The Adventures of Prince Achmed
A sly, wicked sorceror has fallen in love with the beautiful daughter of the caliph of Baghdad, the princess Dinarsade. To win her, he has used all his power to create a magical flying wooden horse. He flies the horse to Baghdad and amazes the crowd that has gathered for the Caliph's birthday celebrations. So delighted by the flying horse, the Caliph offers the sorceror fabulous sums for the horse. The sorceror will not sell so the Caliph tells him to choose among my treasures anything his heart desires. "Anything?" asks the sorceror and the Caliph swears it to be true. The sorceror then leaps forth and snatches the princess. Because of his oath, the Caliph cannot intervene but that doesn't stop the princess' brother, Prince Achmed, from trying to save her. He demands to test the horse and the sorceror eagerly agrees. He shows the prince the lever the causes the horse to rise from the earth. Achmed seizes the lever and the flies high out of sight. The scared Caliph asks the sorceror if the prince knows how to return to the earth. The sorceror scornfully replies, "He did not ask."
Prince Achmed eventually does figure out how to control the magic horse but not before he has flown far, far away from his home. In these distant lands he falls in love with the fairy Peri Banu, ruler of the islands of Wak Wak and must win her love by defeating an army of demons.
Language: no dialogue
Country of Origin: Germany
Alternate Title: Die Abenteuer Des Prinzen Achmed (Germany)
Eleven years before Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the very first feature-length animated film was shown in the theatre of the Volksbuhne in the north of Berlin. It was a silent, black & white film created using a stop-motion silhouette technique. The characters are movable shadow figures that are laid on a piece of glass with a light below them and a camera above them.
The current VHS/DVD release of the film has been tinted with colour and includes a musical score.