Based on a tale by the Brothers Grimm: A prince rides through a forest looking for his brother, who has been turned into a bear by an evil dwarf. The bear seeks refuge from the cold winter in the cosy house of the sisters Snow White and Rose Red. They have a great time together, but after the winter has gone and spring has come, the bear returns to the forest, leaving the girls very sad. They hope to meet him again, but instead they discover the dwarf in a precarious situation: his long beard has become tangled around a tree and he cannot free himself. Snow White and Rose Red offer to help if he promises to change the bear back into a prince. Reluctantly, the villain grants their wish. After the brothers have been reunited as well, a double wedding of the two princes and Snow White and Rose Red is planned. —Christel Strobel, BFI
Among the great figures in animated film, Lotte Reiniger stands alone. No one else has taken a specific animation technique and made it so utterly her own. To date she has no rivals, and for all practical purposes the history of silhouette animation begins and ends with Reiniger. Taking the ancient art of shadow-plays, as perfected above all in China and Indonesia, she adapted it superbly for the cinema.
She was born in Berlin to cultured parents, and from an early age showed an exceptional and, it seems, self-taught ability to cut free-handed paper silhouettes, which she used in her own home-made shadow-theatre. Initially she planned to be an actress, studied with Max Reinhardt, and used her skill at silhouette portraiture to attract the attention of the film director Paul Wegener. He invited her to make silhouettes for the intertitles to his films Rübezahls Hochzeit (Germany, 1916) and Der Rattenfänger von Hameln (Germany, 1918).
Wegener introduced Reiniger… read more