Cameron Byerly on The Thief and the Cobbler.
I enjoyed Cameron Bylerly's video, but I also feel a need to address what I feel are inaccuracies in it, or things that he asks about in the video itself:
About Princess Yum Yum having a twin. Princess Mee Mee and Prince Bubba were cut from the script at Warners' request. I left her in the bath scene in the Mk4 (to show more of Tissa David's animation!) but cut her in one older version. Some deleted footage exists including weird Emery Hawkins animation of the Witch and company (Hawkins was getting too old at the time), and some mentions of Zigzag coveting both princesses.
Here's some deleted and alternate Zigzag material. The lip sync was still not in place for the rewritten script during the famous tower scene, which is why Calvert's "final" animation here looks a little funky.
About The Thief's earlier design, which is mainly visible when he steals the emerald and maybe when Nanny beats him up (and some War Machine segments): Dick had largely switched to only animating The Thief in pencil for budget reasons, so he and the team were able to redraw the 70s-styled scenes in the 90s.
Dick was often criticized as insane and a perfectionist for wanting to reanimate scenes that had already been animated in the 70s and 80s, but these versions were often extremely rough and not up to the standards of the 1990ish production. The emerald scene at least looks okay, but as you note, it really stands out as being in the old art style, and shows WHY all this stuff had to be reanimated.
We have evidence of a lot of scenes being animated early on in a "Hanna Barbera" sort of way, as you say, closer to the standards of the Nasrudin film. Especially by Art Babbitt.
You say it's strange that, with The Thief and the emeralds (and being beat up by Nanny) a character's "proof of concept scene" turns up in the film itself.
Also true of the Superman 2 Donner Cut, come to think of it.
Dick had many Thief scenes redrawn to not look like that.
Dick also had to redraw all the old Nasrudin-era (or later) storyboards and layouts during the 1990ish production. This led to a misconception that there were no storyboards until 1990ish, repeated in Persistence of Vision. He had still been using the old boards during the two decades when this was just a side project without funding. As long as he hadn't finished all those scenes yet, he didn't need new boards.
When I met Alex Williams in 2006 (I think) he showed me storyboards from Nasrudin which had been used for The Thief even in the 90s production - including Zigzag's entrance into the city - and the 1990ish work reels of the Brigands and the like are full of Nasrudin era boards still being used.
It's often said that Dick had no plan and no script, but the script was in place with scene numbers in roughly its final form ten years before production properly began, and older scripts had been boarded in full. He was so much better and so much worse than he's ever given credit for. He could be difficult, but he certainly had a plan, that he wasn't sharing with outsiders.
I think at the time Kevin was making his film in 2010, I would have been similarly jokey about Dick's work (compared to the people interviewed in the documentary, who often characterize Dick as somewhat out of control).
But LM kept looking at the documents and debunking every joke! So I'd have to say, wait, Dick had this planned in more detail than people think, because of course he did. A film like The Thief and the Cobbler doesn't just happen. But that took a lot of research and hindsight rather than taking everyone's memories at face value.
Cameron, I like your delivery and humor a whole lot, and a lot of this video is very accurate, but some important parts of it are inaccurate, in my opinion. There are, I think, some common misconceptions with this film that I addressed on the channel of a Youtuber called Animat recently.
Here, in fact:
It is supposed to be the case that Tack gets a tan in the desert and changes design gradually throughout the film to look more heroic. Model sheet roughs define this, but unfortunately almost all of Tack past a certain point in the film is Calvert work so it's hard to judge.
This is more confusing in the Calvert edits, which miscolor Tack as pink when they're LEAVING for the desert - something fixed via Chroma Key in the Recobbled Mk4.
The models for Tack the Cobbler and Princess YumYum weren't finalized until the 1990ish Warners production, when the film had funding. Their scenes are disproportionately unfinished compared to The Thief and Zigzag and the like, and boards for their scenes may not have existed at all until the famous storyboards done in 1990ish for the workprint. This also allowed these characters to be in more of a 90s style.
Tack has more of a 60s "Hawaiian Punch" design in the early work before 1989 and the Princesses are not very distinctive compared to the sexier final Yum Yum design. (Tissa David's earlier animation of the Princesses is interesting though, some of which survives in the bath scene in the Recobbled.) All the finished color animation of Tack and Yum Yum looks brilliant and it's a shame there's not a lot more of it (and that some footage was finished but not included in most cuts- I salvaged a few very rare shots from very obscure VHS tapes for the Recobbled Mk4, some of which are in A Moment In Time but that's not available to the public).
The Thief's design came together very early on, and the Brigands also retained their early designs. The pre-Warner Bros 35mm reels feature The Thief very heavily, and all the footage of him in the War Machine is present and complete. Zigzag was redesigned several times but was well in place before the 1989 production. King Nod and Phido were redesigned by the time of the 1989 production.
Most of what we see in the Recobbled Cuts was animated or reanimated within those two years or so.
Richard Williams was - indisputably - on track to finish his film within 6 months to a year. (Alex Williams used to say four months.) This would have raised the budget accordingly. Warners screened a version which was (accidentally) missing the climactic reel and still had very little footage of the Cobbler or Princess, who were designed late. They pulled the plug.
There are a bunch of shots which don't appear in the familiar VHS workprint but do appear, usually as pencil test, in Richard's "A Moment In Time" workprint, which was made slightly after (when Dick was fired), or which have turned up partially as cels, or were clearly finished based on what appears in Calvert's cut. Many of these shots turn up in the post-Williams attempt to cut down the film which we call the Keramidas Cut, or in Calvert's Work In Progress of Princess and the Cobbler. They are therefore in the Recobbled Cut, but in low quality.
So these are the last shots Dick managed to complete before being fired, and the vast majority of them are of the Cobbler and the Princess. Those characters had become a priority and footage was being created at great speed - too late for Warners' liking I expect.
You - like a lot of people - really let Calvert off the hook for disrespecting the film so thoroughly in his "finished" version that it became unrecognizable. Calvert had been hired to "keep an eye on" Williams during the last stages of his production, and tell Warners if Dick was out of control. Calvert saw Dick as extravagant, and always had. Calvert was also looking for work at the time. My take on Fred Calvert was that he was all too keen to take over, and helped sabotage the Warner production by saying Williams was out of control and that he could do it cheaper. Calvert had a lot of his own ideas and it would have been simpler to just finish Williams' intended edit.
In your video, the "Arabian Knight" scenes are also shown in lower quality, which is another reminder to me that our restoration of Arabian Knight is hard to find these days (PM me, I've got a download somewhere).
The video stretches pretty far to say Calvert was not disrespecting the film as intended (which he clearly was), and to say they added animation showing characters looking at each other from afar, which is actually Williams stuff present in the workprint.
People who saw the film as kids also have an attachment to the Calvert versions and find it hard to see him in too negative a way. They take his words at face value, which, nah.
Calvert's interviews after the film's release were damage control. He knew he'd altered the movie beyond all recognition into a much cheaper and changed form, and also that it had a reputation as being a masterpiece, so he had to live up to that in his interviews, paying lip service to its brilliance, when really he had cut out so much of the "good stuff." Why is most of the Thief's material just outtakes in the credits?
When I was talking about The Thief and the Cobbler in 2005, I think I said something like "You have never seen a movie ruined so thoroughly," and that doesn't just happen. It's hard to draw an exact line between Williams work and Calvert work because some of it is accurate to what Williams intended, just done smaller and in lower quality. There are some Zigzag scenes which are pretty accurate versions of the Williams pencils. But in general, Williams was always pushing for higher quality standards in everything he did, and Calvert was pushing for lower quality and for it to be cheaper. A few Calvert-only scenes stand out, because they were done by Neil Boyle or someone else who cared - at a smaller size but with more attention. (I've always liked the wedding shot of Tack and Yum Yum.) Overall, Calvert didn't give a damn about what Williams intended and his own "workprint" of The Thief, before he'd really animated anything apart from a couple tests, is even more ridiculous. I posted it on Youtube as a guide to "Ruining The Thief."