For my Adobe Offsetting this month, I decided to treat myself with a DVD, while also supporting independent film making. A friend alerted me to a documentary that was released on DVD called “Persistence of Vision.” It chronicles the greatest work and ultimate failure of Richard Williams’ “The Thief and the Cobbler.” If you aren’t familiar with Richard, he was behind the art and creation of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” He’s an institution in the animation world. From his animation survival kit to all of his prolific work, he has inspired and educated generations of artists.
I was first exposed to Williams work when I was five. My mother took me to see “Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure.” The animation style was so rich and detailed. In the film, the gelatinous sea of taffy known as Greedy scared me to death as a child. I remember wanting to hide behind the seat in front of me while the character had Raggedy Ann and Andy in its clutches. The film was a very dark story for children, but I loved it.
I had never even heard of “The Thief and the Cobbler” until I stumbled upon a remastered version called “The Thief and the Cobbler Recobbled.” They take Williams’ original work and create a rendition that’s close to the original script. It includes scenes that were cut and tons of eye-popping animation. From watching that, I read more about the film and eventually watched the final animation on Netflix. It pales comparison to Williams’s original vision.
I’m looking forward to watching the documentary and learning more about Richard and his epic journey, making such a grand production. I wish that a studio would help Williams’ create a fully remastered version of the film. It should really be given the respect that it deserves and be finished properly.
As part of my monthly contribution, I am also a subscribing member of the Blender Cloud with a reoccurring monthly donation. If you are first learning Blender, this site is a wonderful resource of videos for learning modeling and animation techniques. They also have access to all the art and assets from their upcoming open-source animation, Cosmos Laundromat.