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Friday, 5 December 2008

Lord of the Rings, 1978 - Movie Review of the Ralph Bakshi Animated version

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Starring: Christopher Guard, William Squire, John Hurt, Michael Graham Cox, Anthony Daniels
Running Time: 132 minutes
Score: 9 / 10

Here's another cracking review by Paul.

Ok, so I'm not going to come on here and say that this is superior to Peter Jackson's (PJ) efforts. If I did I think Phil (Hello - Phil LFF) would erase me and I'd be in a Live For Film Limbo. Can't happen!

But if we treat this as it once was, our only link to those fine books we read and reread (I know for sure I'm not the only one) when we were younger, it does a mighty fine job.

Now I could stand up and get the video case (yes, video) for the details but that's Phil's job.

No need to describe the story, but this feature does has some nice touches.

The Balrog, what a scary ass dude he is, alll roars and flame and anger. Only a little guy but you still wouldn't mess. Nice set of stills thrown in for the Gandalf/Balrog fight. The Nine, dark and nasty, especially when they turn up for the first time.

The animation isnt amazing, but considering its time its good enough. What this has, however, is that wierd actor/animation overlay (the process is called of rotoscoping, a technique in which scenes are first shot in live-action, then traced onto animation cels - Phil LFF), put to excellent use when depicting the Orks in the latter fight scenes.

I don't know why the fight scene between Gandalf and Saruman was up for so many awards in PJ's version. Was I alone thinking it was rubbish? In this, the turning of Saruman had a darker essence to it, none of this 'I'm gonna spin you in the air' lark, a proper betrayal. And you get boss fireballs later on, like a proper bloody Mage! I spit on Potter.

Also, just look at Gollum and tell me you haven't seen him before, you'd even swear it was the same guy doing the voice. Maybe it really is Gollum and he's really old and came out of retirement to please PJ, but now finds it a bit tiring and longs to return to the wild, fresh fish in mouth.

It's a shame they didn't get to finish the film. I dont know if it was a 'cursed set' or the dude just died while making it, its still a shame. But it does raise the question of would I be happy with a feature length modern animation of LOTR? would you? I'm unsure. It seems to have worked for Star Wars, but I can't comment on that personally.

It's worth checking out I promise you. Ok, so I did post a review of a Snoop Dogg movie, but you can trust me.

Although the film was a financial success, it received a mixed reaction from critics, and the original distributors refused to fund a sequel to cover the remainder of the story.

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Unknown said...

This was my introduction to LOTR and holds a place in my heart. I see all it's faults but as it's such a childhood favourite, they cannot dampen my love for this film. It has one of my favourite lines in cinema "Sneakin', me sneakin', hmmph".

Live for films said...

This one was also my gateway drug to the world of Hobbits. I love it. Many a raint Sunday afternoon was spent watching it when I was a kid

Anonymous said...

I echo your sentiments, most heartily. As a child, we had the use of video recorder from a relative and one of the first films I took out from the local sweet-shop-come-video-rental-store was this marvellous piece of animation. The eternal fight between good and evil; a purity I still seek in everyday life. Thanks for the memories...

Live for films said...

Nice comment

mclumperty said...

This film is in many ways superior, no one can tell me Viggo Mortenson's Aragorn was anywhere near a patch on the animated one voiced by John Hurt and as much as i think Ian Mckellan did a good job as Gandalf the voice of the animated one was more powerful. Two of many methinks.

Cialis said...

Lord of the Rings animated version is not as good as the one we watch a few years ago, however it doesn't mean that one is bad. I like specially the sequence of the movie, and the appearance of the different characters, stupendous animation effects.

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