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Lord of the Rings (1978)
Movie Review by The Undertaker

Lord of the Rings (1978) Before the incredible live action films of recent years, this animated film from Ralph Bakshi tried the ambitious task of brining to life Tolkien's wonderful story. It was been cut to ribbons by most Rings fans for many reasons, some of which are legitimate gripes. The most glaring problem is the fact that it's incomplete. This 2-hour plus film really only covers the 1st two parts of the trilogy, never touching on the end. That really sucks, however, it wasn't Bakshi's fault since his financial support was yanked, causing the film to be released as is. The animation style also puts most off as it's a weird mix of traditional cell work (that is pretty good) and live rotoscoped animation where live actors are traced over making for some strange FX. I personally thought this looked kinda cool in some spots, but silly in others. At times the movie is drawn a bit dark also, didn't bother me as much as I have heard some cry about. This movie does have some good points though. The characters are pretty well developed through the story and a bit darker than in the recent films. It moves at a pretty good pace and the creepy looking ringwraiths in this version are well done. The musical score is also excellent. All and all, this Lord layed pretty good groundwork for what came later. The incompleteness makes hardcore Tolkienists hate it, but on its own it's enjoyable enough especially to get younger ones interested in this timeless story. The heart was in it, even if the money wasn't.
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