The Thief and the Cobbler's decades-long production is one of the most incredibly sad Hollywood stories about a determined and talented filmmaker getting reamed at the last minute by impatient producers. The final cuts of Thief were dismal messes complete with hastily written and badly sung songs that were never intended to exist and the addition of unnecessary voice acting tacked on to the two initially silent protagonists. To add insult to injury, the whole project was ironically passed off as a rip-off of Aladdin by critics when in fact the opposite was true.
It's no wonder Richard Williams never again spoke of his destroyed dream and faded from show business after its release.
Then Garrett Gilchrist came in and used everything in his power and on the cutting room floor to give this tragic tale a bittersweet ending with this well thought out and intricately cared for edit that is by far the closest to Williams's vision to date.
A/V Quality: 10
-Visual Editing: 10
Now, this isn't to say that this edit was seamless; it couldn't possibly be. This gets a 10 because Gilchrist's gumption and drive to reinsert storyboards and uncolored workprints with the help of some of the actual animation team is to be an inspiration for years to come. I can't tell you what frames Gilchrist photoshopped, either, they fit so well. The use of Calvert's footage was indeed noticeable, but unfortunately completely unavoidable.
-Audio Editing: 10
The titular thief and cobbler no longer speak (with the exception of one brilliant final line from Tack), just as Williams wanted. Deleted voice acting from Vincent Price in particular struck me as downright important, not to mention respectful of the terrific actor.
The story is back on track and remains simple and timeless (and thankfully song free). The painstakingly crafted visual segments are wonderful and mesmerizing. This would have been a classic had it been finished.
Garret Gilchrist did something that needed to be done, and he did it well. There's really nothing more I can say there. This is proof that fan editing isn't just fun. Sometimes it's vital.
A great effort by the editor. You can tell a tremendous amount of time and talent went into producing it. I think what mars it for me was that the quality of the .avi I downloaded was just too pixelated and choppy to enjoy on a big (100″ projected) screen. This is a film I think my nieces would really enjoy if a higher quality cut of it was available (even with the rough story board scenes included). That said, its an amazing curiosity piece of what could have been. It’s edits like these that continue to draw me to fanedit.org and fan edits in general. 7/10 for the effort alone.
I am the president of my school’s animation club, and this week we watched TTATC: Recobbled Cut. Even with its rough and unfinished patches, the movie blew my mind. It really makes me sad to think that we may never see a truly finished version of this lost masterpiece, but even if this masturful fanedit is the closest we’ll ever get to seeing Richard Williams’ original vision, it’s still an amazing piece of film that every animation fan and student needs to see. It’s really sad that Williams has disowned this movie, because it truly is a masterpiece even in its rough state right up there with the likes of Snow White and The Secret of NIMH… Possibly even moreso.
I really do hope that with Disney being under new management, John Lassiter in all of his awesomeness will revisit Roy Disney’s plans to restore and finish this movie. The Thief and the Cobbler was concieved as a labor of love, and it will take a labor of love to see it finished. The Recobbled cut is very much a labor of love for a film that never got a fair chance at success, and I am glad that I can now have and share this lost classic with my friends and family even if it is never truly finished.