament parable animated in Lotte Reiniger's inimitable style
  • The Star of Bethlehem (Reiniger, 1956): the nativity story with music by Peter Gellhorn, performed by the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
  • Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned essays by Jez Stewart, Philip Kemp and Marina Warner.

Community Reviews

by Anon on 18th October 2001

The first cut out, clip out, sihouette film ever made. The 1926 forerunner of the cartoon, hte effects, atmosphere and colours have to be seen to be believed. A trul... Read on

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