The Thief and the Cobbler is a British-American-Canadian animated film directed, co-written and co-produced by Canadian animator Richard Williams. The film is known for its long, troubled history; due to independent funding and ambitiously complex animation, The Thief and the Cobbler was in and out of production for over three decades. It was finally placed into full production in 1988 when Warner Bros. agreed to finance and distribute the film.[1] Negotiations broke down when production went over budget and behind schedule. Warner Bros. pulled out and a completion bond company assumed control of the film. The film was re-edited and re-structured by producer Fred Calvert without Williams' involvement, and released by Allied Filmmakers in Australia and South Africa as The Princess and the Cobbler in 1993; two years later, Miramax Films, at the time a subsidiary of Disney, released an even more heavily edited version of the film in North America under the title Arabian Knight.

With The Thief and the Cobbler being in and out of production from 1964 until 1995, a total of 31 years, it surpasses the 20-year Guinness record[2] previously held by Tiefland (1954). This was, upon release, the last film of Kenneth Williams, who died in 1988; Sir Anthony Quayle, who died in 1989; and Vincent Price, who died in 1993, a month after the film's release. This is also, to date, the final film to feature Stanley Baxter.


  1. You must specify archiveurl = and archivedate = when using {{cite web}}.Briney, Daniel (21 August 2001). The Thief and the Cobbler: How the Best Was Lost, 1968–1995 CultureCartel.
  2. Robertson, Patrick (1993). Das neue Guinness Buch Film.  , cited by Trimborn (Trimborn, J. (2002). Leni Riefenstahl – A Life. New York: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-374-18493-3.  ).

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