Originally posted by: Esn
The 1952 version of the film you mention
was actually an incomplete film which was released against the will of its director; eventually the director won back the rights to the film and was able to finish it. The final version was released in either 1967 or 1980 - there seems to be some contradictory information...
Technically, the film was given back to Grimault in '67 after a court order or something, and throughout the next decade, he and writer Lance Prevert set about to essentially rewriite, re-edit and animate new scenes to complete what was essentially the basic idea Grimault and Prevert wanted all the long before the early 50's takeover. The new film, "Le Roi et l'Oiseau" tends to be a lot different in terms of it's message which wasn't quite as apparent in the 1952 release, and includes a new ending that further complements that concept than what the "Happy Ending" did before.
The film also had a big influence on Hayao Miyazaki. Here's a DVD Review
(some interesting comments at the bottom). The film is one of the great classics of European animation, but the French have this nasty, annoying habit of keeping their best films to themselves and not releasing them in the English-speaking world. Hence, there is no actual DVD available of the real version of the film with English subtitles (though there are some cheapie dollar-store DVDs of the 1952 version dubbed with English voices).
Best we can do is fansub perhaps.
Of course Miyazaki has a lot of influences based on previous animated films he has seen before that got him into being an animator at the start.People and works that influenced Miyazaki
By the way, here's another "trailer"
from the Prince Vladimir
film that was released this February... shame that it's on Youtube and at low quality, but it does show some hints of some really good animation (check out that flying-camera scene 2 minutes in) and show that it's a pretty dark film (much of the audience was dismayed to find that it's not really suitable for children, apparently). This is another one that unfortunately probably won't be released with English subtitles. Even the high-profile European animated films tend to stay in Europe, and often never even leave the country where they were made (especially true of Russia).