The Lord of the Rings -- Limited Edition Box Set [DVD]
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In the Boxset:
Exclusive book "Ralph Bakshi & The Lord Of The Rings" specially commissioned for the Boxset.
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 WalkerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The voice acting is also 'good in parts' but overall seems a little nondescript, with too many samey English accents from character to character. The orchestral score does the film no favours in my opinion, generally being rather uninspired, and the sound design is also rather undeveloped for a fantasy film like this.
The pacing of the story is rather uneven too, some sequences seem rather drawn out, others whizz by in jump cuts (with, inevitably, some bits of the book omitted - poor old Tom Bombadil!). The greatest flaw of all, of course, is that the film stops in the bloody middle of the story!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw this film a while ago and for some reasons it's actually better than the other Lord of the Rings films. It's only a pity the other two books were never filmed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Hugo Vaes
nice enjoyed itPublished 6 months ago by Sir Christopher Frank Carandini lee is my best friend since 1958.
This was a great 80s attempt at LOR first two books, very good animated filmPublished 7 months ago by Jamie Hall