The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 10076Post Garrett Gilchrist
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:08 am

Parker Bennett, to me, about writing for Calvert's version:

Nobody wanted to be in the position of compromising an artists’ vision — but I got on board long after that ship had sailed.

I never expected to get any kind of screen credit, but if I’d known at the time all that you know, I would have asked to keep my name off — even thought I’m not sorry to have tried to help Jake [Eberts]. Jake had a good heart, was a great supporter of creative talent, and was not averse to risk, so I took what he reported about Dick at face value at the time. I was also young and perhaps more naive.

I resisted saying anything about Fred Calvert, mostly because I only had a phone call or two with the guy. I know he would not consider adding or changing anything that he was animating, which was very constraining for us.

I did not get the impression that this was ego-driven at all, though. He seemed very much beleaguered and under pressure to just get the job done. I imagine if he’d ever had any excitement about taking over the project it was worn out by the time I got involved.

He seemed to know he was doing a hack job and just making the best of it. You know, now that I’m older and have a family to feed, I can sympathize a bit more, but it was baffling at the time.

I suspect he was surprised, as you were, at how the original film resisted being tampered with, and it must have been obvious even to studio execs at that point that it wasn’t working, and they were not going to end up with a theatrical release. So, it was just time to get it done.

__________________________________


Garrett Gilchrist, speaking in 2019 in a Youtube video on AniMat's channel:

[Calvert] wanted to make his own version of the movie. I have read the notes that the writers did for Fred Calvert, and a lot of thought was put into making Fred Calvert's version of the movie. And it was always going to be terrible, and he gradually realized that, I think, to his own horror. He wanted to make it cheaply.

He had no respect for Williams' original, and it would have been a lot less work to finish the film in a more accurate way, even with inferior animation. He insisted on making these changes.

Some of the Calvert work was actually done by members of the original team, who TRIED, under the circumstances, so it's actually hard to draw an exact line between Williams and Calvert footage in the Recobbled Cut or in the Academy art archive.

But it was always cheaper. Every corner was cut.

Early on, Warners and Calvert had tried to cut the movie down, but this is an animated film which mostly plays out in long shot. It's not like a live action film where you have other footage and you can cut to a closeup. So I have these versions that they tried, just seeing if they could cut it down, and it's all these illegal jump cuts in the middle of scenes, it makes no sense. Because you can't do it. It's not even a long film, it's short, it's about 90 minutes in any incarnation. It's slowly paced, it's carefully paced, but you don't actually change that by cutting scenes. People probably think the scenes of the Thief climbing through pipes are really long and slow, but it's just a minute here, a minute there. They tried to cut it shorter, but there's no way to do that without just cutting the scene for no reason. You can't actually turn it into a different kind of movie than it is. You can break it, you can ruin it, but you can't make it better, you can't make it faster. The movie is already exactly the kind of movie it wants to be, and every cut you make, every change you make, just sort of breaks it.

Eventually Miramax bought it and they wanted to break it.




Alex Cherkasoff
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 10082Post Alex Cherkasoff
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:52 pm

Garrett Gilchrist wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:05 pm
Robert Bahn asks:
"Does anyone want to take the unfinished but storyboarded parts of The Thief and the Cobbler and animate them, as a tribute to Richard Williams?"
Hi Garret, I'm an animator.
is there something I can help with?

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 10084Post Garrett Gilchrist
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:53 pm

There is currently no project to do anything like that, and I've explained why in that post.

We can discuss further privately.

I am also, as usual, creating unrelated work of my own, without much of a budget.

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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 10085Post Garrett Gilchrist
Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:38 pm

From The Thief and the Cobbler Recobbled Cut Mk 4, Sept 2013. With some heavy cuts (by Tony Cope). Well, the result resembles the (mostly pre-Warners) 35mm reels provided by (uncredited animator) anyway. There are only a few shots which aren't sourced that way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjFBSHpGAvU

Tony Cope writes: "Just taking it back to it's roots Garret... This was more or less how Dick presented it to the backers back in '82."

It has some shots that weren't in that version but yes, I got the idea.

I would say my version, with storyboards and other stuff breaking the material up, is a blueprint for the movie rather than the pitch ... including scenes that weren't Williams' as well.

Jonathan Baylis writes: "Around 2 min, that's Dvorak's New World."


I have record of using the following:

"Scheherezade" and "Russian Easter Overture"
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

"Tod und Verklärung"
by Richard Strauss

"Night on Bald Mountain"
by Modest Mussorgsky

"Tico-Tico no Fubá"
by Zequinha de Abreu

"The U.S. Air Force (Wild Blue Yonder)"
by Robert Crawford

"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"
by James Kendis, James Brockman, Nat Vincent, and John Kellette

"Dance of the Boys"
by Aram Khachaturian

"Symphony No. 9"
by Antonín Dvořák

"City Lights"
by Charles Chaplin

"Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"
"The Wasps: Overture"
"The Lark Ascending"
"Allegro Pesante"
by Ralph Vaughan Williams

"La Forza Del Destino"
by Guiseppe Verdi

"From Me to You Fantasy"
by Ken Thorne, from a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Original Music (Thief and the Cobbler)
DAVID BURMAN
PETER SHADE
DAVID CULLEN

Original Music (Princess and the Cobbler)
ROBERT FOLK

Music Performed by
THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Score Recorded at
ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS, LONDON

Additional Orchestrations by
JON KULL
RANDY MILLER
PETER TOMASHEK

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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 10086Post Garrett Gilchrist
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:21 pm

I found some notes that were a rough version of the film's credits in the Recobbled Mk4. They're all in the wrong order but were used to create the credit scroll.


Vincent Price
Anthony Quayle
Hilary Pritchard
Feliz Aylmer
Joan Sims
Windsor Davies
Paul Matthews
Clinton Sundberg
Donald Pleasence
Kenneth Williams
Stanley Baxter
George Melly
Eddie Byrne
Thick Wilson
Frederick Shaw
Miriam Margolyes
Sean Connery

Joss Ackland
Dermot Walsh
Declan Mulholland
Peter Clayton
Mike Nash
Derek Hinson
Ramsay Williams


ZigZag
King Nod
Princess YumYum
Narrator
Nurse and The Mad and Holy Old Witch
Chief Roofless
Mighty One Eye
Dying Soldier
Phido the Vulture
Goblet and Tickle
Gofer and Slap
Dwarf
Hoof
Hook
Goolie
Maiden from Mombassa
Tack the Cobbler

The Brigands


Painters

SEAN BURNS
ROGER FELL
JASON FIGGIS
MARY GREEN
PETER HYNES
BREID O'DONNELL
FLORENCE ROVERCH
PENNY SNELL
LUKE STIDWORTHY
MARTIN WISEMAN

RONA COUPER
SHIRLEY FIDDOCK
VINCENT GIBBS
MATTHEW HARRIS
MONIKA KREMER
JOHN O'NEILL
REMEDIOS MADRID SANTOS
SANDY SPRUZEN
CLAIRE WILLIAMS
MARYSE WORRALO

JONATHAN BARRY
WAYNE ASHMEAD DE MAN
CORMAC FIGGIS
DOMINIC GILLETT
BETH HILL
PIPPA LOWES
MIKE O'NEILL
DEBBIE SKINNER
HILLARY STEINAU
LINDA WILLIAMS


Mattes

HENRY BARNES
EMMA GRAY
JANE MCGOWAN

JONATHAN BURNS
MATTHEW HARRIS
NICK VAN GELDER

Checkers

CAROL ASHEN
DEBORAH CAMPBELL

JEREMY ATTRILL
JULIA ORR

GUY THOMSON

Development

HOWARD BLAKE
JOHN CULHANE

CORNY COLE
BENY KANDLER

ROWLAND B. WILSON


Camera
ALLEN GEORGE DUCK
BRIAN RILEY

ALLEN FOSTER
CRAIG SIMPSON

PETE WOODS

Assistant Camera


Assistant Editor

2nd Assistant Editor

Foley Editor

Production Coordinator

Office Manager

Assistant Accountant

Producer's Secretaries


International Publicist

Receptionists



Librarian

EITHNE QUINN
SOPHIE LEATHERBARROW

PAUL BINGLEY

KIERAN EVANS

JOE GALLAGHER

IAN COOK

TESSA WOLPE

GUAN CHUAN CHEW (ACCA)

LEAN SEE TAN (ACCA)

SUE FELLER
SUSAN HARRIS

TRISTAN WHALLEY

AMANDA COWAN
KYLIE COWARD
CARMEN NASH

JAMES MAGUIRE


Runners

ZAK COLLINS
STEPHEN DAY
GILBERT JAMES
PETER LYCETT
JULIAN PUGH-COOK

RICHARD COLTON
TOBY DOBSON
ALEX JENNINGS
SIMON MARTINDALE
SEAN ROGG

BYRON WILLIAMSON










Co-Producer

Production Manager

Additional Editing

Music and Additional Editing

Assistant Editors


Sound Effects Editors



Foley Editors


Assistant Sound Editors


Post Production Assistant

Foley Artist

Voice Casting

ADR Voice Casting


JACOBUS ROSE

ALAN LEVINE

HARRY KERAMIDAS

DOUGLAS LACKEY

ANTHONY ROCCO
LEWIS SCHOENBRUN

G.W. DAVIS
EDMIND J. LACHMANN
JOSEPH H. HOLSEN

KAROLA STORR
TOM SCURRY

HORACE MANZANARES
ELIJAH CHKEIBAN

JOHN M. MOORE

JOHN H. POST

HAL WINN

BARBARA HARRIS



Storyboard

Layout

Animation

Assistant Animation
and Key Clean-Up

Background

Ink and Paint (Thailand)

Ink and Paint (Hungary)

Special Effects

Scene Planning

In-Between

Head Ink and Paint (Los Angeles)

Ink and Paint (Los Angeles)


DARRELL ROONEY

JAMES BEIHOLD

CYNTHIA WELLS


KIMIE CALVERT

PAUL WILWORTH

KATHERINE McDONALD

NIGEL HASLAM

SARI GENNIS

KAREN HANSEN

WANTANA MARTINELLI

LILLIAN (JONI) FITTS

CARMEN BROOKS



Animators

DAVID BYERS-BROWN
JESSE COSIO
FRANK GABRIEL
SILVIA HOEFNAGELS
ROY MEURIN
KEVIN O'HARA
RALF PALMER
DAVID STEPHAN
SHANE ZALVIN

BECKY BRISTOW
KIMIE CALVERT
SAM FLEMING
JOE HAWKINS
KEVIN JOHNSON
WILLIAM NUNES
CYNTHIA OVERMAN
ALAN SPERLING
WILLIAM C. WALDMAN III

RUSSELL CALABRESE
JIM CULTON
EDISON GONCALVES
JEFFREY JOHNSON
JEAN MOREL
KEVIN O'NEIL
GARY PERKOVAC
ROGER VIZARD

Layout

DAVID C. GARDNER
SIMON VARELA

TERRY KEIL MULLEN
DAVID WOMERSLEY

Background

MANNIX BENNETT
NATASHA GARMASH
LORRAINE MARUE-MIMURA
SEAN SULLIVAN

MIMI DANLY
KAREN HANSEN
DAVID McCAMLEY
MARYANN THOMAS

Assistant Animators

BRONWEN BARRY
HYE CURLEY
JOHN EDDINGS
SALLI HILBORN
MYUNG KANG
WANTANA MARTINELLI
JULI MURPHY
IRENE PARKINS
OLIVER WADE

ERIC ABJORNSON
WESLEY CHUN
RICARDO ECHEVARRIA
SYLVIA FITZPATRICK
ETHAN KANFER
LEVI LOUIS
SOON JIN MOONEY
JAN NAYLOR
JENNIFER STILLWELL

SHEILA BROWN
EILEEN DUNN
RUTH ELLIOTT
KARENIA KAMINSKI
ELENA KRAVITZ
KAREN MARJORIBANKS
YOON SOOK NAM
ART ROMAN
HYO SUK YUN

---

Assistant Layout


Additional Animation Produced by

Special Effects Animators





Assistant Special Effects Animators



Assistant to Layout Supervisor

Animation Xerography

Inkers




Painters




Cel Service

Ink and Paint Services


Animation Production Services


DAVID MARTIN
DANIEL WANKET

PREMIER FILMS, LTD., LONDON
KROYER FILMS, INC.
SULLIVAN BLUTH STUDIOS

AL HOLTER
ALLEN STOVALL
KATHLEEN QUAIFE-HODGE
BRETT HISEY
CRAIG LITTELL-HERRICK
MIKE SOSNOWSKI

JOHN HUEY
RAY HOFSTEDT
BRETT COOK
PHIL CUMMINGS
JOEY MILDEN BERGER
BOB SIMMONS

IRINA BLUVBAND

KROYER FILMS, INC.

JOHN REMMEL

STUART BROOKS
MIKYUNG KWON
LEONOR M. WOOD
JANET M. ZOLL

RENE ALCAZAR
JOYCE LORE JONES CLINE
KATHLEEN IRVINE EVANS
KIT HARPER
DELMY E. NAVAS

JESSIE PALUBESKI

THE MAGIC BRUSH
LINDA GERLACH

VARGA STUDIOS
ANDRAS ERKLE


WANG FILM PRODUCTIONS/THAI WANG FILM PRODUCTIONS

President
Vice President
Production Manager
Production Supervisor


Associate Producer
Production Consultant
Animation Camera (Thailand)
Camera Services provided by
Camera Operators
Animation Checker
Xerox Checker
Color Modelist
Production Accountant
Post Production Accountant
Post Production Accountant
Sound Editorial Services
Re-recording Mixers
Dubbing Recordist
Assistant to the Producer
Production Assistants
Receptionist
Security

JAMES C. Y. WANG
FRANK TZONG
JAMES CHEN
FANG DING (THERESA)

SHEREE DEVERAUX
WINNIE CHAFFEE
JAMES MATTSON
ANIMAGRAPHICS
JAMES FARRELL
RON JACKSON
GARY MILLER
ELEANOR DAHLEN
JANET M. ZOLL
LEA STEWART
RACHEL WEINLEIN
JULIANNA ARENSON
TAPE EFFECTS, INC.
RICK ASH
DEAN A. ZUPANCIC
LARRY PITMAN
SHELLEY ROBERTSON
ROBERT S. CULLEN
REBECCA GOMEZ
DAVID MOSBY
DENNY WHITE
E. BREEN CULLEN
STEPHEN GERARD

International Distribution and Production
RICHARD WILLLIAMS ANIMATION STUDIO
WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
THE COMPLETION BOND COMPANY, INC.
CALVERT/COBBLER PRODUCTIONS, INC.
MAJESTIC FILMS
ALLIED FILMMAKERS
MIRAMAX FILMS


Original Music (Thief and the Cobbler)
DAVID BURMAN
PETER SHADE
DAVID CULLEN

Original Music (Princess and the Cobbler)
ROBERT FOLK

Music Performed by
THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Score Recorded at
ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS, LONDON

Additional Orchestrations by
JON KULL
RANDY MILLER
PETER TOMASHEK

"Scheherezade" and "Russian Easter Overture"
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

"Tod und Verklärung"
by Richard Strauss

"Night on Bald Mountain"
by Modest Mussorgsky

"Tico-Tico no Fubá"
by Zequinha de Abreu

"The U.S. Air Force (Wild Blue Yonder)"
by Robert Crawford

"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"
by James Kendis, James Brockman, Nat Vincent, and John Kellette

"Dance of the Boys"
by Aram Khachaturian

"Symphony No. 9"
by Antonín Dvořák

"City Lights"
by Charles Chaplin

"Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis"
"The Wasps: Overture"
"The Lark Ascending"
"Allegro Pesante"
by Ralph Vaughan Williams

"La Forza Del Destino"
by Guiseppe Verdi

"From Me to You Fantasy"
by Ken Thorne, from a song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney


The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut

Restoration, Editing and Effects by
GARRETT GILCHRIST

AviSynth Video Restoration
CHRISTOPH NASS

Additional Artwork
CHRIS FERN
GARRETT GILCHRIST
HAILEY LAIN
ANDREAS WESSEL-THERHORN

35mm Footage Acquisition and Transfer
MARK K.
PETER C.
STEVE S.
HELGE B.

Video Acquisition and Transfer
Simon M.
Baby Hum
Holger L.
Neil B.
Lewis S.
Graham B.
David B.




Special Thanks

MARCUS BRENNEMAN
HELGE BERNHARDT
SAM SLEIMAN
EDDIE BOWERS
CHEYNE QUINN
MARGARET WILLIAMS
EDWARD SUMMER
ANDREAS WESSEL-THERHORN

MAT FITZPATRICK
PATRICK MCCART
ARNAUD HILMACHER
RICHARD G. HAYES
OLIVER JUDD
ALEX WILLIAMS
CHRIS SOBIENIAK
STEPHEN DAY

CHRISTOPH NASS
JOHN FIELDING
MARGARET TRAUTH
KEVIN SCHRECK
LUKE MENICHELLI
ERIC NORTHFELL
GUILLERMO GOMEZ
HOLGER LEIHE



Thanks to all the animators who worked on the film.

Thanks to everyone who has watched and supported this project at Orangecow.org, at thethiefarchive, on Facebook, at The Thief Blog, and elsewhere.


The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Restoration by Garrett Gilchrist, 2013.


The Princess and the Cobbler © 1993 The Completion Bond Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Completion Bond Company, Inc. is the author of this motion picture for purposes of copyright and other laws.

Ownership of this motion picture is protected by copyright and other applicable laws, and any unauthorized duplication, distribution, exhibition or recobbling of this motion picture could result in criminal prosecution as well as civil liability.





For Richard Williams



Additional Animators (Calvert)
Neil Boyle
Darlie Brewster
Marcelo Fernandes De Moura
Chris Derochie
Brian Mitchell
Dean Roberts
Len Simon
Frank Suarez
John R. Walsh
Tim Watts
Andreas Wessel-Therhorn


Neil Boyle
Chris Derochie
Len Simon
Tim Watts

Darlie Brewster
Brian Mitchell
Frank Suarez
Andreas Wessel-Therhorn

Marcelo Fernandes De Moura
Dean Roberts
John R. Walsh


Additional Animators (Williams)

Tissa David
Greg Duffell
Eric Goldberg
Russell Hall
Teddy Hall
Greg Hill
John Kratovil
Grim Natwick
Cliff Nordberg
Tom Roth
Tom Sito



Tissa David
Eric Goldberg
Teddy Hall
John Kratovil
Cliff Nordberg
Tom Sito


Greg Duffell
Russell Hall
Greg Hill
Grim Natwick
Tom Roth


Additional Crew
Steve Cook .... dubbing mixer: UK (uncredited)

Robert Edward Crawford .... camera operator: rostrum camera (uncredited)


C. Cory M. McCrum-Abdo .... associate producer: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Thad Weinlein .... production executive: Los Angeles (uncredited)


Nancy Massie .... ink artist: London (uncredited)


David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting (uncredited)

Kevin Phelan .... cutting room manager: Prominent Studios, UK (uncredited)
Kevin Phelan .... unit projectionist: Prominent Studios, London (uncredited)


User avatar
Garrett Gilchrist
Site Admin
Posts: 6682
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:23 am

Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 10089Post Garrett Gilchrist
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:12 pm

Here's one article from when "Arabian Knight" (the worst version of The Thief and the Cobbler) was released in theaters. You get Fred Calvert and Jake Eberts criticizing Richard Williams heavily, I think largely as damage control after the disaster the film had immediately become under Calvert. The blame gets shifted onto Williams in Calvert interviews at the time. I'd like to find other Calvert interviews done at this point.

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm ... story.html


(Note: Also quoted in "Arabian Knight's Tortuous Tale," The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 29 Tuesday, September 5, 1995)



How This ‘Thief’ Became a ‘Knight’ : Movies: Richard Williams lost his treasured project to a bond company in ’92. His son is disappointed in the final version.
By ROBERT W. WELKOS, LOS ANGELES TIMES STAFF WRITER
Aug. 30, 1995 12 AM


For more than a quarter of a century, Oscar-winning animator Richard Williams labored to bring forth his signature film, one that would rival the best of Disney. And then it was gone.

His epic work-in-progress, originally titled “The Thief and the Cobbler,” was seized in 1992 by a completion bond company, which ensured investors that the film would be completed on time and on budget. Last week, Miramax Films released the wide-screen fable, retitled “Arabian Knight.”

The $28-million film includes animation, dialogue and music inserted after Williams departed the project.

Williams, the director of animation in the 1988 Academy Award-winning film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” has steadfastly declined to discuss the events. But his oldest son, who spent two years as an animator on “Arabian Knight,” has expressed strong reservations about Miramax’s movie.

“I think the film has been substantially altered--and in my view, not for the better,” Alexander Williams said in a telephone interview from his London home. “What I saw is nothing like the original.”

The film’s story line revolves around a humble cobbler and his adventures in ancient Baghdad. One major departure from his father’s work, Williams noted, was adding voices to two major characters--the cobbler (Matthew Broderick) and the thief (Jonathan Winters)--when the characters originally were mute.

“They decided, in their wisdom, to have them speaking,” Williams said. “But it’s very hard to have them speaking when their lips don’t move. So you have them speaking in the bits they added, and in the other scenes they didn’t animate, they put voices over the top. It looks ridiculous, but that didn’t stop them.”

But the film’s executive producer, Jake Eberts, whose British-based company, Allied Filmmakers, invested $10 million in the project over nine years, said Miramax has done a “fabulous job” taking the film to the big screen.

“It was significantly enhanced and changed by Miramax after Miramax stepped in and acquired the domestic [distribution] rights,” Eberts said. “They made extremely good changes.”

As for giving the cobbler and thief voices, Eberts said the original way did not work for two reasons.

“There wasn’t a strong enough story line in and of itself that you could get the story through the actions and appearance of the cobbler,” Eberts said.

“Secondly, the cobbler itself didn’t have the kind of design that convey feeling. He didn’t have enough characteristics in his face to convey full emotions. He also serves as the narrator.”

Eberts, who said he still has great admiration for Richard Williams and his animation skills, nonetheless added that “Arabian Knight” is a classic case of art clashing with commerce.

Williams’ problem, Eberts said, was that “he could never finish a scene.”

“He loved the thief to death,” Eberts said. “He would churn out frame after frame of the thief and not spend time on other points of the movie.”

In the end, Eberts said, Williams “felt he should have absolute control over the way cuts were made. That was not possible. Only one or two directors in the world have that kind of power. He wanted final everything. . . . He was playing with over $25 million of other people’s money. You have to respect that.”

A Canadian, Eberts has invested in many films over the last two decades, including “Dances With Wolves,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Gandhi.” One of his first movies was the animated film “Watership Down.”

Eberts said he met Williams, also a Canadian, in 1986 when the animator was receiving an award at a ceremony in London.

“I walked up on stage after he was through [getting an award], introduced myself and he told me he wanted to show me some footage,” Eberts recalled. “The rest, as they say, is history.”

Eberts said that he was not only impressed by the size and scope of the film in progress but that he became sold on the project because he believed Williams was an “absolute genius” at animation and that it was the kind of film entire families would attend.

“If I had known then what I know now, I never would have done it,” Eberts said. ". . . I would have hired someone else.”

When Williams began the feature, he promised a film that would be “more fully animated than any animated movie ever,” and artists who saw the footage compared the results to a moving tapestry.

Over the years, the project attracted some of the finest American animators: Grim Natwick, creator of Betty Boop; Art Babbit, who animated the dancing mushroom and thistles in “Fantasia,” and two top animators of the Warner Bros. shorts, Ken Harris (“Road Runner”) and Emery Hawkins. All four have since died.

Some of the original voices, including actors Vincent Price (Zigzag) and Sir Anthony Quayle, who was to have been King Nod (Clive Revill now is Nod’s voice), also died.

Warner Bros. had been set to distribute the movie, but after the bond company took over the project, the studio dropped out. The bond company handed the film to animator Fred Calvert in Los Angeles to complete.

“I really didn’t want to do it,” Calvert said Tuesday, “but if I didn’t do it, it would have been given off to the lowest bidder. I took it as a way to try and preserve something and at least get the thing on the screen and let it be seen.”

When he got the project, Calvert said, it was only about 60% completed. “A lot that was left was in storyboard and rough pencil animation. The story wasn’t there yet. So, we kind of restructured it.”

Calvert said he asked a number of animators who had worked with Williams in London to help him finish the film. “It took us a year and a half to finish it,” he said, estimating that 30% of the film was original work developed under his supervision.

Although Calvert said the decision to give the cobbler a voice came while he was supervising the project, it wasn’t until he turned it in that he discovered that Miramax was going to give the thief a voice, too.

“I never conceived of putting a voice on the thief,” Calvert said. “That was a surprise to me. Whatever is wrong with the film, I’m sure someone will blame me for it.”

Miramax, he said, also added music to the production.

As for the story itself, Calvert confirmed that some of the additional dialogue in the film is credited to Bette L. Smith, who at the time was president of Completion Bond Co.

“She revised a few things,” Calvert said. (Smith could not be reached for comment.)

Eberts, meanwhile, said he had his last contact with Williams “a couple years ago.”

“We exchanged pleasant and polite letters,” he said. “I invited him to finish the film. I have no hard feelings. . . . It’s a great tragedy for him.”

Alexander Williams said he does not think his father is bitter but wishes he had had a chance to complete the movie he set out to make.

“We were getting the film out,” the younger Williams said. “They just chose to take it off to the States and finish it there. I think there was 15 minutes left to do. It would have taken about four months more.”

Asked to sum up the experience, Williams said: “The idea was to make a film better than Disney in something that was not the Disney style. I was amazed when they took it away.”

Williams added that the additional footage he saw made it look like “a different movie. . . . It looks like Saturday morning TV, the stuff I saw.”

Even Miramax’s marketing effort ran into trouble. Early print ads for the film called it the first wide-screen animated film since “Snow White,” later changed to “Sleeping Beauty"--both, of course, classics from Miramax parent Disney.

The film opened poorly over the weekend, taking in only $319,723 on 510 screens.

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