The Lord of the Rings (1978)

"Good"

The Lord of the Rings (1978) Review


Relax, Tolkien nerds, the insanely anticipated live action trilogy of The Lord of the Rings isn't already out on video. Rather, it's Ralph Bakshi's animated version from 1978, now making a new appearance on VHS and DVD.

This film tells the story from The Fellowship of the Ring and some of The Two Towers, leaving the finale for The Return of the King, produced in 1980. Made for a reported $10 million, the film reportedly earned seven times that theatrically -- despite the fact that half of it is a jumbled mess (reputedly because director Ralph Bakshi didn't even finish the movie). All of which goes to show: Tolkien fans will sit through anything. More than once.

You certainly know the epic tale. The Lord of the Rings follows the journey of the hobbit Frodo Baggins, en route from the sleepy Shire toward Mordor's Mount Doom, where he is tasked with destroying a magical (and evil) ring. With a gaggle of dwarves, elves, wizards, orcs, talking trees, and more along the way, Frodo feels overwhelmed by the journey, fearing he'll never make it to the volcanic mountain off in the distance.

And of course, he doesn't. Not in this movie.

Ending on the heels of a huge battle with the orcs, we are left to see the conclusion of the story in the sequel. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the problem is that The Lord of the Rings just doesn't stand well on its own. The sequel, however, does. As does The Hobbit, which was made a year later and tells the prequel story of how the ring was found by Bilbo Baggins. But as mentioned earlier, fantasy junkies won't care much, anyhow.

Of questionable merit is Bakshi's (Cool World) animation technique, which combines regular drawings with rotoscoping -- the practice of hand-tracing and tinting live action film to make it look sort of animated, but not. Some of these effects are quite successful, but mostly, when a fully animated elf jumps into a fight with 10 rotoscoped orcs, it looks silly. The hand animation itself is often crude and chunky -- check out the Balrog and the anthropomorphic talking tree for the worst examples of this. That, and the hobbits all look like Joey Lawrence -- what's up with that?



Facts and Figures

Genre: Kids/Family

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

Advertisement
England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.