Review of 'The Lord of the Rings'

lord_of_the_rings.jpg This is an animated version of J.R.R. Tolkien's “Lord of the Rings” trilogy squeezed into just over two hours (though it does not actually complete the story).

Frodo Baggins (voiced by Christopher Guard), a young Hobbit in the shire is visited by the wizard Gandalf (voiced by William Squire)who tells him he must leave the shire as dark forces are coming to take the ring of power his cousin Bilbo (voiced by Norman Bird) left for him having himself stolen it from the twisted creature Gollum (voiced by Peter Woodthorpe). Arriving in Rivendell Frodo and his companions Pippin (Dominic Guard), Merry (Simon Chandler), and Sam (Michael Scholes) agree to join a group of others to take the ring to Mount Doom and destroy it before the dark lord can take it and rule over Middle-Earth. Eventually separated from their companions during ensuing battles, it is up to Frodo and Sam guided by the deceitful Gollum to destroy the ring…

An interesting version of the Lord of the Rings story well before Peter Jackson's seminal films. The film makes extensive use of “rotoscoping” where scenes are shot live action then traced onto animation cels which often gives the animation a surreal look to it…It is also extremely dark and gloomily coloured with a lot of chatting and not, to be honest, much action which does mean the mind of the viewer often wanders or gets bored of it all quite easily. The story is necessarily extremely rushed but it is amazing the amount of the original story they do cover and it is also surprising to see that many scenes are very close to what Jackson would film many years later.

An interesting bit of film history but not great. Probably one for fans of the series rather than for anyone looking to watch a good version of the story. Probably should also note that the story is not concluded in this film and there never was an official sequel.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2019-09-23

Directed by: Ralph Bakshi

Studio: Fantasy Films

Year: 1978

Length: 132 minutes

Genre: Animation