AMPAS and MoMA Present: Richard Williams’s “The Thief and the Cobbler: A Moment in Time” – Animation Scoop

AMPAS and MoMA Present: Richard Williams’s “The Thief and the Cobbler: A Moment in Time”

Once again, a do-not-miss event in New York City. John Canemaker will present Richard Williams at MoMA for the East-Coast premiere of the director’s cut of The Thief and the Cobbler.

A three-time Oscar winner, Williams will be present for a discussion hosted by the animator and animation historian (and fellow Oscar-winner) John Canemaker on Saturday September 24th at 4pm. The program will include a selection of clips from Mr. Williams’s work (including his brilliant animation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit) as well as his (personally) hand-drawn 2015 short film, the Oscar-nominated Prologue.

Richard Williams and John Canemaker in September 1976.

Richard Williams and John Canemaker in September 1976.

Williams’ The Thief and the Cobbler is a legend in animation circles, both as a breathtakingly beautiful work of hand-drawn animation and for its troubled production history. An Arabian Nights fantasy about a mischievous thief and a resourceful shoemaker who save a golden city from the clutches of a wicked vizier, the film entered production in 1964. As the scope widened and financiers came and went, production only reached an endpoint in 1992, when Williams lost control of the film and other animators were brought in to finish what was eventually released in the US, in a much altered version, as Arabian Knight (1995). Luckily, Williams was able to make a copy of his work print as it existed on May 13, 1992, the last day of production, and the “moment in time” of the title. This print has been preserved and restored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Academy Film Archive. MoMA and the Academy are proud to be able to present the film’s New York premiere.

Richard Williams’ The Thief and the Cobbler: A Moment in Time was organized by Dave Kehr, Adjunct Curator, Department of Film. Special thanks to Imogen Sutton, John Canemaker, and Patrick Harrison of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Jerry Beck

Jerry Beck

Writer, cartoon producer and author of more than 15 books on animation history. A former studio exec with Nickelodeon and Disney; currently on the faculty at both CalArts in Valencia and Woodbury University in Burbank.
Jerry Beck
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