/center> Hi, y’all.

This is much longer than the usual Watercooler fare, but it’s one of the most stunning pieces of animation you’ve probably never seen. Grab a glass of wine, hit the full screen button, and enjoy.

The Thief and the Cobbler is one of the greatest lost classics of the field. It was to be Canadian animator Richard Williams masterpiece, and he slaved over it for almost three decades through one production problem after another, until much of its principle talent was poached by Disney. This is likely why the film bears such a strong resemblance to Aladdin, a far inferior film.

Though never fully completed in its intended form, its many fans painstakingly pieced together footage to create this version, known as the “Recobbled” cut. Rough animatics and art are used in some places, but the result is still breathtaking. As you watch, keep in mind that the three-dimensional effects are done entirely by hand without the aid of any modern computer techniques.

If you’d like to learn more, the film’s dedicated fans have also created a well-referenced Wikipedia entry.

Share your favorite Internet-accessible cartoons in the comments and I may use them in a future Cartoon Friday installment.

What’s on your mind tonight? This is the latest MyFDL open thread.