Not only were we treated to a most beautiful, hand-created Google Doodle, commemorating her work and 117th birthday on June 2nd this year, but Rebecca Sugar, the first 'solo woman creator' of an animated TV series at Cartoon Network, Steven Universe, referenced the style of Reiniger in a special episode, titled "The Answer" earlier in the year.
While I thought it was lovely, I didn't have full appreciation for it until I realized it was created by "doodler" Olivia Huynh, in the same manner Lotte Reiniger herself used: with paper, scissors, many, many hand- crafted puppets and a unique camera rig to take photos frame by frame.
We wanted to give Garnet the ultimate animated fairy tale love story, with imagery inspired by all our favorite animated fairy tale love stories of all time. We started by drawing influence from Lotte Reiniger, creator of the oldest surviving animated feature film, “The Adventures of Prince Achmed.” The film is done with Lotte Reiniger’s signature silhouette animation technique and the compositions are stunning.We referenced the silhouetted characters, but also the dense, lush, ornate background compositions in the film. (Source)
The show has gained a big following beyond its target demographic for pushing the boundaries of LGBTQ representation, as well as diving into themes like self-discovery and healthy relationships. “It’s very important to me that we speak to kids about consent, that we speak to kids about identity,” creator Rebecca Sugar said at Comic-Con last month.”I want to feel like I exist, and I want everyone else who wants to feel that way to feel that way too.” (Source)
Sugar has stated many times that she's not only great admirer of Lotte Reiniger's aesthetic and overall animation work, but the way she pushed boundaries, doing what no one in the world had really done before in creating, not only animated films but pioneering such a beautiful style that has rarely been surpassed even today. That legacy lives on, not only in how much illustrated and paper cut silhouettes seem to automatically echo Once Upon A Time, but also in how she told fairy tales, inspiring others to approach their own unique obstacles with all the determination, hard work and ultimately, beauty that Reiniger's fairy tales have as a signature.
Tales of the Night below) but it may be the biggest pop culture exposure she's had in quite some time.
Lotte Reiniger discusses her process for creating films, as well as her career, in this rare recording, just recently made available via the USC Hugh Hefner Moving Image Archive website.
You can listen to the 45 minute recording online HERE.