The Thief and the Cobbler is an animated propoganda film created for the Iraqi regieme. The film is noted for being all drawn with no CG at all, since computers are forbidden under traditional Islamic Law. It took exactly 538 years to complete due to the fact that the animators all had to share one pencil.
The story takes place in the Golden city of Baghdad where the people live happily under Sultan Saddam's wise leadership. Unfortunatly, the evil one eyed King George Bush sets his sights on Baghdad, and moves out with his army of black hearted Americans. However, the city will be magically safe as long as the three golden oil drums stay on top of the tallest minaret.
We then come to Green Goblin who has become a smelly, thieving bum. Green Goblin tries to kidnap Aunt May, unaware that she accidently took a bunch of steroids, thinking they were breath mints. After a sevre walloping, Green Goblin seeks refuge in the meager workshop of a cobbler named Tack (he was so poor her couldn't afford an actual name). Having run out of shoe leather, Tack tries to make a shoe out of Green Goblin. In the ensuing struggle they inadvertly assault the evil Shiite cleric Zigzag, who happened to be the royal Vizier (no doubt through wicked trickery).
Zigzag tries to put Tack in the gas chambers, but is stopped by Saddam's daughter princess Yum-Yum (she was half Gummy Bear). Yum-Yum develops a convieniant crush on Tack and asks him to repair her shoes which she had ruined by putting them up the asses of too many infidels. Meanwhile, Green Goblin tries various attempts to steal the three oil drums and fails hilariously eah time. On the 79th try however, he snags the oil drums only for them to fall into Zigzag's overly ringed hands.
Zigzag offers the oil barrels to Saddam in exchange for marriage to princess Yum-Yum. But the enlightened Saddam refused him for being Shiite, and so Zigzag betrays the oil drums to George Bush. Yum-Yum and Tack go and seek the Wicked Witch of the East for advice on how to stop the advancing Americans. Green Goblin tags along for pointless comic relief. On the way the protagonists are ambushed by a gang of obese rednecks. But Yum-Yum enslaves the rednecks by tricking them into signing a contract with lots of fine print. When the group finds the witch, she tells them to attack with a tack.
Duing the climax Tack, under the guidance of Allah builds a nuclear tack bomb and defeats the Americans. Green Goblin steals back the golden oil drums and redeems his infidel ways, while Zigzag is arrested by PETA for starving his pet vulture to death. Tack marries princess Yum-Yum and spend the next three hours singing "Isn't Allah Amazing".
In the film's long, complicated production history, hundereds of script changes were made. The most notable include:
- Originally, 80% of the cast was intended to be mute. Voices were later added to make the plot the least bit coherent.
- King George Bush was originally going to be squashed to death by a fat slave girl named Condoleezza Rice. In the final version he is merely impeached.
- At frist Tack was going to have a high pitched girly voice, but latter it is changed to a low and deep voice.
- Originally at the end, Green Goblin simply gives up and lets the heroes have the golden oil drums. Latter he grows a concious and willingly gives them back. In the final version he returns them in return for becoming a pimp.
- Many different ideas for the title were pitched. At first it was going to be called Arabian Knight, then went on to a host of other names including the Princess and the Cobbler, Once, The Cobbler and Himself, Twice, The Foolish Fool, Thrice, Nasruddin, Ass Ride'n, and I Can't Think of a Name. Finally, the film was titled The Thief and the Cobbler, after the director finally figured out that those two were the protagonists.
Though loved by the Hussein family and its supporters, the film is hated with passion by everyone else, ecspecialy the Americans. American critic Captain America of the North American Post was quoted saying WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS THIS SHIT!? Critics in Iran liked the film somewhat, but were offended by Zigzag's faggoty portrayal. Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of pity for the overworked animators.