The tale of a tiny girl grown from seed to be a companion to an old woman, Reiniger has her Thumbelina born spontaneously and magically from a flower, beholden to none but herself.

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    Däumelinchen by Lotte Reiniger

    Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger (2 June 1899 – 19 June 1981) was a German film director and the foremost pioneer of silhouette animation, anticipating Walt Disney by over ten years. Reiniger made over 40 films over her career, all using her invention. Her most well known films are The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) and Papageno (1935), featuring music by Mozart.

    Reiniger began her career in Germany and in 1926 made The Adventures of Prince Achmed (available on BFI DVD), one of the first and most ingenious full-length animated films in the history of cinema. Her first film adaptation of a fairy tale was Cinderella in 1922. She moved to Britain in the 1930s where she joined the GPO Film Unit and later worked for the Crown Film Unit of the COI. From 1952 onwards, Reiniger, together with her husband Carl Koch, created a series of fairy-tale films for Primrose Productions based on the Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm Hauff, Hans Christian Andersen and the stories from One Thousand and One Nights.

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