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The Lord of the Rings -- Limited Edition Box Set [DVD]

3.8 out of 5 stars 136 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: Box set, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Nov. 2001
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005R1K7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,841 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In the Boxset:
A2 poster
Exclusive book "Ralph Bakshi & The Lord Of The Rings" specially commissioned for the Boxset.

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is one of those films that the cliché "a flawed masterpiece" was invented for. Released in 1978, this was an (overly?) ambitious attempt to animate Tolkein's epic fantasy bestseller. Director Ralph Bakshi had a reputation as a bit of an iconoclast, determined to free the art of animation from the banal schmaltz that Disney had become, and make it a credible medium for adult audiences rather than just pap for kids. Long before CGI animation was a possibility, his Lord of the Rings was very innovative technically in filming large amounts of real live action and then rotoscoping this frame by frame into the animated backgrounds. This does result in some excellent fluid motion for characters, particularly in the battle scenes, and the best bits (for instance, Nazgul on horseback) look stunning. However many of the other animated characters are less successful, the hobbits looking rather 'cartoony' and as for Legolas, I laughed out loud when I saw him! And the balrog is just ahine! The backgrounds are often beautifully detailed by may remind you a little too much of Yes albums covers :)
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!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Nerd moment here: I loved this as a child; dark, creepy, a little scary in places. Watching it as an adult I still found it had the same wonderful mix that enthralled me back then. It has many faults and is indeed an unfinished work but there's something about the atmosphere of this version that the Peter Jackson films didn't come close to. That could be nostalgia talking but I think it's a genuinely great realisation of Tolkien's world.
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