Lotte (short for Charlotte) Reiniger was a German animator most well-known for her stop-motion animations. She was the inventor of silhouette animation, a two-dimensional variant to stop-motion. During her career, she made more than 40 films. Her most famous film, made in 1926, was Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (Prince of Achmed), the oldest feature-length animated film .
In order to create her films, she cut intricate characters, including animals, people and landscapes. She was so fast at making puppets with her small scissors, she would just rotate the paper quickly and keep her scissor hand going. She used a huge camera rig, located on a different floor. Another person would be taking pictures while she would sit on a low bench doing the actual animation. she took thousands of different pictures, carefully rearranging the puppets to create the illusion of movement and placing objects on different planes of glass to create the illusion of depth.
Her and her significant other figured out how to escape Nazi German however struggled to discover a nation who might give them shelter, so from 1933–1944 they moved from nation to nation, remaining the length of visas would permit, all while figuring out how to make 12 movies. She was a pioneer for lady of her time and her specialty.
Reiniger was an important advancement to animation as a whole. She used her method of silhouettes and light to create animated films with her husband Carl Koch.Other amazing artists and avant-garde craftsmen have worked with and under her including Walter Ruttmann, Berthold Bartosch, Viking Eggeling, and Hans Richter. Numerous later illustrators and craftsmen took her thoughts and changed them for their times.
Other famous works by Reiniger include Cinderella (1954), The Sleeping Beauty (1954), and Hänsel and Gretel (1955). Her works flowed throughout each piece. She used the silhouettes to her advantage, creating contrast with the black and colors of the backgrounds. Her works were far ahead of her time, even more advanced than Mickey Mouse.