The Lord of the Rings (1978)
Ralph Bakshi directed this rotoscope-animated version of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy tales about the mythical creatures who dwell in Middle Earth.
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Critic Reviews for The Lord of the Rings
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.
A showcase for inspired imagery and sheer strangeness, a near-miss magnum opus from another era, before the cult of Tolkien went Hollywood.
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.
A contemporary viewing of The Lord of the Rings is an exercise in outlandishness as well as nostalgia: dreamlike, peculiar.
The live action version trumps it in every conceivable way; there simply is no comparison. And yet Middle Earth is still better off for its presence.
... 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.
At its best, Bakshi's visualization of Tolkien's world can be startlingly effective Tolkien fans will appreciate what Bakshi managed to get right.
It is here we see Bakshi "jump the shark..."
...a noble effort, original in concept if disappointing in execution.
Audience Reviews for The Lord of the Rings
Bakshi's version of Lord of the Rings, which is of course animated, is good, I enjoyed it, sometimes there are fantasy elements that can only be brought to life in the animated form. The movie follows very close to the book, and the characters look just as I expected them to. I enjoyed this version.More
Now this is much better than the live action movies. Its done with rotoscoping and looks great. Very dark, brooding and alittle eerie, especially the orges and the landscapes. It really looks sooo good, the animation is also good for the time and combines some live action in there too which sounds odd but does work. The voice work is another main winner here, it makes the whole thing rise above your expectations and lift it out of the realms of a 'cartoon', every character is perfect and adds realism to the film, Hurt offering that real classic touch.
This is how the Lord of the Rings should have been.
A brave attempt but it didn't do it for me. It was probably legendary at its released date and I must say, there were some pretty interesting animation ideas that sort of surprised me knowing how pretty old this flick is.
Its funny when we say "No offense" just before we offend someone, well, "no offense" to those who gave more than 2 stars but it bored the crap out of me, but I'm glad it tickled your bum. (Remember "No offense")
It must be because I saw "Peter Jackson's" version, and as a result I find it hard to enjoy it and appreciate its true value. (Let's blame Peter!)
Anyway, check it out if you still desire.
The Lord of the Rings Quotes
- Don't hurt us! Don't let them hurt us, precious!, Cruel little hobbitses!
- And who are they going to trust? A fat innkeeper who only remembers his name because people shout it at him all day?
- Fool of a Took! Throw yourself in next time! Be quiet!
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