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The Lord of the Rings (animated version) [VHS]

Christopher Guard , William Squire , Ralph Bakshi    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Guard, William Squire, Michael Scholes, John Hurt, Simon Chandler
  • Directors: Ralph Bakshi
  • Writers: Chris Conkling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter S. Beagle
  • Producers: Saul Zaentz
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: 26 Nov 2001
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NMXF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,204 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings is a bold, colourful, ambitious failure. Severely truncated, this two-hour version tackles only about half the story, climaxing with the battle of Helm's Deep and leaving poor Frodo and Sam still stuck on the borders of Mordor with Gollum. Allegedly, the director ran out of money and was unable to complete the project. As far as the film does go, however, it is a generally successful attempt at rendering Tolkien's landscapes of the imagination. Bakshi's animation uses a blend of conventional drawing and rotoscoped (traced) animated movements from live-action footage. The latter is at least in part a money-saving device, but it does succeed in lending some depth and a sense of otherworldly menace to the Black Riders and hordes of Orcs: Frodo's encounter at the ford of Rivendell, for example, is one of the film's best scenes thanks to this mixture of animation techniques. Backdrops are detailed and well conceived, and all the main characters are strongly drawn. Among a good cast, John Hurt (Aragorn) and C3PO himself, Anthony Daniels (Legolas), provide sterling voice characterisation, while Peter Woodthorpe gives what is surely the definitive Gollum (he revived his portrayal a couple of years later for BBC Radio's exhaustive 13-hour dramatisation). The film's other outstanding virtue is avant-garde composer Leonard Rosenman's magnificent score in which chaotic musical fragments gradually coalesce to produce the triumphant march theme that closes the picture. None of which makes up for the incompleteness of the movie, nor the severe abridging of the story actually filmed. Add to that some oddities--such as intermittently referring to Saruman as "Aruman"--and the final verdict must be that this is a brave yet ultimately unsatisfying work, noteworthy as the first attempt at transferring Tolkien to the big screen but one whose virtues are overshadowed by incompleteness. --Mark Walker

Product Description

Animated movie of the book Lord of the Rings.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incomplete classic 2 Feb 2012
Format:DVD
The only flaw with Ralph Bakshi's beautiful, scary and atompsheric animated version of Tolkein's classic is that it is not the whole story. The film's second part was never completed, leaving the story more than half way through after the first film ends -- however this is a complete movie in iteself. But apart from that one small problem, this is a brilliantly realized rendering of Middle Earth. The exceptional voice cast includes John Hurt and Anthony Daniels. The animation uses innovative techniques such as rotoscoping, so the battle sequences look and feel as though you are watching real people and creatures. The orcs are unforgettable, the elves magical, the hobbits endearing, the Ring Wraiths truly disturbing, and the sequence in Moria is eerie and exciting. Hand-drawn animation always wins hands-down over computer wizardry, but this film is definitely a must-see. We can only wonder what might have been had the project been seen through to completion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is my childhood 2 Nov 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It suddenly occurred to me the other night that I should get this on DVD. So I did. I had this film on tape all through my childhood recorded off TV. I loved it. Watched it last night, first time in years, and I still remember it. I love the characters and the environment's artwork, the music is awesome. It was nice to watch again, made me remember what it was like to be a kid again, all innocent and worry-less... It's a must have for me.
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62 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic of it's time - visually inspiring. 8 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I remember going to see this when it was first released in the cinema. I was very disappointed at the abrupt ending and from the first appearance of Treebeard onwards the film seemed very rushed. Years later it is all explained as Ralph Bakshi began to run out of money and did his best to complete the movie at a climatic point - the battle at Helms Deep. The third criticism I have was of the representation of Treebeard himself, while a very difficult character to visualise - I think Bakshi could have done much better.
That aside, the first three quarters of the film, the script and especially the visuals and tone of the film capture middle earth in a way that I believe, to those that have seen this film, remains with you. I do not think it appropriate or fair to compare the animated version with the upcoming movies, that was then - this is now as the saying goes, technology of the 21st Century is making the new trilogy possible.
I am as excited as everyone else about the new movies, but I certainly will not use it as a vehicle to rubbish anything that came before it. The BBC Radio adaptation is also excellent and has its place and so does Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, as indeed will Peter Jackson's trilogy.
Buy the Ralph Bakshi version, you'll enjoy it. I bet you will even see some (now famous) images that actually first appeared here and have been borrowed by various artists and Peter Jackson. One example is the Hobbits hiding, from a Ring Wraith, under a tree on the way to Bree, take a look at this and then the Peter Jackson scene of this you will see that - well take a look for yourself.
Bear in mind it was this film that first got Peter Jackson interested in Tolkien's LOTR.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem 24 Aug 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What animation. Better than Disney. Better than Terry Gilliam. Only half the story but this is well worth watching, and at 3 it's fantastic value for money. As a bonus Annette Crosbie is the voice of Galadriel, bet Victor didn't know that!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last!!! 26 Mar 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
From a child I loved this. Sure its unfinished and ends at Helms Deep, but that doesn't matter, this is Bakshi at his finest.
Not too much to say about the blu ray, the picture and sound are about as good as they will ever get but not that different to the dvd version to be honest. There is however a nice documentary on the making of the film which will appeal to Bakshi fans like my self.
For the money I would recommend upgrading, absolute bargain!!!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The precursor for a vision? 23 Feb 2004
Format:DVD
I've read with great interest the thoughts of people who obviously are 'modern' Tolkien fanatics (late comers to the party). Whether you know the stories inside out or just like the premise of good versus evil, LOTR is a fantastic story that has homage paid to it through many major media milestones. There has been an awesome radio play that saw the modern Bilbo's actor, Ian Holm, playing the part of Frodo; there has been the inspiring and world dominating LOTR trilogy courtesy of Peter Jackson; and then there's the 70s Ralph Bakshi animated feature (cartoon is too simple a phrase to link to this film).
Bakshi obviously laboured hard to produce this movie and although it is not the polished film that Jackson has made, it was and still is a rough diamond that those who can appreciate good film making will find inspiring, interesting and altogether captivating.
I first saw this film when I was about six years old and ever since, this is the vision of Tolkien that I love the most. Seeing The Fellowship of the Ring in December 2001 brought back memories of it, as PJ obviously took elements from the Bakshi version to help him tell his story. Okay, the special effects are fantastic in the modern film – but is this all we want? Take films like Dracula; we've had modern versions made that have paled in comparison to earlier works because they have been too reliant on modern technology. PJ's version isn't a flawed film, it's just I always remember the RB version.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived in good time, Item was as expected
Published 2 months ago by LESLEY MAUREEN ALLEN
4.0 out of 5 stars dvd
this is a good dvd. I bought this for my grandchildren and it has kept them happy for a few days
Published 3 months ago by nuffield nigel
1.0 out of 5 stars No, it isn't......
It isn't the full Lord of the Rings saga, it's just a small part of it, and so muddled that I doubt if anyone who did not already have some idea of the story would guess what was... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tempestas
3.0 out of 5 stars Compare, scene by scene, the cartoon and the first 2 film - it's quite...
What is quite fun is to search for the scenes that are very similar and yet are not derived from the books. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dr David Bellamy
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!
My 2 children are too young for the new films so this was a great introduction to the exciting trilogy.
Published 8 months ago by Me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant stuff
Great version - it's a shame they never covered the remainder of the books, I would have loved to carry on watching. Read more
Published 8 months ago by E. J. Hurst
5.0 out of 5 stars the lord of the rings
Excellent price ,good communication and fast delivery what more do i need to say other than its a pity they did not finnish the movie.
Published 9 months ago by steve
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely Lor of the Rings
Bought this for my friend, he thought it was lovely. Even though he has the orginal films etc etc, he thought this was a really nice change to see it animated. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Friends fan
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing dvd
this dvd is very rare now way back in 1978 i watched for the first time very good but not long enough .
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one to rule them all
Having just watched the Blu Ray version of the 1978 Bakshi "animated feature", I am moved to comment. Read more
Published 12 months ago by J W Snowball
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