The Adventures Of Prince Achmed is the earliest surviving animated film and it comes right out of Germany's Expressionism movement during the 1920s. As one can imagine, a German Expressionism animated film is a pure treat to watch.
There is an artistry presented with The Adventures Of Prince Achmed that goes above and beyond the kind of animated craftsmanship one would have expected for the Silent Era. The film features two-dimensional silhouette-style animation. It's quite remarkable to watch, especially for a people who are so use to the three-dimensional CGI style of animation. The movements of the characters in the film surprisingly fluid and offer a lot of expression.
The Adventures Of Prince Achmed is all about the animation. That is the reason to see it, and it is certainly a good reason. It is truly spectacular. But is the story worth telling? The story is one that has been told many times before: of the Arabian knights. It's a fantasy film and contains a lot of terrific creatures and lends itself to a particular standard of magic that many films should try to meet.
That all being said, I have to admit that I was glad the film only ran for about seventy minutes. After awhile, the animation style does get rather old. As I got more use to the style, it began to engage me less and less, and the story was not quite engaging enough to be of great worth. This is a film that is all about the animation, and if the animation does not impress the audience, they will not find much else for redemption here.
But it is still a very inventive and ingenious film. The wizard duel that takes place toward the end of the film was one of my favorite parts of the movie. This is where the animation style really lifts itself off its feet to become every bit as enchanting as an audience might want. As a matter of fact, every bit of animation that had anything to do with the sorcerer character was very spectacular. It was truly magical to watch.
The Adventures that Prince Achmed has are... interesting. As I have mentioned, they are magical. There is an assortment of magical creatures that he meets and must fight off and so forth. He falls in love with a princess of another land, flies around on a magical horse, and even comes across Aladdin and his magic lamp. All this is impressive and leads to some very memorable sequences of animation. The story is, of course, predictable and not overly engaging, but it works well with the animation, and that is what is important.