Born to Polish-Lithuanian parents in Moscow on August 8, 1882, Starewicz showed an early interest in the arts (painting, writing, and theater) and in entomology. In 1909, while working with the Kovno Ethnography Museum in Lithuania, he shot his first live action film Beyond the River Niemen. In the years prior the Russian Revolution and World War I, he would have already produced twenty films.

It was around 1910 that Starewicz begins his experimentation with insect puppets. The use of insects as puppets would continue throughout his career, though it was between 1910 and 1915, that they would be the primary players in Starewicz’s films, as in The Cameraman’s Revenge (1911). Between 1915 and 1917, just before the revolution, Starewicz was recruited to create a series of propaganda films that included The Lilly of Belgium (1915).

In 1920 Wladyslaw Starewicz moved with his family to Paris, where he would begin the most prolific part of his career, and some would say the most interesting. Using a combination of camera trickery and puppetry, Starewicz would create award winning films such as, The Voice of the Nightingale (1923), Zanzabelle in Paris (1947), and Fern Flower (1949).

Post World War II advancements in color and sound technology made it difficult for small time producers and directors like Starewicz to keep up with production quality of larger well financed producers. Regardless, he would continue making films until his death in 1965.