Before Walt Disney there was Lotte Reiniger. This pioneering animator was born on June 2, 1899. One of her most famous animations is The Adventures of Prince Achmed, which is the oldest surviving animated film.
When an African magician uses magic to conjure up a flying horse he immediately sells it for money. The person who bought the flying horse is Caliph who has the magician imprisoned immediately. Soon after, Prince Achmed learns how to tame the flying horse. From there he takes the horse to a foreign land. Upon arrival he is treated with respect and honor grabbing the attention of many woman. However, there is one woman who he falls for immediately. Achmed and Pari Banu fall in love. In the meantime the magician manages to free himself from his chains. He takes off after Prince Achmed to retrieve his magical creation. Taking the form of a bat he manages to find Achmed and trap him in a mountain. Pari Banu who is aware of the evil magician takes it upon herself to free Achmed and her people. But, things are worse as the magician has managed to summon up demons that torture the land. Achmed and Pari Banu join forces in a powerful resistance only to be run down. With the gates of the land being locked Achmed feels hopeless until he meets Aladdin. When Achmed hears Aladdin’s life story about him being a poor tailor who was locked up by the Caliph, he learns a few things. He starts to understand the magician more when Aladdin tells him that he would be executed if he did not flee. While this story is going on Aladdin reveals to him the truth about a magic lamp that he received. He tells him about that there is a genie inside and if freed he would be able to get what he wishes for. Achmed then takes it upon himself to find a new way to freeing the people. After some time a witch arrives who takes down the magician. With the land being free Achmed and Pari Banu bid farewell as Achmed returns to his home land.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a 1926 masterpiece. Lotte Reiniger is known as an original inventor and animator predating the success of several well known successful films. On June 2, 1899 Lotte Reiniger was born with an inspiring legacy of animation to come.