Another new video restoration of a rare film!
Fun With Mr. Future (1982, Disney, Darrell Van Citters)
And some Muppets --
Super Mario Bros 2 HD Remake! Princess Peach HDNes test by Alex Douglas, art by Garrett Gilchrist.
A new videogame. I contributed art, animation, writing and voiceover to this campaign. Enjoy!
Also check out my trailer for the HD remake of the 1987/1992 classic, Night Trap:
Also check out my trailer for the HD remake of the 1987/1992 classic, Night Trap:
I’ve just watched a good version of the one movie that Hollywood makes. The crew deserve a lot of credit for making an entertaining, even moving version of the one movie that Hollywood makes, over and over and over again.
Are you sick of it yet? Of every Hollywood film telling the exact same story in the exact same way? Or are you too distracted by the shiny coat of paint and CGI effects that make each one look a little bit different this time? How stupid do the executives in Hollywood think we are? Are you that stupid? Am I?
Have you realized yet that in the 90 minutes or two hours or three and a half hours that a film lasts, literally anything could be put onscreen? That a film could tell any story at all? A story with some relevance to the lives we live as people? A story we haven’t seen a thousand times before?
How many more times will we watch the same cliches before we realize there’s no meaning to them anymore? How many times will we happily watch the same film, paying more and more for a ticket to get on the same old rollercoaster ride?
Are we robots? Mechanical beings watching mechanical beings fight it out in CGI? Are we toys, watching movies about toys? Or are we human beings who have never “saved the universe” and instead have real lives, real problems, which are so much more complex and interesting than the childish lies Hollywood keeps recycling for us?
So, a killing spree arising from extreme misogyny. Not hard to find thousands, even millions of men with equally sick minds on this internet, if you know where to look. An apparently endless supply. It's almost banal at this point, which is why even though Reddit had watched his final video and said, this guy should be reported to the police, no one did ....
The "Men's Rights Movement" - very much like "White Power," except attacking women instead of black people. "Rights" for those who already have them. I'm surprised we don't see more of these "Men's Rights Activists" going on killing sprees. But they're not lone wolves, not entirely. Misogyny is embedded in our culture at all levels.
He was fueled by posts and posters at dozens of web forums that told him his thoughts were normal, and gave him new words, new thoughts, reasons to blame them. Those forums exist for racists too. There are corners of the internet dedicated to pedophilia, beating women, sexy female corpses …
Some men, if you can call them that, are supporting the killer. Saying, well ladies, keep that in mind the next time you "friendzone" somebody. If you'd given him sex he wouldn't have had to kill all of you. So, just keep that in mind. You know, for the future.
Today there's a hashtag trending on Twitter called "YesAllWomen." Meaning, all women have experience with fear and sexual violence.
Oh, but thankfully not all men are like that, right?
"Not all men?"
I would say that all men are problematic to at least some degree in the way we treat and think about women. All men, period. Yes, I'll include myself. Why sugarcoat it? Misogyny is everywhere. It's the white noise beneath the signal. It's a problem, and it's hardly a perfect world. We can and do try, though. Unless we're literally evil psychopaths of some kind.
"We have met the enemy, and not only is it ours, it may be us."
If you look for misogyny in our society, you go down a rabbit hole that never ends. And frankly there's no fixing that.
Sometimes it's hard to believe some of these people even exist - it's like being human during the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
But are we as men supposed to be proud and get applause just for not being THAT bad? How low can we possibly set the bar?
Wow, you're not a psychopath. You've insulted no one today, committed no crimes. Here's a medal.
I can look at myself and know that to a small extent I'm part of the problem. And so are you, and you need to think about that. There are no medals being handed out today.
100% of men have been entertained by pornography centered around objectifying and degrading women. And sexist movies, TV, comics, video games.
100% of men have been entertained at least a little by sexist, objectifying and degrading moments in the mass media we consume every day. Consuming them in a way that makes them profitable for those who create them.
That's healthy enough in small doses, but as men we're still absorbing problematic attitudes all the time, and benefitting from them.
A society is made up of individual people. It is not outside us. We are all part of the problem. We can only try to be better. Spread a little light.
There is, and should be, a lot more to it than that. It's often a deeply uninteresting exercise to actually write our own life stories. We seek to move the audience - to take them on a ride that's exciting, emotional, funny - all of that. As writers we need to feel deeply, and treat the characters as being as fully-formed as ourselves. Our characters tend to manifest as facets of ourselves, and as echoes of people we have known. In theory I have very little in common with Marvel's the She-Hulk, but when writing about her shyness as Jennifer Walters, and her rocky relationship with her father, I realized we had much more in common than I'd thought. I wasn't writing my own life, but I was writing my own emotions - somehow writing my own experiences and feelings through the lens of a very different life.
Fanfiction, and work that's heavy with pop culture references, are considered the realm of the teenager, or the child. The mark of a writer who has yet to develop his or her own voice. Using an already-established character or world can be like training wheels. The writer already knows how that character speaks, and can imagine how that character would react in any situation. That's very good practice, all things considered, for learning how to do the same with an original character. The writings of a beginning writer, in this internet age, can be an incomprehensible mess of references to the films, songs, television series and other pop culture that have moved and inspired the writer to write. Referencing a song which had a huge effect on that writer, they believe that anyone reading the piece will have the same reaction, just hearing that song's title listed. Of course the effect is the opposite. Most people reading would lose interest at that point, having pop culture references thrown at them, and not get the intended buzz from that. They're likely to approach such a piece like walking through a minefield, and stop reading if those references get too dense, and seem to be standing in place of character development.
The writer, in this saturated internet age, must learn to throw away the pop culture references and look at what they're standing for. Why do we write? Why do these films and TV series and songs and books and comics and everything else inspire us? When I was a teenager, I was heavy with certain TV shows and films that I felt defined me. I wore them like a badge, and considered it a great victory to shoehorn a reference into one of my films that almost no one watching it would get.
That's the spark - the initial spark of seeing something that inspires that young teenage writer, makes you want to write. It takes a more mature writer to look at why those pieces were inspirational in the first place, and create something entirely original that has some of the same qualities. When you throw away the pop culture references, you're throwing away the training wheels and trying to stand on your own as a writer - Starting a process by which you might create something which could inspire someone else.
There is no shame in being inspired, but you can't inspire others by copying other art on a surface level. You have to dig into your own soul, your own experiences, even if it's just the fact that you don't like cole slaw. What do your characters want? What do you want? What do you value?
And those things that inspired you - why did they strike such a chord? What were the positive qualities, the realness and rawness? What was it that connected with you? How could you seek to strive for that in your own work?
Who are your characters? What do they want? And what are they fighting for?
And commissions are open for March!
Need some art done? I'm also available for web design, film restoration, animation and filmmaking.
Both failure and success become endless feedback loops. Those who are poor and struggling are forced to show a weak face to the world, which will instinctively bully them down further. Those who have achieved some measure of success will only attract more and more attention if they know how to present themselves to the world. Any hint of weakness will result in merciless attacks which will refuse to die out, but if you're already in a position of power, the masses can't do all that much damage.
It has been said that those who have been bullied and abused as children will be bullied and abused all their lives. We don't mean to be bullies, but we can't fight our instincts. Body language, actual language - in a million small ways we can sense that a person is used to being smacked around and treated like garbage. This person may attract a certain sympathy, for awhile. But that's only surface-deep, and doesn't last for long. As instinct kicks in, some ancient part of our brains tells us that this person is easy, and fun, to kick around. That this person is used to failure and should be allowed to fail in everything. That this person should not be helped, unless it's being helped to fail. That failure is contagious, and that this person is toxic and should be avoided.
We believe, on an unconscious level, that those who have failed must deserve it somehow, and those who have succeeded must deserve it as well. We are competitive by nature, and hope to enlarge ourselves by pushing down others who seem easy targets, or by attaching ourselves emotionally to those who have already succeeded.
Luck and success can be manufactured quite easily, given enough money to do so. Most of our biggest stars were born into privilege. Once we have succeeded, we convince ourselves that it was only our own hard work that got us there, rather than the privilege of birth and circumstance, and the help of thousands of people along the way. And luck.
No one succeeds without a strong helping hand. There's nothing wrong with that. We achieve nothing alone. We are a product of those who helped and shaped us along the way. Those in power now got there because someone took a chance and extended a helping hand. The apprentice system. You start as an assistant and work your way up. That's how the world works. But those in power are increasingly unwilling to extend that hand. In a lot of ways the world has stopped working.
On the internet, we have access to an entire world of art and artists. An artist (or filmmaker, or other personality) is suddenly competing with the entire world. An artist with a profile on Deviantart is competing with over 25 million other profiles, and probably not going to get noticed, in a world which expects artists to work for free anyway.
I see amazing art every day, and while talent and especially hard work play quite a role, success seems increasingly arbitrary, and it's a struggle to survive for most. People are popular because they're popular, and get work because they get work. Others don't get work because they don't get work.
Let's imagine the latter category. An artist who, in two months, makes three hundred dollars. Begging for work. Pleading. Showing all sorts of weakness. Let's watch that artist fail and fade away and disappear.
We're not comfortable with that, but we'd feel better if we could come up with some reason why the artist deserved it. But it's better not to think about it at all.
Because we've all got our own problems. In a time where the poor are poorer than ever, and the rich richer, and the middle class has vanished almost entirely. People don't have the spare money to spend on frivolous things, and an artist trying to live off commissions is in a tough spot, unless that artist has achieved a level of fame that most artists don't.
We live now, more than ever, in a world designed to reward the rich and punish the poor. To give help to the strong and a backhand to the weak. The average CEO makes 9.7 million per year. The average American worker is unemployed.
In theory, crowdfunding can level the playing field a little. In practice, people who are already somewhat famous and successful have a much easier time on Kickstarter, as in real life. Still, it's one part of our reality where people with money are asked to give it to people with ideas, and we need a lot more of that.
Here's something I've said before.
Most Kickstarter campaigns ask for five thousand dollars. And that is kind of a lot of money. That's enough money to change a life, for awhile. To make a small creative project happen. A lot of Kickstarter campaigns fail, because they're asking too much.
My car, which hasn't started in two months, cost about five thousand dollars. For many people, that's their entire paycheck for four months. And in 2011, if you were Google CEO Eric Schmidt, earning 5 thousand dollars would take you an entire 26 minutes. His yearly salary is 100,980,262.
Wouldn't you like to have five thousand dollars? In your hand, right now? Maybe you could buy a used car. A 2005 Chrysler Sebring, before the battery died.
Okay, fine, we'll aim a little higher. Let's take our five thousand dollars and imagine having twice that much. Or three times. Five times. Ten times. One hundred times. A thousand times. Let's imagine having twenty thousand, one hundred and ninety six Chrysler Sebrings. That's how much money Eric Schmidt made in 2011. I bet he doesn't drive a Sebring.
I only have the one car. This is my $5000. If I had 2 million, 660 thousand of these cars, I'd be Mark Zuckerberg. If I had 4 million, 600 thousand of these, I'd be Larry Page from Google. If I had 10 million, 700 thousand of these cars, I'd be Warren Buffett.
But I don't. I just have the one and it doesn't start.
Of course everybody's hurting, the economy's so messed up, no one has money. And here's a possible reason why.
I bought one of these cars. With insurance money from when a drunk driver crashed into my last car. But what if I said, hey, I like this car. I think I'll buy another one. And maybe another one. And another.
Or hey, what if I'd just gotten paid today and thought, hey, I've got the money, why don't I buy one million Chrysler Sebring cars. Because I like to buy American. No, ten million cars. No, one hundred million cars. No, one thousand million cars - I've been informed that's not a real number. Yes, I would like to buy one billion 2005 Chrysler Sebring cars.
I still will not have paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They cost more than that.
That's a lot of cars. The population of the United States is 313.9 million. For what it's costing us to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, we could have bought three of these American cars for everyone in the entire country, and had plenty left over.
We could have solved hunger, solved every problem our country has. Instead we bombed Baghdad, and solved the problem of world peace, by making sure there's never going to be any. And it took a toll on us. Our economy is in trouble, and there are some obvious reasons why. But we're supposed to ignore those.
Just like we ignore the person in trouble.
A lot of us are in trouble these days. And if I'm in trouble, I can't help you. Or help anyone. If you're in trouble, you can't help anyone either. If your life's a mess, and you've taken a fall, you can't help someone else stand taller.
We all stand or fall together.
I like to think I'm a kind-hearted person - that I care about people and want to help them, and help make the world a better place. But that's not worth a damned bit of good right now. We are judged not by who we think we are inside, but based on what we do. And I haven't done any good for anybody in a long while.
I've been broke for awhile, and worse, I've become needy. I've needed people to buy and commission art from me. I've borrowed money. And at times friends have simply donated money to me, when they ought to be ignoring me and taking care of their own houses. I've become the worst type of person. Someone who takes and doesn't give back, because I simply can't.
Inside, I feel like a caring, giving person. But I have nothing to give. If I assume I'll have something to give sometime down the line, I'm waiting for a day that may never come.
And suddenly it's not so hard to understand why we help the successful and ignore the weak. Maybe failure is contagious, as our primitive brains would like to tell us. If we care too much and give of ourselves, we fall a little further into the mud. We all stand or fall together, but not if we don't care.
The internet age is curiously isolating. We get a certain simulation of human contact, within the cold white and blue confines of a computer screen. There is communication without physical community, and it's easy to feel more alone than ever. To stand or fall alone. To turn away from the world rather than be judged harshly for any sign of weakness.
I could talk about my own life, but I already say far too much on these channels. I show my weakness. That's just how I'm wired. I seem to keep writing about myself then deleting it, knowing it does no good. I've already damaged my prospects enough, and I'm sure to keep on doing it.
If you're reading this, I care about quite a lot of you. And maybe I care quite a bit.
But I'm not sure that helps you at all.
On September 19, 2013, The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4 was released to Youtube and download by filmmaker Garrett Gilchrist. This painstaking frame-by-frame restoration of what was intended to be Richard Williams' masterpiece represents the culmination of eight years of work and research, and took over two years to complete. Rare video and film sources were found and restored from all over the world, with sequences cleaned up and reconstructed in Photoshop, After Effects and Final Cut Pro, on a frame by frame basis. Entirely new shots and scenes were created to tell the story like never before. Done without any official assistance, it is perhaps the most complex and unusual restoration of a feature film ever attempted.
The first true Recobbled Cut was edited together in January 2006, at the request of one of the film's original crew. Garrett Gilchrist had been a fan of the film for many years, but the would-be masterpiece only survived on very poor quality VHS bootlegs, as well as Arabian Knight and Princess and the Cobbler, versions of the film which didn't come close to reflecting what Richard Williams intended. The idea was to edit together a watchable version which gave a better idea of what Williams had in mind. While the film had a cult status in animation circles, it was largely unknown to the general public. Gilchrist assumed that only about fifteen people would be interested in his edit of the obscure film. Instead, the Recobbled Cut became a cult film in its own right, being featured at Cartoon Brew, Mythbusters' Tested.com, Cracked, The Nostalgia Critic, and in many film festival screenings, introducing it to a new generation on the internet with over a million Youtube views.
Eight years later, Gilchrist's restorations and his continued work and research into the animated legacy of Richard Williams for The Thief Archive has made a serious impact into the way the film is perceived. While the "Arabian Knight" version of the film had sold itself as something of a joke, a bargain-basement, direct-to-video version of Aladdin, Gilchrist has worked hard since 2006 to present the film as a major animated work to be studied alongside classic films like Disney's Fantasia. It also inspired a documentary film by Kevin Schreck, "Persistence of Vision."
On December 10, 2013, Richard Williams screened his unfinished 1992 workprint of The Thief and the Cobbler publicly through the Academy in Los Angeles. This was the first ever public screening of the film, over twenty years after production famously shut down and nearly fifty years after the Thief character and his world were first conceived. Williams received a standing ovation and Gilchrist was there to shake his hand. Richard Williams, now eighty, is known as the three-time Academy Award winning animator of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and A Christmas Carol, and author of The Animator's Survival Kit, which is considered the greatest instructional book ever written about how to animate. He has been called "The Animator's Animator," and The Thief and the Cobbler is, perhaps, the animator's animated film. It contains some of the most complex hand-drawn animation ever attempted in any animated film, and is certainly the most ambitious independent animated production ever undertaken.
My name is Garrett Gilchrist, and at the moment I am hanging up my hat and calling The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut finished. Oh, there's plenty more that could be done. There's half a film's worth of dirt and splices I could spend another year or two painting out. There's missing music, missing credits, special effects and things we could redraw and fix. I could easily, and happily, keep on working on this for ages, as Richard did.
But there comes a time when you have to say, it's good enough. No, not even good enough, but good. Excellent, actually. What this restoration accomplished, with the help of so many friends and talented colleagues, is quite unlike anything else I've ever seen the Internet age accomplish. We had no official support and I did it for no other reason than I liked the film and wanted people to see it, and it seemed like the right thing to do. It's a work of art and I don't regret a single moment of it.
Regardless of what happens from here on out, this film has had a happy ending, and shows that good art, good filmmaking, and good work will survive, in spite of the politics and personalities that can doom a film to big-screen obscurity.
Most people haven't seen it, you know. Not this version, the version I spent two years restoring in HD. They've seen the old versions of the Recobbled Cut, which weren't nearly as good. The war machine finale was viewed 760,717 times on Youtube.
And some spammer stole and posted my old version as the "Original Cut - Full Length!" and has 390, 503 views to date.
The actual, good, Mark 4 Recobbled Cut? That's got 7,758 views as I'm writing this, for part one. By part 4 it's 2,841 views.
I think we did something really special and different here, something that is as unique in terms of film restoration as The Thief and the Cobbler is unique in animation history.
I'd quite like people to see it. Tell your friends.
And to everyone who's helped out and supported this film and me for the past eight years, thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you.
"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 center of the Golden City, atop the tallest minaret, were three gold 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 …"
Once upon a time, an artist named Richard Williams decided to make a film - an animated fantasy set in the world of the Arabian Nights.
Now, fifty years later, and over twenty years after production famously shut down, Richard is screening that film publicly in Los Angeles, for the first time ever.
On Tuesday, December 10th, with thanks to the Academy, an audience will see the unfinished The Thief and the Cobbler with Richard Williams in attendance, now aged 80 years and perhaps animation's most respected and legendary teacher.
Richard Williams will always be controversial. He was difficult to work with, stubborn and single-minded. It seems in retrospect that he was only interested in making this one film, which he intended as his masterpiece. It may have ruined his career in some ways, but it also built his legend. That legend lives on, and so does the film itself.
This is a triumph not only for Dick Williams himself, but for those other brilliantly creative souls who worked on the film and lived to tell the tale. Perhaps on tuesday old wounds can be put to rest, as the film has its one day in the sun. Perhaps the first of many.
Richard's version of A Christmas Carol will also be screened, for which he won his first Oscar. He won another two for Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Seven years ago I put out a restoration called The Recobbled Cut, intended to rehabilitate the reputation of this film, which famously was only available in nearly unwatchable poor-quality VHS bootlegs, and versions finished without Williams' involvement which had turned the film into a laughing-stock.
Since then I've maintained The Thief Archive, dedicated to preserving the animated work of Richard Williams, and keeping the flame of this underappreciated body of work alive. I've been privileged to speak with and gather material from many brilliantly talented people who worked with Dick over the years.
Over the past two years I created the Recobbled Cut Mark 4, intended to restore the film on a frame by frame basis in HD, once and for all. A version of this was released in September via Youtube and torrent.
I was intending to continue work on this edit, but with Dick's own copy screening, the Recobbled Cut may have reached the end of the road.
Dick Williams is loved and hated, but he is first and foremost respected. He is one of the great animators to ever work in Hollywood, and those who worked for him and worked hard to meet his demanding standards of quality have never really gotten the respect they deserve. To all of you, and the work you've created, a round of applause is due. This night is for you, and a sign that good work stands the test of time, regardless of the politics and personalities that can derail a project in Hollywood.
It is one of the curious things about Richard Williams and the Cobbler that people continue to talk cobblers about him, and the film. Dick has gotten a bad reputation over the years. So it's well worth pointing out that he was right. In the 70s and 80s, Richard demanded a level of quality and precision of his studio's animated work that led many to call him impossible or insane. But that level of precision, or even higher, became the accepted standard at Disney in the 90s and 2000s. The lax quality control standards of the 70s and 80s faded away. But to this day there's never been another film quite like The Thief and the Cobbler, or indeed Who Framed Roger Rabbit, or A Christmas Carol.
So here's a toast to Dick and Roy and everyone at Soho Square.
If you're in the area, tickets are still available. Stop on by for a moment in time that's been a long time coming. Fifty years. Oh, once upon a time ...
It’s hard to know what to say. What can I say, except thank you. Thank you all.
I bought a plane ticket the other day. A ticket to see Richard Williams present his cut of The Thief and the Cobbler for the first time ever in public, over twenty years after production shut down. And maybe that’s what this has all been leading up to, ever since making that first Recobbled Cut in 2006, or watching the film for the first time in 1998, or seeing the trailer in 1995, or first hearing about the film in 1989 …
I could only afford this due to the amazing generosity of 44 people, who donated a startling amount of money to make this possible. And I still don’t know what to say.
I was reluctant to ask for any kind of charity. But it was killing me that I couldn’t be there. I didn’t really expect that people would donate, but felt it couldn’t hurt to ask.
This isn’t the first time, either. People donated so that we could transfer the 35mm film of The Thief, Raggedy Ann and The Little Island in 2007, and again in HD for the Mark 4. With your help we’ve done amazing things, I think, and preserved Richard Williams’ legacy in a way that makes it freely accessible to the entire internet.
I wouldn’t have spent seven years building The Thief Archive, and two years editing The Recobbled Cut Mark 4, without your support. Knowing that there were people out there who cared and appreciated the hard work and care I put into all of this, it made all that time worthwhile. I couldn’t have done any of it without you. Without your help, your enthusiasm. Without you cheering me on. I’ve made friends, and felt I was making a legitimate contribution to cinema.
I don’t think of this as a “fan edit,” or any other reductive term you could apply. It was something that needed to happen. It happened. I made it happen, but all thanks to you.
I’ve met amazing people. Incredible, talented, brilliant animators. I’m not fit to shine their shoes, but I can shine this film.
It was Thanksgiving yesterday. I’ll be celebrating it tomorrow. I’ve had to distance myself from my family. I’ll spend it with friends, I suppose.
It’s a time to think about what you’re thankful for.
I am thankful for you.
I probably haven’t said that often enough.
Very few things in my life have gone the way I’d hoped. As a writer, artist, filmmaker, creative person, you’re always hoping that people will notice, and that your work will get the attention it deserves. It generally doesn’t. I am generally content to keep my head down and not overly promote or explain myself, putting years of my life into creative work that I believe is good but which very few people will ever see.
Dick Williams was and is one of the all-time geniuses of animation, and even with his fame and success and brilliance, in many ways his best work never got the attention and respect it deserved. I feel we managed to right a wrong here, in our small way. I’ve felt something changing in the past couple of years, with respect to the legacy of this film. I had heard rumors that Dick might be planning something. I’d hoped to be involved, but I knew that was unlikely.
In 2006 I made a little fanedit of The Thief and the Cobbler. I made it for myself, really, so that I could have a version of the film which was watchable and complete. I knew that almost no one on the forums where I was posting would have heard of the film. I assumed the edit would be seen by only about fifteen people. And I was fine with that. I did it because it was worth doing.
What surprised me, in the end, was not how many people saw it, but how much they cared - genuinely cared - in the very best sense of the word. How they understood what a crime had been committed upon this film, and how they wanted to see its tarnished legacy restored, and the film gain some respect in the history of animated cinema, as something more than a direct-to-video Aladdin knockoff.
Maybe this is it, then. Maybe this is the end of the road. Whatever Dick’s been up to, whatever he has planned, I’ll be there to see it in person. To meet the man, briefly. And I know that in a way you’ll all be there with me. This is a great moment for the film. A triumphant moment. And that triumph is yours too. Because you believed. You believed that good art, real art, art created with passion and a drive to innovate and do something better, is stronger than anything the business of entertainment might do to crush it. True art survives. And so do true artists. The Thief and the Cobbler exists. It happened. It survived.
I may never Recobble again. I’ve been working on Muppet stuff these past couple of months. Always restoring other people’s films when I ought to be making my own. I guess I was waiting to see what Dick would do, or announce.
I released the most complete Recobbled Cut Mark 4 in September. There’s a lot that’s still unfinished about it, but maybe it’s the last one. It probably isn’t, but it could be. For the first time, I honestly don’t know. I look forward to finding out.
Over twenty years later, Richard Williams is screening his workprint of the film publicly for the first time ever, at the Academy on December 10th. He has not even spoken publicly about the film in all this time.
I have spent over seven years researching, collecting, and restoring the animated work of Richard Williams. I painstakingly restored The Thief and the Cobbler from existing scraps and released The Recobbled Cut of the film, the most recent version of which (The Mark 4) is viewable on Youtube at TheThiefArchive.
This version represents two years of work and is still considered a work in progress. The Recobbled Cut has gotten a lot of attention and has rehabilitated the reputation of this film, introducing it to a new generation of fans.
I have never met or spoken to Richard Williams. I have never seen Richard Williams' entire workprint on 35mm film. Very few people have. I believe the specific version he's screening has not been seen publicly before.
I would like to attend this screening. It would in some ways represent the culmination of years of work for me, and is a major victory for all of us who've worked hard to bring this film back into the spotlight.
I debated about whether to ask for help, then decided that asking won't do any harm. There isn't much time left. I have very little money, and I live on the East Coast. I would need a last-minute plane ticket to Los Angeles, and funding to survive for a few days there.
Here is the link:
This is an all-or-nothing campaign. If at least $1200 is not raised, no money will be charged and the trip won't happen.
This Easter Sunday, I released a rough cut of The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut Mark 4 HD.
This is a restoration of the unfinished masterpiece by 3-time Academy Award winning animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, A Christmas Carol).
It is still a work in progress. It is missing music, the HD material is not yet cleaned up [except for the opening], and color correction and other aspects are not yet final. I will continue to restore the film throughout this year.
However, I thought I'd share the dazzling results so far, with thanks to everyone who's helped out and the forum members at orangecow.org/board and the Recobbled Cut Facebook group.
This is in full 1080p. There are also torrents for an HD version and a DVD version as well.