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

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

Advertisement
The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

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.