Tag Archives: British Literature

The inspiration for one of Peter Jackson's scenes.

Review of Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” (1978)

Frodo, Sam, and Gollum in Bakshi's cartoon.Last year I reviewed the 1977 Rankin/Bass cartoon adaptation of The Hobbit.  Today I’ll be taking a look at another such cartoon: Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 attempt to bring The Lord of the Rings to the screen.  As I did with the Hobbit cartoon—and as I’m planning to do with the final instalment in the cartoon trilogy—I began by live-tweeting as I watched Bakshi’s film, the highlights of which can be found here.  As I had feared going into this, Bakshi largely failed to capture quite what he needed to capture with this one.
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Harry Potter casts his first true patronus charm.

“Harry Potter” Book Series Review

Harry Potter casts his first true patronus charm.If you ask me what I think of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, my answer will likely depend on what day you ask me.  Some days I’ll say I liked it; some days I’ll hate it.  In all honesty, however, my feelings towards Harry Potter are best described as “confused,” because there are a lot of things I really like about the series and a lot of things I really hate.  All things considered, I usually wind up mostly ambivalent towards Rowling’s best-known work.
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Harry Potter kills a basilisk with the sword of Godric Griffindor

“Harry Potter” Review Coming Soon

With my review of Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings cartoon still a while off, I’ve decided to review something else in the meantime.  For the past little while, I’ve been working on a review of J. K. Rowling’s wildly successful Harry Potter series.  Let’s get this out of the way for those who might be worried—I don’t dislike the Harry Potter series, so you can expect a more positive review than most of the stuff I’ve been posting recently.  Hooray!

Harry Potter kills a basilisk with the sword of Godric GriffindorI’ll be reviewing all seven books in a single article, which should explain why it’s taken me so long (despite only beginning to write the review over the weekend, I had been planning it for a long time before that).  So now you know what my next few big projects are!  I hope you’re as excited as I am about this, and if so, then you can expect to see a new review up within the next few weeks.

The cover for the first book of Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series.

“The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾” Review

The cover for the first book of Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series.I wanted to briefly write down some thoughts on a book I just finished called “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾” by Sue Townsend.  As the title suggests, the story is told through the journal of the gawkish Adrian Mole.  I don’t want to go into too much detail, as you really should read it for yourself without spoilers.  It’s a short read, in any case.
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The ridiculous character design for Treebeard in the Bakshi cartoon

Bakshi “The Lord of the Rings” Twitter Highlights

The ridiculous character design for Treebeard in the Bakshi cartoonOn Saturday I watched Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, and it wasn’t exactly bad—although it wasn’t good either!  Instead, I would define the Bakshi version as “precisely what you’d expect from a ’70s cartoon that tried to adapt a masterpiece.”  In short, it was doomed to fail.  That doesn’t mean, however, that it wasn’t fun to tear it to pieces, so here are some of the highlights from the live-tweeting session!
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Cartoon Gandalf spins around while speaking the Black Speech in The Shire.

Live Tweet of Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” at Noon

Cartoon Gandalf spins around while speaking the Black Speech in The Shire.This is the last of many reminders!  The day has finally come; at noon (Pacific Time), I will tweet my thoughts on Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” cartoon at twitter.com/hashtag/lotr78.  I happily invite you to tweet along with me if you’re interested in making your thoughts known about this cartoon!

The 1977 Hobbit cartoon is an abomination.

Review of Rankin/Bass’ The Hobbit (1977)

In the first article I ever wrote for this site, I reviewed a 1966 cartoon loosely derived from The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.The 1977 Hobbit cartoon is an abomination.  Now, this cartoon was actually calculated to be as faithless an adaptation as possible for use as a tool of blackmail, and this eventually led to the existence of a second attempt to adapt The Hobbit to the screen eleven years later, this time by Rankin/Bass, a studio famous for its holiday specials.  Many of their other works are really good, but they’re really out of their league here.  This, along with two later cartoons, are often considered to make up a sort of half-formed trilogy, and I’ll eventually get around to reviewing the other two.
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Conan The Barbarian

Epic Fantasy vs. “Sword and Sorcery”

I’d like to shed some light on a misconception concerning the genres of Epic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery.  For those who don’t know, the genre of Sword and Sorcery was created primarily by Robert E. Howard and thrived for many years in pulp magazines.  Epic Fantasy, on the other hand, was created by Tolkien with works such as The Hobbit after World War I and The Lord of the Rings after World War II.
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King Thorin Oakenshield of Erebor dies.

The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition

My birthday, being on the fifth of January, falls upon this day.  By coincidence, Tolkien’s birthday is on the third of the same month, and therefore several days ago I celebrated the birthday of my favourite author by watching the “special extended edition” of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies for the first time, which I had been saving for just that occasion.  In all honesty, the “extended edition” is a bit of a misnomer, for it really isn’t that it is extended, but that the theatrical is somewhat abridged for the theatres.  Unfortunately, few theatres would be willing to show a film as long as these are in their entirety, and so it becomes necessary to cut down the finished film for this purpose.  The full movie is, in fact, the extended edition, which should more appropriately be dubbed the “unabridged edition.” Continue reading The Battle of the Five Armies – Extended Edition

Response to Criticism of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit

What I suspect is a very vocal minority has, on the internet, made very clear their dislike of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Now, I could explain in great detail why most (if not all) of the changes and additions to the story are either innocuous and trivial and/or necessary due to the differences between art forms, but the fact is that people just like to complain.
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