Watch the making of the Google doodle tribute to animator Lotte Reiniger

The pioneering German artist worked with silhouettes made out of paper and directed the first feature-length animated movie.

The doodles created by internet search engine Google get a fair bit of attention depending on the cuteness or intricacy levels. Since they started appearing in 1998, they have evolved significantly, with elaborate animations and country-specific tributes. The most recent doodle to grab attention pays homage to pioneering silhouette animation artist Lotte Reiniger on the occasion of her 117th birth anniversary on June 2. The German animation filmmaker predated Walt Disney by almost a decade and is often credited with the first feature-length animated film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926).
The Google doodle dedicated to Lotte Reiniger.
The tribute to Reiniger was created in her distinctive style by a Google animator Olivia. Google employees Nat and Lo (real names Natalie Hammel and Lorraine Yurshansky) went behind the scenes to show its making.
Reiniger was born in Berlin in 1899. Her first film was a four-minute love story, The Ornament of the Enamoured Heart (1919). She created haunting versions of popular fairy tales such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (both 1922).
‘Cinderella’ (1922).
Reiniger’s breakthrough film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, was loosely inspired by the Arabian Nights and came in 1926.
‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ (1926).
Reiniger went on to direct several films, including a very early screen adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s Dr Doolittle novels, which feature a doctor who can talk to animals. Reiniger’s version was titled Doctor Dolittle and his Animals (1928).

Reiniger and her husband Carl Koch fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and lived in various countries until they officially emigrated to London in 1949 . Among their productions during this period are animated versions of the operas Carmen and The Magic Flute.

The original prints of her films were lost in these interim years and the restored copies that exist today are copies of copies, the original soundtrack having often been replaced by contemporary music and an increased pace, says historian William Moritz. “Although the ‘restoration’ reestablished the tints of the original, much of the fine background detail in most scenes is lost,” Moritz writes.

Reiniger died on June 19, 1981, at the age of 82. A video below, a part of the 1970 documentary The Art of Lotte Reiniger, shows her at work.

‘The Art of Lotte Reiniger’ (1970).
Support our journalism by paying for Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing the glamour back to flying while keeping it affordable

The pleasure of air travel is back, courtesy of an airline in India.

Before dinner, fashionable women would retire to the powder room and suited-up men would indulge in hors d’oeuvres, surrounded by plush upholstery. A gourmet meal would soon follow, served in fine tableware. Flying, back in the day, was like an upscale party 35,000 feet up in the air.

The glamour of flying has been chronicled in Keith Lovegrove’s book titled ‘Airline: Style at 30,000 feet’. In his book, Lovegrove talks about how the mid-50s and 60s were a “fabulously glamorous time to fly in commercial airlines”. Back then, flying was reserved for the privileged and the luxuries played an important role in making travelling by air an exclusive experience.

Fast forward to the present day, where flying has become just another mode of transportation. In Mumbai, every 65 seconds an aircraft lands or takes off at the airport. The condition of today’s air travel is a cumulative result of the growth in the volume of fliers, the accessibility of buying an air ticket and the number of airlines in the industry/market.

Having relegated the romance of flying to the past, air travel today is close to hectic and borderline chaotic thanks to busy airports, packed flights with no leg room and unsatisfactory meals. With the skies dominated by frequent fliers and the experience having turned merely transactional and mundane, is it time to bid goodbye to whatever’s enjoyable in air travel?

With increased resources and better technology, one airline is proving that flying in today’s scenario can be a refreshing, enjoyable and affordable experience at the same time. Vistara offers India’s first and only experience of a three-cabin configuration. At a nominal premium, Vistara’s Premium Economy is also redefining the experience of flying with a host of features such as an exclusive cabin, 20% extra legroom, 4.5-inch recline, dedicated check-in counter and baggage delivery on priority. The best in class inflight dining offers a range of regional dishes, while also incorporating global culinary trends. Other industry-first features include Starbucks coffee on board and special assistance to solo women travellers, including preferred seating.

Vistara’s attempts to reduce the gap between affordability and luxury can also be experienced in the economy class with an above average seat pitch, complimentary selection of food and beverages and a choice of leading newspapers and publications along with an inflight magazine. Hospitality aboard Vistara is, moreover, reminiscent of Singapore Airlines’ famed service with a seal of Tata’s trust, thanks to its cabin crew trained to similarly high standards.

The era of style aboard a ‘flying boat’ seems long gone. However, airlines like Vistara are bringing back the allure of air travel. Continuing their campaign with Deepika Padukone as brand ambassador, the new video delivers a bolder and a more confident version of the same message - making flying feel new again. Watch the new Vistara video below. For your next trip, rekindle the joy of flying and book your tickets here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vistara and not by the Scroll editorial team.