The Adventures of Prince Achmed - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Adventures of Prince Achmed Reviews

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August 22, 2016
Absolutely stunning visuals. I can hardly believe that this is from the mid 20's. Definitely worth a watch.
November 11, 2015
One of the great works of animation. A gorgeous masterpiece.
November 1, 2015
The first ever animated film is one of the best. Made in 1926 by Lotte Reiniger, it tells the story of Prince Achmed and his incredible adventures in this fantasy film. This movie would revolutionize the animation genre, and even inspire the Wizard's Duel from Sword in the Stone, and obviously Aladdin. The attention to detail in close ups, backgrounds, hand and facial movements makes for an ethereal treat, and the music simply makes it divine. Definitely recommended for all.
July 26, 2015
the first animated film is still among the triumphs of the medium - even in stop motion with shadow-puppets.
July 5, 2015
A real groundbreaking achievement. Predates Snow White by 11 years as the first animated epic. Visuals still hold up crazy good too
½ December 6, 2014
A must see for literate grade-schoolers, animation buffs, German art-haus fans, or silent-era snobs. This may actually be the best example of silhouette animation ever, with a score written to be performed at the 1926 premier. This set a high standard for Fleischer & Disney in the following years.
August 21, 2014
Pioneering silhouette animation -- German filmmakers Lotte Reiniger and Carl Koch used cut-outs across an illuminated sheet of glass and incorporated stop-motion movements -- isn't its sole charm: The Adventures of Prince Achmed has aged beautifully. It's avant-garde by today's standards and an overall visual delight.

P.S., whenever you're in doubt of 20th century feminism, just remember that a woman helped pioneer feature full-length animation.
June 7, 2014
With a running time of just over an hour, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is astonishing to watch due to the animation created in the mid-20's. Often classed as the first animation, Reiniger presents the story of Prince Achmed and Aladdin in the form of paper cut outs. The difference with these cut outs are the amount of details in them. For the start of this type of medium, it is very impressive. With nothing but a black silhouette, you are still able to recognise facial features, clothing and objects. Not all characters are the same and you can easily follow who is who. It is not just characters which are cut out, but complete buildings, land and furniture. This brings you a full world for the characters to interact with.
Whilst their are some dialogue boxes in German, this is not a problem for those non-German speakers. These segments are very few and does not prevent you from following the story. Just by watching the action on screen, you are able to understand exactly what is going on right up to the end.
With the movement of the images so fluently without jumping, Prince Achmed is a joy to view and shows clearly the inspirations that gave Disney their ideas.
January 19, 2014
The answer to the question, "What is the first ever animated feature film?" is actually NOT Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". It's actually THIS film. This fantasy which utilizes silhouettes of paper-cut-outs and other stuff I don't know may seem crude at first but it won't take long for one to get swept up in the story and marvel at how inventive the animation is. The fantasy action scenes here are almost every bit as rousing as anything you can make in the computer. A beautiful little animated film which must be seen more.
January 11, 2014
A visual eye saw that I don't doubt still baffles the greatest minds in animation today. To think this was envisioned & made in 1926's light years ahead of its time.

The story was interesting but it's amazing amount of expression through the animation the characters had, they all had so defined personalities.

The is such a unique viewing experience that although clearly German expressionist but a real surreal silent film experience that is unlike many of other films of its era.
½ December 14, 2013
Show it to your kids, let their dreams be forever haunted by black, featureless shadows rolling around with weirdly mangled fingers while German words flash on the screen.
May 12, 2013
"The adventures of Princes Achmed" was one of the first animated films of the history of cinema and it is also one of the best animated films ever made.
December 18, 2012
A really incredible animated film from 1926. The silhouette animation technique used here looks great, and the dyed backgrounds really add to the already unique flavor. I love that the film opened with all of the characters introduced then it moves on to the story of the magician taking his flying horse to the king's birthday in hopes to marry his daughter, Dinarsade. His plan works, but Prince Achmed takes the horse and flies away so the deal cannot be completed. When he flies away he discovers a land of beautiful women who find him handsome. After he leaves he hides out next to a pond where the women fly in with their own feather suits and bathe. He pops out to tell Pari Banu that he loves her and wants her to run away with him. Of course eventually she does, but she's captured by the magician when he comes back for revenge. Prince Achmed then goes on a journey to get back Pari Banu, and along his travels he meets Aladdin and an old witch whose enemy is the magician. Meanwhile the magician has taken Pari Banu to China to be the emperor's new wife. Our three heroes work together to kill the magician, get back Pari Banu, and for Aladdin to win back Dinarsade. Beautifully animated and told with spot on pacing, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is not only great for it's time, but it's also one of the greatest animated films of all time.
October 22, 2012
Beautiful film!

I'm surprised how amazing this film looks, being the oldest animated feature film in history just 10 years before Walt Disney's Snow White. It's so innovative and way ahead of its time. It is artistic as Fantasia with the simple love story like Aladdin.

Although the movie is silent, after almost 100 years, it doesn't seem to show its age and it still retains its charm.

It's incredibly unique and I would recommend this to any animation lover.
Super Reviewer
½ October 12, 2012
Having the distinction of being the first animated feature, "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" has a lot to offer for film history. The fact that it has quality to it to back it up is in itself, impressive.

Silhouette animation, the film is comprised of it all throughout. It's an impressive technique to look at, especially for those who truly love animation, though it is noticeable that it is one that is hard to work with. The filmmakers behind this clearly knew how to use it in a way that made it stunning to look at, there is a high amount of detail in the settings, the people making it, must have gone crazy throughout it, it is that impressive. The character designs are well done enough to differentiate the characters enough to know who is who most of the time, unfortunately, there are certain sequences where it goes so quick, or gets to crowded that it becomes confusing, though it never gets beyond a minor issue.

"Achmed's" pacing never goes bad, but it does at times feel like ten more minutes would have helped it. It has a simple story, evil magician messes with prince prince must save day, prince falls in love, and finally prince wins, it is pretty predictable, but it is still good for a fun time, as well as just to look at this rarely used animation technique.

"The Adventures of Prince Achmed" is a fun little piece of film and animation history, though it may not be too interesting for those who are not a fan of animation.
½ July 2, 2012
Although a couple of long-lost Argentinean films may or may not predate it, this stands in the history books as the oldest surviving feature-length animated picture in history, a fact which is genuinely astounding given how well it's aged. Although the entire film is populated by silhouettes, the creative intellects responsible quickly shift that handicap into a calling card. Extravagantly ornate character and set designs give us more than enough to establish the cast and tell its ambitious fairy tale, while the thick black mattes leave just as much of the screen to be filled in by the viewer's imagination. Judged by modern standards the pace is very slow, but the plot - lifted piecemeal from a dozen different myths and fables - moves in unexpectedly bold directions. Best viewed as a spectacular time capsule, it's an enlightening glimpse at the roots of a proud industry that's yet to finish its first century.
½ June 8, 2012
The Adventures of Prince Achmed is the first surviving animated film and the first stop-motion animated film ever. The animation and the visuals are outstanding for 1926. The story is interesting and the battle scenes are epic. But the first couple of acts are little boring, the plot revolves a little too fast and as can be expected for the year it was made, the characterization is really weak. Overall, it is a solid film and an amazing historical artifact.
May 11, 2012
Came across this one via IMBD recently and watched it with the kids tonight. A quite astonishing silent movie animation from 1926, done entirely with silhouettes , very beautifully done.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2011
Blasphemously forgotten and ignored, Reiniger's visual delight of mythical creatures, magic, romance, exotic lands and wonderful tales remains as a longstanding legend in international celluloid. This is my second personal favorite animated film of all times, of any era, of any kind.

The mere thought of the fact that this movie was in danger of extinction gives terror to my soul. May God bless the hearts and souls of those who emptied their time and effort to restore this craved gem.

July 30, 2011
a fantastically enchanting film. a traditional and familiar story told through beautifully imaginative shadow puppet animation. a brilliant piece of early cinema that really draws you in to its magic and creativity. really really enjoyable.
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