The Enchanting Lotte Reiniger

Right before Christmas, one of the Art teachers in my department, decided that she would have the students create shadow puppets as a nice little wind down to the week that we were breaking up for the holidays. I love shadow puppets, there is something very magical about them!

She showed the students a video by Lotte Reiniger, so they could get an idea of what kind of final outcome they were aiming for and to see how the process works in actuality. I had never seen these Reiniger videos before and I fell in love with them. They are beautifully crafted and absolutely enchanting.

She was a true visionary, ahead of her time in innovation and even beat out Walt Disney in the designing of and use of a multi-plane camera to achieve distinctive visual effects. She was filmed to show her working through her creative process and it is truly astonishing to see how quickly she sketches and expertly cuts the puppet she is creating.

As a group of digital Art students are now working on a similar shadow puppet project, it made me think of these bewitching videos, so I thought I would share them with you! There is such a sweetness to them and they are without a doubt, timeless interpretations of beloved fairy tales! Enjoy!

(Still images courtesy of the Animation Archive)