Lotte Reiniger: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

She was a contemporary of Jean Renoir and Bertold Brecht but Lotte Reiniger will be best remembered for creating the first ever full-length animated movie in cinema history. A feat she achieved ten years before Walt Disney.

Born in Germany in the 19th century, she worked through World War II, creating animation that hugely critical of the Nazi regime while she and her husband, Carl Koch, went from country-to-country to escape fascism.

On June 2, Google has chosen to celebrate Reiniger on what would have been her 117th birthday with one of the company’s famed doodles. She passed away in 1982 in her native Germany at the age of 82.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. She Was a Hugely Prolific Filmmaker; Directing 55 Movies Between 1919 & 1980


2. Reiniger’s Husband Fought Jean Renoir in a World War 1 Dogfight; Despite This, the 2 Would Become Frequent Collaborators

Undated picture shows French film director Jean Renoir with French actress Leslie Caron. (Getty)

3. No Country Would Take in Reiniger & Her Husband During World War II


4. During a 1970s Lecture Tour of the U.S., Reiniger Described Herself as a ‘Primitive Caveman Artist’

Lotte Reiniger pictured working in Rome in 1939. (Wikipedia)

5. One British Academic Says of Reiniger, ‘No One Else has Taken a Specific Animation Technique & Made it So Utterly Her Own’


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