Lotte Reiniger: The animation genius you’ve probably never heard of | BBC Ideas


This is Lotte Reiniger,
the unsung heroine of early animation. This amazing woman pioneered
early filming techniques in Germany but her achievements
remain largely unknown. As a child, Lotte was fascinated
with silhouette puppetry. She cut a hole in her dining table, snipped perfect puppets out of paper and turned her house
into an animation studio. She had a very distinct style and filmed the puppets
having great adventures. Her early work got her accepted
to an exclusive group of artists where she met her future husband
and creative partner, Carl Koch. It was Lotte Reiniger who invented
the first multiplane camera in 1923. This groundbreaking filming technique involved layering sheets of glass
underneath the camera to give the illusion of depth. She used her multiplane camera to create the first
animated feature film in colour: The magical and hypnotic Adventures
of Prince Achmed in 1926. This innovative new technique was
studied closely by Walt Disney. He then made a more sophisticated
multiplane camera which he patented as
his own studio’s invention. Disney released his first feature film,
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937, over a decade later. Due to the power
and influence of Hollywood it’s widely believed that Snow White
is the first animated feature but it’s not true. When Hitler and the Nazis
took power in Germany Lotte and her husband fled the country. They continued to make films
with anti-fascist undertones dotting between different
countries until their visas ran out. When they were forced
to return to Germany she had to make films
for the Nazis to survive. Eventually, when the war was finally over,
Lotte settled in London. She loved animating
fairy tales for children like this brilliant
adaptation of Thumbelina. She spent the rest of her life
making over 40 beautiful animated films. When Lotte Reiniger died in 1981, her genius was still little known. Overshadowed by the fame
that Disney enjoyed, it seemed her achievements
had been written out of history. But if you look carefully, many secret homages to her work
can be found in modern films by people who know the truth.

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Comments

  1. It seems everything is about women these days , constantly making everything about themselves . Ironicly though they accuse men of it 😂😂

  2. An unsung hero.👏🏿

    Not surprised to the 01:15 point that Disney stole her ideas, considering he stole the ideas for Disneyland (amongst others).

  3. Great. It is like the beer Budweiser. Firstly introduced by the brewer by Czech's brewing comoany, but now is well known as it it were brewed originally by the US brewing company.

  4. This is a feminist conspiracy theory about men. It's no better than Jewish conspiracies except for against half the people in the world

  5. Unsung? I don't know if it is due to being in this industrie myself (animation) but Lotte Reniger is historicaly a well known figure.
    Even if you're not an animator, if you use your head for a bit, you must wonder if, there was anything before Disney, as the start of moving images predates the 1930's. (That fact should be known, also outside of filmindustry)

    If you, for example, just accept Disney as the one true animation god, then you were not a curious person.

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