The Thief and the Cobbler

  • Review Date: May 12, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 72 minutes

Common Sense Media says

A must for family viewing.
  • Review Date: May 12, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 72 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is suitable for everyone except maybe the smallest children, who might be frightened by the hulking bad guys.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

A shy cobbler and a plucky princess save ancient Baghdad in this fairy tale. Shy shoemaker Tack falls for the gorgeous princess Yum Yum, but it seems unlikely that she'll ever take him seriously. But Tack gets his chance to prove himself and win the princess' heart when he's recruited to help put an end to the evil doings of a sorcerer named Zigzag. In his adventures, Tack also tangles with a crafty thief.

Is it any good?


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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why so many animated movies (unlike this one) are tied to toys and other items targeted at kids.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 25, 1995
DVD release date:March 8, 2005
Cast:Matthew Broderick, Sean Connery, Vincent Price
Director:Richard Williams
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures
Run time:72 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Thief and the Cobbler was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 9 year old Written byerich April 9, 2008

Not that great

I don't think as highly of this film as the Common Sense reviewer does. The heroine/princess is straight out of Disney: childishly beautiful with inhuman physical proportions. The protagonist/cobbler and she fall in love at first sight, based soley on those inhuman proportions, I think. I mean, I love Vincent Price as the bad guy, but I just can't condone the promotion of this Disney-fantasy of what women, men, and love is all about.
Adult Written bynduns October 24, 2009

First of all...

This is not an Aladdin ripoff. It's true that the two are similar, but keep in mind that The Thief and the Cobbler had been in production since the 60's. Aladdin had only started production in the 80's, about 20 years after this one had been started on. With that said, let's get on with the review. It's not a bad movie, but I think CS gives it too much credit. It just doesn't strike me as anything amazing, and the fact that they took Richard Williams' masterpiece and made it into this, giving the originally silent characters dialogue is almost unforgivable in my eyes.
Teen, 14 years old Written byJemmy April 18, 2009
This was terrible! Please don't see it. The animation was horrible and the characters were dull and not clever at all. The story seemed to copy off Disney's Aladdin. So if you are planning to see it, don't waste your time and money.


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