The Lord of the Rings (1978)

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Directed by: Ralph Bakshi

Starring: Christopher Guard, William Squire, Michael Scholes

You kids nowadays and your epic fantasy trilogies… Back in MY DAY, the only Tolkien movies we had were two Rankin-Bass cartoons and this Ralph Bakshi effort which only even goes up to the end of The Two Towers. Y’all are just taking these things for granted, I SAY.

So there’s this evil ring that this evil lord made to take over the world, but through a series of events this little short dude ended up owning it. An old magic guy tells the short dude he needs to go throw the ring into a mountain to make the bad man go away, so he and a bunch of his friends walk a really long way and fight some bad guys in an effort to do that.

You guys don’t really need a REAL synopsis of Lord of the Rings, do you? That’s what I thought. Anyway, this Bakshi version is notable for two things: first, the animation is mostly rotoscoping with some color-corrected actual live-action photography added into the mix. Second, it ends after the battle of Helm’s Deep, which is so stupid it could’ve only happened because they ran out of money or something. There are some neat visuals because it is Bakshi, but he clearly tried to overreach himself with this one and ended up with a really inferior product. Also, the acting is actually really bad, and when you’re trying to do a serious fantasy epic thing, that hurts it a lot.

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