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The Return of the King Reviews

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Conner R

Super Reviewer

May 27, 2010
Just a flat out weird interpretation of Lord Of The Rings, but this doesn't have the awesome roto-casting animation that the first one had. This definitely had the most singing in any non-musical ever, which makes the movie completely pointless and boring at times. I just don't know what was going on behind the scenes to make this adaption so odd and sadly it was all there was for 20 years.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

October 2, 2009
The original animated movie covered the first 2 books. It wasn't perfect, but it was very interesting to watch in this post-Jackson era. The Hobbit also had some wonderful designs and interesting moments. Return of the King, is a poorly rushed and choppy completion for the animated saga. It looks very messy and the films points are skimmed over in hurried narration. It's an interesting watch, to see Lord of the Rings go so wrong.
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

July 8, 2007
I really enjoyed "The Hobbit" by Rankin/Bass, but thought this movie was a bit of an embarrassment. The animation used the odd Rankin/Bass style as the Hobbit, so I couldn't fault it too much. I found most of the songs painful to sit through. I did get a good chuckle out of the disco Orc song "Where there's a Whip..."

The story was quite easy to follow; there was narration which nicely explained things. The end battle was less than spectacular. The Hobbits, Orcs and Gollum were good, but the Human characters failed to offer any engaging interactions.

I think this was made for TV - to excuse the Bakshi film which should've been made.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 28, 2006
So incredibly bad. At least the animated Lord of the Rings wasn't a musical. We can't say that here. Although "Frodo of the Nine Fingers" is a catchy tune.
October 28, 2012
So, you take the unsuccessful film version of LOTR (or at least the first 2 books) and give it to the guys who made a successful adaptation of Tolkien's world. Good idea right? Except that what made the Hobbit so great was its childishness and simplicity. There were no complicated moral issues in that world, and there was little in the way of true darkness. So instead of a darkish film dealing with some serious issues we get an attempt to turn that into a campy childish ride. And wow does it fail. The folk songs which were so charming in the Hobbit are hopelessly out of place here. We are introduced to new characters as if we knew them. The entire film feels like its continuing a story that was never told, since even if you've read the books and seen the movie they were nothing like this. Without establishing much about these characters (except that Frodo is Bilbo from the Hobbit) they rush them into situations that don't make much sense only to get them out in ways that have no meaning since we don't understand who they are to begin with. And the cool things about the Hobbit here come back to bite them. Gandalf in the Hobbit was basically an omniscient being with almost unlimited powers. Putting him in a situation and expecting us to believe he's in mortal peril just makes no sense, especially when his opponent is a man with an invisible head riding on a horse with wings. The Nazgul are so bad they're funny. And their kind of cool Gollum who looked so threatening in the dark comes out into the light so we can see how big and chunky he is. Not a physical threat in the least. This is a far worse film than LOTR Animated. That one was at least swatcheable for all its flaws. This one I couldn't sit through, but fast forwarded to the end and the extremely disapointing conclusion. Picture Gollum dancing off a cliff. Yeah.
September 5, 2012
Definitely the weakest of the Animated Tolkien films from the 70s/80s. Rankin/Bass had done "The Hobbit", and Bashki had adapted most of the first two books in "The Lord of the Rings", but Bashki wasn't given the chance to finish what he started, and somehow Rankin/Bass were able to complete it...but while their tone worked pretty well for "The Hobbit", it doesn't really fit well with the dark conclusion of the books, and there is far too much singing. And being that an entirely different group produced this, it doesn't really feel like a conclusion to what Bakshi started. It strays too far from the source, hell it strays too far from what Bakshi had done, not just stylistically but storywise. They tried to connect it to their own work, which had admittedly been more successful, but it makes this a weird unofficial sequel to Bakshi's work, as well as a somewhat awkward sequel to the Rankin/Bass "Hobbit"...making it feel somewhere in between...and not anywhere good in between. It isn't all bad...just mostly bad.
July 28, 2012
I liked this... but not really... Its a love/hate thing. I loved the Rankin/bass version of the hobbit but it's really hard to tell if i like this movie or not. So it gets a 3/5 . The art is good, and the way it tells it's story is good as well. But it had a lot of really corny stuff in it.
July 10, 2008
The animated version of the Lord of the Rings saga comes to a close in this really condensed cartoon.
November 27, 2007
I have yet to be able to sit through the whole thing. A horrible adaptation, with a tone that fit more with the Hobbit than the most exciting installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The animation style just makes me cringe: it had nothing of the eerily dark Bakshi version, and couldn't even muster the archaic feel of The Hobbit cartoon.
July 21, 2007
A good retelling of Rings Vol 3. More accurate to the book than Jackson's, actually. Best part: The influence of the Ring through performance, music and eyes.
April 19, 2007
The cartoon that I watched from childhood over and over...Rankin & Bass do an excellent job with the animation! the way, this movie is NOT rated R!
April 24, 2007
A better version of the story for my little ones. You get the happy yet sad ending without the gore of Peter Jackson's version and can still teach an appreciation of the literature.
March 2, 2007
In vain more of the fellowship cartoon and not the hobbit this story has issues but it is still enjoyable especially for young boys.
February 28, 2007
This animated feature is fine fare except that, for some odd reason, Rankin & Bass added musical segments ~which works for me with their Christmas features, but really misses the boat here.
December 24, 2006
I wish I could rate this lower. The electric guitars in the orc song "Where There's a Whip, There's a Way" deserve negative stars all by themselves . . .
April 12, 2014
It lacks much of the excitement and character development of the books, but how else can one adapt this book to the TV screen?
December 12, 2013
A major step-up from Ralph Bakshi's animated Lord of the Rings, Rankin/Bass's Return of the King is a much more amiable and coherent take on the Tolkien story.
December 8, 2013
The animation was nice and.........
April 30, 2013
As a sequel to Ralph Bashkis movie its poor and as an adaptation of Tolkein even worse. Bashkis movies for all its flaws at least respected the adult nature of Tolkeins books. This sequel kiddifies Return of the King to death and adds all kinds of terrible folk songs making it a shame Bashki didn't get a chance to make the sequel he wanted to make
April 18, 2013
Jackson's film is better, but this is still a classic to me.
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