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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bakshi Review: The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Plot: A fellowship of nine must lead a young Hobbit named Frodo Baggins to the land of Mordor to destroy the One Ring created by Sauron before his armies get a hold of it. Originally meant as the first of three films, the project was cut down to two films until the whole operation was scrapped entirely after the first film was completed.

Virtues: There is a stronger story in this one, mainly because Bakshi didn't write the script. The film also has to follow the guidelines of the original Tolkien novels. The artwork adds an aura of darkness and despair to the imagery of the movie. Everything looks like they added black to the original colors. The animation in this movie is good in parts, adding some emotion to the performances, but either than that, nothing really stands out.

Vices: While there is good animation in some parts, the intense use of rotoscope limits the scope of the performances. Besides that, the use of rotoscope doesn't make for good special effects. The Ringwraiths and the Balrog are not really terrifying. The other characters look kind of bland. I've seen some of the original storyboards by David Jonas, and I would have liked to have seen that style animated. This may be a little bias since I saw Peter Jackson's version before I saw Bakshi's version and Bakshi had a shorter schedule than Jackson did. However, I do have to say the story moves a bit slowly and doesn't quite have the grab that the original story has. It's an ambitious, yet ultimately failed experiment.

Final Grade: 6.0 out of 10

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