The Adventures of Prince Achmed
I’ve previously written a few blog posts about Michel Ocelot, whose films have made him one of my favourite animation directors in the past few years. He’s probably most famous for ‘Kirikou and the Sorceress’, but his shadow plays and traditional folk style storytelling have become his recogniseable style.
One of the names that Ocelot cites as a big inspiration is Lotte Reiniger, the German animator who pioneered the silhouette animation style in the early part of the 20th Century. Mostly producing short films, she had a long career ranging from the early 1920s up until the late 1970s. I recently watched her first animated feature and most known work; ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ (1926).
Considering the age of the piece I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and during the opening three or four minutes I found myself thinking that this was going to be quite a long drawn out 80 minutes. This is a silent film you must remember, so everything depended on the visuals. However, moments later when the story presented itself, this concern was left behind.
The film is based on the old Persian tales, and features the familiar character of Aladdin. The subtle background cutouts elegantly portray the location and surroundings, and Reiniger uses a mixture of camera techniques and mixed media to suggest the magical elements of the plot. It is a simple story, but in that lies part of the beauty of this style. The film is listed as being 81 minutes in length but in reality it was just over an hour, and I think that this was just about right.
The DVD for the film also included some of Reiniger’s earlier shorts such as ‘The Star of Bethlehem’, ‘The Flying Coffer’ and ‘The Secret of the Marquis’. The latter of the three clearly being a commissioned advertisement in collaboration with Nivea skin products. These shorts follow the same silhouette style that she is famous for, and it’s easy to see the influence on Michel Ocelot’s present day works. But ultimately I would definitely include ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ in any list of must-watch animation films, particularly if you are a student or practioner of animation.
Here is the Animation I have created for uni. It is Space Station.
Apparently, Dexter has a load of muscle! As for George, to him, a load of balls!
'The Vector Project'
What I will be doing is creating a collection of Vector images which will be added to the portfolio.
From now till September part 1 pictures
Well I have dabbled in and out my craft bags these past few weeks. I have made a carrot out of the modelling clay ….
I have started to make my own grim reaper ( I now know your pain Abi! ) ….
I have also started to make my pet as a model.
I have mind mapped some ideas for next year and what I…
Space Station is a series about a steam train that flies in space and travels in time. It takes place in the 27th Century. It features a diversity of people, aliens and robots as tourists or ‘Mandela Mainline’ crew and they treat each equally (most of them that is).
a robotic train guard coming who in his late 40’s. He may not speak but he has a no nonsense attitude towards the tourist. He makes they have a ticket and no one gets on boards the train without a ticket.
she is in her mid 20’s. and her role is the stewardess. She might be attractive but she is self conscious and ditzy. She secretly has
a crush on Buck.
a robot vacuum cleaner that looks like an elephant. She hates messes and with hoover absolute everything. She is ‘Mandela Mainline’s pet and the tourists love her.
he is an easy going boss of ‘Mainline Mandela’ towards his crew and the tourists. But he can strict if needing to be.
Buckminster ‘Buck’ Fuller
he is a train driver in his early 30’s from South Africa and owner of Humphrey. Unlike his train, he is optimistic and enthusiastic.
Humphrey the Intergalactic Engine
a 7000 year old steam train, converted into a spaceship. He is grumpy and is much like a luddite but with futuristic trains. But he is very loyal and is a really useful engine.
in order -
- Images of build of cans
- Finley Our Rainbow Monster fish XD
- Me placing plasticine rocks for our waterfall scene
- All our little monsters on the waterfall set
- All the monsters together