In this animated tale, a tiny village is destroyed by a surging glacier, which serves as the deadly domain for the evil Ice Lord, Nekron. The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who ... See full summary »
A young Hobbit named Frodo (Guard) is thrown on an amazing adventure, when he is appointed the job of destroying the one ring which was created by the dark lord Sauron. He is assigned with warriors including Gandalf (Squire), Aragorn (Hurt) and Boromir (Cox). It's not going to be an easy journey for the Fellowship of the Ring, on the ultimate quest to rid Middle-Earth of all evil. Written by
At one point in the film's development, studio executives thought that the names "Saruman" and "Sauron" were too similar, and would confuse the audience, and decided that Saruman should be renamed "Aruman". This decision was eventually reversed, but some references to "Aruman" remain in the finished film. See more »
The name of the wizard of Isengard fluctuates between "Saruman" and "Aruman" throughout the movie. See more »
Uniquely animated drama & characters true to source
I'm fond of this film and it vexes me that so many "reviewers" rank it below the Peter Jackson trilogy. A filmed novel is always interpretive; in particular an animated film relies on the artist's vision and should be judged on its own terms. Speaking as a purist, this is a finer homage to Tolkien than the updated version. While this film has its flaws it stays truer to the source, especially so far as the characters are concerned.
In the Jackson version Tolkien's Frodo is barely recognizable: from the first scenes he is portrayed as a weakling, constantly wavering, manipulated by forces around him and never standing on his own two feet (this is physically and metaphorically true.) You wonder why fate chose this limp biscuit to carry the one ring to the Cracks of Doom. Jackson unforgivably rewrites Tolkien and robs Frodo of his finest moment when he allows Arwen to rescue him from the Ringwraiths...Bakshi's version respects the original, presenting a Frodo who demands the wraiths "Go back and trouble me no more!" Bakshi sustains Frodo's character as Tolkien conceived it. We see his decline as the weight of his burden increases. Frodo is so pivotal to Lord of the Rings you wonder why Jackson took such liberties (he does so with numerous characters)since character development propels the plot to its inevitable conclusion. Bakshi's film better explores the companionship between Legolas and Gimli in a few judicious scenes that are completely lacking in Jackson's version. Similarly we see Boromir horsing with Pippin and Merry, furthering the idea of fellowship. For my liking the camaraderie is more developed in the animated version than the live action.
Tolkien's poetry is an important ingredient in the novels and Bakshi makes tribute to this in one of my favorite scenes: when Frodo sings the "Merry Old Inn" song, minutes before stumbling into Strider. The cheery tune is chillingly juxtaposed with the darker theme music when seconds later, invisible to his friends but visible to the wraiths, Frodo is dangerously exposed. This is one of the most atmospheric portions of the film and chills me whenever I see it.
The well documented budget/time restrictions limit this film's final impact but had it been completed it may have resonated with more viewers. As it is, it's worth a look. Even its detractors admit that Peter Jackson derived much of his inspiration from this prototype.
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