Film Micrœview #-3: The Thief and The Cobbler, Re-Cobbled Mark IV (2013)

12.20.2013 § Leave a comment

The Thief and the Cobbler


I heard about this movie because of this year’s documentary about it, called Persistence of Vision, which I really want to see, and having seen TTatC now, especially want to see (and I mean, what a name, right?)

So this film has been in production since the 60’s (famous as the longest production of any film ever!) and was never really finished to its director’s liking. A couple shitty big time companies put some shitty songs and shitty voice over into it and piggy-backed off Disney’s Aladdin’s success in the early-mid nineties (ironic since Jafar is a thorough rip-off of the sorcerer vizier with a bird character in this, from the goatee and stretchy grin and gangly digits to the voice — Vincent Price is better, of course, plus rhymes every line). In the original, neither the titular characters speak, and it is much better for that.

TTatC is beautiful in its simplicity. It is a pure animation experience. In the end, both the hero and the fool play a role in the saving of the kingdom. The forces of evil collapse under their own weight, in an absurd self-destructing Rube Goldberg, which at every turn spares the Thief in an absurdly convenient way while massacring its own One-Eyes in an absurdly convenient way.

The story and characters might be a little lacking, but again, this is a pure animation experience. Visual design is incredible. I feel pretty sure that the Arabian setting was simply an excuse to incorporate all the beautiful ancient Muslim geometric tilings. I even caught a flicker of a pentagonal-rotational-symmetry one in Zigzag’s evil tower. So playful with perspective, too — some MC Escher-esque impossibilities I noticed.


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