The Adventures of Prince Achmed – animated, Germany, 1926
This is a fascinating example of very early animation – stop-motion done with Indonesian style shadow puppets, filmed on glass plates that allow for some (for the time) rather astonishing effects. The puppets themselves are gorgeously made and detailed, and there’s a lot of humor and excitement in the story as well. (As you might guess from the title and the time period, it’s themed on the Arabian Nights.)
If you have a Netflix subscription, you can currently watch Prince Achmed in your streaming queue… if not, it’s well worth hunting down a copy. The animator, Lotte Reineger, seems to have been a one-woman operation – she also made a whole series of shorter films of many classic fairy tales, and they can be seen at Dailymotion.com.