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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incomplete classic
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...
Published on 2 Feb 2012 by Eric Ian Steele

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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, but flawed animated translation
This animated version of Tolkien's famous trilogy tries too hard to please adults and children alike. The hobbit and dwarf characters tend to be inspired by twee Disney role models, while the villains' dark overtones remain from the book making them more succesful. The narrative follows the book closely, but wisely avoids the historical depth. There are times when scenes...
Published on 5 July 2001


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars classic, 31 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
happy with this order. if you dont get a copy even better. but my copy was a good one. not bad
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for it's time., 16 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
A great movie by Ralph Bakshi. You can see that Peter Jackson found some inspiration in this animated version.
Although the movie is only until the end of The Two Towers it has given me much pleasure and fun to watch it.
Although at that time Ralph Bakshi didn't want to detailed the Orcs and Uruk-hai (wich are during the entire movie just black and shady) it is still a good movie that replaces the live action for a bit.
Ofcourse it's from 1978 so don't expect much action but the movie has here and there what tension.
It's another approach of Lord Of The Rings in animated version just for a cheap price (bought it for 2,5GBP). Enjoy it while it's still for a fair price. Cheers~
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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
By 
P. Macinnes "Patrick Macinnes" (Rugby, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978] (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.
The characters I feel are far better 'brought to life' in the 1978 animated film: Aragorn in the PJ film is insipid, almost American in his attitude with his 'let's hunt some Orc' spiel that although rendering the new generation of action oriented film lovers dumb struck, left me thinking how much effect the US studio behind the film has really had on PJ? John Hurt's attempt, although lacking the presence of the modern actor in his time on screen, adds tension and desperation to the part that is essentially as a bodyguard who must live for nothing more than protecting the ring and its bearer.
Legolas is a rubbish character from any point of view simply because he lends no 'real' strength to the story. In the real life film he's there as a pretty boy, and in the animated version he is there as a helping hand, an extra of sorts who kills a few people and generally lends a hand talking gibberish (er… elvish I mean).
Gimli is a worthy character because he adds diversity to the story and a prologue to what the Dwarves are capable of (Moria), which in PJ's version is one of the true highlights of the film. In the RB version he's there's because he has to be there as he looks the most removed from a humanoid stature (the hobbits just look like scaled-down men after all) and he makes you remember you are watching a fantasy story.
Gandalf is class in both films; it's that easy to sort. But, I might add, he has presence in both films, just at different stages (in Moria and outside Minas Tirith in PJ's version; as a link to things past and present in the RB film).
The ring and it's master, Sauron, are definitely superior in most ways in the modern films because, although it goes against the rule of hinting at what is there instead of actually showing it in films, you see the evil and the menace that is at the heart of the story.
One part of the modern versions that I found boring and un-needed was Arwen and her association with Aragorn. Yes they are lovers; yes they signify the divide that is among men and elves and how lives can be lost emotionally through the reign of Sauron, but so much screen time on what is essentially nothing directly linked to the fellowship's journey was just an excuse for the cinemas to sell more popcorn and cola! You don't get any of this with Bakshi.
The Ring Wraiths – such magnificent characters that are key to the story. Because Sauron is not physically prominent in the film (apart form the eye in the PJ version) they are really Sauron personified and his evil motives. Ralph Bakshi did a magnificent job of animating live action footage and the scene in The Prancing Pony is chilling and terrifying, unlike its modern counterpart, which is simply formulaic.
My only defence for the Nazgul in PJ's film is in the return Of The King when Eowyn faces The Witch King – that moment when he rises from behind the decapitated Fell Beast is one of the truly electrifying moments of cinema. Well done to the Kiwi on that score.
There are so many other things I could wrangle over; Saruman and his need for power; the difference between Grima Wormtongue in the two films; but it’s one character that makes the RB version stand head and shoulders above the modern films – Gollum.
Gollum in the RB film is fantastic. He’s not got the split personality that makes the modern digital Gollum interesting, he a wild animal who shrieks and spit, claws and wails at everything that he despises – including the hobbits how carry his ‘precious’! When same Sam asks him whether he’s sneaking, he replies, “Sneakin’, Sneakin’!!!” in the shrillest, most hate-filled voice imaginable – none of this is apparent in the modern film.
The issue of the RB film not being completed makes me feel sad and elated: sad because I’ll never see the vision of what the Black Gate, Mount Doom and Minas Tirith in battle would look like, but it leaves me hoping that Frodo and Sam will make it. This story is about inspiration and provoking thought. Bakshi did this. Jackson has done it. But Bakshi’s is still the blueprint that most 20-something LOTR fans will hold dearest to.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aruman, or Saruman?, 21 Jun 2002
By 
C. B. Softley "Badger" (Wolverhampton, Staffordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
I first saw this animated version as a child on television. I didn't know anything about it but it left me totally bewildered. Several years later I met a new friend who had recorder it off TV and we'd watch it and quote it endlessly with never a thought or an idea about where it had came from or indeed, where the second part was. Well time grows and so do you, I am fully grown up, and fully versed in most things Tolkien these days. When I heard Peter Jackson was making a live action film of one of the greatest books ever I got very excited; not to mention confused - Peter Jackson of Bad Taste and Braindead fame? However my initial excitement was due to the fact that I KNEW this magical animated version would eventually be re released - Yipppee!
So, is it any good? Yes. Yes it is. Although it does take many liberties with the book, and misses out some of the less important scenes it does a very good job of translating half of Tolkien's classic to an animated adventure. The animation is, in my opinion terrific, the mixture of proper animation, real action, and painted over real action works well in setting up such a good atmosphere. Perfect voice acting, which includes Anthony Daniels as Legolas. (C3P0 from Star Wars no less!)
It's a real shame that Bakshi wasn't able to finish his version, which does give the ending an abrupt feel. Other than this I only have 2 other gripes; the first is that Sam Wise (Probably the best character in the book.) is played off as a little too simple for my liking, I much prefer Sean Astin's version. And is it Saruman or Aruman? Apparently Saruman was too alike Sauron for Bakshi so he changed it to Aruman, fine by me, but sometimes he's still referred to as Saruman?!?! But these are only small points which don't detract too much from the overall feel of the movie. Great character build up, quality animation, truly excellent music (I cannot state that enough, it's even catchy!) and half of one of the greatest stories ever told. But maybe not suitable for children.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hate Disney? Tired of compu-mation? Love this, 22 Dec 2008
By 
N. Carley "Neil" (Wiltshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
I have loved this film for years, since I watched it as a child, it got me reading the books and now my kids love it too. We have the films -which are fantastic- but watch this more.
I know it's incomplete, I know it's showing it's age, but come on, what film doesn't? How many book adaptions transfer more than a potted version? Even Jackson's work which takes about a week to sit through doesn't do the books justice.
Visually beautiful (remember the beholder thing before commenting on this) and just very different experience than most animation, it has comedy moments, moody scenes, great use of sound, and good cast.
Until a film is made that portray the Hobbits, especially Sam in the correct way (read the books, he is the true hero, all would be lost without him) with innocence and heart of gold, this is, for me, the 'proper' version.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the rings, 21 Oct 2001
By 
Robert Southern (Manchester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This film enspired me to read the book to find out what happend in the end, that in turn opened the world of tolkien to me and that is no mean feat. The story from the outset is easy to watch
and is easy to follow the only thing that spoils this good viewing is the fact that it is not finished there is a second (the return of the kings) but this lacks the screen presence of the first and is a poorer animation quality as the first draws on real actors animated over .Well worth a look though ..
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining, but flawed animated translation, 5 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
This animated version of Tolkien's famous trilogy tries too hard to please adults and children alike. The hobbit and dwarf characters tend to be inspired by twee Disney role models, while the villains' dark overtones remain from the book making them more succesful. The narrative follows the book closely, but wisely avoids the historical depth. There are times when scenes feel rushed as the filmmakers aim to keep the film to a reasonable length, although sufficient time is allocated to the magnificent and unusual battle scene with the orcs, combining live action and animation. On the whole, this film version aims to please too wide an audience and is unlikely to attract any new non-Tolkien converts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lord of the rings animated, 25 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD] [1978] (DVD)
if you are a fan of lord of the rings this will help.
simply because its animated it sticks closer to the books than peter jacksons epics.
a very good introduction to the gonre for children as it brings to life the people of middle earth in a less graphic way but still has all the elements you need in one cd the film covers most of the fellowship and quite a bit of the two towers.
written whilst tolkin was still alive it has more of his contribution.
worth adding to any collection.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alas Glorfindel, we knew him well, 15 April 2003
For many this was the first, the only, the precious. I watched this movie when I was just a nipper and fell in love, and I am still in love with it now (much to the dismay of my good wife).
While it doesn't even come close to the Peter Jackson epic, the characters and storyline are handelled so carefully that they stay much closer to the real books. Hell - there's even a few songs from the books in there too.
It still manages to be dark and brooding, the Nazgul carry a presence not normally seen in a cartoon, and it's obvious that Jackson drew some inspiration from this movie - the Hobbits hiding from the Nazgul in the old forest is almost a carbon copy from the cartoon.
If you're looking for a different slant on the movie then this is the film for you... it might even put a few doe eyed women off of Aragorn!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you haven't seen it, it's well worth watching!, 20 Mar 2002
I loved this cartoon when I was young, and having watched it again recently all the magic came flooding back. It may not have had the money behind it that the recently released film has, but it certainly captured the magic and action. Under the shadown of the film it defends itself well. Gandalf Frodo and the others are friendly and likeable, as the Orks and black riders are spine chillingly scary! This cartoon is well worth watching...........even if it is to fill the gap before the film comes out to buy!!!
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