Walt Disney Came AFTER This Female Animation Pioneer

Photo: Strache/Ullstein Bild/Getty Images.
You know about Walt Disney, the man who pioneered the animation industry. But do you know about the German woman who came almost ten years before and directed the first feature-length animated film?

Today, Google is celebrating that woman, Charlotte "Lotte" Reiniger, on what would have been her 117th birthday. Doodler Olivia Huynh created a special stop-motion animation doodle done in the style of Reiniger's films, which showcased silhouette animations.

To create her feature-length movie, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, in 1926, Reiniger cut intricate characters — both people and animals — as well as landscapes, from black paper. Using a huge camera rig, Reiniger sat on a low bench moving each character a tiny bit as someone else stood at the top of the rig, snapping one photo after another.

Together, the photos created stunning animations that were far ahead of their time — and Mickey Mouse's, for that matter.

Her archers, queens, palaces, and other fantastical elements set the scene for Sleeping Beauty, Beauty And The Beast, and even Frozen. Before her death in 1981 at the age of 82, Reiniger directed over 50 films.

Check out the video below to see how today's doodle was created. Now you can think of Reiniger and her pioneering influence the next time you turn on a Disney or Pixar classic.

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