Journey on a magic carpet ride through the unforgettable adventure filled with music mystery and mischief. Featuring stunning visuals, enchanting songs and an all-star cast including Matthew Broderick, Toni Collette, Jennifer Beals and Vincent Price, the magical adventure by the Academy Award-winning animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) is sure to delight.
When I first looked at the DVD packaging for The Thief And The Cobbler, the first thing I noticed was that it looks an awful lot like Disney’s Aladdin. It turns out that in some ways, it is quite a bit like Aladdin. It takes place in an old Arabian city (Baghdad) and features a simple man (the cobbler) that falls in love with the princess. It also features a King that looks an awful lot like the king in Aladdin, and a sorcerer that looks an awful lot like the genie.
It turns out that this movie was started before Disney’s foray into Arabian myth, but unfortunately it wasn’t released until after Aladdin, and even then wasn’t all that successful. For that reason it’s likely that it will always be compared to Aladdin, and it has a tough time measuring up, especially since Aladdin had been firmly entrenched in the canon of Disney classics.
The film is billed as a masterpiece of animation, but its animation is more reminiscent of Yellow Submarine or How The Grinch Stole Christmas than it is of anything Disney has ever put out, so in that sense it is a bit unique. However, I have to wonder if children would really be all that enthralled by it.
It appears that the only real extra feature on this DVD is the special 3-D pop-up that comes on the front of the package. This is disappointing for a couple of reasons, the first of which is that it would be neat to see how the movie was created. Secondly, the movie apparently took over two decades to make after it was first conceived, and that progression alone would be worth watching the extras for.
Unfortunately for the Thief and the Cobbler, it will probably always be the second best animated film about Arabia. It is considered a movie for the whole family, but it seems to be somewhere in-between being a movie for adults and a movie for kids, falling short of truly being either.
- Cris Savino