The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)


The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)

Infobox Film
name = J.R.R. Tolkien's
The Lord of the Rings


caption = Theatrical release poster.
director = Ralph Bakshi
producer = Saul Zaentz
writer = Screenplay:
Peter S. Beagle
Chris Conkling
Based on the novel by nobreak|J. R. R. Tolkien
starring = Christopher Guard
William Squire
Michael Scholes
John Hurt
Simon Chandler
Dominic Guard
Michael Graham Cox
Anthony Daniels
David Buck
music = Leonard Rosenman
cinematography = Timothy Galfas
editing = Donald W. Ernst
distributor = flagicon|USA United Artists
released = Start date|1978|11|15
runtime = 133 minutes
country = USA
language = English
budget = US$4,000,000
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:30049
imdb_id = 0077869

"J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings" is a 1978 animated fantasy film directed by Ralph Bakshi. It is an adaptation of the first half of J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings". Set in Middle-earth, the film follows a group of hobbits, elves, men, dwarves and wizards who form a Fellowship. They embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring made by the Dark Lord Sauron, and ensure his destruction. The film features the voices of William Squire, John Hurt, Michael Graham Cox and Anthony Daniels. The screenplay was written by Peter S. Beagle, based on an earlier draft by Chris Conkling.cite web |url=http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/three_rings_for_hollywood.htm |title=Three Rings for Hollywood: Scripts for The Lord of the Rings by Zimmerman, Boorman, and Beagle |accessdate=2007-01-09 |last=Croft |first=Janet Brennan |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=University of Oklahoma |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Director Ralph Bakshi encountered Tolkien's writing early in his career, and had made several attempts to produce "The Lord of the Rings" as an animated film before being given funding by producer Saul Zaentz and distributor United Artists.cite web |url=http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_korkis/archive/2003/06/24/1087.aspx |title=If at first you don't succeed ... call Peter Jackson |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author=Jim Korkis |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Jim Hill Media |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] The film is notable for its extensive use of rotoscoping, a technique in which scenes are first shot in live-action, then traced onto animation cels. Although the film was a financial success,cite book | title = Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons | author = Maltin, Leonard | year = 1987 | publisher = Plume | location = | id = ISBN 0-978-0452259935] cite book |last=Sacks |first=Terence J. |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=Opportunities in Animation and Cartooning Careers |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year=2000 |month= |publisher=McGraw-Hill |location= |language= |isbn=0658001833 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages=page 37 |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] it received a mixed reaction from critics, and the original distributors refused to fund a sequel to cover the remainder of the story. However, the film sparked new interest in Tolkien's writing, inspiring the production of several further adaptations of the story.

Plot

Early in the Second Age of Middle-earth, elven smiths forged nineteen Rings of Power for mortal men, the Dwarf-Lords, and the Elf-Kings. At the same time, the Dark Lord Sauron made the One Ring to rule them all. As the Last Alliance of men and elves fell, the Ring fell into the hands of Prince Isildur from across the sea, and after Isildur was killed by orcs, the Ring lay at the bottom of the river Anduin. Over time, Sauron captured the nine Rings made for men and turned their owners into the Ringwraiths, terrible beings who roamed the world searching for the One Ring. The Ring was found by two friends, one of whom, Sméagol, was so enticed by the Ring's power that he killed his friend Déagol to get it. The Ring warped him into a twisted, gurgling wretch known only as Gollum. His "precious" Ring was later accidentally discovered and taken by the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

Years later, during Bilbo's birthday celebrations in the Shire, the wizard Gandalf tells him to leave the Ring for Frodo Baggins. Bilbo agrees, and leaves the Shire. Seventeen years pass, during which Gandalf learns that the Shire is in danger: evil forces have discovered that the Ring is in the possession of a Baggins. Gandalf meets with Frodo to explain the Ring's history and the danger it poses to all of Middle-earth. Frodo leaves his home, taking the Ring with him.

He is accompanied by three hobbit friends, Pippin, Merry, and Sam. After a narrow escape from the Ringwraiths pursuing them, the hobbits eventually come to Bree, where they meet Aragorn (who is first introduced to them as Strider), a friend of Gandalf's, who leads them the rest of the way to Rivendell. Frodo is stabbed atop Weathertop mountain by the chief of the Ringwraiths with a knife imbued with evil magic. Part of the knife stays inside him, and he gets sicker as the journey progresses. The Ringwraiths catch up with them shortly after they meet the elf Legolas, and at a standoff at the ford of Rivendell, the Ringwraiths are swept away by the enchanted river. At Rivendell, Frodo is healed by its lord, Elrond. He meets Gandalf again, held captive by his fellow wizard Saruman, who plans to join with Sauron but also wants the Ring for himself. Bilbo, Gandalf, and the others argue about what should be done with the One Ring, and Frodo volunteers to go to Mordor, where the Ring can be destroyed. Frodo sets off from Rivendell with eight companions: Gandalf; Aragorn; Boromir, son of the Steward of Gondor; Legolas; Gimli the dwarf; and Frodo's original three hobbit companions.Their attempt to cross the Misty Mountains is foiled by heavy snow, and they are forced to take a path under the mountains via Moria. Moria was an ancient dwarf kingdom, but is now full of orcs and other evil creatures, and Gandalf falls into an abyss after battling a balrog. The remaining eight members of the Fellowship continue through the elf-haven Lothlórien, but Boromir tries to take the Ring from Frodo. Frodo decides to leave the others behind and continue his quest alone, although faithful Sam insists on accompanying him.

Boromir is killed by orcs while trying to defend Merry and Pippin. They are captured by the orcs, who intend to take them to Isengard through the land of Rohan. The hobbits escape and flee into Fangorn forest, where they meet Treebeard, a huge tree-like creature. Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas track Merry and Pippin; they find small footprints and follow them into Fangorn Forest. There, they find Gandalf, whom they had believed died in the mines of Moria. The four ride to Rohan's capital, Edoras, where Gandalf persuades King Théoden that his people are in danger. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas then travel to the defensive fortification Helm's Deep.

Frodo and Sam, meanwhile, discover Gollum stalking them, and capture him. Frodo pities him, and lets him live in return for guidance to Mount Doom. Gollum promises to lead them to a secret entrance to Mordor. At Helm's Deep, Théoden's forces struggle to resist an onslaught of orcs sent by Saruman. Gandalf arrives the next morning with the Riders of Rohan just in time, destroying the orc army.

Cast

LotR casts navbox*Christopher Guard .... Frodo Baggins (voice)
*William Squire .... Gandalf (voice)
*Michael Scholes .... Samwise Gamgee (voice)
*John Hurt .... Aragorn (voice)
*Simon Chandler .... Meriadoc (voice)
*Dominic Guard .... Pippin (voice)
*Norman Bird .... Bilbo Baggins (voice)
*Michael Graham Cox .... Boromir (voice)
*Anthony Daniels .... Legolas (voice)
*David Buck .... Gimli (voice)
*Peter Woodthorpe .... Gollum (voice)
*Fraser Kerr .... Saruman (voice)
*Philip Stone .... King Théoden (voice)
*Michael Deacon .... Wormtongue (voice)
*André Morell .... Elrond (voice) (as Andre Morell)
*Alan Tilvern .... Innkeeper (voice)
*Annette Crosbie .... Galadriel (voice)
*John Westbrook .... Treebeard (voice)

Production

Director Ralph Bakshi was introduced to "The Lord of the Rings" during the mid-1950s while working as an animator for Terrytoons. In 1957, the young animator started trying to convince people that the story could be told in animation. At the time, the film rights to the story were held by Walt Disney,cite book |last=Beck |first=Jerry |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=The Animated Movie Guide |year=2005 |publisher=Chicago Review Press |location= |pages=page 155 |isbn=9781556525919 ] but in 1968, the rights were passed to United Artists, where filmmakers Stanley Kubrick and John Boorman each tried to adapt the story.

In the mid-1970s, Bakshi, who had since achieved box office success producing adult-oriented animated films such as "Fritz the Cat", learned of UA and Boorman's attempts to adapt the story. He was told that Boorman had planned to produce all three parts of "The Lord of the Rings" as a single film, and commented, "I thought that was madness, certainly a lack of character on Boorman's part. Why would you want to tamper with anything Tolkien did?"cite web |url=http://www.avclub.com/content/node/22810 |title=Interview with Ralph Bakshi |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author=Robinson, Tasha |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=January 31, 2003 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=The Onion A.V. Club |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] When Boorman's proposed adaptation fell apart, Bakshi approached the studio and proposed that he direct a three-part animated film adaptation of the book:

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer office was located in the same building, and Bakshi spoke to then-president Dan Melnick. "I thought he would understand what "The Rings" meant, because UA did not." Bakshi and Melnick made a deal with Mike Medavoy at United Artists to buy the Boorman script. "The Boorman script cost $3 million, so Boorman was happy by the pool, screaming and laughing and drinking, 'cause he got $3 million for his script to be thrown out." However, after Melnick was fired from MGM, the deal fell through. Bakshi then contacted Saul Zaentz (who had helped finance "Fritz the Cat") to ask him to produce "The Lord of the Rings", and Zaentz agreed. Before the production started, the original three-part adaptation was negotiated down to two parts at United Artists, and Bakshi met with Tolkien's daughter Priscilla to discuss how the film would be made. She showed him the room where her father did his writing and drawing. Bakshi says, "My promise to Tolkien's daughter was to be pure to the book. I wasn't going to say, 'Hey, throw out Gollum and change these two characters.' My job was to say, 'This is what the genius said.'"cite web |url=http://www.tolkiengesellschaft.de/v4/alleszutolkien/filme/bakshi/bakshisoutingheute.shtml |title='70s Version of Lord of the Rings 'Devastated' Director Bakshi |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author=Riley, Patrick |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=July 7, 2000 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Fox News |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Direction

Ralph Bakshi states that one of the problems with the production was that the film was an epic, because "epics tend to drag. The biggest challenge was to be true to the book." When asked what he was trying to accomplish with the film, Bakshi stated "The goal was to bring as much quality as possible to the work. I wanted real illustration as opposed to cartoons." Bakshi states that descriptions were removed because they are seen in the film:

Bakshi's major artistic influences on the film were classical illustrators such as Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth; he stated that no contemporary illustrators were an influence on the style of the film.

creenwriting and development

An early draft of the screenplay was written by Chris Conkling, who told the bulk of the story in flashback, from Merry Brandybuck's point of view. After Bakshi and Zaentz saw Conkling's first draft, fantasy author Peter S. Beagle was called in for a rewrite. According to the website of publisher Conlan Press, Beagle wrote multiple drafts of the script for only $5,000, on the strength of promises from Saul Zaentz to hire him for other, better-paying projects afterward. Zaentz later reneged on these promises.cite web |url=http://www.conlanpress.com/html/zaentz_f.html |title=Beagle/Zaentz FAQ |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Conlan Press |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

The film makes some deviations from the book, but overall follows Tolkien's narrative quite closely. Of the adaptation process, Bakshi stated that elements of the story "had to be left out but nothing in the story was really altered." The film greatly condenses Frodo's journey from Bag End to Bree. Stop-overs at Farmer Maggot's house, Frodo's home in Buckland, and the house of the mysterious Tom Bombadil deep in the Old Forest are omitted. Maggot and his family and Bombadil and his wife Goldberry are thus all omitted, along with Fatty Bolger, a hobbit who accompanied Frodo at the beginning. According to Bakshi, the character of Tom Bombadil was "dropped" because "he didn't move the story along."

Some changes were cosmetic in nature. For example, Saruman the White adopts the title "Saruman of Many Colours" as in Tolkien's novel. In it he initially wore white but modified his robe.ME-ref|fotr|"The Council of Elrond"] However, in the film his robes are neither white nor multicoloured, but are in different shades of red. Legolas wears silver and grey clothes whereas in the book he is "clad in green and brown". Aragorn too wore "rusty green and brown" [ME-ref|fotr|"The Ring Goes South"] in the book whereas his garments are in different shades of brown in the film. Boromir wears a horned helmet, which has no precedent in the book.

The scene where the Ringwraiths arrive in the hobbits' room and slash at their beds, only to find that they are not there, is not in the book, only the discovery of the aftermath. [ME-ref|fotr|"At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"] Also, Tolkien implies that the attack was carried out by agents of the Ringwraiths in Bree, possibly including one Bill Ferny, not the Ringwraiths themselves (though they were present in the town).

The depiction of the battle of Helm's Deep differs in some details from the book. Notably, the fortress itself is called "Helm's Deep" in the film while in the book it was called the "Hornburg", and "Helm's Deep" is the name of the valley where it is located,ME-ref|ttt|"Helm's Deep"] or more precisely, the ravine behind the fortress. [ME-ref|letters|#210] The explosive-like "blasting-fire", here the "Fire of Isengard," appears as magical projectiles shot from Isengard itself. Éomer is portrayed as a renegade found by Gandalf; together, they save the day at Helm's Deep. In the book, he was present at the battle, and Gandalf arrives with Erkenbrand.

Animation

Publicity for the film announced that Bakshi had created "the first movie painting" by utilizing "an entirely new technique in filmmaking." Much of the film used live-action footage which was then rotoscoped to produce an animated look. This saved production costs and gave the animated characters a more realistic look. Animation historian Jerry Beck wrote in "The Animated Movie Guide" that "up to that point, animated films had not depicted extensive battle scenes with hundreds of characters. By using the rotoscope, Bakshi could trace highly complex scenes from live-action footage and transform them into animation, thereby taking advantage of the complexity live-action film can capture without incurring the exorbitant costs of producing a live-action film."

For the live-action portion of the production, Bakshi and his cast and crew went to Spain, where the rotoscope models acted out their parts in costume. Many of the actors who contributed voices to this production also acted out their parts for rotoscoped scenes. The actions of Bilbo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee were performed by Billy Barty, while to produce a more three-dimensional look. In a few shots the two techniques are combined.

Bakshi claimed he "didn't start thinking about shooting the film totally in live action until I saw it really start to work so well. I learned lots of things about the process, like rippling. One scene, some figures were standing on a hill and a big gust of wind came up and the shadows moved back and forth on the clothes and it was unbelievable in animation. I don't think I could get the feeling of cold on the screen without showing snow or an icicle on some guy's nose. The characters have weight and they move correctly."

Following the live-action shoot, each frame of the live footage was printed out, and placed behind an animation cel. The details of each frame were copied and painted onto the cel. Both the live-action and animated sequences were storyboarded.cite web |url=http://www.ralphbakshi.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=5&pos=20 |title="The Lord of the Rings" - gallery image |accessdate=2007-08-08 |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=The Official Ralph Bakshi website |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Of the production, Bakshi is quoted as saying,

Although he continued to use rotoscoping in "American Pop", "Hey Good Lookin'", and "Fire and Ice", Bakshi later regretted his use of rotoscoping, stating that he felt that it was a mistake to trace the source footage rather than using it as a guide.cite web |url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9111970495147326968&hl=en |title=The Directors Series: Interview with Ralph Bakshi (Part One) |accessdate=2007-08-08 |last=Gallagher |first=John A. |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=1983 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Tim Burton worked as a cel painter on the film. He would become an animator for Disney, and later a film director in his own right.cite web |url=http://filmforce.ign.com/articles/518/518805p1.html |title=Interview with Ralph Bakshi |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=IGN Filmforce |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Music

The film's score was composed by Leonard Rosenman. Bakshi wanted to include music by Led Zeppelin but producer Saul Zaentz insisted upon an orchestral score because he would not be able to release the band's music on his Fantasy Records label. Bakshi later stated that he hated Rosenman's score, which he found to be too cliché.cite web |url=http://www.edrants.com/segundo/ralph-bakshi-bss-214/ |title="The Bat Segundo Show" #214: Interview with Ralph Bakshi |accessdate=2008-06-25 |last=Segundo |first=Bat |coauthors= |date=May 21, 2008 |work= |publisher=Edward Champion's Reluctant Habits] In "Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context", Ernest Mathijs writes that Rosenman's score "is a middle ground between his more sonorous but dissonant earlier scores and his more traditional (and less challenging) sounding music [...] In the final analysis, Rosenman's score has little that marks it out as distinctively about Middle Earth, relying on traditions of music (including film music) more than any specific attempt to paint a musical picture of the different lands and peoples of Tolkien's imagination." [cite book |last=Mathijs |first=Ernest |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=Lord of the Rings: Popular Culture in Global Context |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year=2006 |month= |publisher=Wallflower Press |location= |language= |isbn=1904764827 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] The film's score was issued as a double-LP soundtrack album in 1978. A limited collector edition was created by Fantasy Records as a picture disc double LP featuring four scenes: The Hobbits leaving Hobbiton, The Ringwraiths at Bree, Gandalf and the Balrog, Journey with the Orcs. In 2001, the album was reissued on compact disc, with bonus tracks. [cite web |url=http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=6520 |title="The Lord of the Rings" soundtrack details |accessdate=2007-09-01 |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=SoundtrackCollector |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

equel

The film was originally intended to be distributed as "The Lord of the Rings Part One". According to Bakshi, when he completed the film, United Artists executives told him that they were planning to release the film without indicating that a sequel would follow, because they felt that audiences would not pay to see half of a film.

"The Film Book of J.R.R. Tolkien's the Lord of the Rings", published by Ballantine Books on October 12, 1978, still referred to the sequel in the book's inside cover jacket. [cite book |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |editor= |others= |title=The Film Book of J.R.R. Tolkien's the Lord of the Rings |origdate= |origyear=1978 |origmonth=October |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |date= |year= |month= |publisher=Ballantine Books |location= |language= |isbn=034528139X |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ] Bakshi states that he would have never made the film if he knew what would happen during the production. He is quoted as saying that the reason he made the film was "to save it for Tolkien, because I loved the "Rings" very much."

Bakshi also stated that he felt that the film "took more out of me than I got back."

Reception

"The Lord of the Rings" was a financial success. The film grossed $30.5 million at the box office (the budget was $4 million). In Leonard Maltin's book "Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons", Maltin cites "The Lord of the Rings" and "Fritz the Cat" as the only major box office successes of Bakshi's career. The film was nominated for both the Hugo and Saturn Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation and Best Fantasy Film, respectively. Leonard Rosenman's score was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Motion Picture Score, and Bakshi won a Golden Gryphon award for the film at the Giffoni Film Festival.cite web |url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077869/awards |title=Awards for "The Lord of the Rings" (1978) |accessdate=2007-12-19 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date= |work= |publisher=Internet Movie Database]

Critical response

Critics were generally mixed in their responses to the film. In "The Hollywood Reporter", Frank Barrow wrote that the film was "daring and unusual in concept." Joseph Gelmis of "Newsday" wrote that "the film's principal reward is a visual experience unlike anything that other animated features are doing at the moment." Roger Ebert called Bakshi's effort a "mixed blessing" and "an entirely respectable, occasionally impressive job ... [which] still falls far short of the charm and sweep of the original story.cite web |url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19780101/REVIEWS/801010307/1023 |title=Review of "The Lord of the Rings" |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author=Ebert, Roger |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=January 1, 1978 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Chicago "Sun-Times" |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Vincent Canby of the "New York Times" called the film "both numbing and impressive."cite news |url=http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?title1=Lord%20of%20the%20Rings%2c%20The%20%28Movie%29&title2=&reviewer=VINCENT%20CANBY&pdate=19781115&v_id=30049 |title=Review of "The Lord of the Rings" |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author=Canby, Vincent |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=November 15, 1978 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=New York "Times" |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] Film website Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles reviews from a wide range of critics, gives the film a score of 47%.cite web |url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/movie-1012711/reviews.php |title=Tomatometer for "The Lord of the Rings" |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Recognition

The film has been cited as an influence on director Peter Jackson's film trilogy based on "The Lord of the Rings". After initially denying having seen Bakshi's film, Jackson admitted to having first encountered "The Lord of the Rings" via Bakshi's film, stating that while the film was a "brave and ambitious attempt," he wasn't initially inspired to read the books. [Peter Jackson, as quoted at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, on February 6, 2004. [http://www.conlanpress.com/resources/peter_jackson_on_Tolkien_inspiration_2-6-04.mp3 Audio] ; Retrieved on 2007-08-22.] In another interview, Jackson stated that he "enjoyed [the film] and wanted to know more."cite journal |url= |title=Peter Jackson interview |accessdate=2007-08-22 |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear= |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=October/November 2001 |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher="Explorations" (the Barnes & Noble Science Fiction newsletter) |pages= |language= |doi= |quote= ] Bakshi is quoted as saying "Peter Jackson did say that the first film inspired him to go on and do the series, but that happened after I was bitching and moaning to a lot of interviewers that he said at the beginning that he never saw the movie. I thought that was kind of fucked up." Jackson's adaptation borrows from Bakshi's version. On the audio commentary for the DVD release of "", Jackson acknowledges one shot, a low angle of a hobbit at Bilbo's birthday party shouting "Proudfeet!", as an intentional homage to Bakshi's film.

Bakshi is quoted as saying that he had "mixed feeling [s] " about Jackson's adaptations, although he had not seen the films. "In some respects I feel good that Peter Jackson continued and went on, and in some respects I feel bad that Saul Zaentz, the producer, and various people never called me, thanked me, or asked my permission to do the movie. [...] [Nor] has anyone sent me a bottle of wine, on the tremendous success. [...] But I have more feelings on the business side of that than I do on the creative side. I'm glad Peter Jackson had a movie to look at—I never did. And certainly there's a lot to learn from watching any movie, both its mistakes and when it works. So he had a little easier time than I did, and a lot better budget."

Legacy

The film was adapted into comic book form with artwork by Spanish artist Luis Bermejo, under license from Tolkien Enterprises. Three issues were published for the European market, starting in 1979, and were not published in the United States or translated into English due to copyright problems. [cite web |url=http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/miscellanea/comics/description.htm |title=J.R.R.Tolkien comics |accessdate=2007-08-22 |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=J.R.R. Tolkien miscellanea |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] [cite web |url=http://lambiek.net/artists/b/bermejo_luis.htm |title=Comic creator: Luis Bermejo |accessdate=2007-08-22 |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=J.R.R. Tolkien miscellanea |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

Bakshi's film sparked enough interest in Tolkien's work to provoke not only an animated TV special produced by the Rankin-Bass animation studio based on "The Return of the King", but a complete adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings" on BBC Radio. For this broadcast, Michael Graham Cox and Peter Woodthorpe reprised their roles of Boromir and Gollum, respectively.

Warner Bros. (the rights holder to the post-1974 Rankin-Bass library and most of the Saul Zaentz theatrical backlog) has released "The Hobbit," "The Lord of the Rings," and "The Return of the King" on VHS and DVD, both packaged separately and as a boxed-set "trilogy" of films. [cite web |url=http://www.amazon.com/J-R-R-Tolkien-Animated-Hobbit-Return/dp/B00005UM49/ref=sr_1_1/105-4130415-0230007?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1186252506&sr=1-1 |title=ASIN: B00005UM49 |accessdate=2007-08-04 |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Amazon.com |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] [cite web |url=http://www.amazon.com/J-R-R-Tolkien-Giftset-Hobbit-Return/dp/B00005RJ2W/ref=sr_1_1/105-4130415-0230007?ie=UTF8&s=video&qid=1186252593&sr=1-1 |title=ASIN: B00005RJ2W |accessdate=2007-08-04 |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Amazon.com |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] "The Lord of the Rings" is currently out of print as a separate release. [cite web |url=http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Rings-Christopher-Guard/dp/B00005MP5B/ref=sr_1_2/105-4130415-0230007?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1186252678&sr=1-2 |title=ASIN: B00005MP5B |accessdate=2007-08-04 |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Amazon.com |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] In 2003, the Online Film Critics Society ranked the film as the 90th greatest animated film of all time.cite web |url=http://ofcs.rottentomatoes.com/pages/pr/top100animated |title=Top 100 Animated Features of All Time |accessdate=2007-01-09 |author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Online Film Critics Society |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]

References

External links

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* [http://www.ralphbakshi.com/films.php?film=thelordoftherings "The Lord of the Rings"] at the official Ralph Bakshi website.
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