Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Prince of Scales


Michael Sporn reminds us today to visit THE THIEF, a recently begun blog chronicling the making of Richard Williams' magnum opus THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER. The blog is edited and created by artists who worked on the film.

I'd love to know if they have any information about this 'scaly-skinned' Prince character that appears in a film still from the 1975 book CREATORS OF LIFE. I have seen various versions of the film (bootlegs, YouTubes, and the "official" studio releases) but this character doesn't appear in any of them. The design is intriguing though and the use of fish scales to represent his skin is to me typical of Williams' wonderful sense of visual invention.

10 comments:

Weirdo said...

That looks pretty cool. I've seen the stuff on YouTube, and it looked wonderful. I know I'm going to check it out.

David Nethery said...

Will,

This character shows up briefly in some footage from the 1978 Thames TV documentary about Williams .

How he fit into the overall story of The Thief and The Cobbler I can't exactly tell from the clip.

You can see the clip here:

Richard Williams Documentary Part 3

Look for it around the
5:48 - 6:15 mark in the YouTube clip.

If memory serves, I recall seeing a model sheet of these characters (I think it's in one of the issues of Barrier's FunnyWorld) which identifies the animator of this sequence as Grim Natwick.

Will Finn said...

Dave, I remember that TV show now that you mention it, it really got me stoked about THE THIEF.

There were several other scenes in there that didn't end up in the movie, including I think an Art Babbit scene of the Thief chasing a ball around a series of gears inside the war machine.

Holger said...

This character is Prince Bubba (in his enchanted form), from an earlier version of the script. His character got cut as the story changed.
The animation of the Thief in the war machine is by Ken Harris. Art worked mostly on King Nod and The Dying Messenger.

Will Finn said...

Thanks for the clarification Holger. Is any of the Prince Bubba/Witch footage still around? It's sad to see finished work of that calibre get discarded...

Prince Bubba is a pretty wild name.

Uncle Phil said...

have you happened to see the "re-cobbled" version. It's pretty sweet.

We'll have to grab lunch again sometime, I'll bring you a copy of that.

Will Finn said...

Phil, thanks, I may take you up on that! i think i saw a version of it on YOU TUBE but i really hate the low quality of streaming video as a way of seeing animation. I also tried to do a "bit torrent" but it took FOREVER and I was ultimately stumped at how to read the file (lame, I know).
Hope you had a happy holiday and i will give you a shout next week...

Matt J said...

Isn't he great-i love the scene where the witch clambers up his body, examines his eye & reveals the gyrating silhouette of a dancing girl-such inventive animation.

chrisallison said...

Yess! Cobbler is one of my favorite movies. If you are having trouble getting ahold of the Recobbled version (supposedly the most true to Williams' vision), just lemme know and I can get you a copy.

Also, I finally got that animation up on my blog if you get a chance to check it out! Have a great one.

Michael Sporn said...

Hi Will:

I thought you might like to see the scene you're writing about. Here it is on YouTube courtesy Garrett Gilchrist. (It's a couple of scenes in.) Grim Natwick animated it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CrFLXxVqE0