I am totally gobsmacked by German artist Lotte Reiniger's gorgeous black papercuts that she used to make silhouette animated fantasy films as well as beautiful book illustrations (when money could not be found for the films). Her work spans some 60 years (from 1919 to 1979), the early work developed in Germany, then later after the war she settled in London where she continued her work on short animated films and illustrations. Among her prodigious body of work, she created the first feature length animated film The Adventures of Achmed (far ahead of Disney!), an animated version of Dr. Dolittle and the Talking Animals, and a series of short films from Grimm's fairy tales. In the 30's while fleeing Nazi Germany, she managed to make 12 films -- including the lovely version of "Papageno" from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. So for Friday Film day, here are two of her films: "The Magic Horse" a small film produced in 1953 from the original The Adventures of Achmed and "Papageno."
Much of her work can still be found on the internet (oh happy magpie that I am); many of her films are available on youtube and interestingly wonderful examples of work done by contemporary film students in imitation of Reiniger's style as they learn the skill of silhouette animation. I also recommend stopping by 5Magazine for an interesting look at her process. Here are a few stills from that site.