The Adventures Of Prince Achmed

The Adventures Of Prince Achmed

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Nicola Osborne

Read Nicola Osborne's film review of The Adventures Of Prince Achmed

Carefully restored, with a re-recorded score, the film is (mostly) in excellent condition. The sharpness of the silhouette work remains intact, even though tinting has somewhat affected the depth of the backgrounds. Arguably, a handful of scenes have been improved by the addition of colour.

There is little in the way of extras, but that is evidently because what is there is of high quality. The English subtitles (the dialogue cards and titling are in the original German) are happily functional, as is the alternative option of an English voiceover, though for my money I'd stick with the written word. There is a handy scene selection menu which is great if you wish to take breaks between the intense animation. Since the film is already partitioned into acts, the point at which you rejoin the film is also fairly ordered.

Copy picture

The main chunk of the extras is a documentary on Reiniger almost as long as the main feature. Whilst well above featurette standard, this tends to ask more questions than it answers. Indeed, the director/writer/presenter/narrator loves to throw out random theories, without backing them up with evidence, or mentioning them again. The same problem dogs some of the interviews - I am still perplexed why one expert claimed Reiniger pioneered the "video segment".

This is a film made by someone clearly in awe of their subject, which makes objectivity a major issue - even the tone of voice used to describe unfinished projects screams of a filmmaker's obsession. It is, however, a good introduction to Reiniger and certainly inspires further reading on her work and illustrious friends and fellow artists.

A fantastic film and reasonable bunch of extras for a movie of this age - further information on the renovation process and how old prints of Reiniger work were located might be nice - make this disc an enjoyable and worthy investment for the serious cinephile.

Reviewed on: 25 Jul 2001
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The Adventures Of Prince Achmed packshot
Beautiful silhouette take on the Arabian nights and a piece of celluloid history.
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Product Code: BFIVD523

Region: 2

Ratio: Academy

Sound: stereo

Extras: English subtitles, english voiceover, scene selection, 60 min featurette on Lotte Reiniger and her work

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