This film is part of Free

The Clown and His Donkey

A pioneering effort in bringing shadow puppetry to the cinema

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1910 3 mins Silent


The ancient art of shadow play made a natural transition to the cinema. Though it is most associated with the German animator Lotte Reiniger and her 1926 silhouette animation feature The Adventures of Prince Achmed, artists like Charles Armstrong had already made films with the technique. Unlike others he uses the negative image to create white character on black backgrounds. He made at least half a dozen films, including a WWI series “Armstrong’s Trick War Incidents”, but they do not appear to survive. The surviving German title is evidence of the films’ international appeal.