Parents' Guide to

The Thief and the Cobbler

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

A must for family viewing.

Movie G 1995 72 minutes
The Thief and the Cobbler Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 10+

Art-Animation Classic, But Not Really A Kid's Flick

This film is more for the art-museum crowd than your average family looking for Disney-style entertainment. Considered one of the great lost works of animation, this film contains things you've likely never seen before and will never see again, such as artwork painstakingly executed to reference great works of Arabic art and interesting plays on perspective, color, form and and movement, all done by hand before the days of computer animation. The characters are fairly simple and are more or less vehicles for the animator's unique artistic vision. The quality of the animation is really unparalleled. However, those who aren't interested in the intricacies of the visual elements might not appreciate this. It's not a mainstream kids' flick with fast pacing and pop culture references. I highly recommend it for artsy older kids who love art museums and are interested in independent film and art films, though. I'm mildly obsessed with this film-- the story behind it is incredible, too.
age 2+

This movie took 31 years to make...

Movie is completely hand drawn but the animation is so good it looks like CGI even though it's not. I recommend watching the Recobbled fan made edition instead of the Miramax version.

This title has:

Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (5):

Created by the Oscar-winning animator of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, this neglected but absolutely delightful animated musical (released in theaters as Arabian Knight) is a must for family viewing. THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER is one of the most visually inventive animated movies ever made, with dazzling optical illusions and shifts in perspective. Jennifer Beals and Matthew Broderick provide the voices for the leads, with the late Vincent Price's voice providing silky menace as the evil sorcerer. Jonathan Winters as the hilarious thief steals every scene he is in.

The musical numbers are pleasant, with one sensational show-stopper when the desert brigands explain that if you don't go to school you'll turn out like them. Unlike the recent Disney movies, this was not designed to sell merchandise, just to tell a story and entertain, which it does very, very well. It is suitable for everyone except maybe the smallest children, who might be frightened by the hulking bad guys.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate