The Lord of the Rings (1978)
Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 15
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 448,792
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
Nov 15, 1978 Wide
Sep 11, 2001
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It looked terrible then and it still does: cartoon characters move differently from live actors, and the attempt to duplicate natural movement ends in stylistic incoherence.
Quite simply, those who do not know the characters of Middle Earth going in will not know them coming out.
Bakshi's version, using animation and live-action tracings, is uniformly excellent, sticking closely to the original text and visually echoing many of Tolkien's own drawings.
Tolkien fans, who are familiar with novels, will find it enjoyble, while others may be confused by the action.
What most people remember is the mix of the live-action tracing within the traditional animation and just how effectively creepy it managed to be, but for the time this did a pretty good job of adapting the dense novels.
It's a reckless film, blitzing through some plot points and stalling out over others; the lack of a particular rhythm does not do it any favors, and it is certainly not a fast 133 minutes.
... dark and fantastical with a mature approach rare in animated films of its day, and Bakshi's rotoscope process creates an unusually fluid and expressive style.
... in retrospect it feels like an elegant, appropriately sized adaptation - with some beautiful animation work.
Audience Reviews for The Lord of the Rings
- Gollum: Don't hurt us! Don't let them hurt us, precious!, Cruel little hobbitses!
- Aragorn: And who are they going to trust? A fat innkeeper who only remembers his name because people shout it at him all day?
- Gandalf: Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time! Be quiet!
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