The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)

This film is based upon the ancient Arabian character of Nasruddin, a figure from the classic texts of '1001 Arabian Nights'. The Thief and the Cobbler is esotic and extravagant. The sheer beauty and subtlety of the simplest details are breathtaking. Generally, The Thief and the Cobbler remind me of the finest mimics of Buster Keaton.
The scenes are very intricate and it's all hand-drawn and painted cel animation. The Thief and the Cobbler is the best animated long film I've ever seen!
I hate Warner Bros for having stopped the work of Richard William.

Williams conceived the project (as a nearly silent movie) as early as 1964 but he started this ambitious animated film only in 1968 together with Art Babbit, Grim Natwick, Ken Harris, Emery Hawkins and other great animators. The film was originally self financed by Williams with money coming in from his animated commercials.
The film was gaining notoriety in the animation world as a masterpiece in the making, with over a decade of part-time attention devoted to it but it really did need some serious funding. In the late 70s, Saudi Prince Mohammed Faisil agreed to finance the film's most spectacular sequence 'The War Room'. After winning an academy award for Roger Rabbit, Williams got the film financed externally so it could be completed. I can imagine Williams' excitement: eventually each and every element which could be animated would be animated!
But he was a perfectionist and took time to work and work, often without sleep, more often without pay. Unfortunately, Williams took such a long time to make the film that Warner began to fear that their work would be stolen by Disney’s Aladdin (1992). This turned out to be a bad decision because after going over the budget the investors got nervous and pulled the film from him and had it completed by someone else. The film had about 10 to 15 min left to complete when it was taken out of Williams hands. Instead of just completing the film, the person in charge of the completion decided to re-work the film to make it more mainstream: Fred Calvert not only added dialogues and songs but replaced much of the original scenes and changed the editing.
You can buy The Thief And The Cobbler.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This Movie is one of my favorite childhood movies! My mum used to rent it for me every week. But until 6 months ago I had forgotten it! :O
However I just watched it again and it is one of the best animated movies I have ever seen! Love it!!!