The Lord of the Rings


2h 13m 1978
The Lord of the Rings

Brief Synopsis

Frodo the Hobbit joins a group of adventurers to destroy the one true ring before it can fall into the wrong hands.

Film Details

Also Known As
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Rings, Sagan om ringen
MPAA Rating
Genre
Fantasy
Adaptation
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1978

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 13m
Sound
Dolby
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Frodo embarks on a great adventure when he receives the ring of all power that is coveted by the evil Sauron of Mordor. With Mordor's black riders after him, Frodo struggles to keep the ring from returning to its owner, which would mean the end of Middle-earth. The wizard Gandalf, and friends Merry, Sam, and Pippin join forces with Frodo to help him on his quest.

Crew

Marcia Adams

Other

Christopher Andrews

Visual Effects

Craig Armstrong

Animator

Dale Baer

Animator

Dale Baer

Layout Artist

Mark Bakshi

Production

Brenda Banks

Animator

William Barbe

Costumes

Peter S Beagle

Screenplay

Carl A Bell

Animator

Lynne Betner

Costumes

Nino Carbe

Visual Effects

Martin Cohen

Production

Mary Jane Cole

Special Effects

Mary Jane Cole

Other

Chris Conkling

Screenplay

Jesus Cortez

Animator

Janet Cummings

Visual Effects

Christine L Danzo

Production

Retta Davidson

Effects Assistant

James A Davis

Animator

Donald W Ernst

Editor

Lillian Evans

Animator

Ralph Ferraro

Original Music

Wayne Fitzgerald

Titles

Mark Fleischer

Song

Dotti Foell

Animator

Timothy Galfas

Dp/Cinematographer

Timothy Galfas

Director Of Photography

Frank Gonzales

Animator

Steven E Gordon

Animator

Stan Green

Visual Effects

Edgar Gutierrez

Production

Ann Hamilton

Special Effects

Ann Hamilton

Other

Jacquelyn Herst

Production

Edwin B Hirth

Other

Mentor Huebner

Layout Artist

Charlotte Huffine

Effects Assistant

Barry E Jackson

Greensman

Sam Jaimes

Animator

David Jonas

Layout Artist

Sean Joyce

Animator

Stephen Katz

Consultant

Peter Kirby

Sound Editor

Rob Laduca

Effects Assistant

Terrence Lennon

Effects Assistant

Bob Minkler

Sound

William Mumford

Sound

Edward Newman

Effects Assistant

Linda Pearce

Special Effects

Linda Pearce

Other

Manny Perez

Animator

Daniel Pia

Digital Effects Supervisor

Michael Ploog

Layout Artist

Carol Kieffer Police

Other

Lou Police

Visual Effects

Lenord Robinson

Animator

Jacqueline Roettcher

Production Supervisor

Joe Roman

Animator

Philip Roman

Animator

Cathy Rose

Production

Leonard Rosenman

Song

Leonard Rosenman

Music

Chrystal Russell

Animator

Emaline Seutter

Other

Emaline Seutter

Special Effects

Paul Smith

Animator

John Sparey

Assistant Director

Irv Spence

Animator

Michael Spooner

Visual Effects

Karin Stover

Other

Karin Stover

Special Effects

Michael Takamoto

Production

Martin Taras

Animator

Barry Temple

Effects Assistant

J.r.r. Tolkien

Source Material (From Novel)

Hank Tucker

Animator

Ira Turek

Visual Effects

Bill Varney

Sound

Johnnie Vita

Other

Edward Wexler

Animator

Bruce Woodside

Animator

Saul Zaentz

Producer

Louise Zingarelli

Layout Artist

Photo Collections

The Lord of the Rings (1978) - Promotional Brochure
Here is a pre-release promotional brochure for Ralph Bakshi's then-upcoming animated feature The Lord of the Rings (1978). Using mostly pre-production artwork, the brochure would've been distributed well in advance of the movie's release date (Thanksgiving, 1978) to drum up interest.

Film Details

Also Known As
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Rings, Sagan om ringen
MPAA Rating
Genre
Fantasy
Adaptation
Sci-Fi
Release Date
1978

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 13m
Sound
Dolby
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

The Lord of the Rings (1978)


Efforts to bring British fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings to the big screen were in the long view, however scattershot and uncoordinated, nothing short of mythic. Various attempts to film the trilogy - an epic high fantasy written between 1937 and 1949 and spanning the The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King - were broached between 1955 (the year the third and final book was published) and Tolkien's death in 1973. At one point, an adaptation was proposed by no less than the Beatles, who hoped to tap Stanley Kubrick to direct, but the author (not a fan of The Fab Four in particular or of rock and roll in general) withheld permission. Having breached the realm of fantasy with his Wizard of Oz-inspired Zardoz (1974), John Boorman declared that he would attempt an adaptation and that he would bring it in at under one hundred minutes - a boast that found no favor with Tolkien's fans, loathe as they were to part with even one battle, one betrayal, one revelation.

Boorman's abandonment of the project cleared the way for Ralph Bakshi, whose 1977 animated feature Wizards had been influenced by Tolkien's Middle Earth saga. It is more than likely that, had Tolkien been alive in 1977, he would not have given the American animator the time of day, given Bakshi's controversial stock-in-trade - among which was the first cartoon ever to merit an X-rating. A former Terrytoons staffer who paid his dues polishing animation cels, Bakshi maneuvered his way up the chain of command at Terrytoons, ultimately selling a concept to CBS Television and advancing to the post of head of Paramount Pictures' animation division - just before that office was shuttered. Rarely satisfied with his corporate assignments (which included TV spots for Coca Cola), Bakshi yearned to make animation his own way, geared for adults and inspired by a childhood that had been divided between the tenements of Brooklyn's Brownsville section and Washington D. C.'s largely black Foggy Bottom community.

Bakshi's feature film debut, Fritz the Cat (1972), was based on a comic strip character created by greeting card artist turned underground comic illustrator R. Crumb. Detailing the sex lives and drug habits of a number of anthropomorphized animals living and loving in New York's Harlem, the adults-only Fritz the Cat went on to become the most successful independently-produced animated feature of all time, made for $850,000 and grossing $90 million world-wide. (Distributor Cinemation's game plan had been to embrace the film's MPAA rating, boasting in press materials "He's X-rated and animated!") Uninterested in mounting a sequel (The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat was produced without his participation and released in 1974), Bakshi returned to an inner city milieu with Heavy Traffic (1973), whose X-rating this time out served as a clarion call for the animator's growing fanbase. Coonskin (1975) was a bold statement about racial stereotyping while Hey, Good Lookin' (1976), a mix of live action and animation, was rejected by Warner Bros. and released only after extensive reworking in 1982.

With Wizards, Bakshi shot off in another unexpected direction, a postapocalyptic parable enacted by fairytale characters whose common vocabulary was not safe for bedtime. Made for just over $1,000,000, the film earned back ten times its budget. (Bakshi's original title had been War Wizards, which was changed in light of the success that summer of George Lucas' Star Wars (1977); coincidentally, Star Wars lead Mark Hamill provided the voice of a character in Wizards.) Having been favorably impressed by Wizards, Tolkien's daughter Priscilla gave Bakshi her blessing to adapt The Lord of the Rings. Bakshi's plan for the project was to combine the first two novels into one film and to wrap up the trilogy with a sequel. Clocking in at two hours and twelve minutes, The Lord of the Rings was the first fully rotoscoped animated feature, shot live with actors in Spain, whose movements were painted over to strike an eerie balance between traditional animation and live action. (The process is credited to pioneer animator Max Fleischer.) Among Bakshi's cast were a pre-Alien (1979) John Hurt, Hammer horror actor André Morell (who died shortly after completing his scenes) and Anthony Daniels, who had played the android C3PO in Star Wars. Among Bakshi's crew of animators was a young (and uncredited) Tim Burton.

Though the $4 million The Lord of the Rings grossed over $30 million at the boxoffice, Bakshi's concluding chapter never materialized. (Distributor United Artists had vetoed Bakshi's plan to call the movie The Lord of the Rings: Part I, which led to audience dissatisfaction that they had not been given the full story.) Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin realized The Return of the King on a considerably lesser scale as a 1980 animated TV movie, a follow-up to their earlier The Hobbit (1977), based on the 1937 Tolkien book that started it all. Apart from a 1985 Russian language adaptation of The Hobbit and a 1993 miniseries from Finland, the Middle Earth saga lay fallow for twenty years before being realized on a grand scale by New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), as well as a trilogy of films (2012-2014) based on The Hobbit. As an artistically-inclined teenager and Tolkien fan coming of age in Pukerua Bay, Jackson had been inspired by Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings and included in his own trilogy references to the earlier film.

By Richard Harland Smith

Sources:

Ralph Bakshi interview by Tasha Robinson, The Onion AV Club, December 6, 2000

Peter Jackson interview by Stephen Colbert, Entertainment Weekly, December 2014

The Animated Movie Guide by Jerry Beck, (Chicago Review Press, 2005)
The Lord Of The Rings (1978)

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Efforts to bring British fantasy writer J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings to the big screen were in the long view, however scattershot and uncoordinated, nothing short of mythic. Various attempts to film the trilogy - an epic high fantasy written between 1937 and 1949 and spanning the The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King - were broached between 1955 (the year the third and final book was published) and Tolkien's death in 1973. At one point, an adaptation was proposed by no less than the Beatles, who hoped to tap Stanley Kubrick to direct, but the author (not a fan of The Fab Four in particular or of rock and roll in general) withheld permission. Having breached the realm of fantasy with his Wizard of Oz-inspired Zardoz (1974), John Boorman declared that he would attempt an adaptation and that he would bring it in at under one hundred minutes - a boast that found no favor with Tolkien's fans, loathe as they were to part with even one battle, one betrayal, one revelation. Boorman's abandonment of the project cleared the way for Ralph Bakshi, whose 1977 animated feature Wizards had been influenced by Tolkien's Middle Earth saga. It is more than likely that, had Tolkien been alive in 1977, he would not have given the American animator the time of day, given Bakshi's controversial stock-in-trade - among which was the first cartoon ever to merit an X-rating. A former Terrytoons staffer who paid his dues polishing animation cels, Bakshi maneuvered his way up the chain of command at Terrytoons, ultimately selling a concept to CBS Television and advancing to the post of head of Paramount Pictures' animation division - just before that office was shuttered. Rarely satisfied with his corporate assignments (which included TV spots for Coca Cola), Bakshi yearned to make animation his own way, geared for adults and inspired by a childhood that had been divided between the tenements of Brooklyn's Brownsville section and Washington D. C.'s largely black Foggy Bottom community. Bakshi's feature film debut, Fritz the Cat (1972), was based on a comic strip character created by greeting card artist turned underground comic illustrator R. Crumb. Detailing the sex lives and drug habits of a number of anthropomorphized animals living and loving in New York's Harlem, the adults-only Fritz the Cat went on to become the most successful independently-produced animated feature of all time, made for $850,000 and grossing $90 million world-wide. (Distributor Cinemation's game plan had been to embrace the film's MPAA rating, boasting in press materials "He's X-rated and animated!") Uninterested in mounting a sequel (The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat was produced without his participation and released in 1974), Bakshi returned to an inner city milieu with Heavy Traffic (1973), whose X-rating this time out served as a clarion call for the animator's growing fanbase. Coonskin (1975) was a bold statement about racial stereotyping while Hey, Good Lookin' (1976), a mix of live action and animation, was rejected by Warner Bros. and released only after extensive reworking in 1982. With Wizards, Bakshi shot off in another unexpected direction, a postapocalyptic parable enacted by fairytale characters whose common vocabulary was not safe for bedtime. Made for just over $1,000,000, the film earned back ten times its budget. (Bakshi's original title had been War Wizards, which was changed in light of the success that summer of George Lucas' Star Wars (1977); coincidentally, Star Wars lead Mark Hamill provided the voice of a character in Wizards.) Having been favorably impressed by Wizards, Tolkien's daughter Priscilla gave Bakshi her blessing to adapt The Lord of the Rings. Bakshi's plan for the project was to combine the first two novels into one film and to wrap up the trilogy with a sequel. Clocking in at two hours and twelve minutes, The Lord of the Rings was the first fully rotoscoped animated feature, shot live with actors in Spain, whose movements were painted over to strike an eerie balance between traditional animation and live action. (The process is credited to pioneer animator Max Fleischer.) Among Bakshi's cast were a pre-Alien (1979) John Hurt, Hammer horror actor André Morell (who died shortly after completing his scenes) and Anthony Daniels, who had played the android C3PO in Star Wars. Among Bakshi's crew of animators was a young (and uncredited) Tim Burton. Though the $4 million The Lord of the Rings grossed over $30 million at the boxoffice, Bakshi's concluding chapter never materialized. (Distributor United Artists had vetoed Bakshi's plan to call the movie The Lord of the Rings: Part I, which led to audience dissatisfaction that they had not been given the full story.) Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin realized The Return of the King on a considerably lesser scale as a 1980 animated TV movie, a follow-up to their earlier The Hobbit (1977), based on the 1937 Tolkien book that started it all. Apart from a 1985 Russian language adaptation of The Hobbit and a 1993 miniseries from Finland, the Middle Earth saga lay fallow for twenty years before being realized on a grand scale by New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), as well as a trilogy of films (2012-2014) based on The Hobbit. As an artistically-inclined teenager and Tolkien fan coming of age in Pukerua Bay, Jackson had been inspired by Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings and included in his own trilogy references to the earlier film. By Richard Harland Smith Sources: Ralph Bakshi interview by Tasha Robinson, The Onion AV Club, December 6, 2000 Peter Jackson interview by Stephen Colbert, Entertainment Weekly, December 2014 The Animated Movie Guide by Jerry Beck, (Chicago Review Press, 2005)

Quotes

One ring to rule them all; one ring to find them. One ring to keep them all, and in the darkness bind them!
- Gandalf
Woah, Sam Gamgee, your legs are too short, so use your head!
- Sam
Nim, nim, nim, nim, nim... the boats!
- Sam
So all you had to do was say friend... and enter.
- Legolas
Those were happier times...
- Gilmi
Straight stairs, winding stairs what comes after that?
- Sam
We shall see, oh yes... We shall see.
- Gollum
Wait. Do you desire it so much already?
- Gandalf
No, but, but why ruin it?
- Frodo
Because it is altogether EVIL. It will corrupt and destroy anyone who wears it, until he passes into the world of shadows under the power of Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor.
- Gandalf
Not Bilbo!
- Frodo
YOU are the one who has the Ring now.
- Gandalf

Trivia

Filmed with live actors in black-and-white and rotoscoped, each animation cel drawn over a film frame of an actor.

None of the actors portraying the physical parts of the characters in this movie provided the voices. In fact, Billy Barty, founder of the Little People of America, actually provided two physical parts - that of Samwise Gamgee and Bilbo Baggins. Because of then-current Screen Actors Guild union rules pertaining to onscreen credits (only actors with speaking parts would have onscreen credit), not a single performer that physically appeared in the film was credited. Barty was so incensed by this ruling that he challenged it for future productions. As a result of his bold action, thousands of actors, dancers, extras, body doubles, stuntmen, etc. who formerly would have remained nameless, now receive the recognition they richly deserve.

Used battle footage from _Alexander Nevsky (1938)_ .

Many crowd scenes are live-action film that was tinted.

Rotoscoped action scenes were filmed in Spain.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall November 1978

Released in United States Fall November 1978