Pioneer in animated cartoons

That would be Lotte Reiniger, honored on June 1st by a wonderful Google Doodle:

This is just a screen capture. You can watch  the actual video here. (Incidental note: I find the division of GOOGLE into GOO + GLE risible. More goo!)

In honor of the great pioneer of animated cartoons, Lotte Reiniger.

(Hat tip to Benita Bendon Campbell.)

Text from Google on the 1st:

Lotte Reininger created visually stunning and fantastical films using black cardboard, scissors, and boundless imagination. Pre-dating Walt Disney by nearly a decade, Reiniger pioneered a style of animation that relied on thousands of photos of paper cut-out silhouettes arranged to tell a story. It was a painstaking process that involved moving paper characters ever so slightly and snapping a photo of each movement. She created many films over the years, including The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the oldest surviving feature length animation.

Nearly a century later, Reiniger continues to inspire animators and artists. On what would have been her 117th birthday, we celebrate Reiniger’s limitless creativity and pioneering spirit. (Original music by Silas Hite)

From Wikipedia:

Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger (2 June 1899 – 19 June 1981) was a German film director and the foremost pioneer of silhouette animation. Reiniger made more than 40 films over her career, all using her invention. Her best known films are The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) – the oldest surviving feature-length animated film, preceding Walt Disney’s feature-length Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) by over ten years – and Papageno (1935), featuring music by Mozart. Reiniger is also noted for devising a predecessor to the first multi-plane camera.

Pretty much everything is now available as videos. A sampling:

Cinderella (1922): video here

The Secret of the Marquise (1922): video here

clip from The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926): video here

Papageno (1935): video here

The Magic Horse (1953): video here

Hansel and Gretel (1955): video here

Jack and the Beanstalk (1955): video here

So why is Disney a household word and Reiniger not? Part of it is surely the difference between an American man and a German woman, but also important is that, though both created fantasies for children (and adults as well),  Reiniger seems to have seen herself primarily as an artist (and reveled in the abstraction of her silhouette cutouts), while Disney seens to have seen himself primarily as an enterainer (and reveled in the cuteness of his creations); also, from early on, Disney was an entrepreneur, selling himself like a real American go-getter and making deals to promote himself.

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