If you are one of those who thinks that animated shorts for children made in 3D sometimes saturate a bit and you like to return to the essence of the image, we have compiled for you 5 fantastic animated shorts for children made in shadow films that have the magic of say the same (or maybe more) with less.
In a cinematic world saturated with volume, texture and depth; It is always refreshing to approach aesthetic proposals based on the refined elegance and magic that silhouettes bring us. But before seeing the selection of animated shorts for children that we have prepared for you, we want to tell you a little about the history of shadow cinema.
Today the Chinese Shadow Theater is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco. But possibly the first projections of the shadow theater of humanity will have been those shadows that our ancestors projected in the caves they inhabited, as Plato suggests in The Myth of the Cave. It was simple, you only needed a bonfire, the night and your hands to tell ancestral stories with shadows.
They also say that Emperor Wu-Ti had lost his beloved Wang. The emperor was mired in complete sadness and no one was able to give him back the zest for life. And legend has it that Sha-Wong placed the Emperor in front of an extended cloth, like a screen, and showed him the shadows of the silhouette of his beloved Wang. This brought happiness back to the emperor. But how did shadow theater become an animation technique?
Animated shorts for children made with silhouettes
A young German named Lotte reiniger she had been marveled in her childhood by the shadow theater that traveling artists and puppeteers brought to Berlin in the early late 19th century.
The restless Lotte was thinking about how to turn those shadows into an animated film and began to experiment in 1916 with shadow theater puppets that she placed on a nightstand. She moved the shapes slowly and for each small movement she took a photograph, similar to the current Stop Motion.
A few years later, Lotte would deliver to the world beautiful animated shorts for children such as The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), Papageno (1935) and Jack and the Beanstalk (1955). shades. And despite the development of 3D animation techniques, the flat concept of silhouettes continues to be a language that amazes us.
For this reason, we have compiled 4 animated shorts for children for you to enjoy and share with your children. Our list is in chronological order, starting with the most recent animated shorts.
Malaika the Princess (2013) | Lizardo Carvajal (Colombia)
Malaika, one of our animated shorts that has had the greatest impact. It tells us the story of a girl who must face the death of her father Komba, an elephant from the Savannah.
The animation is digital, simple but effective, it recovers the flat elements of the shadow puppets. The music was made entirely with voices (vocal sampling). Malaika is an excellent film to dialogue with children about the subject of death.
Another very interesting element of Malaika is that the colors correspond to a chromatic-semiotic code created by the author herself (Lizardo Carvajal) and that represents each of the emotions through which this fantastic animated short leads us.
Invention of Love (2010) | Andrey Shushkov (Russia)
A beautiful short that tells us a love story in a world full of gears and screws. Its steampunk aesthetic silhouettes recreate a setting between futuristic and ancient.
Despite being a digital animation like Malaika La Princesa, this short handles with complete neatness the stylized and neat language of the silhouettes. A wonderful story and fantastic animation. It's worth seeing! But let's look at animated shorts for kids made with shadows...
Jack and the Beanstalk (1955) Lotte Reiniger (Germany)
The Magic Beans, a story that has been wrongly attributed to Christian Andersen, is the story that serves as an argument to this masterpiece of animation.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) Lotte Reiniger (Germany)
Finally the Adventures of Prince Achmed, based on one of the accounts of the Thousand and One Nights; an animated short where Lotte Reiniger's mastery is clear
We hope that this selection of animated shorts for children made in shadow language will turn you out as a refreshing bath between so much virtual reality and both 3D.