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Lotte Reiniger (1899 –  1981)Creator of the Oldest Surviving Animated Feature

The third oldest animated feature, and oldest surviving piece since Argentina’s Quirino Cristiani’s work was lost, was created by German animator Lotte Reiniger. Long before Walt Disney, her work animating wooden rats for ‘Pied Piper of Hamelin’ in 1918 got her accepted at an experimental animation studio, and five years later she was approached to create a feature-length animated film, ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed.’ Reiniger crafted the film by manipulating silhouette cutouts. Though it at first struggled, with the support of artist Jean Renoir, the feature made it to Cannes and subsequently critical and popular success. Her work also inspired the recent “The Story of the Three Brothers” animated sequence in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One.’

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