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The Adventures of Prince Achmed

47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The first full-length animated film is still hailed as an enchanting masterpiece and one of the great classics: beautiful, mesermizing, and utterly seductive! Director Lotte Reiniger creates pure cinematic magic with her hand-cut silhouettes and, with her elegant and intricate designs, brings characters vividly to life with a rare lyrical quality. Taken from "The Arabian Nights," the film tells the story of a wicked sorcerer who tricks Prince Achmed into mounting a magical flying horse which sends the rider off on a flight to his death. But the prince foils the evil plan and soars headlong into a series of wondrous adventures, joining forces with Aladdin and the Witch of the Fiery Mountains, doing battle with the sorcerer's army of monsters and demons, and falling in love with the bautiful Princess Peri Banu. Beautifully restored with its spectacular original color tinting and featuring a new orchestral recording of the magnificent original score, this dazzling adventure will enthrall children and film enthusiasts of all ages.


Special Features

  • "Lotte Reiniger: Homage to the Inventor of the Silhouette Film," a 60-minute documentary written and directed by Katja Raganelli
  • 1921 animated advertising trailer by Lotte Reiniger
  • Still gallery
  • Optional voice-over narration soundtrack

Product Details

  • Directors: Carl Koch, Lotte Reiniger
  • Writers: Lotte Reiniger
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Silent, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714B2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,912 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By R Atherton on January 9, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For once there is no ambiguity: "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" is definitely the first feature length animated cartoon. Working in a converted garage, Reininger and her two assistants (one of whom specialized in magical soap bubble effects!) took three years to complete "Achmed." The film was a success, but for whatever reason Reininger spent the rest of her long career making shorts and advertisements (that I've never seen-hint, hint, Milestone). You might think, Hoo boy, an hour of nothing but black silhouettes on white. But give the film half a chance (especially in this magnificently colored restoration, with wonderful musical accompaniment) and I guarantee you'll be hooked. The complex tale of Achmed, his beloved, the wicked Magician, the kindly and powerful Ogre, the magical flying horse, and all the other characters are animated in a fantastically expressive manner, and the film moves at a breathless but comprehensible pace. This is one you'll come back to.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Gina Miller on June 18, 2005
Format: DVD
This movie is based on the Middle Eastern classic Arabian Nights . The Arabian tapestry is felt in genuine form in Lotte's interpretation. In fact Lotte is very talented when it comes to conjuring up a particular time and place in her other works as well. Lotte is a master of creating a dreamy, hypnotic, universe, out of jointed silhouettes. The moving objects morph perfectly into complex shapes, a magnificent bird into a spellbound woman, a magical palace out of fallen stars. The movie is entrancing, beautiful, and ethereal, not just for the time it was made, but even when you watch it now. There is a mood of fairy tales, other worldly, creativity and a genuine success at telling a story, with paper for crying out loud! After watching this animation, the visions will linger behind your sight like a soft daydream glow of a memory. If you are a current day animator the results of Lotte's work considering her limited technology, will blow your mind. If you are not an animator, this movie, will blow your mind. Lotte is an integral part of cinematic history. I have a more extensive and lengthy version of this review at my animation blog site here: [...] which you are invited to visit, read and comment on.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on September 30, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
A silent animated film created in 1926 by German artist Lotte Reiniger. Considered to be the first full-length animated feature at 65 minutes, what makes this so special is not the story, but the animation itself which sets itself apart from anything tradional or even experimental Disney has done in their youth. All the characters and sets are done in silhouette from paper cut outs with hinges to manipulate the peoples actions. The result is an incredible and unique look that has never been matched before or since. Reineger certainly has her work cut out for her as she mastered this format throughout the rest of her career. In this video, in addition to the main feature which is a story from the Arabian Nights, is also a commercial Reineger did for the German creme company, as well as a 60-minute documentary on Lottes life. The documentary is bit slow, but it does display many of her other works, equally obscure and beautiful. If you are interested in classic cinema or animation, then by all means, you really should see this. While watching this, I am surprised that Disney showed no signs of influence in their early experimental stages. Highly reccomended classic!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Galina on January 2, 2007
Format: DVD
Visiting last week the exhibition," The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America" at Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, I was very lucky to watch as a part of the exhibit Charlotte (Lotte) Reiniger's "Die Geschichte des Prinzen Achmed" (The Adventures of Prince Achmed"), completed in 1926, which makes it THE oldest surviving animated feature film. Lotte Reiniger (June 2, 1899 - June 19, 1981) was a German (and later a British) silhouette animator and film director. Through elaborating articulated paper silhouettes set to an original score by Wolfgang Zeller, Reiniger combines in "Prince Achmed..." several fairy tales from the Thousand and One Nights aka Arabian Nights. Reiniger was ahead of Walt Disney by a decade using her innovative camera which separates foreground from background to produce 3-D illusion. She also experimented with wax and sand to create magical special effects. The result is simply stunning considering that the film is 80 years old. It did not age at all, it is paced extremely well, and its backgrounds literally hypnotize the viewers of any age. By the power of her creativity and imagination, Reiniger takes the viewers to the dream world of mesmerizing and magic characters and their incredible adventures.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Bromberg on April 25, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Milestone should be given high praise for this project. Most viewers will have seen nothing like Ms. Reiniger's silhouette animation, which seems as remarkable today as it must have in 1926. Jean Renoir had a hand in getting this film exhibited in Paris, and then became a lifelong creative friend of the animator and her husband. On the DVD, the English subtitles seem less distracting to the music score than the voiceover track, but viewers have that option. The companion documentary is a glimpse into the director's life and art for those who are unfamiliar with Ms. Reiniger and want to learn more. "The Adventure of Prince Achmed" is a fascinating film most viewers will want to watch more than once.
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