Sunday, 9 October 2016

Don Hertzfeldt and Lotte Reiniger Review

Don Hertzfeldt:

Image result for don hertzfeldt
Figure 1
Don Hertzfeldt (Figure 1) is an animator, artist and independent filmmaker, who is also a two-time academy award winner. He has worked on film such as 'World of Tomorrow', 'Such A Beautiful Day' and 'The Meaning of Life' 
            ''It's always difficult to explain the brilliance of Don Hertzfeldt to someone who hasn't seen his stuff. The artist-animator has spent nearly 20 years carving out a highly idiosyncratic body of work, one defined by a fierce commitment to his one-man operation of hand-drawn animation'' (, 2015). His work is very simplistic, working mainly with stick figures. Although, this can be quite effective when creating comedic short animations. His animation ''World of Tomorrow'' (Figure 2) is about a girl who is taken to a different time by a clone of herself. It one of the few of his animations that includes strong use of colour within. Its also a massive leap towards a more digital approach for him, compared to his previous work within 'Rejected' and 'Billy's Balloon'', which are created using more of a traditional approach. 

Figure 2
He mostly works traditionally, after at a young age, creating animation through a film camera is too expensive. He has found ways of creating animation using all of the tools he has available to him. He was quoted ''We have over 100 years now of amazing film technology to play with, I don't understand why any artists would want to throw any of their tools out of the box'' (New York Times, 2008).

Lotte Reiniger: 

Figure 3

Lotte Reiniger (Figure 3) is an artist-animator who used cut out silhouettes to create animations such as 'The Adventures of Prince Achmed'. She fled to the UK in the 1930's and could not bring her 'oil negatives' with her, therefore with them being lost, images now are just copies of copies, in turn losing detail and visuals to them. '' Our current prints of Prince Achmed were "restored" in 1954 with a new (rather kitschy) musical score by Freddie Phillips, which means that the images move faster than they should (18 frames-per-second silent speed versus 24 frames-per-second sound speed).'' (Moritz, 2016). 
         Reiniger had amazing hand skills, being able to cut and manipulate paper and high speed, with incredible precision. She drew the storyboards, made the cut outs, animated and created all of her animations by herself. She would create complex movement by building 25-50 separate pieces, joining them together with lead wire, resulting in a smooth complex movement. 

Figure 4
Occasionally she would have minimal help with her animations. Her husband, Carl Koch, usually worked with the camera.  For very large projects like ''The Adventures of Prince Achmed'' she would have a team of staff up to 5. Carl working with the camera, Walter Turck arranging the backgrounds, Alexander Kardan checking exposure sheets., Bertold Bartosch and Walter Ruttmann helped out with special effects, being animators themselves.


1. (2015). Filmmaker Don Hertzfeldt on his Simpsons couch gag and the pains of animation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016]. 

2. Anderson, J. (2015). Contemporary Animators Rely on Old-Fashioned Techniques. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016]. 

3. Moritz, W. (2016). Lotte Reiniger. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Oct. 2016]. 

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