Lotte Reiniger was a German film director and a pioneer in the advancement of silhouette animation which is most shown through her depictions of Grimm's fairy tales such as "Cinderella" and "Hansel and Gretel". Starting with making shadow puppets in aid of telling Shakespeare plays, she later adopted an avant-garde style which was prominently brought on by World War II and was known to have widely influenced the individuality of her animations. She was also an enthusiast for the Chinese art of shadow puppetry.
She initially planned to be an actress and used her early skills as a silhouette maker to attract the attention of film director Paul Wegener who in turn asked her to make silhouettes for the intertitles of his films Rübezahls Hochzeit (Germany, 1916) and Der Rattenfänger von Hameln (Germany, 1918). Her first proper animation was on Paul Wegener's film "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" (1918). Reiniger was asked to animate wooden rats in a stop motion style due to Wegener being unable to control live rats to film as an alternative, and the technique turned out to be a success due to their movements turning out to be highly realistic.
What is useful about her technique is that it enables a lot of freedom in which to convey characters, as in being able to simply use outlines of characters and portraying them clearly without worrying about any individual colours or details to give them as if they were being animated differently.