Plot: Although Prince Achmed is handsome and noble, he is also too trusting and this lead to him being tricked by an evil sorcerer. Achmed mounts a magical horse, as the sorcerer advises, only to have the horse take flight and carry Achmed off into the distance. But this isn’t the end for Achmed, instead just the start of a series of wild, dangerous adventures. In this travels encounters well known figures such as Aladdin and the Witch of the Fiery Mountain, while doing battle with all kinds of villains and hellish minions. But can he survive these epic adventures and fulfill his true desire, finding his true love?
Entertainment Value: This movie was made in 1926 and takes elements from The Arabian Nights, to craft an animated adventure with heroes, epic villains, and all kinds of wondrous, mystical moments. The story sounds simple, but has a lot of more depth than you might think and the ambition here is remarkable, as the movie has numerous scenes of high adventure. Our hero travels to all kinds of locales, meets a host of strange and magical beings, and engages in a romance for all the ages, so the scope here is by no means small scale. This is a silent film of course, so all of the storytelling is visual, save a few cards that contain pertinent plot information or act break notices. That the movie tells such a big, sweeping story of adventure with minimal words is beyond impressive, this is a remarkable work of art.
The visuals here are accomplished with silhouettes of cut outs, which creates a high contrast, beautiful result. The cut outs are intricate and distinctive, so characters don’t blend together or vanish into the backgrounds. The level of care put into these cut outs is stunning, with immense attention to detail and design. This results in designs that have ornate presence and small, but visible details that will have you watching over and again, to soak in every last little bit of animation. I think the animation here is so beautiful, some will have a hard time believing this was made in 1926 and that is a true compliment to the work done here. This is simply a masterful piece of animation and cinema in general, a beautiful and remarkable creation. If you have even a minor interest in animation, early cinema, or important art in general, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is highly recommended.