I remembered having seen the Miramax cut as a kid. It... didn't leave an impression on me; the added musical numbers are forgettable, the added exposition was boringly unnecessary and although the visuals in the film can still be amazing, it is all too obvious about which is genuine and which segments/elements have been shoehorned in for the cut.
I've gotten around to watching the Recobbled Cut almost immediately after watching The Nostalgia Critic
's review of the Miramax cut and hearing him encourage viewers to check out the Recobbled cut for themselves. I've concluded that after watching it, it is a DRASTIC improvement. It's also pretty amazing to see some of the storyboard elements where elaborate objects have been done entirely by hand. One element that really brought the story of the film forward are the visuals; the scenery is impeccably done (case in point, the chase scene and the One-Eyes' invasion). The characters certainly helped too, and especially the thief. There really isn't any need for the added exposition, and it's delightful to see him for instance walking through the destruction around him
This animated film is indeed a tragic case of how a labor of love was taken away from the hands of the artist (which in this case is Richard Williams
) and incorporated with additional elements that make the finished product less appealing than what he envisioned. It was more than thirty years in the making, and the perfectionist vision may be part of why it was taken away and subsequentally disowned by Williams himself upon its release.
To sum up my thoughts on this film (the Recobbled cut that is), it is worth a look by any animation affacionado interested in seeing a bit of history. It may not be perfectly what Williams had in mind, but it's most likely as close as we are going to get, and it's a real shame that deadlines had contributed to the film's undoing. For anyone wanting to see this, you can start here