The Return of the King

Watch The Return of the King

  • NR
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 38 min
  • 5.7  (4,578)

The Return of the King from 1980 is an animated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel, The Lord of the Rings. The film covers the final installment of the trilogy in which the armies of Middle Earth come together for the ultimate showdown against the dark lord Sauron and his minions. The animated film provides a condensed but faithful retelling of the epic tale, complete with stunning visuals and a riveting score by Leonard Rosenman.

The Return of the King opens with an ominous prologue that sets the stage for the impending conflict. The ancient ring of power, which has long been coveted by evil forces, has been found by hobbit Frodo Baggins and his friend Samwise Gamgee. As they make their way closer to the fiery Mount Doom where the ring must be destroyed, they are trailed by the treacherous Gollum, who seeks to reclaim his previous possession. Meanwhile, the armies of the free peoples of Middle Earth begin to gather at the stronghold of Minas Tirith, preparing to face the impending onslaught of Sauron's army.

As the war draws near, the focus shifts to the battlefield and the various characters who fight for the cause of good. Orcs, trolls, and Nazgul swoop across the screen in a visual onslaught that is as impressive as it is terrifying. Amidst the chaos, courageous figures like Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli stand firm, rallying their troops and engaging in thrilling combat.

The Return of the King is also a story about the redemption of the realm of man, as the rightful king Aragorn comes to claim his throne and fulfill his destiny as a leader of men. Although the film does not delve as deeply into the internal struggles of its characters as the book, it is still able to communicate the sense of moral conviction and camaraderie that lies at the heart of Tolkien's work.

Throughout its runtime, The Return of the King presents a masterful blend of action, drama, and fantasy. The animation is lush and detailed, with breathtaking landscapes and intricate character designs that faithfully capture the essence of the original book. The voice acting is also exceptional, with Orson Bean delivering a nuanced and empathetic performance as Frodo, and John Huston bringing a commanding presence to his role as Gandalf.

Despite its impressive technical accomplishments, The Return of the King is not without its flaws. Some viewers may find the pacing to be rushed, as the film tries to squeeze in the major events of the book into a 90-minute runtime. Additionally, the lack of depth in some of the supporting characters may disappoint those who are familiar with the source material.

Nevertheless, The Return of the King stands as a worthy adaptation of one of the most beloved fantasy stories of all time. It successfully captures the essence of Tolkien's work while adding its own unique visual and auditory flair. For fans of the book or lovers of epic fantasy in general, this animated film is not to be missed.

In conclusion, The Return of the King from 1980 is a captivating and visually stunning animated film adaptation of Tolkien's famous novel. It brings the story to life with intricate character designs, stunning landscapes, and a score that adds to the overall grandeur of the tale. Though it may have its flaws, it remains a true treasure for anyone invested in Tolkien's world and the conflict between good and evil that is at the heart of it.

The Return of the King
The Return of the King doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 38 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (4,578)