Review: The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Review: The Lord of the Rings (1978)The Lord of the Rings * by Ralph Bakshi
Released by Warner Bros. on 2 August 1979
Genres: Fantasy
Length: 2h 12m
Source: Purchased
Cast: John Hurt, Anthony Daniels, William Squire, Simon Chandler, Dominic Bird

amazon • • imdb


The Fellowship of the Ring embark on a journey to destroy the One Ring and end Sauron's reign over Middle-earth.

On Koninginnedag (Queensday) I bought this movie on VHS and I decided to go and watch it with a friend of mine that day. We didn’t get to finish it because of the coronation of our new King, but last night we decided to watch it with another friend when we decided to stay up the whole night.

The Lord of the Ring is basically about Frodo Baggins, who has inherited a mysterious ring from his uncle Bilbo. This ring once belonged to Sauron, who wanted to destroy Middle Earth. Sauron was defeated, and the ring passed onto Isildur, a mortal man. Centuries later, the ring passed into the posession of Gollum, who then loses it inside his cave in the Misty Mountains, where Bilbo finds it.

In this movie, Frodo gets the task of bringing that dangerous ring to Rivendell. Together with his friends Samwise Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took he sets out for Rivendell, but the journey is dangerous. In Bree they meet a ranger called Aragorn (who looks like an Indian, and he is also not wearing any trousers), who takes them further to Rivendell.

There, the council of Elrond decides that the ring must be destroyed, and the Fellowship of the Ring is formed. The four hobbits travel together with wizard Gandalf, dwarf Gimli (who’s just as tall as all the others), elf Legolas, and Aragorn and Borromir (who looks like a Viking complete with a big beard and a viking helmet, and also not wearing trousers).

This animation movie covers both the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers, though they leave out quite a lot (but hey, it’s only two hours long). Some parts were incredibly weird, and at some points the background just randomly changed into some clouds, or pictures of the universe.

All the hobbits look incredibly adorable, except for Sam, who actually looks like he’s got a potato for a nose (okay maybe he just really likes potatoes). Though I think the people that coloured the movie had a bit of a dilemma, with Merry and Pippin. It looked as though they had forgotten which one of them had blonde hair, and which had brown. At some points both of them are blonde, and later on Pippin has brown hair again. Legolas really does not look like an elf (none of the elves looked like elves in my opinion), and it really bothered me that Gimli was almost the same size as all the other people from the fellowship (except for the hobbits of course, they were actually small). Also, none of the men actually wear trousers. (That’s how we knew which of the people were men, and which were not)

Another thing that bothered me was that some names were pronounced very differently from what I was used to (Sauron was pronounced as ‘Soron’, Balin was ‘Beylin’, etc), and at some points they even said ‘Aruman’ in stead of ‘Saruman’. There were parts in the movie where real people were used, but they had used an effect over them that made them look like they were drawn, but it just looked really weird.

This movie ends at the end of the second book, the Two Towers, when the battle for Helmsdeep is over, and I was a bit bummed, because I wanted to see the rest of the story in animation form as well. Luckily, there is another Return of the King animation movie. Not from the same makers, as far as I know, but those who made ROTK also made a Hobbit animation movie. So I want to watch those too.

Out of five stars, I’d give this movie three stars, because even though I did like it, it was really odd at some points, and it just ends way too abruptly. Oh well.