Tornerose (1922)

aka Dornroschen, Sleeping Beauty
Article 4832 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-25-2015
Directed by Lotte Reiniger
No cast
Country: Germany
What it is: Silhouette animation of a fairy tale

When a princess is born to a king and queen, they invite all the flower fairies to the christening, but neglect to invite the thistle fairy, who lays a curse on the princess and the kingdom.

Of the Lotte Reiniger shorts that I’ve been covering lately, this is the earliest chronologically. If it illustrates anything, it shows how the it takes hard work and practice to become a master of a craft such as silhouette animation, and while the others I’ve seen were the work of a master, this one is the work of one still developing their craft. The animation is noticeably jerkier, slower, and less self-assured. However, one thing I did notice was how complex and elaborate the silhouette puppets are in the first place. This is the least effective of the shorts I’ve seen of Reiniger’s, but it does need to be remembered that it was one of her earlier works.

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