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Re: first animated feature ever?

here are the details of the German film on Albert Einstein, that I had in mind asking
for details on the Fleischer film „The Einstein Theory of relativity“. This film is
not preserverd, as far as I know, but according to the reviews it was a mixture of
life action, special effects and different animation techniques. German title: Die
Grundlagen der Einsteinschen Relativitäts-Theorie (Teil 1: Das Relativitätsprinzip,
Teil 2: Die Lichttheorie, Teil 3: Die spezielle Relativitäts-Theorie). My
translation: Elements of the Einstein theory of relativity (Part 1: The principle of
relativity, part 2; The theorie of light, part 3: The specific theorie of
relativity), produced by Colonna-Film, Berlin, directed by [Professor] Hanns Walter
Kornblum, with the collaboration of Dr. Otto Buek, Prof. Dr. Fanta (Prag), Prof. Dr.
Rudolf Laemmel (Zürich), Prof. Dr. G. F. Nicolai.
Censured: 30. 3. 1922, 2.045 m, released in March 1922.
I have also some reviews, but I can‘t find them for the moment. The film was not
meant for entertainment, but for instruction and information and was to be
accompanied by a lecture.
Mark, where is the Fleischer film preserved and is it available on video?


Mark Langer schrieb:

> Jeanpaul Goergen writes:
> >
> > to all and to Mark,
> > what is the definiton of a full length (animated) feature film- how long has it
> > to be for beeing considered as "full length"?
> Jeanpaul,
> You've got me there.  I would say that there is a certain grey zone that
> applies not only to animated, but to live-action films.  Is a "featurette"
> like some of the Harold Lloyd films considered a feature?  Certainly,
> films of about 50 minutes in length were considered in the 1920s to be
> long enough to be the cornerstone of an evening's entertainment.
> > Also, it is difficult to compare a "full length" film in 1917 with a "full
> > length" film in 1926 as we are speaking of two different periods of film
> > programming.
> > Prince Achmed was long by 1.811 meters. Today, with 22 frames a second, its full
> > length - at the time, it was rather short and got even shorter when shown with
> > the than normal speed of 26 or 28 (or more!) frames a second  (normal at least
> > in most of the cinemas).
> > In 1926, Lotte Reiniger wrote that she used 100.000 single frames (in German:
> > "Einzelbilder") for her film; she (and her friends) worked for more than three
> > (!) years on the film, shooting about 250.000 frames. Everything was payed by a
> > sponsor - who payed the Argentinian animators?
> This is one of the reasons I am skeptical about the claim on behalf of The
> Apostle, as it is reputed to have been 50,000 frames long.  But it isn't
> impossible that it was padded with endless cycling, as was the case with
> Elements of the Automobile.
> > Mark - do you have the details of the Einstein-film of the Fleischers? And who
> > paid them?
> I have some details of the Einstein and the Evolution films, and perhaps
> you can answer a question for me.  THE EINSTEIN THEORY OF RELATIVITY was
> produced by Premier Pictures and first showed at a special invitational
> opening at the Rivoli Theatre for educators.  The short version was first
> shown on 11 Feb. 1923 and the official opening of the full length one was
> the next day.  The short version was 2,000 ft. and the long version was
> 4,000 ft.  I have reason to believe that some of the footage in this film
> was actually from a German film dealing with the same subject, but I have
> been unable to locate any information about it.  There are some names in
> the credits of the Einstein film that may be a clue - Supervision by S.F.
> Nicolai, H.W. Kornblum, C. Bueck.  Scientific American reviewed the
> Fleischer version and mentioned that the German film had been seen in N.Y.
> the year before.  I'd be grateful for any information that anyone has
> about this.
> EVOLUTION opened at the Rivoli on July 12 1925 and was produced by Red
> Seal Pictures, a company owned by Max Fleischer and Edwin Miles Fadiman
> (brother of Clifton Fadiman).  This company imported a number of European
> films and released them in shortened versions (including PARIS QUI DORT
> which was released as THE CRAZY RAY, or CRANQUIBILLE, which was released
> as BILL).  Unlike the case with the Einstein film, I haven't personally
> screened EVOLUTION, but it is alleged that it contains footage from
> O'Brien's THE GHOST OF SLUMBER MOUNTAIN.  EVOLUTION was 4.200 ft. in length.
> Both of these films would be significantly shorter than Reiniger's.
> Whether or not they would qualify as features is certainly open for
> debate.  I can say that the Einstein film is not completely animated, and
> should be disqualified from the running for that reason alone.  I can also say
> that based on the experience of viewing the Einstein film -- it may not be
> long, but it sure feels long!
> I hope that this satisfies your request for information.  I suspect that
> my arcane ramblings vastly exceed the curiosity of most people on this list.
> Mark
> > Jeanpaul Goergen
> > Berlin
> >
> > Mark Langer schrieb:
> >
> > > El Apostol premiered on 9 Nov. 1917.  However, its status as the first
> > > feature length animated film is uncertain, as this claim relies primarily
> > > on the memory of animator Quirino Christiani.  A subsequent Argentinian
> > > film called Sin dejar rastros(1918) has a similar claim as first feature
> > > length animated film, but this was only shown for one day before being
> > > confiscated by the government.  Without physical evidence or more
> > > compelling documentary evidence, it is difficult to say whether these were
> > > actually features, or something more along the line of O'Brien's The Ghost
> > > of Slumber Mountain.
> > >
> > > Max and Dave Fleischer released two feature films that were largely, if
> > > not entirely animated and which both predate The Adventures of Prince Achmed.
> > > These were the Einstein Theory of Relativity and Evolution which were
> > > released in both feature-length and shorter versions.  A Bray Studio
> > > production, Elements of the Automobile, was a 12 reel entirely animated
> > > production that predates these efforts.  However, it was meant as an
> > > educational series to be projected in 12 different "chapters."
> > >
> > > In general, the jury is out as far as the question of what was the first
> > > feature length animated film.  I'm not convinced by the evidence that one
> > > can dismiss Reiniger's film from the running.
> > >
> > > Mark
> > >
> > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > Mark Langer
> > >
> > > Email address: mlanger@ccs.carleton.ca
> > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Mark Langer
> Email address: mlanger@ccs.carleton.ca
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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