The Return of the King Reviews
The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers were adapted in a film the previous year by Ralph Bakshi, which had a darker mood to the animation and performances better suited for The Lord of the Rings. So this movie had to pick up where Bakshi's movie left off, while being a direct sequel to The Hobbit, basically acting like Bakshi's movie didn't exist, while continuing the story. This made for some odd narrative choices.
The movie is framed with the story being told in flashback at Bilbo's birthday party. This removes tension from the movie as we know all the characters will survive. We are thrown in to the story with little background, and we don't get to know the characters. As they look and act different from their characterizations in Bakshi's film, they can't really be considered the same. Also, as Bakshi's film didn't end at the exact point as The Two Towers, we don't know what became of some characters, or how the characters in this movie ended up where this story begins.
The light folk music, while enjoyable at times, is mostly annoying as it contrasts with the mood of the movie and gives spoilers in the lyrics. One good thing: the "Where There's a Whip, There's a Way" song is a little bit of a guilty pleasure.
Pretty shitty movie overall, though.
also, it's one of those "Technically an anime" movies.
Although it feels forced and should have been made by Ralph Bakshi, the imagery in Rankin & Bass's "The Return of the King" is mostly stunning for its time, and the essence of the story is here.
It lacks much of the excitement and character development of the books, but how else can one adapt this book to the TV screen?