After his success as animation director on Who Framed Roger Rabbit he was finally able to get studio financing to take The Thief from a career spanning side project to full-blown production. A stolid perfectionist, costs mounted and deadlines loomed with Williams at the helm, and Warner's eventually pulled out when Disney announced the similarly themed Aladdin.
With funding gone, the film was taken from Williams by his creditors and was completed by others (under the leadership of Fred Calvert), cheaply and poorly while making massive changes to try to make it more mainstream. This version only saw release in Australia and South Africa, as The Princess and the Cobbler. Later Disney bought it and heavily edited it again, in such a way as to make it appear a cheap knockoff of Aladdin (instead of the film that’s largely believed to be the greatest inspiration behind Disney’s film), while making it almost unwatchable in the process. Released as Arabian Knight, it was a travesty.
This Recobbed Cut is a recent fan-created reconstruction of the film as Williams wanted it, or as close to as possible. Based on a workprint of the film from when Williams was nearing completion (shortly before the film was taken away from him). Using the workprint, DVDs of the two officially released cuts of the film, and other related elements taken from various sources this Recobbed Cut reveals the masterpiece that could have been.
This new version, Recobbled Cut Mark II, has been compiled after a widescreen version of The Princess and the Cobbler surfaced shortly after this version became widely available online. This was such a huge find that Garrett felt compelled to recobbled it once again, incorporating more of the fully animated widescreen material that he just didn’t have before.
The scenes which are most affected are the witch and war machine scenes, which have been improved in quality.
Also added – more “Deleted Characters” footage of the Mullah Nasrudin and the Enchanted Ogre Prince.