Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Thief and The Cobbler Part One: An Introduction

Many people have presented the argument that animation and money can sometimes be perceived as natural enemies. The theory being that how good the quality of the animation is depends on how much money can be spent.

There are also those that have worked for years in animation who have suggested that television and motion picture executives are the bane of animation's purity, stating that, because the movers and shakers of the industry don't understand animation and only dollar signs, too many corners are cut on projects in an effort for product to appear quicker.

Arguments for AND against this ideal can be made for the story behind animator Richard Williams' would-be epic THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER.

Here's a piece from a documentary they did about him after doing 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' that focuses on THE THIEF for a bit.

Here's the only known scene on YouTube that I could find that's animated almost completely by Richard himself. Zig Zag voiced by Vincent Price.



Lori said...

It's "bane", like wolf's bane.

Zig Zag reminds of Jafar if he were on acid and in a Bakshi flick. But that's just me...

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

Actually, Lori, that's part of the reason this film was never seen.

The reason there is a Jafar ( a grand vizeer who seduces a king for power ) AND the fact that Genie is blue is because of 'THIEF' (it's also why Apu the monkey looks like he does, and also why he steals constantly).

Richard Williams had been at work on the movie for about 26 years when ALADDIN began production. The reason Warner Bros. pulled the plug on Richard is because they wanted his movie to come out first, fearing comparison. The ironic thing here is, Disney copied HIM!

Every animator working on 'Aladdin' had been to animation festivals and seen clips and test reels for years at that point and knew that Richard was going to blow the animation world away, but unlike him, they had a budget, a competent studio to back them up, and no executives to make stupid decisions.

- trevor.