(Unofficially) Peter S. Beagle

Lord of the Rings Movie
Film poster

The Lord of The Rings animated movie
Screenplay by Peter S. Beagle and Chris Conklin
based upon the novel by J.R.R. Tolkein
Directed by Ralph Bashiki
Theatrical Release: 1978

Peter Beagle's relationship with J.R.R. Tolkein goes back to Beagle's adolescence. The Hobbit was published in 1937, and Beagle probably encountered it in his late teens. While his writing style may not have been as influenced by Tolkein as other writers of his generation, Beagle holds a firm place in the Tolkein mythos. He has written forewords to two of Tolkein's books, a lengthy article praising The Lord of the Rings entitled "Tolkein's Magic Ring" which was eventually included in The Tolkein Reader, he has contributed to a "tribute" anthology honoring J.R.R. entitled After the King, and helped write the screenplay for the animated version of "The Lord of the Rings."

There's not too terribly much info on this movie, I'm afraid. Non-Tolkein fans probably couldn't get really into it, and I'm sure not a lot tried to begin with. Tolkein fans were annoyed that the movie did not cover the entire three-book-series, but ended somewhere around the first half of the second book. A popular quote seems to have been "Half a move for the price of a whole one."

According to the Middle Earth and the Movies FAQ, "Apparently, Bakshi was planing to do the trilogy in two parts. (Lord of the Rings covers the story up to Helm's Deep, and ends quite abruptly.) I have heard that the studio didn't really know this, and the film did poorly anyway. Thus, an actual sequel was never done. It is very important to note that while Lord of the Rings covers the first half of the trilogy, it skips over a tremendous amount and omits several important characters such as Arwen, Glorfindel, Tom Bombadil, and others. (This of course, is to be expected considering the amount of material they were trying to cover in a single film.) Most Tolkien fans find this very dissatisfying. Again, no second part was made by Ralph Bakshi, although Rankin and Bass came out with Return of the King sometime later. It chronicles most of the events of the book, but like the other films skips a lot. Consequently, the last half of The Two Towers has never been told on the screen, and it is impossible to watch these movies together and get a clear picture of the trilogy. "

Full listing for cast (voices) is available at IMDB.

Interplay released a popular computer game based on the movie in 1990, which included some animations from the movie adaptation.
There are screenshots on the Tolkein Computer Games Website.

"The amazing sights, sounds, and experiences of Middle Earth come alive through actual footage from the original Ralph Bakshi animated movie classic as you search for the One Ring, the ring that can demolish all of Middle Earth."

The Review Guys (what else?) review the movie. It gets 3 to 3 1/2 stars overall.


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