The Thief and The Cobbler Original Cut – Full Length! (from maurice v)
The Thief and the Cobbler is a 1993 British animated fantasy film directed, co-written and co-produced by Canadian animator Richard Williams. The film is famous for its animation and its long, troubled history. Williams worked 28 years on the project. Beginning production in 1964, Williams intended The Thief and the Cobbler to be his masterpiece, and a milestone in the art of animation. Due to independent funding and its complex animation, The Thief and the Cobbler was in and out of production for over two decades, until Williams, buoyed by his success as animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit, signed a deal in 1988 to have Warner Bros finance and distribute the film.
However, negotiations broke down when production went over budget and behind schedule and Williams was unable to complete the film on time. As Warner Bros. later pulled out, The Completion Bond Company assumed control of The Thief and the Cobbler and had it finished by producer Fred Calvert without Williams’ involvement.
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In 2006, a filmmaker, artist and fan of Richard Williams’ work named Garrett Gilchrist created a non-profit fan restoration of William’s workprint, named The Thief and the Cobbler: The Recobbled Cut (the version that appears here). It was done in as high quality as possible by combining available sources, such as a VHS copy of Williams’ workprint and better-quality footage from DVD copies of the released versions.
This edit was much supported by numerous people who had worked on the film (with the exception of Richard Williams himself, who wishes not to have anything to do with the film any more), including Roy Naisbitt, Alex Williams, Andreas Wessel-Therhorn, Tony White, Holger Leihe, Steve Evangelatos, Greg Duffell, Jerry Verschoor and Beth Hannan, many of whom lent rare material for the project. Some minor changes were made to “make it feel more like a finished film”, like adding more music and replacing storyboards with some of Fred Calvert’s animation.
This edit gained positive reviews on the Internet. Twitch Film called it “the best and most important ‘fan edit’ ever made”. The Recobbled Cut has been revised several times with better-quality footage, with a “Mark 3″ version released in 2008 (which incorporated rare 35mm film of scenes not in the released version), and a “Mark 4″ version planned for 2013.