Tag Archives: J. R. R. Tolkien

Orcs singing in the Rankin/Bass Return of the King cartoon.

Review of Rankin/Bass “The Return of the King” (1980)

Orcs singing in the Rankin/Bass Return of the King cartoon.This cartoon…  This is the one that broke me…  I feel drained after watching this.  Before there was Peter Jackson, there were three cartoons almost unrelated to one another, and I made the mistake of deciding to review all of them.  The first was a children’s animated TV special by Rankin/Bass that removed almost every element that made The Hobbit great.  The second, based on the first half of The Lord of the Rings, was at least for adults, even if it was a poorly-rotoscoped cartoon that payed little attention to the subtleties of the book.  The third, which I’ll be reviewing today, is called Frodo: The Hobbit II, but it’s more commonly known as The Return of the King: A Story of the Hobbits.
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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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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!

Bakshi “The Lord of the Rings” Live-Tweeting Tomorrow

The animated version of Gandalf in Ralph Bakshi's cartoon.Greetings!  Tomorrow at 12:00PM (Pacific Time), I’m going to watch Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and tweet my thoughts live at twitter.com/hashtag/lotr78 as I do so.  You’re invited to join in on the discussion at noon tomorrow, and if you want to make sure you don’t miss the event, you can follow me at twitter.com/HM_Turnbull.

A Ringwraith in Ralph Bakshi's cartoon.

Live Tweeting Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” Adaptation on Saturday

A Ringwraith in Ralph Bakshi's cartoon.Greetings!  This is just one of a good few reminders that I’ll be live-tweeting my thoughts on Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings” this Saturday at 12:00PM (Pacific Time).  If you’re interested, you can join in at twitter.com/hashtag/lotr78 or follow me at twitter.com/HM_Turnbull.

Gandalf and "Aruman" in the Ralph Bakshi cartoon.

Live Tweeting at Noon on Saturday

Gandalf and "Aruman" in the Ralph Bakshi cartoon.As I said in my last post, I am going to be live-tweeting my thoughts on Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings on Saturday the 14th at #lotr78.  The live-tweeting will take place at 12:00PM Pacific Time, so make a note in your schedule if you’re interested.  Also, to make sure you don’t miss it, you can follow me at @HM_Turnbull.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this movie with you!  Expect more updates soon.

Frodo and Gandalf in Ralph Bakshi's rotoscoped cartoon.

Live Tweeting Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings“ Next Week

In September I live-tweeted my thoughts on the Rankin/Bass adaptation of The Hobbit.Frodo and Gandalf in Ralph Bakshi's rotoscoped cartoon.  In October I posted my full review, and on no other article have I ever worked harder.  I’ve said before that I will do the same with the rest of the makeshift cartoon trilogy—first Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of the first half of The Lord of the Rings, then Rankin/Bass’s attempt at the final third: The Return of the King.  I’ve got another review scheduled for the tenth, and then next Saturday I’m going to watch Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” and live-tweet my thoughts at #lotr78.

I apologize that I don’t have an exact time of day planned yet, but I’ll post an update on my website and all relevant social-media when I know more.  To make sure you don’t miss the live-tweeting, you can follow me on Twitter at @HM_Turnbull.

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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