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Lord of the Rings
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The Lord of the Rings

3.9 30
Director: Ralph Bakshi,

Cast: Ralph Bakshi


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Controversial animator Ralph Bakshi's literal adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, is brought to the screen in a reverent, stilted way, with Bakshi forsaking his sharp-edged animated looniness for a rotoscoped dullness. Although the film's title encompasses the entire Tolkien trilogy, this longish Bakshi feature, in


Controversial animator Ralph Bakshi's literal adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, is brought to the screen in a reverent, stilted way, with Bakshi forsaking his sharp-edged animated looniness for a rotoscoped dullness. Although the film's title encompasses the entire Tolkien trilogy, this longish Bakshi feature, in fact, covers only the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, and the first half of the second, The Two Towers. Given the complexity of the original story line, this unfortunately means that only those intimately familiar with the books will be able to understand what is happening in the movie. In brief, however, an evil sorcerer from a previous era created a magical ring which enables its users to call upon its tremendous powers to rule the world, but it inevitably warps them to evil. It was believed lost, but during a resurgence of magical evil in the world, Bilbo, a simple, plain-spoken hobbit, recovers it from its hiding place. The forces of good give his nephew Frodo the choice to bear the awful burden of the ring to a place where it may be destroyed.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - R.J. Wafer
Based on the first book-and-a-half of J.R.R. Tolkien's enduring, three-tome Lord of the Rings cycle, animator Ralph Bakshi's 1978 film is itself a time-tested classic. In no way your typical children's movie, it captures Tolkien's imagination in a much darker way than the Ring films produced by Rankin & Bass, The Hobbit and The Return of the King. Bakshi winds through Tolkien's first Ring volume, The Fellowship of the Ring, with mystical aplomb, making great use of rotoscoping, a virtually abandoned animation process that involves drawing over live-action film. The process lends a dreamlike effect as characters move over dark landscapes, making Tolkien's mythical Middle-earth an appropriately eerie and fantastic world. The story remains familiar, following hobbit Frodo Baggins in his travels to the site where the legendary ring was forged. There the ring must be destroyed -- for, in the wrong hands, its power can be catastrophic. Along the way, Frodo surrounds himself with the likes of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Wizard, and a slew of other fascinating creatures sure to stir nostalgia in all who have read and loved the cherished series. Thankfully, director Peter Jackson's 2001 live-action adaptation has renewed interest in the fantasy saga and given reason to celebrate the inspired visions of both the Bakshi and Rankin & Bass.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Line Home Video
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Forging through the darkness: the Ralph Bakshi vision for the Lord of the Rings

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Billy Barty Actor
Norman Bird Bilbo
David Buck Gimli
Simon Chandler Meriadoc
Michael Graham Cox Boromir
Anthony Daniels Legolas
Dominic Gould Pippin
Christopher Guard Frodo
Dominic Guard Actor
John Hurt Aragorn
Michael Sholes Actor
William Squire Gandalf
Alan Tilvern Innkeeper
Peter Woodthorpe Gollum

Technical Credits
Ralph Bakshi Director,Art Director
Peter S. Beagle Screenwriter
Donald W. Ernst Editor
Timothy Galfas Cinematographer
Leonard Rosenman Score Composer
Saul Zaentz Producer
J.R.R. Tolkien Source Author

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Lord of the Rings
1. Credits [:45]
2. Prologue: A Ring's Tale [3:41]
3. Bilbo's Farewell [2:04]
4. Frodo's Quest [6:24]
5. Saurman's Sorcery [2:43]
6. Sinister Horseman [4:19]
7. Inn at Bree (Frodo's Song) [3:52]
8. Aragorn's Vow [3:54]
9. Black Riders Invade [2:51]
10. Rider Swordsman [4:19]
11. Cornered [5:58]
12. Wall of Water [2:40]
13. Gandalf's Update [2:51]
14. Council of Elrond [4:39]
15. Frodo's Quest [2:19]
16. Change in Route [2:40]
17. Grabbed at the Gateway [2:44]
18. Inside the Mine [3:04]
19. Under Siege [3:51]
20. Balrog Strikes [2:39]
21. Homage to Gandalf (Mithrandir) [3:27]
22. Galadriel's Test [3:05]
23. Borimir's Madness [1:55]
24. Borimir's Sacrifice [2:26]
25. Following the Orcs [:04]
26. Whiteskins Attack [5:57]
27. The Gollum [4:55]
28. Escape in Mid-Battle [1:36]
29. Treebeard [4:38]
30. Back From the Abyss [3:24]
31. Theoden of Rohan [1:55]
32. Gollum Gets Touchy [3:48]
33. The Orcs Advance [4:57]
34. Cave Retreat [4:42]
35. Two Weary Hobbits [4:36]
36. Outnumbered [2:50]
37. Gandalf Triumphant [2:05]
38. End Credits [3:19]


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The Lord of the Rings 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Despite several negative reviews, I consider this to be a classic of animation. This version of LOTR is much darker and complex, without the counteracting lightness Peter Jackson's version brought to the story. I remember watching this as a child and being terrified - it still has that effect on me. Definately a landmark in animation, and should not be taken lightly. Who said genius was easy to understand?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this movie rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DarthMaul More than 1 year ago
awesome movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't want to knock the production since it is quite interesting and I have a special place in my heart for this film, but it has one major flaw which is that it is only half of the story!! It can be confusing if you haven't read the book, but even if you have you might find yourself eyeing your clock wondering exactly how Frodo is supposed to have time to get to Mordor. The answer is... we don't get that far. I just want people to know what they're getting into here, so there are no unpleasant surprises. So sit back and enjoy, but don't wait for the King to return.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love this movie. i agree the animation isn't all that great, but so what? this movie is quite accurate with the books and it's a great kid's movie. i am 15 yrs. old, and i love it! believe it or not, this is a great movie to watch when you are sick with the flu or cold!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the movie. It was just like I thought it would.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These movies are the best of their kind. These are date movies, stay at home movies,films for the whole family, go out must see movies. The Actors and all those people behind the scene are true treasure. These are a must have!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie is incredible. i have been watching it for 10 years now, and still love it every time i see it. However, the dvd edition is very very sad. It has a lot of parts cut out that were in the original VHS. If you can find it, go for the vhs version.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Lord Of The Rings books, were probably the best books I have ever read, but the movie was terrible. The way it blended the cartoons, and that live action made it look awful too. It cut out many parts of the book too. Sam acted a little too ''happy'' also. It's hard to describe why it was so bad, but it just didn't feel like the book. If you've read the book, then seen this you'll probably know what I mean.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bilbo Baggins considered Frodo to be his adopted son since he name him the heir and they were very close to each other.
Guest More than 1 year ago
while this movie seems a brave attempt to make a movie that back in the 70's couldn't have been made in live action and though it has some interesting parts (Frodo sings!), it is awfully kitsch and ''spirit of the 70's''! All the characters have big (make that ENORMOUS) hair, Legolas makes you want to punch him because he is so perky (unlike PJ's movie...), and there are scenes where many of the characters look far too ''2D'' for their own good. The battle at Helm's Deep is too fast and dark to be properly enjoyed in my opinion. So I didn't like it. On the other hand, this is a true cult movie, it is Tolkien with all 70's glitz, spirit and utter kitsch, plus some of the most advanced animation available at the time. And yes, it is a darker look at the whole story. And yes, Gollum is again great. And I believe that it would be very interesting to anyone who enjoyed PJ's version to watch this movie. You might like it, you might hate it, you might roll your eyes, but you'll not be bored at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ok when I think about this movie I laugh so much I could die.....They really were good with the movie like making it exactly to match the Fellowship book that is. I thought It was soooooo dang funny how they mixed the people with live action and how they created the people. It's sooo funny and you dont even pay attention to the plot....I just saw it for my 1st time and god DID I LAUGH!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the movie brings every magical moment of the book to life. i lost my first copy of the movie a few years ago and am so excited that the movie will be released again. this movie has beautiful animation...very captivateng. The artwork is sheer brilliance,capturing the scenes very much like you'd {if you read the book} expect.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie triuphs over any and the original movie coming to theaters the 19th of december I'm sure will be the #1 movie of the decade a must see for the whole family, I give it the whole worlds thumbs up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Really. Listen to the music if you do not already own the soundtrack CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the movie was pretty good but I also thought that Ralph Bakshi should have finished the trilogy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that the Lord of the Rings was a good movie but it had alot to improve on. The film made the lead creatures: the hobbits too cute to take seriously the film may by hard to understand for those who haven't read the books. The title doesn't stay true to the book for it only completely completed the first book, the fellowship of the the rings. It only completes that book and the first half of the two towers. None the less, the lord of the rings is a good film that many of all ages will enjoy including the children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was the best i loved it it was intence and just cool me and all my friends think it was awsoum i love brendon smith, teresa
Guest More than 1 year ago
it needed some work on the characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this movie as much as the others! DO NOT listen to the other reviews. It rocks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I appreciate Clarke Fountain's review, please understand that Tolkein readers will consider it an insult the that review stated Frodo as Bilbo's son. He was his nephew. Just so Tolkein readers know that someone out there caught this error. It makes a big difference in the story line to us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This animated film had many inconsistencies in its animation. They took enough time to explain Tolkiens world and it's surroundings in the script but the animation left something to be desired. In the beginning of the film the characters are well painted over the live actors using Rotoscoping. However as the film progresses, especialy once they arrive at the Prouncing Pony, the animation fell apart. It seems as though they were either trying to diversify the races of middle earth by mixing what seems to be real people with animated ones, or the artist painting over the live actors fell asleep at the wheel. As I progressed through the movie it was plain to see during sceens involving the Riders of Rohan or any sceen where the orcs or unhooded Ring Wraiths are present, that the artists involved did a poor job of painting over the characters in these sceens to create a true feeling of an animated world. However I have to agree with another reviewer in that Ralph Bakshi may have opened the door for Jackson by presenting a darker more violent depiction of the books. I was suprised and disappointed that Bakshi never tried to make another movie finishing the second half of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. I recommend this to those who have read the books and would like an animated version of the first one and a half books for their collection. Jacksons portrail of the Hobbits in the Movie was true to the books but the content and script quality will alwas be limited to those who have not read the books due to time constraints.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I admit it, I watched the cartoon before I read the book. It does have a really good script but the animation is really bad even for a seventies movie. That thing about punching Legolas, I don't think he's that 'perky' The good thing is that it stays pretty true to the book.