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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Considering this was a made-for-TV ANIMATED movie back in 1980, Rankin-Bass did an okay job trying to make amends for Ralph Bakshi's failure. R-B was hired to take the entire finale of LOTR and squeeze it down to under 90 minutes suitable for TV. By comparison, Peter Jackson spent over 90 million to make a 3 1/2 hour movie with a PG-13 rating.
R-B made some tough, hard, and brave decisions to pick what would stay, what would go, and what needed to be changed. Purists should stick with the books, but when you consider that Tolkien himself couldn't tell his whole story within the book and had to include appendices, it really isn't necessary to include every minute detail on TV.
The book spent over 100 pages just wrapping up all the "lose ends" after the ring was destroyed. The quest for the ring was the main plot, not dealing with Saruman, not resolving Aragorn's and Arwen's love, not even dealing with Legolas' and Gimli's bond. While these plots didn't make it to the movie and that's a shame, they are not essential to the main story.
I'm not saying the movie was GREAT. I still chuckle when I think that the actual RETURNING OF THE KING took a five second cameo, I stand by Rankin-Bass if only to pick up Ralph Bakshi's pieces, even in vain.
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