The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4
Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:46 am
It is written among the limitless constellations of the celestial heavens, and in the depths of the emerald seas, and upon every grain of sand in the vast deserts, that the world which we see is an outward and visible dream, of an inward and invisible reality ... Once upon a time there was a golden city. In the centre of the golden city, atop the tallest minaret, were three golden balls. The ancients had prophesied that if the three golden balls were ever taken away, harmony would yield to discord, and the city would fall to destruction and death. But... the mystics had also foretold that the city might be saved by the simplest soul with the smallest and simplest of things. In the city there dwelt a lowly shoemaker, who was known as Tack the Cobbler. Also in the city... existed a Thief, who shall be ... nameless.
“ANIMATION AMONG THE MOST GLORIOUS AND LIVELY
EVER CREATED!” - The New York Times
Chief Restorationist: Garrett Gilchrist
For the first time ever on video, enjoy the original version of this lost animation classic, written and directed by three-time Academy Award winning animator Richard Williams (animation director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit). Nearly 30 years in the making, a labor of love by a team of animation greats, this was to be the masterpiece of Williams’ career, perhaps the most ambitious independent animated film ever conceived. The film was the inspiration for Disney‘s film Aladdin, which proved to be its undoing. After over two decades of work, the film was taken away from Williams when he couldn’t meet his deadline. It was eventually bought by Disney, recut and destroyed. It has never been seen the way it was intended to be seen ... until now. Based on Williams’ original workprint, missing scenes have been restored using storyboards and unfinished animation. Restored to its true form, this lost classic has finally been found - for you at home.
Directed by Richard Williams
Screenplay by Richard Williams and Margaret French
Master animator Ken Harris
Produced by Imogen Sutton and Richard Williams
First thread begun January 14, 2006. 70 pages. 1726 posts. 116,721 views. Last post by G.Gilchrist, November 2006. Thread still popular until about March 2007.
Second (and main) thread begun at FFrevolution.com on Thursday, Feb 16, 2006. 222 pages. 3322 Replies. 369,256 Views. Thread closed February 2013.
Mk4 viewable at Youtube (some parts may be blocked)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZibUpH- ... 76&index=1
https://mega.nz/#!atAjBAyQ!aqTW_E0rf5NA ... Xjcmfe_6yg
http://kisscartoon.me/Cartoon/The-Thief ... e?id=31633
http://orangecow.org/thief/ThiefCobbler ... ov.torrent
Meet us on Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/thiefan ... ter=albums
The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mk4 is now also available in 10 ZIP file pieces, for anyone who had trouble downloading the full version as one file.
Recobbled Cut Trailer:
Arabian Knight trailers:
"The Thief Who Never Gave Up" screenplay:
http://orangecow.org/thief/Thief%20Who% ... %20Rv2.pdf
http://orangecow.org/thief/thiefwhoneve ... CA-RFT.TXT
http://orangecow.org/thief/thiefwhoneve ... 20code.txt
"The Thief and the Cobbler" screenplay:
"The Majestic Fool (The Amazing Nasruddin)" screenplay:
http://orangecow.org/thief/Majestic%20F ... enplay.pdf
http://orangecow.org/thief/themajesticf ... enplay.txt
Mythbusters Tested.com interview with Garrett Gilchrist:
http://www.tested.com/art/movies/44961- ... sterpiece/
Other GG interviews:
http://flipanimation.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... lance.html
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/old-brew/thi ... -1934.html
http://flightstightsandmovienights.com/ ... gilchrist/
"A personal note, if you'll allow me." (Tribute to Richard Williams)
"Once in his travels, Nasrudin came upon a magic show ..." (Tribute to Richard Williams)
The Devil's Radio:
A response to Cameron Byerly:
About finishing the film:
"Massive collection of Thief and the Cobbler artwork found at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences site."
Once upon a time, in Soho, in the heart of London, an animator decided to make a film. Two and a half decades later, he had spent millions out of his own pocket, won every award in the animation industry and worked with a dream team of animation greats. But his feature film, his labor of love, still wasn't quite finished. The animator was Richard Williams, three-time Academy Award winner for A Christmas Carol and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The film was The Thief and the Cobbler.
In the 60s and 70s, the art of animation was in decline. Simple, stylized animation, suitable for television and very low budgets, was the fashion of the day, and the great Disney and Warner Bros. animators of the 30s, 40s and 50s were getting old. Their knowledge hadn't really been passed on to the next generation and was in danger of being forgotten.
Richard Williams was always a fine artist and draftsman, but his ambition was to become a truly great animator. He hired great Disney and Warner animators like Art Babbitt, Ken Harris, Emery Hawkins, Abe Levitow, Grim Natwick, and so on, not just as animators but as teachers. Babbitt's lectures became legendary, and the brilliant work being produced at Richard Williams Animation set off a golden age of commercial animation in London during the 70s and 80s. Williams had a reputation for being a temperamental perfectionist, but also a brilliant teacher, and many people who worked for him went on to start their own animation studios or do classic work for Disney and other studios, such as Eric Goldberg, Andreas Deja, and so on.
Richard Williams won two Oscars for directing the animation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), including a special achievement award. Animating on "ones" with realistic shadows and a moving camera, the film was more technically complex than any previous animated feature. It was also Disney's first big hit in years, and kicked off the Disney Renaissance (which began properly with The Little Mermaid in 1989). As both teacher and master animator, Richard Williams was a key figure in kicking off the animation renaissance of the 90s.
However, Dick was never all that interested in working for Disney (it's said he turned down Beauty and the Beast). He wanted to finish The Thief and the Cobbler, which he'd been animating inbetween working on his other projects for well over two decades now. Most of the money he made went back into The Thief, but not a lot of footage had actually been completed by 1989, when high off the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Warner Bros. agreed to finance the film.
Although Dick had become legendary for his perfectionism, and for missing deadlines and going over budget, production moved along at a fast pace, and the footage produced stands as some of the greatest and most complex animation ever attempted anywhere. The film was mostly finished when Warner Bros. executives got cold feet. Disney was making a very similar film called Aladdin (and some of the lead animators had also worked on The Thief). They felt the film was too artsy, too uncommercial. It wasn't The Little Mermaid. And Dick was about to miss another deadline.
After over 23 years of work, Richard Williams was fired from his own film and the movie was dropped by Warner Bros. It's said that as animators grabbed what they could and left, Dick was still at his desk animating a scene. The film had become a "reason for living."
To fulfill a contractual obligation, the film was completed as cheaply as possible, and the resulting versions (The Princess and the Cobbler and Arabian Knight) bear almost no resemblance to what Richard Williams intended. Deleting half the footage and including obnoxious songs and voiceovers, the film was bought by Disney (through Miramax) and marketed as a cheap Aladdin ripoff - quite ironically.
Richard Williams no longer discusses the film.
My name is Garrett Gilchrist. I was eight years old when I first read about how the animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit wanted to create "the best animated film that's ever been made." I was about fourteen when I saw how it had gone horribly wrong. I was about seventeen when I watched the released versions of the movie, and Richard Williams' original workprint, on an extremely low quality VHS tape. Despite the poor quality I was fascinated by the film, which stands as a work of art quite unlike any other.
In 2006, at age twenty-four, I edited a restoration of the film combining the low-quality workprint with better quality DVD sources. I called it The Recobbled Cut. Restoring such an obscure film, I assumed only a handful of people would be interested. Instead, the Recobbled Cut has become something of a cult phenomenon, with viewers becoming captivated, as I was, by the tragic story of the film's demise, and then seeing it restored as intended, in the best quality available. Although often criticized for favoring animation style over the substance of story, the film is a masterpiece by any standard, on par with Disney's Fantasia, and considered by many to be one of the greatest animated films ever made - something you'd never know from watching the released versions.
The restoration project grew to encompass not only the Thief and the Cobbler, but an entire archive of Richard Williams' work, including the Thief Archive channel on Youtube. Incredible amounts of information, artwork and rare video have been shared, providing a clearer picture of an overlooked animation genius at the top of his game. Animators who worked with Richard have contributed to the project, and sometimes even contributed to the Thief restoration itself, which was updated in 2008 for the Recobbled Cut Mark 3.
In 2012, Kevin Schreck released a documentary about the unmaking of The Thief and the Cobbler, entitled Persistence of Vision and including lots of footage from The Thief Archive.
In late 2011, with new footage having come to light, I decided to create The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4. This is a much more ambitious restoration which starts from scratch and includes over 30 minutes of footage in full HD (transferred from 35mm film). In late 2012 I began hosting weekly Livestreams showing the extremely ambitious frame-by-frame restoration and reanimation work, which goes far above and beyond any unofficial restoration ever attempted. Not only is dirt and damage painted out on a frame by frame basis, there's new artwork and newly-created shots which tell the story better than ever before.
Los Angeles trip writeup:
Thief and the Cobbler Recobbled Cut Subtitles (Various Languages, Mk4 and Mk3)
https://www.mediafire.com/file/d4dcdis1 ... itles.zip/
Thief and the Cobbler Recobbled Cut Mk4 Italian Dub Clips:
https://www.mediafire.com/file/ljhkon30 ... b.zip/file
French Language Arabian Knight Audio
Japanese Language Arabian Knight Audio
El zapatero mágico (Spanish Arabian Knight Dub)
El Zapatero y La Princesa (Spanish Princess and the Cobbler Dub)
https://www.dailymotion.com/search/El%2 ... 20Princesa
Mat Fitzpatrick writes:
The Thief Who Never Gave Up portfolio is now available for download! The portfolio was compiled in 1982, presumably for potential backers of the project, and contains production records, a full draft of the script (at the time), and copies of production photos and concept artwork. Clocking in at 1.22GB, the contents were scanned primarily on my home scanner. Larger pages were done at a local UPS Store. Text-only pages were scanned in B&W at 100dpi, while photos and pages with pictures were scanned at 600dpi (B&W photos were imported in color because my scanner, for whatever reason, wouldn't scan monochrome at such a high resolution). Small compression artifacts are evident in the artwork but are native to the source, since the pictures are copies themselves.
It was very cool to be able to look through all the history of the film, and it was very surreal to handle materials that thirty years ago were handled by Richard Williams himself.
One interesting thing to note: Tucked in the back of the production budget are a newspaper article and magazine article dated 1988 and 1990 respectively.
The only page too large for me to scan was a budget graph, which is split into two image files and located in the "Extras" folder of the Production Budget. Photos in the other booklets that are split over two pages I intentionally left split, mostly due to the punch holes from the binding.
I've also included the folder compiled by TheTimeWanderer containing the photos from the eBay listing. Happy downloading!
Just right-click "The Thief Portfolio" in the left column for downloading options.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has uploaded a large collection of artwork from Richard Williams' The Thief and the Cobbler.
A few years ago I was approached by Miramax via email. They were getting rid of old documents and had quite a bit of material from The Thief and the Cobbler to share. I suggested they send it to Dick Williams. I think this is much of what's at the Academy now.
Here are the images found when searching for "Arabian Knight."
https://www.mediafire.com/file/o8no5318 ... S.zip/file
Also available on Facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/thiefan ... ter=albums
Here are URLs to the images found when searching for "Arabian Knight."
Here is the Oscars site where you can run a search for "Arabian Knight."
https://collections.new.oscars.org/Deta ... e/70171893
About the frame-by-frame restoration process:
We (and I do mean we, as forum members donated) purchased the CHV Repair Collection of plug-ins for the Mac video editing software Final Cut Pro. This can remove obvious dirt, at the expense of sometimes removing actual picture detail you'd want to keep, especially in animation.
But you'll probably want to have a video editing program like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere or Avid, with a dirt removal plug-in of some kind.
You'll want to learn how to export your video as a series of still frames, and still have it look identical to the original video once you've imported it back into your editing software. This can require some trial and error. I export sections of video as a series of PNG frames in Final Cut Pro, and the exact settings took some trial and error. But I'm able to seamlessly fix them frame by frame in Photoshop.
There are more professional programs to do this, but if you've got the time, Photoshop can obviously fix any large single-frame error.
Hand-removing dirt in Photoshop is not something I recommend for any large stretch of film, since it's very time-consuming and slow. (Although I know people who swear by using more expensive programs and going through frame by frame.)
You'll note that for The Thief and the Cobbler, I usually Photoshop only the edit frames, and a few frames before and after them. That's because in a workprint, the edit frames will have pieces of tape spliced across them, and that's a big issue that needs to be dealt with carefully, which Photoshop is great at doing. I also work on the dirt and warping as the film splices pass through the projector, and the warping is much more difficult (and has required some much more secret and complex and almost unexplanable work). And I'll handle any huge pieces of damage in Photoshop, anything noticeable.
I use the smudge brush in "Lighten" mode to smudge out black spots, or use the Rubber Stamp tool to fill in similar colors from nearby areas. I will also work on more than one frame at once, and copy/paste a similar frame below the frame I'm working on so that I can just Eraser out the dirt.
An automatic dirt removal plugin like CHV's Repair Collection, which works in an editing program like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, is very good at taking the dirt out of relatively static shots. Any element that's moving you'll need to be much more careful with. So what I do is I run dirt removal heavily on the frame, but then I have a second video layer (or more) that's been cropped to just the fast-moving elements of the frame, and dirt removal is limited or nonexistent on that layer. Voila!
Also, if a scene is animated "on twos" rather than "on ones" you'll have better luck with dirt removal, since the plugin is looking for any differences between frames that look like black spots.