THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN KIDS – Rare Third Reich Stop Animation

by Red Cell

Also known as The Wolf and the Seven Goats, this 16mm silent Grimm’s fairy tale is a rare clay animated version by German filmmakers Ferdinand, Hermann, and Paul Diehl (thank you Samantha Anne Scott!) in 1939. It was made for the Third Reich’s Ministry of Education and was made to stress German customs and traits. They made a series of these from 1935 to 1943, forgoing their previous forays into the kind of silhouette stop animations made famous by Lotte Reiniger. The person who found this film says it is from 1930, but I am fairly certain it is from 1939.

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5 Comments

  1. Well, the official historic record strongly implies that Reiniger did not work for the Nazi party, and the film-maker was authoritatively quoted as saying that she had all but abandoned germany because, “I didn’t like this whole Hitler thing and because I had many Jewish friends whom I was no longer allowed to call friends”.
    Further, if the film was made in 1930, then it was made prior to the installation of the Third Reich, which came to power in 1933…hence there wouldn’t have been a Nazi Ministry of Education at that time.
    Historians generally agree that Reiniger’s war-time output was limited to one film.
    One final note: The Nazi Ministry of Education and Science did not promote or stress “German customs and traits”; what they did was indoctrinate humans into an evil and indefensible world view that included genocide and other thoroughly wicked tools as means of world domination by corrupt and sinister fascists.

  2. Samantha Anne Scott says:

    According to Jack Zipes’ “The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Film” — which I happen to be reading, “The Wolf and the Seven Kids” was made by German filmmakers Ferdinand, Hermann, and Paul Diehl in 1939. It was produced in association with the Reich’s ministry of education and stressed “German customs, traits, and settings.”

    This text also notes that: “[Reiniger] did not favor agitprop art. Yet, Reiniger was very political and associated a great deal with communists and socialists, including her husband, Carl Koch, with whom she worked and she took a strong stand against the Nazis. Denied a visa by England, she had to spend the war years in Italy and Germany and finally emigrated to England in the 1950s, where she continued her remarkable work as the foremost silhouette artist in the world.”

  3. Thank you for posting this, it is an absolutely amazing film.
    Does anyone know why they used the strange cyrillic-style characters for writing the German text, and has anyone seen other examples of this particular typeface?

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