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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
SCOD: The Mumakil

One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Sep 9 2013, 1:08pm

Post #1 of 10 (359 views)
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SCOD: The Mumakil Can't Post

Hi everybody! Welcome to screencap of the day! I've been a little tight for time recently (and internet access), but that won't stop me.



This is a particularly good look at the Mumakil, if you ask me, and I'm sure many would agree.

1.) In your opinion, what about this shot makes it near flawless (assuming you share my opinon)? What details? Does it appear flawed?

2.) Would you have preferred a more traditional design, perhaps closer to an elephant, or is this broader design more fitting?

3.) Any other thoughts?


Stigmata Script, a bastion for aspiring writers - http://stigmatascript.com/

"You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 9 2013, 1:23pm

Post #2 of 10 (230 views)
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Oliphaunts vs. Elephants [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The dust, grime and details such as the equipment and decorations, all help sell the image of these as real creatures.

2. I imagined the Mumakil less fancifully, more like huge mastodons or less-wooly mammoths than the more fantastic design used in the films.

3. I'm not sure that Jackson needed to go quite so large with the beasts.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 9 2013, 1:25pm)


Faleel
Rohan

Sep 9 2013, 2:31pm

Post #3 of 10 (196 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not so sure why the Rohirrim would have a hard time with them (horses avoiding them and all, allowing the Enemy to gather round them as defense), if they were small...


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Sep 9 2013, 2:39pm

Post #4 of 10 (195 views)
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The mumakil are awesome!! [In reply to] Can't Post

(1) I really think the dust in the air, hiding the view of the mumakil farther down the line, really sells it for me. They look as if they really are just walking out of the deserts and savannahs of Far Harad. That, and the look of power and heaviness in the mumakil's heads and limbs - one can almost imagine their dry, wrinkled skin and the ridges of their tusks. It just looks incredibly real to me, for some reason.

(2) No, I think they're great! Modern elephants have tusks from their upper jaws, and prehistoric elephant-like creatures had tusks from their lower jaws. So it's really amazing to see a creature (even if it is fictional) with both. I also really like the reddish tattoos on their faces and trunks.

(3) I am currently imagining the sort of bone density the mumakil would have to have to support their enormous weight... Hmm, I don't imagine they are too much larger than any sauropods, so I suppose mumakil of this size are not *technically* unrealistic on those grounds. However, their legs might be longer than those of most sauropods. I don't know; I'm not a dinosaur expert. But I love speculating on these sort of things.

Also, I'm wondering how their skulls are so thin at the top, if Legolas can shoot right through it. Granted, it was at point-blank range, but even so... Perhaps a thinner skull helped keep the brain cool? I have no idea; I'm just fishing for answers here.

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Sep 9 2013, 3:18pm

Post #5 of 10 (192 views)
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I'm wondering if [In reply to] Can't Post

that shot was inspired by Kurosawa. I'm practically smacking my head on my keyboard trying to remember the name of the movie; it was basically a Japanese adaptation of MacBeth, that began with mounted Samurai riding out of the fog with banners. George Lucas used the same image in TPM when the mounted Gungans rode out of the fog at the start of the trailer. (Remember how awesome that trailer was, before we saw the movie? Sigh.)

When I think of elephants, I usually think of circuses or cartoons like Dumbo. PJ totally contradicts those fun images with these massive spiky juggernauts rolling across the battlefield flattening everything that gets in their way. I would never for a moment confuse happy funny elephants with PJ's overwhelmingly terrifying oliphaunts. Even if I had the best suit of armor and the finest sword in the world, I'd run from a sight like that.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 9 2013, 3:36pm

Post #6 of 10 (188 views)
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Who said anything about "small"? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I am not so sure why the Rohirrim would have a hard time with them (horses avoiding them and all, allowing the Enemy to gather round them as defense), if they were small...



We are still talking about beasts larger than modern African or Asian elephants. I just don't think that they needed to be quite so exaggerated.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Darkstone
Immortal


Sep 9 2013, 7:12pm

Post #7 of 10 (166 views)
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Throne of Blood (1957)? [In reply to] Can't Post



******************************************
“That hobbit has a pleasant face,
His private life is a disgrace.
I really could not tell to you,
The awful things that hobbits do.”


Faleel
Rohan

Sep 9 2013, 7:33pm

Post #8 of 10 (155 views)
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I [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Hi everybody! Welcome to screencap of the day! I've been a little tight for time recently (and internet access), but that won't stop me.



This is a particularly good look at the Mumakil, if you ask me, and I'm sure many would agree.

2.) Would you have preferred a more traditional design, perhaps closer to an elephant, or is this broader design more fitting?


I don't really mind.


Quote
3.) Any other thoughts?

I have always liked this shot, and the SFX, along with the shot after, of the Wi-Ki.

Though I wish PJ had left Shore's music in...




Darkstone
Immortal


Sep 9 2013, 9:17pm

Post #9 of 10 (209 views)
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Just like the book! [In reply to] Can't Post

There came great beasts, like moving houses in the red and fitful light, the műmakil of the Harad dragging through the lanes amid the fires huge towers and engines.
-The Seige of Gondor


1.) In your opinion, what about this shot makes it near flawless (assuming you share my opinon)? What details? Does it appear flawed?

As they come from out of the fog the contour of the heads is reminiscent of the monstrous face of the Watcher in the Water. These are not cute circus pachyderms. These are not sweet wooly mammoths. These are monsters of another age emerging from the mists of time.

Just perfect.


2.) Would you have preferred a more traditional design, perhaps closer to an elephant, or is this broader design more fitting?

Instead of a piddly little traditional elephant I’d prefer Tolkien’s monstrously sized oliphaunt:

The ruins of what seemed a very war-tower lay upon his heaving back, smashed in his furious passage through the woods; and high upon his neck still desperately clung a tiny figure-the body of a mighty warrior, a giant among the Swertings.
-Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit

A wonderful and humorous comparison! It's so huge it makes a giant of a man seem tiny! Now that’s a big animal!!


3.) Any other thoughts?

Sam drew a deep breath. "An Oliphaunt it was!" he said. "So there are Oliphaunts, and I have seen one. What a life! But no one at home will ever believe me.”
-ibid

Yeah, Sam, PJ knows how you feel!

******************************************
“That hobbit has a pleasant face,
His private life is a disgrace.
I really could not tell to you,
The awful things that hobbits do.”


Loresilme
Valinor


Sep 10 2013, 8:58pm

Post #10 of 10 (134 views)
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"Legions of Haradrim from the south." [In reply to] Can't Post

1.) In your opinion, what about this shot makes it near flawless (assuming you share my opinon)? What details? Does it appear flawed?
Having the animals in the rear fading into the background mists emphasizes the voice-over word "legions ...." conjuring up the idea that there are hundreds more mumakil behind the ones we see, stretching back into the distance.

2.) Would you have preferred a more traditional design, perhaps closer to an elephant, or is this broader design more fitting?
I thought they were spectacular. I'm skipping ahead, but when they show up at the battle, looking so completely other-worldly, accompanied by that strange, exotic horn blast and ridden by even stranger looking 'foreigners' - what a moment, just that stunning realization that the battle had taken a horrible, unfathomable turn for the worse.

3.) Any other thoughts?
Aside from the voiceover, this shot is wonderful, they simply look real, like an ancient legend stepping out of the mists of time and myth into reality.


 
 

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