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The Return of the King (1980)

TV Movie  -   -  Animation | Action | Adventure  -  11 May 1980 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 2,335 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 13 critic

Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.

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Title: The Return of the King (TV Movie 1980)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Aragorn (voice)
...
Lord Denethor (voice)
...
Gandalf (voice)
...
Samwise Gamgee (voice)
Brother Theodore ...
Gollum / Smeagol (voice) (as Theodore)
Paul Frees ...
Orc / Goblin / Uruk-Hai / Lord Elrond (voice)
Don Messick ...
John Stephenson ...
...
Sonny Melendrez ...
...
Glenn Yarbrough ...
The Minstrel (voice)
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Storyline

This film adapts the final book of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy where the Hobbits, Frodo and Samwise, struggle through the barren land of Mordor to destroy the Ruling Ring in Mount Doom. At the same time, Gandalf and the others wage a desperate battle against the forces of Sauron at Minas Tirith, but Sauron seems to have the upper hand while the source of his power, the Ring, slowly threatens to corrupt its bearers. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El retorno del rey  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many Tolkien fans were disappointed when Ralph Bakshi's 1978 adaptation of "Lord of the Rings" covered only the first two books of Tolkien's trilogy. When it became clear that Bakshi would not produce a sequel, Rankin and Bass finished the story for him with this TV movie, disappointing fans even more due to its poor, rushed quality. This TV movie is considered by many fans to be vastly inferior to Bakshi's 1978 movie. See more »

Goofs

Gandalf mispronounces the place-name "Lebennin". The stress should be on the second syllable, not the first. See more »

Quotes

Orcs: Where there's a whip there's a way, left right, left right. Where there's a whip there's a way, left right.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Hobbit (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not meant to be consumed by the general public, but a delicacy nonetheless
9 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In the wake of Peter Jackson's incredibly successful Tolkien series, this movie tends to get a lot of flak. Yet in some regards, I actually prefer this version, and I'll explain why:

The difference of opinion is basically generational and dependent on what the viewer is looking for. If you are hooked on stunning visuals and "epic" proportions in every estimable regard, there is no denying that Peter Jackson's films are better.

While this film deviates from the plot in several instances--no doubt a consequence of condensing so much material into an hour-and-a-half--it does maintain some of the better quotes from the books; keep in mind that these lines are delivered in the style in which they were written, not watered down the way some of the most powerful quotes are in more modern versions.

Combine this with a cast of amazing voice actors (Brother Theodore is the best, creepiest Gollum, hands down; Paul Frees orc voices are chilling; Roddy McDowall and Orson Bean do incredible things; and, of course, John Huston; I am not familiar with the actor that plays Denethor, but I love that performance as well) and you've got what is basically an Elizabethan drama with watercolor backgrounds and animation.

The other major reason why people dislike this film, and again it was a creative choice, is the inclusion of songs. Peter Jackson made films for adults; these animated films are intended for children. I admit that the ratio of song to plot can get tedious in this film, but the reasoning is noble. If you've ever read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, you know it is absolutely packed with poetry. I am sure it was this film's intent to preserve this feeling while at the same time emulating the musical style which has been popular with children's programming for years.

In conclusion, people often criticize this film on matters of taste rather than actual merit. If you enjoy animation and well-written dialogue, this is definitely worth a look.


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