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The Ralph Bakshi adaptation of The Lord of the Rings is a combination of the first book, and half of the second book. It was meant to be three films, but was forced to be shortened to two, with the intention of finishing with the sequel. Due to Executive Meddling, the original title, The Lord of the Rings Part I, was tossed out, resulting in some disappointment from viewers who expected closure to the story. And while the film did well at the box office, grossing more than enough to break even (a rarity for non-Disney feature films of the time) the rest of the second book and the third book was never completed by Bakshi. Later, Rankin Bass produced a version of The Return of The King, and Peter Jackson did his own take on the story.
The film mixes bits of Rotoscoping and live action footage. There's also a little bit of traditional animation that doesn't use rotoscoping, but it's one of those blink and you'll miss it moments in the film.
If you pay attention, Peter Jackson borrowed some things from this movie for his series - particularly the famous shot of the hobbits hiding from the Ringwraiths in the roots of a tree. Also the shot where a Hobbit has his very large feet propped up on a table; Jackson included an exact recreation of the moment.
Viewers of the movie either Love It or Hate It.
Provides Examples Of:
- Animated Adaptation
- Art Shift
- Aside Glance: After Frodo wakes up in Rivendell.
- Blind Idiot Translation: There's a line delivered by either Merri or Pippin saying "...and nothing for poor Grishnakh, gollum". The Finnish subtitles translated the Verbal Tic as "or Gollum either".
- Continuity Lock Out: It's a major problem with this film. To some viewers, this film is difficult to understand if you have not read the book. For example, it doesn't explain why Aragorn's broken sword is important.
- Executive Meddling: There was a concern that audiences would confuse "Saruman" with "Sauron". So Aruman was used. That could be understandable, but then the movie keeps switching between Saruman and Aruman.
- Exact Words: The line mentioned above really came out as "...and nothing for poor Grishnakh, Gollum".
- Gonk: Oh, Sam, what did they do to you?
- To be fair, Sam was Played for Laughs during what was to be the first half of the film. One may notice as Frodo gets weaker, Sam gets more assertive and less silly.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: C3PO and Caligula join the Fellowship.
- John Hurt is Aragorn.
- Inconsistent Dub: Saruman vs. Auruman, enforced due to Executive Meddling-apparently the head honchos thought that the audience wouldn't understand the different between Sauron and Saruman, so they had the actors redub the line to pronounce it as Auruman.
- Limited Wardrobe: It's not too much of an issue for most of the movie but it's particularly glaring when the Fellowship is trying to cross the Pass of Caradhras.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Unlike in Jackson's adaptation, we never really see Sauron, only his shadow.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Oddly enough averted, Gimli is human sized and Moria has some of the most hideous faces on its walls.
- Off-Model: Strange faces in order - Frodo, Gandalf, Frodo again, more Frodo, Sam, the woman in the war, Strider, Legolas, Bilbo, Sam, and Boromir.
- Race Lift: Aragorn seems to be Native American.
- Rotoscoping: Pretty well done for the most part, but during the opening exposition that is visually delivered in silouhette, it's painfully obvious that Gollum is a guy in a big rubber mask and gloves.
- Sequel Hook: Due to Executive Meddling, this was supposed to have been titled The Lord of the Rings Part I, but this was deleted from the posters; however, the end still retained a voiceover stating that this film was the end of the first part. The home video editions redubbed a new voiceover without the hook.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Saruman vs. Aruman.
- It's corrected to Saruman in the DVD subtitles.
- Stillborn Franchise
- Time Passes Montage: "Seventeen years passed sleepily in the Shire."
- Those Two Guys: Merry and Pippin.
- To Be Continued: Unfortunately, no.
- Too Dumb to Live: Merry and Pippin, at one point in the movie just run into a camp of orcs. Done in the original material too, though. Says it right at the beginning of Part 3. During their search for Frodo, these two stumbled on a buttload of Orcs, leading to Boromir's attempted rescue, leading to...
- Two-Part Trilogy: The film ends immediately after Helm's Deep, which most agree would be the best spot to divide the story into two parts if you had no choice.
- What Could Have Been: The second part of this was planned. However, the first part received mixed reviews and the producers refused to fund part II.