Projections - Movie Reviews

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Rings is a superbly animated Hobbit adventure, reminiscent of young King Arthur with Merlin at his side.

Ralph Bakshi, who in the past has brought animation to the X-rated screen with Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic produces a rewarding two hour adventure for all tastes.  Bakshi's animation is the most powerful dimension of the film.  The Hobbits, Sam and Frodo, who are the central characters express the warmth, innocence, and charm of the residents of the Shire, the Hobbit homeland.

They are both humorous and serious at the same time.  Frodo is charged with protecting the ring, one of a series of three, from becoming the possession of the Dark Lord Sauron.  Aided by Gandalf, a good wizard, their adventure unfolds within the magic of symbolic animation.

Rather than using clear detail for background, Bakshi relies upon a two dimensional, usually still, background laced with color similar to a scenic painting.  Not that his backdrops are dull; far from that, they are vibrant, colorful and expressive.  The atmosphere and feeling of a scene is expressed by the background.  It sets the scene, light or dark, good or evil, friendly or violent.

Personalities on the other hand, are precise in every detail.  Hobbits express feelings through eye movement, and shifts of skin on their faces.  Their large brown eyes betray their innermost thoughts.

Each movement, every possible body language has been captured precisely in every character.  Gollium a gargoyle like creature crawls along and uses tantrums to reinforce his lies.

Good Wizard Gondalf is tall, carries a staff, and sports a wizard style beard.  Boromir the great warrior looks like Prince Valiant.

The joy, however, is their movement which is so flawlessly created one forgets that Hobbits are not real and that Lord of the Rings is animated.

By far the most unique characters are from the underworld.  Even though the elves, dwarfs and orcs are good, the evil ones are truly evil.

Hooded black figures with glassy red eyes and fangs horde together to destroy the good and capture the ring which Frodo possesses.

The evil forces of the Dark Lord mass in the fourth dimension creating a sense of distortion which adds to the eeriness of their existence.  These scenes which appear on the screen as semi-negatives are over done, they take too much screen time, but they are effective.

More of the Hobbits would be better.  The film is also perhaps somewhat violent for small children.  Knights, good and bad slashing each other in dolby stereo may be frightening to youngsters.

Good vs. Evil as it was in the days of the Round Table flawlessly animated makes Lord of the Rings excellent classic entertainment for the entire family.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Avg.
The Lord of the Rings
B+
 
 
B+
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