GenreDocumentary, History ProducerKevin Schreck CountryCanada
Release dateOctober 4, 2012 (2012-10-04) (Vancouver International Film Festival) CastRichard Williams (Himself), Omar Ali-Shah (Himself), Charles Fleischer (Himself), Robin Williams (Himself), Robert Zemeckis (Himself) Similar moviesWaking Sleeping Beauty (2009)
TaglineThe untold story of the greatest animated film never made.
Persistence of vision preview trailer
Animator Richard Williams spent years working on his masterpiece only to have it torn away as it reached completion.
Persistence of Vision is a 2012 documentary film based on Richard Williams experiences trying to get The Thief and the Cobbler made. Its tagline is: "about the greatest animated film never made". The film premiered in Canada on 4 October 2012 at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
It was to be the greatest animated film of all time. Not just an eye-opener, but a game-changer. Richard Williams demanded nothing less, investing nearly three decades into his movie masterpiece. From as early as 1964 he ploughed most of the profits right back into his pet project, a feature inspired by the Arabian Nights and provisionally known as Mullah Nasruddin. He assembled a team of inspired young artists—and brought in the best Hollywood craftsmen to teach them—and devised what would be the most elaborate, kaleidoscopic, mind-boggling visual sequences ever committed to celluloid. Years passed. Potential financiers came and went. Work continued. But it was only after Roger Rabbit that Williams had a studio budget to corroborate the munificence of his imagination.
Animator Richard Williams attempts to finish his masterpiece, a long-term vanity project called The Thief and the Cobbler. Though he did not participate in the making of the film, archival footage of Williams is combined with interviews with his co-workers.
Omar Ali-Shah (archive footage)
Art Babbitt (archive footage)
Charles Fleischer (archive footage)
Ken Harris (archive footage)
Roy Jackson (archive footage)
Roy Naisbitt (archive footage)
Richard Williams (archive footage)
Robin Williams (archive footage)
Robert Zemeckis (archive footage)
Drew Taylor of IndieWire called the film "a heartbreaking account" and a "Herculean accomplishment". The Globe and Mail rated the film 3.5/4 stars and called the film "gripping". Jeff Shannon of The Seattle Times rated the film 3.5/4 stars and described it as "engrossing" and "surprisingly suspenseful".
Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009). Bugs Bunny: Superstar (1976). 39 Pounds of Love (2005). The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985). Walt & El Grupo (2008).