The Lord of the Rings

Watch The Lord of the Rings

"Fantasy...beyond your imagination"
  • PG
  • 1978
  • 2 hr 13 min
  • 6.2  (35,533)

In 1978, director Ralph Bakshi released an animated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic high fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings. The film tells of the journey of Frodo Baggins, a hobbit from the Shire, who is given the task of destroying the One Ring, a powerful artifact created by the malevolent Dark Lord Sauron in order to control all of Middle-earth. Frodo is joined on his quest by a fellowship of other characters representing various races of Middle-earth, including the wizard Gandalf, the human warrior Aragorn, the elf Legolas, and the dwarf Gimli.

The film is split into two parts, with the first covering the events of the first half of the book (The Fellowship of the Ring) and the second covering the events of the second half (The Two Towers and The Return of the King). Despite some deviations from the source material, Bakshi's adaptation largely stays true to Tolkien's vision and serves as a faithful retelling of the story.

One of the most notable aspects of the film is its animation style. Bakshi combined traditional hand-drawn animation with live-action footage in a technique known as rotoscoping, where the live-action footage was traced over to create a more realistic look to the animation. This gave the film a unique visual style, which while somewhat crude by today's standards, was groundbreaking at the time.

The film also features a strong vocal cast, led by Christopher Guard as Frodo and William Squire as Gandalf. Guard delivers a sincere and earnest performance as Frodo, perfectly capturing the character's wide-eyed innocence and determination. Squire's Gandalf is wise and authoritative, lending gravitas to the character's role as mentor and guide to the fellowship.

The film's score, composed by Leonard Rosenman, is another highlight. Rosenman's music perfectly captures the epic scope of the story, with soaring melodies and a choral backing adding to the film's sense of grandeur.

Despite its strengths, Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings is not without its flaws. The animation can be choppy and uneven at times, with some scenes looking more polished than others. Additionally, due to time constraints, some sequences from the books had to be cut or simplified, which may disappoint diehard fans of Tolkien's work.

Overall, however, Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings stands as a worthy adaptation of one of the most beloved works of fiction of all time. Its unique animation style, strong cast, and epic score all work together to deliver an entertaining and faithful retelling of Tolkien's masterpiece.

The Lord of the Rings is a 1978 adventure movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 13 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2.

The Lord of the Rings
Where to Watch The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Lord of the Rings for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (35,533)