The Thief and the Cobbler was supposed to be the greatest animated feature film ever created! The film is master animator Richard Williams life’s work, a highly revered legend in the animation industry.Williams labored on his dream project for over 30 years. Sadly, his masterpiece suffered a similar fat such as The Magnificent Ambersons and the unfinished Don Quoxite by Orson Welles. Imagine how much it sucks to have your life’s work taken away from you because of money and then released to the public in a form totally different from that you intended. I call this artist’s hell. That’s the tragic and sad story behind The Thief and the Cobbler.
When he began production in 1964, Williams wanted The Thief and the Cobbler to be his masterpiece, and a milestone in the art of animation. Because its complicated animation and independent funding, The Thief and the Cobbler was in and out of production for over three decades. Williams worked for years as a producer of incredible TV commercials. Every cent he earned went into the gradual independent production of The Thief.