The Thief and the Cobbler and the Catastrophe
I'd heard the stories behind the Thief and the Cobbler for years. Today I finally watched it, and can confirm: the bankers butchered Baghdad. Crimes include truncating widescreen shots with no respect for design, slice-and-dice "editing," and the most unforgivable stream-of-consciousness babbling over every scene with the "thief," which smothers the subtlety and acting of the original animation. If I watch it again, it'll be with the volume muted and Borodin's From the Steppes of Central Asia on the CD player (yes I know Arabia isn't Central Asia, but the sound is right). On the other hand, the animation is stunning, handcrafted magic that puts my computer diddlings to shame. Many scenes pay homage to Persian miniature paintings, and the swirling "oriental" clouds are a wonder. I hope Disney or someone salvages/restores the original version, so I can watch the great movie Richard Williams intended and not the disaster Miramax released. If ever there was a reason to keep independent films independent, this is it.