15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Aruman, or Saruman?,
This review is from: The Lord of the Rings (Animated Version) [DVD]  (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.