The Thief and the Cobbler is an animated fantasy film directed by Canadian-British animator Richard Williams. Originally conceived in the 1960s, the film was in and out of production for nearly three decades due to independent funding and ambitiously complex animation. It was finally placed into full production in 1989 when Warner Bros. agreed to finance and distribute the film. When production went over budget and fell behind schedule, the film was heavily cut and re-edited by producer Fred Calvert without Williams' involvement; it was eventually released in 1993 by Allied Filmmakers under the title The Princess and the Cobbler. Two years later, Miramax Films, at the time a subsidiary of Disney, released another re-edit entitled Arabian Knight. Both versions of the film performed poorly and received mixed reviews. Over the years, various people and companies, including The Walt Disney Company's Roy E. Disney, have discussed restoring the film to its original version. In 2013, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences archived Richard Williams' own 35mm workprint. Williams himself acknowledged the film's rehabilitated reputation, thanks to projects like the popular fan edit, The Recobbled Cut, and Persistence of Vision, a 2012 documentary of the film's production.
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