Thief And The Cobbler, The – Recobbled Cut

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Thief And The Cobbler, The – Recobbled Cut
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1993
Original Running Time:
72
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
97
Time Added:
25
Brief Synopsis:
It’s the the great effort to recreate the original version of this lost animation classic.
Intention:
Acclaimed master animator Richard Williams spent the better part of three decades working on what was meant to be his masterpiece, The Thief and the Cobbler.

After his success as animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit he was finally able to get studio financing to take The Thief from a career spanning side project to full-blown production. A stolid perfectionist, costs mounted and deadlines loomed with Williams at the helm, and Warner's eventually pulled out when Disney announced the similarly themed Aladdin.

With funding gone, the film was taken from Williams by his creditors and was completed by others (under the leadership of Fred Calvert), cheaply and poorly while making massive changes to try to make it more mainstream. This version only saw release in Australia and South Africa, as The Princess and the Cobbler. Later Disney bought it and heavily edited it again, in such a way as to make it appear a cheap knockoff of Aladdin (instead of the film that’s largely believed to be the greatest inspiration behind Disney’s film), while making it almost unwatchable in the process. Released as Arabian Knight, it was a travesty.

This Recobbed Cut is a recent fan-created reconstruction of the film as Williams wanted it, or as close to as possible. Based on a workprint of the film from when Williams was nearing completion (shortly before the film was taken away from him). Using the workprint, DVDs of the two officially released cuts of the film, and other related elements taken from various sources this Recobbed Cut reveals the masterpiece that could have been.



This new version, Recobbled Cut Mark II, has been compiled after a widescreen version of The Princess and the Cobbler surfaced shortly after this version became widely available online. This was such a huge find that Garrett felt compelled to recobbled it once again, incorporating more of the fully animated widescreen material that he just didn’t have before.

The scenes which are most affected are the witch and war machine scenes, which have been improved in quality.

Also added – more “Deleted Characters” footage of the Mullah Nasrudin and the Enchanted Ogre Prince.
Additional Notes:
From the three-time Academy Award winning animator of Who Framed Roger Rabbit … Restored version of Richard Williams’ unfinished animated masterpiece, The Thief and the Cobbler. Unofficial restoration by Garrett Gilchrist. This is not intended for profit, just a fanmade research project and tribute to this classic film. The film was worked on for 26 years, with a team of master animators like Ken Harris and Art Babbit. This film inspired Disney’s Aladdin. Ruined versions of it were released as Arabian Knight and The Princess and the Cobbler.
Release Information:
DVD
Special Features
- Recobbled Cut Trailer
- Arabian Knight Trailer
- Allied Filmmakers Trailer - New for Mark II!
- Nine Image Galleries - 3 New for Mark II!
"Deleted Characters" section featuring:
- Enchanted Prince Bubba: Witch sequence - More for Mark II!
- Princess Meemee - Bath sequence
- Mullah Nasruddin: Bread sequence - New for Mark II!
- Animated menus featuring pencil tests from the original film
- About the Film
- Restoration commentary by Garrett Gilchrist and Patrick McCart
Editing Details:
From the three-time Academy Award winning animator of Who Framed Roger Rabbit …

Restored version of Richard Williams’ unfinished animated masterpiece, The Thief and the Cobbler.

Unofficial restoration by Garrett Gilchrist. This is not intended for profit, just a fanmade research project and tribute to this classic film.

The film was worked on for 26 years, with a team of master animators like Ken Harris and Art Babbit. This film inspired Disney’s Aladdin. Ruined versions of it were released as Arabian Knight and The Princess and the Cobbler.

For the first time ever on video, enjoy the original version of this lost
animation classic, written and directed by three-time Academy Award winning
animator Richard Williams (animation director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit).
Nearly 30 years in the making, a labor of love by a team of animation greats,
this was to be the masterpiece of Williams career, perhaps the most ambitious
independent animated film ever conceived. The film was the inspiration for
Disneys film Aladdin, which proved to be its undoing. After over two decades of
work, the film was taken away from Williams when he couldnt meet his deadline.
It was eventually bought by Disney, recut and destroyed. It has never been seen
the way it was intended to be seen … until now. Based on Williams’ original
workprint, missing scenes have been restored using storyboards and unfinished
animation. Restored to its true form, this lost classic has finally been found -
for you at home.

When Richard Williams was fired from his film The Thief and the Cobbler (after 26 years of work), Fred Calvert was hired to finish it quickly and cheaply. He did an incredibly poor job. His version was called The Princess and the Cobbler, later recut further by Miramax into the nearly unwatchable Arabian Knight. This “Recobbled Cut” uses footage from Williams’ original 1991 workprint with higher quality footage from Arabian Knight and Princess and the Cobbler … this does include some lower quality Calvert animation with the high quality Williams animation – it’s easy to tell the difference. The film has been carefully reedited to match Willliams’ original 1991 workprint for the film, and his original vision. Calvert footage has only been used if it conforms to Williams’ storyboards – in some cases footage has literally been reanimated frame by frame in Photoshop to make it match Williams’ scenes! The restoration in total took 4 months to complete.

Restoration from the editor/filmmaker who brought you Deleted Magic, SW Classic Edition, and Gods of Los Angeles.

Story:
It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and
in the depths of the emerald seas, and upon every grain of sand in the vast
deserts, that the world which we see is an outward and visible dream, of an
inward and invisible reality … Once upon a time there was a golden city. In
the centre of the golden city, atop the tallest minaret, were three golden
balls. The ancients had prophesied that if the three golden balls were ever
taken away, harmony would yield to discord, and the city would fall to
destruction and death. But… the mystics had also foretold that the city might
be saved by the simplest soul with the smallest and simplest of things. In the
city there dwelt a lowly shoemaker, who was known as Tack the Cobbler. Also in
the city… existed a Thief, who shall be … nameless.
Cover art by OCPmovie and Mark Smith (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art by Spaxxinator (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art by Spaxxinator (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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Cover art by Spaxxinator (DOWNLOAD HERE)
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User reviews

16 reviews
 
75%
 
25%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.5(8)
Audio Editing
 
9.5(8)
Visual Editing
 
9.8(8)
Narrative
 
8.8(8)
Enjoyment
 
9.1(16)
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Overall rating
 
7.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
8.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
5.0
I hate to say this about such a labor of love, but it's hard to recommend this to anyone other than ardent fans. If you know what you're in for and you really just want the maximum amount of anything ever available relating to The Thief and The Cobbler: well, this is that. A+ marks for assembling everything possible, and putting it all together as well as possible. That said, putting it together well just isn't very possible.

My thoughts on the film as a whole are here: https://boxd.it/5sZB6J In short, I'll say that just having MORE doesn't make this a good film. The quality of animation cut in varies wildly in this, from almost stick figure sketches to still frames to widescreen restorations. It's impossible to ever sink into this as a film because you're constantly aware of the visuals changing up. Some of the transitions between footage are very fast and are accomplished well, but there are some rough ones, too. Overall, given what there is to work with, this is about as good as you could technically expect, but that doesn't make it anything that is very much fun to watch.

For some people who have bought into the internet hype of this version of the film as some kind of Orson Welles lost masterpiece that would've shaken the foundations of the world, this edit is going to be a godsend. They can watch and let their imaginations of what the film COULD be run wild. But for anyone just watching what the film IS: this edit doesn't save it. What was released was an Aladdin wannabe that had some moments of inspired animation. This takes that, cuts out the songs, and adds in a bunch of unfinished animation gags, but nothing which really improves the story or adds any depth or humor...it's just MORE.

Recommended as a Preservation for die-hard fans. As a film: pass.

User Review

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No
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Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 1
Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This is a truly historic and vital piece of work.

Enough have been said about its roots and subsequent demise and rescue.

I recall vividly the documentary about this and I have it on VHS, and longed to see this work of genius come to life and be completed.
It is for this reason, and many other examples, that I believe we should have an additional category in the annual awards.

This is a masterpiece, and the scores reflect that. The AV score of 9 is in the hope that better sources emerge.

We can but dream!

OUTSTANDING1
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Overall rating
 
8.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
6.0
Enjoyment
 
8.0
A fascinating look into what could have been. I wrote a full review on Letterboxd: https://boxd.it/3OY7AJ

But basically, this edit is an incredible accomplishment, rivaling the Star Wars Despecialized Editions as being one of the most important fan edits to ever exist. Anyone studying animation or is interested in it should watch this film, and the documentary based on it called "Persistence of Vision".

Probably nothing could have fixed how incoherent the story is, even Richard Williams himself couldn't in time, but thankfully it remains an incredible piece of art that challenges conventions, especially when it comes to animation.
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
7.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
A heartbreaking glimpse of a near-masterpiece, and as close as we're ever likely to get to the finished product. An essential fan edit, as well as a service to the art of animation. The plot may not add up to much, but there are sequences in this film as breathtaking as any ever put on film and it is a must-see.

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
R
Top 10 Reviewer 156 reviews
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Overall rating
 
9.2
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Absolutely love this animation, and seeing it in as full and close to the creators vision as possible is fantastic. These sequences are mind boggling and truly awesome, and some of the most unique and boundary pushing animation I’ve seen, and I expect no less from the man behind the animation of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Fantastic.

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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