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I just saw "Arabian Knight" on UPN

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ALM

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Mar 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/18/00
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And I coulda' sworn this movie was released (rather quietly) a few
years ago under another title. Not quite sure what it was. Cobbler
something.

Gah! The animation was, QUITE fluid, but WAY too busy. Made me
nauseous (much like that Felix the Cat movie). I couldn't stand the
Thief character's constant babbling. The songs weren't very good and
seemed really thrown in. I didn't like it at all.
______________________________________

This post was brought to you by ALM!
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ELurio

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
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<< And I coulda' sworn this movie was released (rather quietly) a few
years ago under another title. Not quite sure what it was. Cobbler
something.>>

The Theif and the Cobbler, the Cobbler and the thief, the golden city, The
thief who would not give up, among others. It was in production for over twenty
years.

<<Gah! The animation was, QUITE fluid, but WAY too busy. Made me
nauseous (much like that Felix the Cat movie). I couldn't stand the
Thief character's constant babbling. The songs weren't very good and
seemed really thrown in. I didn't like it at all. >>

It should be fluid, the animation was done by the best animators in the
business outside of Disney.

The thief was supposed to be silent. Blame Harvey Weinstein for that. What
happened to this film is one of the greatest tragedies in hollywood history.

eric l.


ALM

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
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On 19 Mar 2000 03:14:05 GMT, elu...@aol.com (ELurio) wrote:

><< And I coulda' sworn this movie was released (rather quietly) a few
>years ago under another title. Not quite sure what it was. Cobbler
>something.>>
>
>The Theif and the Cobbler, the Cobbler and the thief, the golden city, The
>thief who would not give up, among others. It was in production for over twenty
>years.
>
><<Gah! The animation was, QUITE fluid, but WAY too busy. Made me
>nauseous (much like that Felix the Cat movie). I couldn't stand the
>Thief character's constant babbling. The songs weren't very good and
>seemed really thrown in. I didn't like it at all. >>
>
>It should be fluid, the animation was done by the best animators in the
>business outside of Disney.

Yeah, it was, but I still didn't like it. There was too much movement,
and all of it rather exaggerated, and for that just makes me feel like
I'm having one of those dreams I have when I'm suffering from a fever
or something.

>
>The thief was supposed to be silent. Blame Harvey Weinstein for that. What
>happened to this film is one of the greatest tragedies in hollywood history.

Yeah, I just did a little research on the film and found out about its
history. Quite a sad story, really, about the creator's vision getting
so bastardized by the studios.
Apparently the movie was originally released in the U.S. with the
title "Arabian Knight" ... but I coulda' SWORN I'd seen a commercial
for "The Thief and the Cobbler." huh. I was also happy to see that I
was right about the songs just being thrown in. And I thought the
Cobbler's skin color changed from gray to flesh-toned rather abruptly
... now I know why.

>
>eric l.

gregory duffell

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
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ALM (moc.moorsserp@mla) wrote:
: ><<Gah! The animation was, QUITE fluid, but WAY too busy. Made me

: >nauseous (much like that Felix the Cat movie). I couldn't stand the
: >Thief character's constant babbling. The songs weren't very good and
: >seemed really thrown in. I didn't like it at all. >>
: >
: >It should be fluid, the animation was done by the best animators in the
: >business outside of Disney.

ARe you refering to Dick Williams or Ken Harris?

: Yeah, I just did a little research on the film and found out about its


: history. Quite a sad story, really, about the creator's vision getting
: so bastardized by the studios.

Did the creator have a full vision? No one will ever know. There was
never a completed, comprehensible storyboard done for the film, and the
manner in which the film was completed also leaves open the possibility
that the director was let off the hook. It's not like the director
delivered a "final cut" that was mutilated by the studio.

What I do know is that MASSIVE amounts of finished animation was never
used. Some was cut out by Williams himself due to legal rangling in the
early 1970's over copyright ownership.

It's clear from seeing the film that absolutely tasteless and shoddy
things were done to complete it.


Greg D.


t its
: history. Quite a sad story, really, about the creator's vision getting
: so bastardized by the studios.
: Apparently the movie was originally released in the U.S. with the
: title "Arabian Knight" ... but I coulda' SWORN I'd seen a commercial
: for "The Thief and the Cobbler." huh. I was also happy to see that I
: was right about the songs just being thrown in. And I thought the
: Cobbler's skin color changed from gray to flesh-toned rather abruptly
: ... now I know why.

: >
: >eric l.
: >
: >
: >

: ______________________________________

: This post was brought to you by ALM!
: e-mail address (written backwards so
: as to prevent SPAM): moc.moorsserp@mla
: website: www.pressroom.com/~alm
: ICQ UIN#: 22590363
: Nemo me impune lacessit.

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gregory duffell

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
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ELurio (elu...@aol.com) wrote:
: << And I coulda' sworn this movie was released (rather quietly) a few
: years ago under another title. Not quite sure what it was. Cobbler
: something.>>

: The Theif and the Cobbler, the Cobbler and the thief, the golden city, The
: thief who would not give up, among others. It was in production for over twenty
: years.

Try thirty years!!

Greg D.


QUITE fluid, but WAY too busy. Made me
: nauseous (much like that Felix the Cat movie). I couldn't stand the
: Thief character's constant babbling. The songs weren't very good and
: seemed really thrown in. I didn't like it at all. >>

: It should be fluid, the animation was done by the best animators in the
: business outside of Disney.

: The thief was supposed to be silent. Blame Harvey Weinstein for that. What
: happened to this film is one of the greatest tragedies in hollywood history.

: eric l.

ELurio

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
to
<< and the thief, the golden city, The
: thief who would not give up, among others. It was in production for over
twenty
: years.

Try thirty years!!

Greg D. >>

Production on Nusraddin began in 1968. "The Princess and the Cobbler" was
finished in 1993. Williams was fired in 1992. That's less than 30 years.
Besides, thirty years is more than twenty years.

eric l.


ELurio

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
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<< : >It should be fluid, the animation was done by the best animators in the
: >business outside of Disney.

ARe you refering to Dick Williams or Ken Harris? >>

Among others. I belive that Art Babbit worked on it too.

<< Did the creator have a full vision? No one will ever know. There was
never a completed, comprehensible storyboard done for the film, and the
manner in which the film was completed also leaves open the possibility
that the director was let off the hook. It's not like the director
delivered a "final cut" that was mutilated by the studio >>

He sort of did. There's the "leica reel," which Williams peiced together to
show the Warners' brass back in the spring of '92. Tapes of this particular
work do exist, y'know. I've seen the damn thing, and it's in fact pretty awful.

"The Princess and the Cobbler" version which came out before Miramax mutilated
IT, isn't a bad film at all. Not great, but not bad.

eric l.

L & G

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Mar 19, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/19/00
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ELurio wrote:

Just some rhetorical random thoughts;
Coincidentally I had just rented (seen) it the first time ever this weekend. I
love the animation. Alot of nice things happening there; the Escheresque bgs,
the wild layouts, animated camera moves, etc. (e.g. of the former and latter:
the thief bouncing off the awnings) . It's obvious to see how the director got
the Roger Rabbit gig from this. Too bad it didn't gel. I think the Jonathan
Winters and Matthew Broderick VOs didn't help. It sounded as if the princess
was redubbed (perhaps from a mid eastern girl to a North American actress?)
The thief reminded me of the thief in Ziggy's Christmas (nothing wrong with
that but it's interesting). And it's timing couldn't've been worse with
Aladdin so engraved in the public by now (My kids though Zig Zag ripped of
Aladdin's Genie.Very perceptive/ the design theory with the beard and blue
skin). It's a pity. A crying shame.
If it is true, true about 80 minutes of complete stuff on the floor, some of
it Art Babbit's, Emery Hawkins' and Ken Harris' then it's proof to me that
perfectionism can be a disorder. Unfortunately if you are using someone else's
money in this business you have to learn to say, "good enough". (I did meet
someone once who was like a assistant on this film in the final days of the
original director and she said that even written instructions on consecutive
drawings had to be traced back perfectly.) Then again if the director
continued to fund it personally with his commercial residuals we may have
never seen his unfinished symphony.
But y'know ,on the other hand there is a shaggy-dog story quality to the film
that is like the Arabian Night stories I've read. As if Scheherazde is buying
time telling us this tale.
I think I'll pick it up in the PV bin if I see it and relabel it Dick
Williams demo reel. In it's strange way as a swan song of many animators or
as the thing that inspired (conspired ?) Disney to do Aladdin, it certainly
has its place in animation history.
Gerard

gregory duffell

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Mar 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/20/00
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ELurio (elu...@aol.com) wrote:
: << and the thief, the golden city, The
: : thief who would not give up, among others. It was in production for over
: twenty
: : years.

: Try thirty years!!

: Greg D. >>

: Production on Nusraddin began in 1968. "The Princess and the Cobbler" was
: finished in 1993. Williams was fired in 1992. That's less than 30 years.
: Besides, thirty years is more than twenty years.

: eric l.

I'm not sure when the NET documentary was done on Richard Williams (I
would guess it was 1964....maybe 1966) and he shows animation on
Nasruddin in this special (Tastelessly, he shows a scene by Pat
Matthews and belittles it, saying the re-animated scene by Roy Jackson
is much better....I'm sure neither Roy nor Pat were thrilled by this).
So, it's quite likely that he film was in "production" for thirty
years.

Greg Duffell

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ELurio

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Mar 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/20/00
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<<
ELurio (elu...@aol.com) wrote:
: << and the thief, the golden city, The
: : thief who would not give up, among others. It was in production for over
: twenty
: : years.

: Try thirty years!!

: Greg D. >>

: Production on Nusraddin began in 1968. "The Princess and the Cobbler" was
: finished in 1993. Williams was fired in 1992. That's less than 30 years.
: Besides, thirty years is more than twenty years.

: eric l.

I'm not sure when the NET documentary was done on Richard Williams (I
would guess it was 1964....maybe 1966) and he shows animation on
Nasruddin in this special (Tastelessly, he shows a scene by Pat
Matthews and belittles it, saying the re-animated scene by Roy Jackson
is much better....I'm sure neither Roy nor Pat were thrilled by this).
So, it's quite likely that he film was in "production" for thirty
years. >>

there were two documenteries on Williams and Thief, the first was from either
1968 or '71, and the second was from the '80s, I'm not so sure of the year.

eric l.


ELurio

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Mar 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/20/00
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<< Rabbit gig from this. Too bad it didn't gel. I think the Jonathan
Winters and Matthew Broderick VOs didn't help. It sounded as if the princess
was redubbed (perhaps from a mid eastern girl to a North American actress?) >>

Except for vincent price's zigzag, none of the voices from the 1993 version
were used in "Arabian Knight."

It is also interesting to note that most, if not all the voice actors, except
Sean connery[who had one line], are long dead, and were at the time of the
release of the film in the US market.

<< The thief reminded me of the thief in Ziggy's Christmas (nothing wrong with
that but it's interesting). >>

There was a reason for that, it was also done by Richard Williams.

<< And it's timing couldn't've been worse with
Aladdin so engraved in the public by now (My kids though Zig Zag ripped of
Aladdin's Genie.Very perceptive/ the design theory with the beard and blue
skin). >>

Oh yes it could! The original release date was November 1992, in fact, the same
date as Aladdin!

As to Zigzag being a Jafar ripoff. There is evidence that it's the other way
around. Andreas Deja worked for Williams on Roger Rabbit, and everybody who
worked on it actually had seen much of the "Thief" footage that was finished.

eric l.


oct...@snip.net

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Mar 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/23/00
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> The thief reminded me of the thief in Ziggy's Christmas (nothing wrong with
> that but it's interesting). And it's timing couldn't've been worse with

> Aladdin so engraved in the public by now (My kids though Zig Zag ripped of
> Aladdin's Genie.Very perceptive/ the design theory with the beard and blue
> skin). It's a pity. A crying shame.

The Genie animator is Eric Goldberg, who had also worked with
Williams. The basic Nasrudin caricature Williams developed for
the illustrations in the three Nasrudin books by Idries Shah (still available)
ended up at Disney's, as the Genie.

There has also been the suggestion that after Disney completed Roger Rabbit
(and passed on producing the Thief) that as full production commenced in
London, the completed reels kept right on crossing the ocean to Disney.

As should be obvious by now, Katzenberg has this policy of getting to
the marketplace first with HIS version of whatever story or genre
the competition has scheduled. He doesn't have the sense to be embarrassed,
though I suppose the returns cancel any of that reaction.

For continuity's sake, the film circulates in (at least) three forms:
1.Work Print
This tape is in rough condition but it's intact. It's a tight 90 minute edit of
what
was to have been a much longer film. It's main failing is the lack of a climax for
the Cobbler.
This was to have been a battle with a dragon conjured by Zigzag. Animator Roger
Visard has referred to working on it. The other major plot dropped was
Yum-Yum's sister, Princess Mee-Mee and her search for a cure for her
enchanted prince. Also, the four stooges for ZigZag, (Gopher, Goblet, Slap &
Tickle)
ended up on the cutting room floor. Two of England's better known comics,
Kenneth Williams (no relation) and Stanley Baxter voiced all four. You can only
hear the shortest of fragments of them.

2.The Princess and the Cobbler
Fred Calvert was given the project by the now-defunct Completion Bond.
With the exception of Vincent Price and Windsor Davies, the voice track
was wiped, and new actors added. Tack, the Cobbler, is given a speaking
part, which effective destroys his identity.
Calvert hired studios of varying quality to complete link sequences and added
others that were unnecessary and intrusive, most notably the three songs.
This is important to note because this is where the film was ruined.

Even with the film's running time cut so severely it was considered so
important to get a soundtrack album out of this. (They couldn't
collect royalties on the Rimsky-Korsakov score Williams used).
Released only to Australia (video too) and South Africa.

Some of the editing is so bad it's a little suspicious. One sequence had
a pan down from the One-Eye flag to ZigZag. Cutting it out saved no
usable time and only wrecks the shot, perhaps the real objective?

3.The Thief and the Cobbler (Arabian Knight theatrical and syndication title)
At this point Miramax gets the film and decides to add 'name actors' to
replace the obscure Australian ones. They also decide to give the Thief,
not a voice, but a running commentary by Jonathan Winters.
They cut the film down even further than Calvert had, inexcusably
leaving only a short sample of the chain-reaction self-destruction of the
Death Machine.

The reason the Thief and the Cobbler are mute is so that the film
would be defined by watching the action.
You can argue about whether it's a good idea or not, but the fact
remains that it's purpose was totally corrupted by dubbing and
editing by people who had no idea what they were dealing with.

The other argument put forward is an objection to the fact
that Williams made this up as he went along. True but irrelevant.
He delivered a functional coherent 90-minute workprint that was rejected
on vulgar personal taste, not for any lack of professionalism.
He delivered a diamond but they wanted hamburger.


> If it is true, true about 80 minutes of complete stuff on the floor, some of
> it Art Babbit's, Emery Hawkins' and Ken Harris' then it's proof to me that
> perfectionism can be a disorder. Unfortunately if you are using someone else's
> money in this business you have to learn to say, "good enough". (I did meet
> someone once who was like a assistant on this film in the final days of the
> original director and she said that even written instructions on consecutive
> drawings had to be traced back perfectly.) Then again if the director
> continued to fund it personally with his commercial residuals we may have
> never seen his unfinished symphony.

Since Williams poured literally millions of pounds of his own money
into this, I'd say that puts him outside the usual equation of
"other people's money".

Diplomacy is another matter. Many, many animators had their work
rejected from this project and they naturally resent it. Some decisions may
have been arbitrary and bitter. But the work print shows you examples
of work that is good, replaced later by work that's outstanding.


andrew osmond

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Mar 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/23/00
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oct...@snip.net writes

>2.The Princess and the Cobbler
>Fred Calvert was given the project by the now-defunct Completion Bond.
>With the exception of Vincent Price and Windsor Davies, the voice track
>was wiped, and new actors added.

What's the source for this claim? I have the Princess version on video
and the names of Kenneth Williams, Donald Pleasance and Joan Sims
(contemporary of Williams) all appear on the end-credits along with
Price and Davies. While I haven't watched it recently, I remember
someone seemed to be doing a darned good impression of Williams on the
soundtrack...

>Some of the editing is so bad it's a little suspicious. One sequence had
>a pan down from the One-Eye flag to ZigZag. Cutting it out saved no
>usable time and only wrecks the shot, perhaps the real objective?

Yawn. I had enough of conspiracy theories with Mononoke.
--
andrew osmond

oct...@snip.net

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Mar 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/23/00
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andrew osmond wrote:

> oct...@snip.net writes


>
> >2.The Princess and the Cobbler
> >Fred Calvert was given the project by the now-defunct Completion Bond.
> >With the exception of Vincent Price and Windsor Davies, the voice track
> >was wiped, and new actors added.
>

> What's the source for this claim? I have the Princess version on video
> and the names of Kenneth Williams, Donald Pleasance and Joan Sims
> (contemporary of Williams) all appear on the end-credits along with
> Price and Davies. While I haven't watched it recently, I remember
> someone seemed to be doing a darned good impression of Williams on the
> soundtrack...

Yes, for one brief moment going through a door.
And, yes, Donald Pleasance does squawk a bit as Phido the Vulture.
Do you want me to list every minor bit of the dialogue that survived
as new tracks were added?

> >Some of the editing is so bad it's a little suspicious. One sequence had
> >a pan down from the One-Eye flag to ZigZag. Cutting it out saved no
> >usable time and only wrecks the shot, perhaps the real objective?
>

> Yawn. I had enough of conspiracy theories with Mononoke.

> andrew osmond

Condescend long enough to rationalize for me
the reason for making the type of cut I described.
Have you seen the workprint?

ELurio

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Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
to
<< The Genie animator is Eric Goldberg, who had also worked with
Williams. The basic Nasrudin caricature Williams developed for
the illustrations in the three Nasrudin books by Idries Shah (still available)
ended up at Disney's, as the Genie. >>

It looks nothing like the genie. Zigzag looks like Jafar,though.


<< There has also been the suggestion that after Disney completed Roger Rabbit
(and passed on producing the Thief) that as full production commenced in
London, the completed reels kept right on crossing the ocean to Disney. >>

There is NO evidence of this. However, the famous war machine sequence was one
of the things that got Williams the RR gig in the first place.

<< As should be obvious by now, Katzenberg has this policy of getting to
the marketplace first with HIS version of whatever story or genre
the competition has scheduled. He doesn't have the sense to be embarrassed,
though I suppose the returns cancel any of that reaction. >>

What does this have to do with anything? Sure, Thief and The Cobbler predated
Aladdin, but the record shows that Howard Ashman wanted to do Aladdin and
proposed this to Eisner, Katz, etc. ON HIS OWN. There were problems with
Ashman's version and it was delayed. It was supposed to come out BEFORE Beauty
and the Beast.

<< For continuity's sake, the film circulates in (at least) three forms:
1.Work Print >>

The origin of this is that someone made a copy in the spring of 1992 when
Williams was summoned to Los Angeles by the Warner Bros. brass. Calvert was
sent by them previously to find out what was going on, and Williams tried to
ignore or thwart him.

There are fifteen minutes that were uncompleted, all of which had to do with
the plot.

<< It's main failing is the lack of a climax for
the Cobbler. >>

No, it's main failing was that the characters were stick figures and the story
was for the most part uninteresting. Having viewed the workprint, it is clear
that while the artwork is dazzling, it's a lousy movie.

<< 2.The Princess and the Cobbler
Fred Calvert was given the project by the now-defunct Completion Bond. >>

I am of the firm belief that someone, who never worked for Disney, put a curse
on the film.

<< With the exception of Vincent Price and Windsor Davies, the voice track
was wiped, and new actors added. Tack, the Cobbler, is given a speaking
part, which effective destroys his identity.
Calvert hired studios of varying quality to complete link sequences and added
others that were unnecessary and intrusive, most notably the three songs.
This is important to note because this is where the film was ruined. >>

Actually, the film was improved. As a movie the Calvert version works as a
decent children's film.

The "studios of varieying quality" were Don Bluth's and Bill Kroyer's, which
were considered the best they could get at the time. Most of the work doing the
animation were the people from William's studio, who agreed to stay on for the
sake of continuity.

Much of the ink and paint was done in Korea, however.


<< The other argument put forward is an objection to the fact
that Williams made this up as he went along. True but irrelevant.
He delivered a functional coherent 90-minute workprint that was rejected
on vulgar personal taste, not for any lack of professionalism.
He delivered a diamond but they wanted hamburger. >>

No, he delivered an unfinished, thirty million dollar turkey which would have
flopped. Warners' decided that if it didn't have to eat it, it wouldn't.


<< Since Williams poured literally millions of pounds of his own money
into this, I'd say that puts him outside the usual equation of
"other people's money". >>

But the tens of millions put up by the completion bond company which insured
the film, and the half million dollars at least that the Saudi Arabian
governemnt poured into the film in the seventies say otherwise.


<< 3.The Thief and the Cobbler (Arabian Knight theatrical and syndication
title)
At this point Miramax gets the film and decides to add 'name actors' to
replace the obscure Australian ones. They also decide to give the Thief,
not a voice, but a running commentary by Jonathan Winters.
They cut the film down even further than Calvert had, inexcusably

leaving only a short sample of the chain-reaction self-destruction of the death
machine >>

This version should have been burned as the travesty it was. What "octobus''
and I agree on is that the workprint should be put on DVD.

eric l.


oct...@snip.net

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Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
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ELurio wrote:

> << The Genie animator is Eric Goldberg, who had also worked with
> Williams. The basic Nasrudin caricature Williams developed for
> the illustrations in the three Nasrudin books by Idries Shah (still available)
> ended up at Disney's, as the Genie. >>
>

> It looks nothing like the genie. Zigzag looks like Jafar,though.

I can't post drawings to the newsgroup but the
distinctive designs from 1966 were part of what
Goldberg and many others had become familiar with
during their stay. The genie is a variation
on those forms. You can argue that nobody "owns"
a design but the likeness exists.

> << There has also been the suggestion that after Disney completed Roger Rabbit
> (and passed on producing the Thief) that as full production commenced in
> London, the completed reels kept right on crossing the ocean to Disney. >>
>

> There is NO evidence of this. However, the famous war machine sequence was one
> of the things that got Williams the RR gig in the first place.

No, there's no evidence. Maybe it's a malicious lie.
But the fact is Disney passed on the Thief and
Aladdin was sent into production with full
knowledge of what was proceeding in London.
They're within their rights. Competition is fair.
Even knowing that Roger Rabbit had produced a
fortune, they had no further obligation to Williams
Studio. Does it seem honorable to you?
Or is that irrelevant?

> << It's main failing is the lack of a climax for
> the Cobbler. >>
>

> No, it's main failing was that the characters were stick figures and the story
> was for the most part uninteresting. Having viewed the workprint, it is clear
> that while the artwork is dazzling, it's a lousy movie.

How important is the story in a ballet?
Your definition insists on conventional narrative
and allows for nothing outside the mainstream.
Anything without the Disney checklist is "a lousy movie".

> << With the exception of Vincent Price and Windsor Davies, the voice track
> was wiped, and new actors added. Tack, the Cobbler, is given a speaking
> part, which effective destroys his identity.
> Calvert hired studios of varying quality to complete link sequences and added
> others that were unnecessary and intrusive, most notably the three songs.
> This is important to note because this is where the film was ruined. >>
>

> Actually, the film was improved. As a movie the Calvert version works as a
> decent children's film.

How can you consider a crude, rushed execution of what was in Williams'
Leica reel an improvement over the established production value
of his work? It becomes superior just by the merit of being finished?
What a genius Fred Calvert is, to come and fix this terrible mess?

And for the record, do you consider any of the link material to be
representative of the average quality (production values)
of either Bluth or Kroyer?

What about the music? Is that an improvement?

>
> << Since Williams poured literally millions of pounds of his own money
> into this, I'd say that puts him outside the usual equation of
> "other people's money". >>
>

> But the tens of millions put up by the completion bond company which insured
> the film, and the half million dollars at least that the Saudi Arabian
> governemnt poured into the film in the seventies say otherwise.
>

Prince Feisal got what he paid for (Battle sequence)
in 1979 for about $250,000.
Warners backed out when it realised "Aladdin" was due to
open against the Thief.
Jake Eberts (backer) also pulled out.
With nothing left, Completion Bond takes over
and goes with the cheapest bidder, Calvert.

>
> What "octobus''
> and I agree on is that the workprint should be put on DVD.
>

Didn't you just finish calling it a 'lousy movie'??!!


andrew osmond

unread,
Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
to
oct...@snip.net writes

>> >2.The Princess and the Cobbler
>> >Fred Calvert was given the project by the now-defunct Completion Bond.
>> >With the exception of Vincent Price and Windsor Davies, the voice track
>> >was wiped, and new actors added.
>>

>> What's the source for this claim? I have the Princess version on video
>> and the names of Kenneth Williams, Donald Pleasance and Joan Sims
>> (contemporary of Williams) all appear on the end-credits along with
>> Price and Davies. While I haven't watched it recently, I remember
>> someone seemed to be doing a darned good impression of Williams on the
>> soundtrack...
>
>Yes, for one brief moment going through a door.

I seem to recall at least two such moments - anyway, just making a
pedantic factual correction.

>> >Some of the editing is so bad it's a little suspicious. One sequence had
>> >a pan down from the One-Eye flag to ZigZag. Cutting it out saved no
>> >usable time and only wrecks the shot, perhaps the real objective?
>>

>> Yawn. I had enough of conspiracy theories with Mononoke.
>

>Condescend long enough to rationalize for me
>the reason for making the type of cut I described.
>Have you seen the workprint?

No. As a Miyazaki (Japanese animator) fan, however, I'm all too familiar
with US distributors taking an (IMO) wonderful, auteurist piece of
animation, only to hack it up and dumb it down. The obvious example is
Warriors of the Wind, the US video version of Nausicaa which had
20-minutes' worth of cuts - basically, everything which added depth to
the scenario and characters. In that case you can argue 'kiddification'
- though all the violence and death stayed in - but that doesn't explain
the teen-aimed Streamline dub of Castle of Cagliostro, which seemed to
take pains to extract every witty line in the script, substituting
lunkheaded B-movie drivel. Or even Buena Vista's version of Kiki's
Delivery Service, good though it is. I can take the dialogue changes -
though collectively they make it into a different film - but many of the
music alterations are plain inexplicable; it's clumsy, bumpy and there's
even a moment when _two_ different tunes collide on the soundtrack.

Non-anime example; The Shepherdess and the Sweep, a French feature by
Paul Grimault, taken out of the director's hands and re-edited to make
it more 'marketable' and kiddie-friendly. I've seen the director's cut,
The King and Mr Bird, which Grimault assembled more than a decade later.
It's a remarkably good film, and deserves more attention on this list.

The point is that in none of those cases do I see reason to believe
there was a conspiracy to 'bury' the original films. It's simply people
who don't care about 'original vision' doing what seems like a good idea
at the time - including ideas that seem bizarre, pointless and perverse
to fans. I don't know what the editor thought he was doing in the shot
you mentioned, but I have great trouble believing Princess was made to
'wreck' Williams' film. After all, Princess also includes several
minutes of superb Williams 'out-takes' over the end credits. OK, you may
argue that's a crass, makeshift device, but it suggests Fred Calvert
cared about what Williams had done. The same point is suggested by his
comments quoted in the 'Arabian Knight-mare' article in Animato! 35.
Unless, of course, you believe Calvert's another corporate drone,
parotting Big Lies.

Incidentally, I think Warriors and the dubbed Castle and Kiki are all
great fun to watch, on their own terms. I have similar feelings about
Princess and the Cobbler - it's an excellent film, IMO, even if (as
often alleged) it's an insulting travesty of Williams' vision.
--
andrew osmond

andrew osmond

unread,
Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
to
oct...@snip.net writes

>Warners backed out when it realised "Aladdin" was due to
>open against the Thief.

From Animato! 35: 'Williams' deal with Warner Brothers was to deliver
his film so Warners could beat Disney's Aladdin in 1992. When Williams
missed that deadline, the film was taken from him in May 1992 by the
Completion Bond Co... With the announcement that the insurance company
had taken over the film, the distribution deal previously set up with
Warner Bros fell apart.'

>Jake Eberts (backer) also pulled out.
>With nothing left, Completion Bond takes over
>and goes with the cheapest bidder, Calvert.

Was Calvert a 'bidder'? According to Animato, he had been hired by
Completion as a consultant, and later analysed the film's status for the
insurers. (He concluded that Williams was 'woefully behind schedule
[i.e. the deadline agreed with Warners and Completion] and way over
budget.') When Completion took the film from Williams, they asked
Calvert to finish the film. In Animato's words, 'it was an assignment
Calvert tried to avoid. When the arrangements with another producer fell
through, he took the job somewhat under protest.'
--
andrew osmond

manix ALIAS pusher

unread,
Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
to
HI PIPL !!!

I'd like to meet somebody who's interested in making PC-ANIMATIONS. I make
2d/3d animations using AUTODESK ANIMATOR PRO and 3D-STUDIO. Some pieces of
my work are just outstanding, I suppose so :) If you love to do such things
and you are full of ideas too - just lemme know.

my email: mani...@poczta.onet.pl


ELurio

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Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
to
<< ELurio wrote:

There's a story going around that says Williams called Katzenberg nasty,
disparaging names TO HIS FACE. Also, RR was well behind schedule and Katz was
forced to call him to the carpet. Is that irrelevent? They had no further
obligation to him.


<< How important is the story in a ballet?
Your definition insists on conventional narrative
and allows for nothing outside the mainstream.
Anything without the Disney checklist is "a lousy movie". >>

Depends on the ballet. A short piece doesn't need one, however a full length
ballet needs a story. Conventional narrative isn't neccessary, but dammit, it's
important!!! What Williams promised Warner Bros. was a CHILDREN's FILM!! The
workprint is a pretentius arthouse film in which the parts are far greater than
the whole.

<< How can you consider a crude, rushed execution of what was in Williams'
Leica reel an improvement over the established production value
of his work? It becomes superior just by the merit of being finished?
What a genius Fred Calvert is, to come and fix this terrible mess? >>

Yeah, I think finished is good. Fred Calvert wasn't a genious, but he was the
one who had to finish a terrible mess. I am NOT saying the artwork and the
quality of the animation from the Bluth and Kroyer studios was "better" than
what was being done in London. I am saying that it's coherent and fun to watch.
That's what's important.


<< And for the record, do you consider any of the link material to be
representative of the average quality (production values)of either Bluth or
Kroyer? >>

yeah. The animation is first rate. I don't much like the ink and paint, but
that wasn't done by them.

<< What about the music? Is that an improvement? >>

Oh, yes. Far better. what there was of it in the original may have been a rough
scratch track, which means that Williams may not have thought much of it at
all.


<< Prince Feisal got what he paid for (Battle sequence) in 1979 for about
$250,000. >>

But he was promised to get it for half that, and in half the time. Why do you
think that the Saudi government didn't pay for the whole thing back then?


<< Warners backed out when it realised "Aladdin" was due to open against the
Thief.

Jake Eberts (backer) also pulled out.
With nothing left, Completion Bond takes over
and goes with the cheapest bidder, Calvert. >>

Warners backed out when they saw the workprint. Calvert was brought on as a
minder well before that.

I belive that Miramax brought in Eberts to revise the Calvert version. He was
the one who destroyed it.


<< > What "octobus''
> and I agree on is that the workprint should be put on DVD.
>

Didn't you just finish calling it a 'lousy movie'??!! >>

Yeah, I did. What a DVD would be good for is for animation fans to study. A
Calvert version on one disc with commentary and such, and a second disc with
the workprint and ALL the lost sequences as supplemental material would be just
awsome.

The Miramax version should be junked.

eric l.


oct...@snip.net

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Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
to
<<There's a story going around that says Williams called Katzenberg
nasty,
disparaging names TO HIS FACE. Also, RR was well behind schedule and
Katz
was forced to call him to the carpet. Is that irrelevent? They had no
further
obligation to him. >>

Katz is known for exactly the same kind of personal charm.
Didn't Roger Rabbit get finished? Didn't it make a fortune?
Who was primarily responsible for that?

<< How important is the story in a ballet?
Your definition insists on conventional narrative
and allows for nothing outside the mainstream.
Anything without the Disney checklist is "a lousy movie". >>

<<Depends on the ballet. A short piece doesn't need one, however a full
length
ballet needs a story. Conventional narrative isn't neccessary, but
dammit,
it's
important!!!>>

Without exceptions?

<<What Williams promised Warner Bros. was a CHILDREN's FILM!!>>

When was it ever promoted that way to potential backers?

<<The workprint is a pretentius arthouse film in which the parts are
far greater
than the whole.>>

It's difficult in places. So the preferred solution is tear
something unique apart to make something empty-headed and
common?

<< What about the music? Is that an improvement? >>

<< Oh, yes. Far better. what there was of it in the original may have
been a
rough scratch track, which means that Williams may not have thought much
of it at all.>>

The timing of the Thief and his pole-vault at the tower
and the Rimsky-Korsakov score looks like a rough scratch-track to you?

<< Prince Feisal got what he paid for (Battle sequence) in 1979 for
about
$250,000. >>

<< But he was promised to get it for half that, and in half the time.
Why do
you think that the Saudi government didn't pay for the whole thing back
then?>>

What's the source for this? Mine is Edward Summers piece
in the Nov/Dec 1995 "Films in Review".

<<Warners backed out when they saw the workprint. Calvert was brought on
as a
minder well before that.>>

Do you see any conflict in interest in sending someone
to assess progress on a job he wants for himself?
Does it make sense to re-arrange the film so that all
the night scenes are dropped in at random instead of in
sequence? To drop the sequence with the Thief in the Princess'
bedroom when only two shots of her in pencil had to be inked?
Justifying this by claiming it's too expensive and then creating
three new redundant songs sequences?

<<What a DVD would be good for is for animation fans to study. A
Calvert version on one disc with commentary and such, and a second disc
with
the workprint and ALL the lost sequences as supplemental material would
be
just awsome.

The Miramax version should be junked.

eric l.>>

Agreed.

oct...@snip.net

unread,
Mar 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/24/00
to
andrew osmond wrote:

From Animato! 35: 'Williams' deal with Warner Brothers was to deliver
his film so Warners could beat Disney's Aladdin in 1992. When Williams
missed that deadline, the film was taken from him in May 1992 by the
Completion Bond Co... With the announcement that the insurance company
had taken over the film, the distribution deal previously set up with
Warner Bros fell apart.'

>Jake Eberts (backer) also pulled out.


>With nothing left, Completion Bond takes over
>and goes with the cheapest bidder, Calvert.

Was Calvert a 'bidder'? According to Animato, he had been hired by


Completion as a consultant, and later analysed the film's status for the

insurers. (He concluded that Williams was 'woefully behind schedule
[i.e. the deadline agreed with Warners and Completion] and way over
budget.') When Completion took the film from Williams, they asked
Calvert to finish the film. In Animato's words, 'it was an assignment
Calvert tried to avoid. When the arrangements with another producer fell

through, he took the job somewhat under protest.'
--
andrew osmond

Animato 35 "Arabian Knight-mare" by Mike Dobbs
was an attempt by Mike to gather what he could together on
the subject. He interviewed Calvert, who by then, was on the
defensive. Here are responses to that article:

Animation World Magazine, Issue 2.1, April 1997
Alex Williams response to Animato 35

"However, to suggest that he took on The Thief
"somewhat under protest" (Calvert's words, apparently) or that he
tried to avoid the task, is misleading at best. It is very easy
to avoid such projects--one simply has to say "no." My recollection
of Fred Calvert's visits is that he was only too keen to take on the
completion of the film. I clearly recall my father's astonished
reaction
when Calvert suggested, having been shown the painstaking and
beautiful
camerawork executed by the gifted John Leatherbarrow, that the film
should be shot in Korea to save money. As we now know, Calvert was
not only to shoot much of The Thief in Korea, but also to send large
sections to be animated there.
Such insensitivity to the quality of the film he was to inherit
is the hallmark of his work. He is quoted as saying that "we tried
to use as much of [Williams'] footage as possible . . . we hated
to see all of this beautiful animation hit the cutting room floor,
but that was the only way we could make a story out of it"

Harvey Deneroff's Reply:
I am delighted that additional footage from director's cut
The Thief and the Cobbler exists in Fred Calvert's version,
The Princess and the Cobbler. But I doubt if this is the version
I would want see released on laserdisc (or elsewhere) over seeing
the director's cut.

Another point
that Dobbs fails to mention (or Calvert failed to tell him) was the
role of Sue Shakespeare, of Creative Capers Entertainment
Shakespeare, who had been involved with previous "rescue efforts"
on The Chipmunk Adventure and Rover Dangerfield, was, she states,
brought in by Calvert as a consultant and diagnosed the severity
of the problem faced by the film. She then made a proposal for
allowing Williams to finish the film, under her supervision;
she too felt there were story problems, and suggested that
Terry Gilliam be brought in to work them out with Williams.
(She says that Williams agreed to her proposal.) However,
her bid was rejected by Completion Bond in favor of a cheaper
one by Calvert! If indeed Williams did express a willingness
to work with Shakespeare in finishing The Thief and the Cobbler,
then whatever claims Calvert makes about being the film's saviour
have even less credibility.


ELurio

unread,
Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to
<< What's the source for this? Mine is Edward Summers piece
in the Nov/Dec 1995 "Films in Review". >>

I was the source for Edward Summers' piece. I did an article for Premier in
1995 and I asked everybody involved except williams himself.

The article wasn't published, but I was paid the full amount plus expenses.
[calling London is expensive].

<< Do you see any conflict in interest in sending someone to assess progress on
a job he wants for himself? >>

Calvert didn't want the job. He told me that himself. Therefore there wasn't a
conflict of interest.

<< Does it make sense to re-arrange the film so that all
the night scenes are dropped in at random instead of in
sequence? To drop the sequence with the Thief in the Princess'
bedroom when only two shots of her in pencil had to be inked? >>

You mean the one where her tits are hanging out? I also have some of the
licencing materials from the licencing show of 1991, It was supposed to be
rated G. Besides, it was part of a joke where the punchline was also snipped.


<< Justifying this by claiming it's too expensive and then creating
three new redundant songs sequences >>

It was supposed to be a children's film and the songs were deemed neccessary to
help explain the plot.

Besides, CB's lawyers insisted.

eric l.


oct...@snip.net

unread,
Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to
ELurio wrote:

> << What's the source for this? Mine is Edward Summers piece
> in the Nov/Dec 1995 "Films in Review". >>
>
> I was the source for Edward Summers' piece. I did an article for Premier in
> 1995 and I asked everybody involved except williams himself.
> The article wasn't published, but I was paid the full amount plus expenses.
> [calling London is expensive].

Were you the only source? It's a good piece but Summers is much more
in depth.

> << Do you see any conflict in interest in sending someone to assess progress on
> a job he wants for himself? >>
>
> Calvert didn't want the job. He told me that himself. Therefore there wasn't a
> conflict of interest.

Do you think that's a credible statement? "I didn't want this but I just had
to take it?" But Alex Williams contention is invalid because he's related?

"My recollection
of Fred Calvert's visits is that he was only too keen to take on the
completion of the film. I clearly recall my father's astonished reaction
when Calvert suggested, having been shown the painstaking and beautiful
camerawork executed by the gifted John Leatherbarrow, that the film

should be shot in Korea to save money." -Alex Williams

> << Does it make sense to re-arrange the film so that all
> the night scenes are dropped in at random instead of in
> sequence? To drop the sequence with the Thief in the Princess'
> bedroom when only two shots of her in pencil had to be inked? >>
>
> You mean the one where her tits are hanging out?

Where? The workprint shows a fast zoom on her tearing her shoes in
half. The other shots of her are short, in pencil, and almost invisible
due to the poor copy. The rest of the sequence are the dogs waking
and it's all there.

> I also have some of the
> licencing materials from the licencing show of 1991, It was supposed to be
> rated G.

I don't doubt your sample but previous press kits lacked this.
So the lack of "spell-it-out" narrative is mutually
exclusive to children's programming?

> Besides, it was part of a joke where the punchline was also snipped.

The dogs chase him off, fade out. What's missing?

> << Justifying this by claiming it's too expensive and then creating
> three new redundant songs sequences >>
>
> It was supposed to be a children's film and the songs were deemed neccessary to
> help explain the plot.

> Besides, CB's lawyers insisted.

I have no doubt of that.

How the greatest animator of all time attempted
to create the perfect cartoon, and how he blew it.
By Eric Lurio
"Until Miramax agreed to distribute the film in January, no American
distributor would touch it "it was a very difficult film to market, it had
such a reputation," Calvert recalls. "I don't think that they were
looking at it objectively" .and CBC went out of business."

Distribution is another issue that's always suspect. When Yellow Submarine
was released in Britain, within two weeks it's distributor, Rank Films
was telling the press that it hadn't performed up to expectations and
the circuit would be cut in half. Since the film had been doing capacity
business, this was immediately challenged. Backs to the wall, Rank denied
making such a statement. But the circuit was cut. Richard Lester (director)
checked receipts to find that two Rank Films had taken in about one-fifth
the box-office of Yellow Sub, but they received full release. The American
release 4 months later was the opposite.
None of this is anything new as there's always a dirty trick or two
involved with who gets a Thanksgiving premiere. Terry Jones "Wind in
the Willows"/"Mr Toad's Wild Ride being a more recent example.

oct...@snip.net

unread,
Mar 25, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/25/00
to
> << I clearly recall my father's astonished reaction
> when Calvert suggested, having been shown the painstaking and beautiful
> camerawork executed by the gifted John Leatherbarrow, that the film
> should be shot in Korea to save money." -Alex Williams >>
>
> It was Completion Bond which was calling the shots as it was their money. After
> all "Thief" broke them.
>

How do you feel about lawyers making creative decisions? Adding songs, etc?

What do you think about Calvert's song sequence number four "It's So Amazing"
(only a credit crawl in the USA/Miramax cut) consisting of shots from the movie
you've just watched?

Or re-arranging and dropping shots of the Death machine destroying itself
so that the shots don't link up anymore?

My original point about dropping a sequence (instead of inking two brief shots
completed in pencil) was the Thief sneaking into the Princess' rose garden
bedroom only to get a surprise about her bed. Why not add the shots and
keep the scene?
Why not use that and other finished pencil footage by feeding it to a
computer-color system?
The hard part was all done.
I think the most likely answer is Calvert's inexperience with those methods.

I am especially curious about what Roger Visard told you about
working on the dragon.


ELurio

unread,
Mar 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/26/00
to
<< Were you the only source? It's a good piece but Summers is much more
in depth. >>

Summers is a great guy, but his article is basically only a chronology. I
wasn't the only source, but I bought me a large dinner and told him all I could
from my notes....

<< > Calvert didn't want the job. He told me that himself. Therefore there
wasn't a
> conflict of interest.

Do you think that's a credible statement? "I didn't want this but I just had
to take it?" But Alex Williams contention is invalid because he's related? >>

To some extent. Loylaty, y'know. However I would give full faith and credence
to anything he said about Iron Giant and Quest for Camelot.


<< I clearly recall my father's astonished reaction
when Calvert suggested, having been shown the painstaking and beautiful
camerawork executed by the gifted John Leatherbarrow, that the film
should be shot in Korea to save money." -Alex Williams >>

It was Completion Bond which was calling the shots as it was their money. After
all "Thief" broke them.

<< > You mean the one where her tits are hanging out?

Where? The workprint shows a fast zoom on her tearing her shoes in
half. The other shots of her are short, in pencil, and almost invisible
due to the poor copy. The rest of the sequence are the dogs waking
and it's all there. >>

The scene where Princess Yumyum's tits are hanging out is the scene where she's
taking a bath and the thief steals her backscratcher. It's in the workprint and
not either released version.


<< I don't doubt your sample but previous press kits lacked this.
So the lack of "spell-it-out" narrative is mutually
exclusive to children's programming? >>

NO! But we're talking about Warner Bros. here.


<< > Besides, it was part of a joke where the punchline was also snipped.

The dogs chase him off, fade out. What's missing? >>

That's the part where he steals the backscratchers and punchline is that he
uses them [a bit of continutiy lost when they cut out princess Mimi] to save
his hands when they cut them off.

eric l.


andrew osmond

unread,
Mar 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/26/00
to
Minor points:

Octobus wrote:

(Bedroom sequence)


>Where? The workprint shows a fast zoom on her tearing her shoes in
>half. The other shots of her are short, in pencil, and almost invisible
>due to the poor copy. The rest of the sequence are the dogs waking
>and it's all there.

Just checking; is this the sequence where the Thief looks through a hole
in a wall, sees the Princess lifting a necklace, then climbs onto a vast
white rug to steal said necklace, only to find the rug's actually a pack
of wolves?

If so, Princess retains about a minute of this under the end credits.

In the main Princess film, she breaks a shoe to show her father she
needs a cobbler. I don't know if this is related to the 'tearing the
shoe' bit, or even if the particular shot is part of Williams' footage.
(I presume some of the scene is, as Williams and Price can be heard on
the soundtrack.)

Eric wrote


>The scene where Princess Yumyum's tits are hanging out is the scene where she's
>taking a bath and the thief steals her backscratcher. It's in the workprint and
>not either released version.
>

Must be an alternate version, then; there's a scene which fits that
description in Princess EXCEPT it's entirely modest, nothing that
wouldn't get a 'G.'

>That's the part where he steals the backscratchers and punchline is that he
>uses them [a bit of continutiy lost when they cut out princess Mimi] to save
>his hands when they cut them off.

What exactly is Mimi's involvement? The fake 'cutting off the hands' bit
is at the end of Princess' closing credits.

Octobus also wrote


>What do you think about Calvert's song sequence number four "It's So Amazing"
>(only a credit crawl in the USA/Miramax cut) consisting of shots from the movie
>you've just watched?

You mean the one just before the credits? It's a bit tacky, but I could
tolerate it. It's only about 90 seconds.


>
>Or re-arranging and dropping shots of the Death machine destroying itself
>so that the shots don't link up anymore?

Just watched the Princess edit. Yes, some of the joins are clumsy, but
they didn't really spoil my enjoyment of a splendid sequence. (OK, OK,
so my views are irrelevant.) And yes, I have seem the six-minute
showreel - the one shown to the Roger Rabbit people - so I have some
idea what was cut. Frankly, I think if the sequence had been shown in
full, many viewers would have found it repetitive and indulgent, for all
the technical skill. (OK, so that's irrelevant too.)
--
andrew osmond

oct...@snip.net

unread,
Mar 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/26/00
to
> (Bedroom sequence)
> >Where? The workprint shows a fast zoom on her tearing her shoes in
> >half. The other shots of her are short, in pencil, and almost invisible
> >due to the poor copy. The rest of the sequence are the dogs waking
> >and it's all there.
>
> Just checking; is this the sequence where the Thief looks through a hole
> in a wall, sees the Princess lifting a necklace,

The pearls are the contours of her slippers, which she's tearing in half.
She has a pile of destroyed slippers next to her


> If so, Princess retains about a minute of this under the end credits.
>

Yes. The work print has only two more brief shots of her yawning,
and falling asleep in pencil. The scene is otherwise finished.
Why not add the two shots and use it where it belongs?

> In the main Princess film, she breaks a shoe to show her father she
> needs a cobbler. I don't know if this is related to the 'tearing the
> shoe' bit, or even if the particular shot is part of Williams' footage.
>

Yes, this is a follow-up. She's tearing up all her shoes on the bed.

> What exactly is Mimi's involvement? The fake 'cutting off the hands' bit
> is at the end of Princess' closing credits.
>

I believe he's referring to trimming out the Thief stealing both back scratchers
rather than just one. And I believe he meant YumYum.

But I never learned
anything much about MeeMee and her enchanted prince beyond the short
piece of the Witch climbing on the beast's knee with this dialogue
"My child...it is obvious to me...that he is victim of the double whammy...
split interlink incantation...with newts eyeball"
She opens the beasts' eye to see a harem dancer silhouette.

This is probably a remnant of Nasrudin that was redundant in the new outline.>

> >Or re-arranging and dropping shots of the Death machine destroying itself
> >so that the shots don't link up anymore?
>
> Just watched the Princess edit. Yes, some of the joins are clumsy, but
> they didn't really spoil my enjoyment of a splendid sequence. (OK, OK,
> so my views are irrelevant.) And yes, I have seem the six-minute
> showreel - the one shown to the Roger Rabbit people - so I have some
> idea what was cut. Frankly, I think if the sequence had been shown in
> full, many viewers would have found it repetitive and indulgent, for all
> the technical skill. (OK, so that's irrelevant too.)

And you know that the six-minute showreel is full of "CUT TO
BATTLE SCENE" cards that indicate a contrast breaking it up.
The workprint features horrible, ridiculous deaths for One-Eye
Soldiers.

Calverts (and Miramax') cut has finished Williams footage that does
not appear in the workprint, notably ZigZag on his horse and part
of the Thief juggling the balls on the tightrope. So the workprint
is not the final source of all that was completed.
Which is why I want to know more about the dragon that had so many
scales (an animator's nightmare).


andrew osmond

unread,
Mar 26, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/26/00
to
oct...@snip.net writes
>> (Bedroom sequence)

>Yes. The work print has only two more brief shots of her yawning,
>and falling asleep in pencil. The scene is otherwise finished.
>Why not add the two shots and use it where it belongs?

I'd hazard that - rightly or wrongly - Calvert thought that it slowed
down the story a bit too much at an early stage. I agree it seems a
pretty lame reason, but it's no more philistine than what distributors
have done to many other animated films. Just watch Warriors of the Wind,
which I mentioned previously.

(Death machine sequence)


> Frankly, I think if the sequence had been shown in
>> full, many viewers would have found it repetitive and indulgent, for all
>> the technical skill. (OK, so that's irrelevant too.)
>
>And you know that the six-minute showreel is full of "CUT TO
>BATTLE SCENE" cards that indicate a contrast breaking it up.

There are only two in the copy I have. Even with more breaks - and I
agree that'd make a difference - I still suspect audiences would find
the sequence repetitive. (Incidentally, US editors do seem to have a
passion for 'breaking things down' into the smallest digestible chunks,
which I agree is over-zealous. It's a slightly strained analogy, but I
previously mentioned Buena Vista's version of the Japanese Kiki's
Delivery Service. In this case, none of the animation was altered, but
the music was extensively rearranged. In particular, long continuous
passages of incidental music were frequently split in half, with short
'new' pieces pushed in between.)



>The workprint features horrible, ridiculous deaths for One-Eye
>Soldiers.

Some of which figure in the Princess version. I don't think any of
Calvert's edits were made for this reason - can't imagine even the most
sensitive kid worrying what happens to Williams' grotesques.
--
andrew osmond

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