Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Thief and the Cobbler Review (Updated)
























The Thief and the Cobbler


Release Date: 30th June 1994 – Australia (as The Princess and the Cobbler)


Production Companies
Allied Filmmakers
Richard Williams Productions


Genre: Animation

Rating: PG (Work-print/Re-cobbled Cut)
            G (Australia)

Runtime: 91 minutes 
              (Work-print)
              77 minutes
              (Allied Filmmakers
              version)


Budget: $28,000,000


Plot Summary
The story is around a nameless thief who unleashes an ancient prophecy of destruction and death by releasing 3 magical golden balls on the top of a minaret that protects the magnificent Golden City causing it to be in danger of invasion by an army of one-eyed men. The only one who could save the city is a young and shy but poor shoemaker named Tack and with the help of Princess Yum Yum along with her nanny, a band of brigands and most unlikely the Thief himself. Together they must attempt to find the 3 golden balls and prevent the one-eyed army and the evil grand vizier ZigZag from conquering the Golden City.


Voice Cast (All Versions)
Vincent Price – Zig-Zag the Grand Vizier
Windsor Davies – Chief Roofless
Donald Pleasence – Phido the Vulture
Joan Sims – Mad Holy Old Witch

Voice Cast (Original Version)
Felix Aylmer – Narrator
Sara Crowe – Princess Yum Yum
Anthony Quayle – King Nod
Joan Sims – Princess Yum Yum's Nanny
Chris Greener - Mighty One-Eye

Voice Cast (Allied Filmmakers Version)
Steve Lively – Narrator/Tack the Cobbler
Bobbi Page – Princess Yum Yum
Ed E. Caroll – The Thief
Clive Revill – King Nod
Kevin Dorsey – Mighty One-Eye
Mona Marshall – Princess Yum Yum's Nanny/Mad Holy Old Witch


Crew
Writer/Producer/Director/Lead Animator – Richard Williams
Completion Producer/Director: Los Angeles – Fred Calvert
Executive Producer – Jake Eberts
Producer – Imogen Sutton
Writer – Margaret French
Additional Story & Dialogue – Parker Bennett, Terry Runte, Tom Towler & Stephen Zito
Additional Story & Dialogue/
Completion Producer: Los Angeles – Bette L. Smith
Art Director – Roy Naisbitt
Background Styling – Errol Le Cain
Master Animator – Ken Harris
Director of Photography – John Leatherbarrow
Lyricist: Songs – Norman Gimbel
Composer: Songs/Music – Robert Folk
Editor – Peter Bond



Review
THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER known as THE PRINCESS AND THE COBBLER in Australia was a magnificent but unfinished animated film by Richard Williams who did the animation for WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. I liked the film's M.C Escher like backgrounds as well its animation style which almost feels like CGI except that it's done in two dimensions by hand, but it's such a shame that it was taken away from its creator after 28 years in production. It was edited, finished and half of the footage was changed, the film was made into a rip-off of Aladdin by adding those stupid songs and the full dialogue for the silent character Tack. I do praise the surviving original content of the film such as Vincent Price's marvelous but last performance as Zigzag, keeping the Thief and Phido silent as well as the character of the Witch. Best of all, its moments including a scene where Tack chases the Thief after he steals Princess Yum Yum's shoe and most of the War Machine.

If you have or haven't seen THE PRINCESS AND THE COBBLER, try the RE-COBBLED CUT version instead of the Australian version except that it doesn't have any forgettable songs. THE RE-COBBLED CUT shows what the original version could have been if it was finished and it's available now on You-Tube.

Star rating: (3/5) Average


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