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: # 4350Post Garrett Gilchrist »

I feel like my part in this is to make the film so famous that the rights holders CAN'T put out a bad version anymore.
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mowen4892
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 4356Post mowen4892 »

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

Post: # 4359Post Garrett Gilchrist »

Here's a quick rewrite of that:
"The Thief and the Cobbler" is considered a true masterpiece of animation, and easily the most ambitious independent animated film ever conceived. A labor of love by three-time Oscar-winning animation legend Richard Williams ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit", "A Christmas Carol," "Return of the Pink Panther"), the film was intended to be a work of art for audiences of all ages to marvel over, featuring some of the most intricate and complex animation ever attempted and voice-over work by Vincent Price, Sir Anthony Quayle, Sara Crowe and Donald Pleasance. Richard Williams' book The Animator's Survival Kit is considered the best book ever written on how to animate.

Early work on "The Thief" was independently funded from the early 1960s into the late 1980s, with Williams funnelling millions out of his own pocket into the project, working with master animators like Ken Harris (Chuck Jones' key animator on the Roadrunner films) and Art Babbitt (Fantasia). About twenty minutes of the film was finished in color to show investors, but the film was never fully funded.

Warner Bros. picked up the film after the success of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," and full production began. The film was nearing completion by spring 1992, but the upcoming release of "Aladdin" (a film closely inspired by "The Thief" featuring work from ex-Williams animators) and Warner Bros.' lack of interest in the project led to the film being sold to the Completion Bond Company, who fired Williams from his own film and finished it cheaply without his involvement.

Now under the production of Fred Calvert, the film (now titled "The Princess and the Cobbler") was given new animations, voice-overs, and songs on a tiny budget; the result bears no resemblance to Williams' original and fans consider it unwatchable. The film was then bought by Disney's Miramax in 1995, only to be further butchered and retitled "Arabian Knight."

At the 2000 Annecy Festival, Williams showed Roy E. Disney a workprint version of the film, which Disney agreed to help restore. However, original pencil tests and completed animations had become difficult to acquire, and the project was put on hold. This is a shame, since a reasonable HD version of the film could be restored from Williams' 35mm workprint and the released versions combined.

Since 2006, the film has acquired a cult following on the Internet through "The Recobbled Cut", an unofficial restoration by artist Garrett Gilchrist. This re-edit showcases the film in the most complete version currently available, mirroring Williams' original intentions as closely as possible. All kinds of rare footage has been included (some supplied by artists who had worked on the film), ranging from HD 35mm footage to VHS workprint footage. The HD version took over two years to complete and is probably the most complex restoration of any film ever attempted. More than anything, this version shows how close the film is to being complete.

It has been said that Disney will no longer produce traditionally animated films and will only make digitally animated films. On behalf of everyone who worked on this film during its three decades of production and everyone who wants to see this film completed, we urge you to restore this film and complete it with Richard Williams' full involvement. Leave behind the legacy of 2D animation on a high note by giving this masterpiece the happy ending it deserves. Thank you.
I'm not against the idea of completing the film with new animation, either. Neil Boyle's short The Last Belle did a great job of keeping that particular 2D flame alive. I can think of more than a few people, especially from the original production, who'd be qualified. At least to get some pencil tests done.

We did a little bit of new work for the Mk4, with Andreas Wessel-Therhorn contributing, as well as new artists Chris Fern, Hailey Lain and myself ... Without a Disney-sized budget I wouldn't attempt more than that!

Noella Borie asks:
I though WB had the rights to the film?
No, WB gave up the rights around the time they fired Dick Williams from his own production. It was in the hands of Jake Eberts and the Completion Bond company for awhile before Miramax bought it.

50 minutes of 35mm film was actually saved from the trash at Warner Bros by a veteran animator. About 17 minutes of that is used in my edit.

13 more minutes of material ended up on Ebay, and was bought and transferred (unusually well) by British film technician Peter C (and transferred again in 4K this weekend as a test by Helge Bernhardt).

Noticed this on Ebay - souvenir ...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roger-Rabbit-Re ... 461dc80a59
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 4363Post Garrett Gilchrist »

Disney might have used Scheherezade as music in the 70s, on this unmade film ...

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Musicana

A burst of Scheherezade, familiar now from The Thief and the Cobbler, appears in the rough workprint of Aladdin.
Redstar
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 4366Post Redstar »

You want the film restored or at least released in the best possible transfer? Do what we did: Send out some E-mails to various independent film labels. There are dozens of U.S. and U.K. labels that specialize in re-releasing classic and cult films. Some of them are even known for doing restorations and new bonus content.

Considering Disney current owns the rights to the film I imagine your best bet would be to go through U.K./Region 2 distributors. They can negotiate for the license and very easily put out a new release. You wouldn't have to do anything other than suggest the film and pretty much sell its potential as a product. That shouldn't be too difficult considering its history.

Wouldn't hurt to try.
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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 4371Post Garrett Gilchrist »

Sure. Anyone reading this, go ahead and write those letters. We might as well all do it.
Dennis196492
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 4372Post Dennis196492 »

Lovely. But what would happen? They would release the workprint, or there is something more to that?
Redstar
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 4373Post Redstar »

Dennis196492 wrote:Lovely. But what would happen? They would release the workprint, or there is something more to that?
Depends on the label. Most would probably just license the rights from Disney and produce a new transfer, which I feel is more than adequate. It at least gives Garrett and anyone else a clean transfer to work from for either cutting or just plain image sharing.

Others, however, might opt to include archive materials, interviews and unused footage. The right studio would probably be more than happy to take whatever footage Garrett has for inclusion as bonus content.

The ideal situation would be a label not only producing a new transfer but also a restoration. (I can't imagine a re-cut is possible as it just wouldn't have integrity without Williams and I doubt he would be involved even if asked)

I'll spend the rest of the week compiling potential labels to contact then share any responses I receive here.
liranshoshan86
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Re: The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4

Post: # 4377Post liranshoshan86 »

I was wondering,have you tried to calculate how many minutes of finished Richard Williams footage are there in the "The Princess and the Cobbler"?
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