The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)

The Thief and the Cobbler Movie Review………………………………………………

The Thief and the Cobbler Movie Review

The Thief and the Cobbler is a 1993 animated fantasy film directed by Richard Williams and starring Vincent Price. It is such a troubled, really problematic film for obvious reasons.

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Finally, a benefit from my parents being circus people!

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The Thief and the Cobbler Movie Review………………………………………………

The Thief and the Cobbler is famous for having the longest production history – 31 years. And because it was that problematic, the end product unfortunately ended up being super flawed too. I watched the recobbled cut from the 2000s myself, the one with no songs whatsoever and with some unfinished footage and original sequences from the director himself. I have to say that this movie is a mess. It isn’t bad and I’ll state some of its strengths later on, but in terms of storytelling and characters, it is pretty mediocre.

The plot is basically an Aladdin rip-off in some aspects and a forgettable, uninteresting plot in other scenes. I never really found it to be either entertaining or particularly inspired. The characters themselves are also bland and neither of them are a bit memorable with the natural exception of Zigzag the Grand Vizier. He is the highlight here as he is delightfully over-the-top and quite memorable. And he is so wonderfully voiced by Vincent Price who once again gave a terrific performance in the field of animation.

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The Thief and the Cobbler Movie Review………………………………………………

The animation is The Thief and the Cobbler’s strongest point. Yes, some scenes were unfinished here and some were so-so realized, but for the most part, the animation is pretty good and the style is also really unique and wonderfully fitting to this time period and its setting. The character designs weren’t the greatest, but they were still okay. But the highlights were some of the wider shots and takes with the imagery and interiors being really well depicted. The animation is the only legitimate reason to see this movie in my honest opinion.

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The Thief and the Cobbler Movie Review………………………………………………

The directing is solid and the editing is fine. But because some scenes were just never done, this still remains basically an unfinished work which is a shame as it certainly had the potential to be great having in mind the talent and the time that went into its production. And because of all those reasons, I couldn’t quite blame the flaws in this movie and I have to be more positive about it which is why I give it a passable grade, even though you can make the argument that it doesn’t deserve it. But the film is okay and sometimes even inspired with the animation being quite good, but it was just so forgettable and so bland in too many areas. When you get a troubled production in such an epic scale as this one, you can’t really end up with a good movie no matter what happens. And The Thief and the Cobbler is a perfect example of that. It is also another proof of how weak American animation was for the most part in the nineties if you exclude Disney.

The Thief and the Cobbler is such a problematic movie. Because the entire production lasted for an epic amount of years, the end product is as troubled as it can be. The animation is its strongest point as it is pretty good and at times even quite inspired. But everything else here is quite forgettable and bland with so-so storytelling and very dull characters. Vincent Price did a great job in his role as usual and his character is the only memorable one here, but all of the others are poor and the film was just never involving to me. In the end, even though it clearly has its strengths, this movie is mostly as flawed as you would expect given its infamous history.

My Rating – 3

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Posted in 1990s, 1993, Animated, Fantasy, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Miramax’s version could have been better if they made Tack more mute and leave us only to worry about his monologue and add more clips with Mighty One Eye and the Witch.

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