The Return of the King (1980)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure  |  11 May 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 2,647 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 17 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.


(novels), (adapted for the screen)
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Cast overview:
Aragorn (voice)
Lord Denethor (voice)
Gandalf (voice)
Samwise Gamgee (voice)
Brother Theodore ...
Gollum / Smeagol (voice) (as Theodore)
Paul Frees ...
John Stephenson ...
Sonny Melendrez ...
Eowyn / Dernhelm (voice)
Glenn Yarbrough ...
The Minstrel (voice)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Story of Hobbits. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El retorno del rey  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Orson Bean, who had previously played Bilbo in The Hobbit (1977), plays Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in this film. In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, the part of Bilbo is played by Ian Holm, who had previously played Frodo in the BBC Radio adaptation. See more »


Many names of locations and characters are mispronounced: Gorgoroth as Gorogoroth, Minas Tirith as Mine-as Tirith (instead of Me-nas), Cirith Ungol as Sirith Ungol (insteaf of Kirith), Smaug as Smog (instead of Sma-ug), Sauron as Soron (instead of Sow-ron), Lebennin as LebEnnin (instead of LEbennin). See more »


Frodo Baggins: Oh Sam, what have I said, what have I done?
See more »


Referenced in South Park: Bass to Mouth (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Frodo of the Nine Fingers ....and the Ring of DOOOOOOOOMM!!!
14 January 2005 | by (Hell's Kitchen, NYC) – See all my reviews

This is an animated version of Tolkien's Return of the King and parts of the Hobbit. It is not overly accurate nor thorough, but it is still quite memorable and enjoyable.

The movie starts with Bilbo's 129th birthday celebration. The guest list includes Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Elrond and Gandolf. The Minstrel of Gondor comes out and proceeds to sing. From there we are treated to flashbacks. First a flashback of events from the Hobbit, followed by events from Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers. The story picks up during Sam's rescue of Frodo from the tower. We are treated to the Battle of Gondor, Frodo & Sam's trip to Mount Doom (through the lands of Mordor) and the Battle at the Black Gate.

This movie is mostly a patchwork of elements from the novel. There are some good voice talents being used. First and foremost is John Huston as Gandalf (and the narrator). One can also recognize Roddy McDowall as the voice of Samwise Gamgee. The voice of Gollum is also memorably done by Brother Theodore. These three characterizations (and voices) along with the music is what makes this movie truly memorable. The music is just so wonderful. I fondly remember my childhood watching this movie, in syndication on television during the mid to late 80's, and being simply captivated. It is quite evident that the target audience for this movie is children. While this movie is not perfect, it definitely opened the door for me to read the books and learn more. I highly recommend this movie to everyone.

-Celluloid Rehab

16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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