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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
R/B Return of the King

elevorn
Lorien


Oct 11 2012, 8:06pm

Post #1 of 25 (804 views)
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R/B Return of the King Can't Post

Okay so as I was home nursing myself back to health yesterday I stumbled across the fuill version of R/B's animated "Return of the King" I watched it waiting to be horrified and at the same time found that it had a quaint charm to it. the characterizations of the Hobbits made the whole story of LOTR a little bit more Hobbity if you will. Yes it lack some major plot points of the story and the animation is typical Rankin/Bass production. but overall, I could no longer be mortified of the cartoon. I was wondering if some of you would weigh in with your thoughts on this old cartoon. I'll bring more in later as work is almost finished and I need a chair and a nap (chair is coming on saturday so the couch will have to do Wink)



"clever hobbits to climb so high!"
Check out my writing www.jdstudios.wordpress.com


Mr. Arkenstone (isaac)
Grey Havens


Oct 12 2012, 6:54am

Post #2 of 25 (348 views)
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I liked! [In reply to] Can't Post

Agree with you in major plot points ar not there, but for example give us a bigger view of what happens to Frodo and Sam in Mordor, than any other adaptation I have seen (well there are not too much adaptations). And this Mordor stuff is one thing I missed a lot from PJ movies, tought I liked what I saw of Mordor in cinemas too, almost too much, Barad-dur is so cool...

I can not guarantee his safety - understood...
Nor will I be responsible for his fate - Doh!


Mooseboy018
Gondor


Oct 12 2012, 3:27pm

Post #3 of 25 (326 views)
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I used to like it when I was younger. [In reply to] Can't Post

But it's hard to enjoy it too much now that I'm more familiar with the material. I think it could have been much better if they hadn't spent over half the movie with those silly songs. Although, "Where There's a Whip There's a Way" is too good to take out.Laugh

I think they did a much better job with the Hobbit. They were able to include the songs, which were actually from the book, and still tell a coherent story in such a short amount of time. But their version of Return of the King just feels all over the place, and any time the plot gets going, a song comes out of nowhere and grinds the momentum to a halt.

And some of the little changes they made are more ridiculous than anything Peter Jackson ever did. Like how Samwise searches for Frodo in Mount Doom for days.Crazy

But I do agree it was nice to see a lengthier version of Frodo and Sam's journey through Mordor. But they completely ignored Aragorn's story and most of Pippin and Gandalfs, so it wasn't really that hard for them to do.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Oct 13 2012, 8:14pm

Post #4 of 25 (329 views)
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Everyone, proceed to pelt me with vegetables in the stocks, but I hated it [In reply to] Can't Post

In my own opinion (not completely justifiable) I find it hard to believe that people can criticize PJ's adaptation in favour of this. I appreciate that it was made for a younger audience to enjoy as well, and that it was faithful to Tolkien for the most part, but it did not (for me) capture the spirit of the books in the way that I hoped it would do. It's nice to see songs used (and so keeping with the style of the book) but not songs that (a) don't exist and (b) are ridiculous! (Orcs cease to be threatening when they sing). Add this to some of the (again my opinion) woeful voice acting (Particularly John Huston's Gandalf, although the Witch-King and Pippin were my least favourites).

But, aside from my own prejudices, I have nothing against it. What I dislike is the criticism towards Bakshi's version in favour of this, as the Bakshi version is on the whole very faithful to the books (if you can ignore the Lion-Balrog then it's mostly great) added to some good voice acting (John Hurt *is* Aragorn's voice as far as I'm concerned).

"Radagast is, of course, a worthy wizard, a master of shapes and changes of hue, and he has much lore of herbs and beasts, and birds are especially his friends."-Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings.


guitarzankansasfan
Lorien


Oct 14 2012, 5:23am

Post #5 of 25 (384 views)
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The artwork was good, the adaptation was poor. [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember renting the Rankin-Bass RoTK cartoon in '03 prior to the release of the PJ version. At the time, the thing I noticed the most was that the narrative was fragmented and just didn't make sense of the story. I liked a lot of the artwork and the Rankin Bass animation style, but it was extremely annoying that they simply animated a "sequel" of sorts to the Ralph Bakshi film, instead of starting from scratch at the beginning. Had they spent a little more effort on making a good, cohesive, well-written adaptation, it could have become a classic.

There was a man.
There was a lady.
There was a Dragon Lord.


(This post was edited by guitarzankansasfan on Oct 14 2012, 5:25am)


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Oct 15 2012, 7:11pm

Post #6 of 25 (295 views)
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"quaint charm" describes it perfectly, IMO. [In reply to] Can't Post

I like all three animated films for what they are...very much products of their time and format, and strangely entertaining.

Being a big fan of PJ's films, their existence has made me appreciate the animated films more, as we have a full(er) adaptation of LotR (and soon TH), so seeing the (more) abbreviated, rather kitschy-versions doesn't feel like "this is all we have and we're stuck with it".

"Not tall, but broad and grim...wielding great axes. Out of some savage land in the wide East they come, we deem."


Malveth
Rivendell

Oct 16 2012, 2:16am

Post #7 of 25 (243 views)
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Good / Bad [In reply to] Can't Post

I have mixed feelings about the R/B Tolkien adaptations. In many cases it would have taken very little effort on their part to make the films profoundly better and it is disheartening to see them not take those opportunities.

The films both have some lovely backgrounds, a few dead-on character designs (Gandalf, Bilbo, Trolls) and some strong incidental music pieces. I love John Huston as Gandalf and a few other voices are good (Elrond, Aragorn).

Both films are profoundly nostalgic for me (I am of "that" generation) and brings back the original "feeling" Tolkien had for me as a child.

But, for me, R/B were better suited for other kinds of fantasy. Their stop-motion adaptation of the Oz prequel "The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus" is pitch-perfect, and their take on "Flight of Dragons" (from the Gordon R. Dickson novel) is quite strong, not to mention their Xmas fantasy specials based on pop songs and popular holiday figures. The complexity, darkness, and most importantly - consistency of tone - in Tolkien just seems to have eluded them.

So, I pull 'em out every few years, for the nostalgia, but they fall too short for me to really recommend them. To date, I can only really get into the 1980 BBC radio adaptation and the Ralph Bakshi film.

Tolkien works best on the page!


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 16 2012, 2:23am

Post #8 of 25 (254 views)
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Ha ha I love the music! [In reply to] Can't Post

Where there's a whip, there's a way!

Leave tomorrow, til it comes...

The Greatest Adventure...

And who can forget, that classic hit...FIFTEEN BIRDS?!

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 16 2012, 2:25am

Post #9 of 25 (254 views)
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I like them, and it sounds like the only complaints... [In reply to] Can't Post

have to do with the length of the films, and omission of key plot elements (Paths of Dead in ROK, Beorn in Hobbit, etc.)...if the films had just been made longer they probably would have been amazing. As it is, they are quite good, and were my first exposure to Tolkien, BTW.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


Malveth
Rivendell

Oct 16 2012, 3:21am

Post #10 of 25 (247 views)
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Songs [In reply to] Can't Post

There are some nice songs in there and I like Glenn Yarbrough's voice. The arrangements of Romeo Muller are definitely unique, especially the crazy jazz-rock drum/bass parts. I think the strongest moments musically are incidental, such as the alternate "Bilbo" theme that plays under the unlocking of the secret door in The Hobbit, and from Return of the King, the doom-laden fantasia that spirals out around Gandalf's weird recitation that accompanies the surreal animation of Sauron's Eye, and especially the rising, martial theme that escalates behind Sam's temptation sequence early on.


Malveth
Rivendell

Oct 16 2012, 3:36am

Post #11 of 25 (295 views)
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Correction... [In reply to] Can't Post

For Romeo Muller substitute Maury Laws.

Romeo Muller shares lyric credit with Jules Bass on some of the R/B productions, hence the confusion.

Man, I know way too much about these movies!

I also remembered the one great song from both films:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m43IkiRkKH4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiFZO8WbGzg

Really nice.


(This post was edited by Malveth on Oct 16 2012, 3:37am)


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 16 2012, 8:08am

Post #12 of 25 (231 views)
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Ahhhh! [In reply to] Can't Post

If I recall correctly, there's a beautiful horn arrangement of "The Greatest Adventure," playing when Bilbo unlocks the secret door. This follows (I might add) a wonderfully eerie music playing as we hear a voice-over of Elrond reading the "moon letters."

I feel like an uber-nerd, but I remember running around the house as a kid singing stuff like, "Oh where are you going...ba na na na na na...:

Glenn Yarborough did an amazing job, and I love, love, love all the music from the Hobbit and ROTK.

My only complaint (other than the brevity of the films), is that the scenes where Sam imagines he could claim the Ring and become a great leader, then realizes he only wants a garden...well in the book those scenes get like 1-2 paragraphs, if I remember correctly. In the movie, those scenes get a relatively large amount of screen time, and hey, that wouldn't be a problem at all (they are well done) if the rest of the movie went into such detail...but as many have mentioned, R/B ROTK is missing several points that are important to the overall story (Shelob, Paths of the Dead, etc.) that I wish they would have addressed more before delving into Sam's thoughts so deeply.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 16 2012, 8:21am

Post #13 of 25 (253 views)
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You know gang...(my biggest complaints about R/B ROTK) [In reply to] Can't Post

A few things just occured to me...

ROTK deals heavily with Frodo and Sam in Mordor. That part is treated with great detail. Shelob is pretty much left out, but sort of implied, and that happened in TTT anyway and what must be the Shelob scene is briefly shown to help bring the viewer up to speed.

The character of Aragorn, however, while I feel was nicely portrayed in ROTK, receives hardly any screen time at all...

1. No explanation is given for how he brings a sizable force to Minas Tirith, since it is only mentioned before that he is leading a "small band" to battle.

2. Probably my biggest complaint about the film- no explanation is really given regarding the decision to march on the Black Gate by "The Captains of the West." Viewers who had not read the book would either think that the Captains of the West were either hoping to win by arms (which Gandalf already said in the debate was impossible) or were simply going on a suicide mission (for what purpose would remain unclear).

But again, I say to thee, "Give Rankin Bass some more film and look for one crackin' good flick!"

You know, after this thread dies out, which could take a while, I smell a discussion of Bakshi's LOTR!

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


Malveth
Rivendell

Oct 16 2012, 12:48pm

Post #14 of 25 (277 views)
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Brevity... [In reply to] Can't Post

There's something to be said for brevity. While both films could have used a little elaboration, I think they illustrate how you wouldn't need more than 2 hours to tell any of the individual volumes on film, if screen time was managed competently.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Oct 16 2012, 8:34pm

Post #15 of 25 (273 views)
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Well, there has been some discussion of character design... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I like them, and it sounds like the only complaints...have to do with the length of the films, and omission of key plot elements (Paths of Dead in ROK, Beorn in Hobbit, etc.)...if the films had just been made longer they probably would have been amazing. As it is, they are quite good, and were my first exposure to Tolkien, BTW.



A few folks have gone on about the Wood-elves looking more like short Ents than Elves. And there is the matter of the rather fat and cat-like Smaug.

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


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Oct 17 2012, 4:36am

Post #16 of 25 (309 views)
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I thought the feline features [In reply to] Can't Post

Were a stroke of design genius. He was like a cat, playing with an invisible rat (and he does indeed call Bilbo a rat...)

I wasn't too keen on his fatness, though. That seemed off.

I hope PJ and company have a visual flair up their sleeves that makes Smaug stand out as not just a large reptile.


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 20 2012, 6:51pm

Post #17 of 25 (186 views)
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I loved Smaug! [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought Smaug was rather well done. I liked the wood elves too, although I can see why people felt they weren't accurate representations of Tolkien's elves...I didn't really like PJ's elves either for that matter.

It's also hard for me to criticize the Rankin Bass portrayal of any characters, b/c R/B was actually my first exposure to Tolkien.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 20 2012, 6:54pm

Post #18 of 25 (185 views)
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How have we not mentioned Gollum? [In reply to] Can't Post

Although, as I said in an earlier post, it is hard for me to criticize anything about R/B's the Hobbit, and ROTK, since they were my first impressions of Tolkien...

Gollum just doesn't really work. He looks like a frog, which may actually be accurate, as he is described as a starved frog by Shagrat (or Grishnakh, but I think it was Shagrat) in the books, but his eyes don't really look real at all, so it is hard to have any sympathy for him. It's also hard to imagine him once being a relative of Hobbits.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 20 2012, 6:55pm

Post #19 of 25 (187 views)
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Last Unicorn anyone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Man that was good! Loved the music by America!

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 20 2012, 7:05pm

Post #20 of 25 (241 views)
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Last complain (I promise)- Hobbits evolving into humans! [In reply to] Can't Post

What nonsense! There are humans in ROTK...and that must be the fastest that any species has ever evolved, considering Gandalf points out the difference in size between Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. Of course, this doesn't hurt the movie, since it's pretty much the end of the story, but COME ON! And I understand it was all so Gandalf could ask the audience, "Is there Hobbit in YOU?" LOL

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Oct 21 2012, 12:20pm

Post #21 of 25 (207 views)
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I (mostly) did like Smaug's design... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I thought Smaug was rather well done. I liked the wood elves too, although I can see why people felt they weren't accurate representations of Tolkien's elves...I didn't really like PJ's elves either for that matter.

It's also hard for me to criticize the Rankin Bass portrayal of any characters, b/c R/B was actually my first exposure to Tolkien.



I just think that Smaug could have been sleeker in the animated film. His wingspan should probably have been much longer too, but that is getting very nit-picky.

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


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Oct 21 2012, 2:31pm

Post #22 of 25 (186 views)
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His design may be odd [In reply to] Can't Post

But Brother Theodore's voice as Gollum is far, far better than Serkis' more cartoonish attempt (though it isn't all bad). Theodore's performance is incredibly pathetic, frightening, and occasionally humorous, just as Gollum should be. Too bad he wasn't still around.


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 21 2012, 5:14pm

Post #23 of 25 (169 views)
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Agreed! [In reply to] Can't Post

Serkis' wasn't terrible, Brother Theodore's was better...now a tought question, IMHO...who's Gollum voice was better: Brother Theodore, or Peter Woodthorpe (from Bakshi's LOTR)?...also, although I've never heard the whole recording, I kind of liked Gollum from the BBC audiobooks.

EDIT: Now I feel dumb, it looks like the BBC and Bakshi's version were both Peter Woodthorpe.

PPS: Now that you mention it, I feel like Serkis was kind of trying too hard...the voice he used in the scene where the ring is found while fishing probably would have been better for Gollum than the over the top raspiness.

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.

(This post was edited by aruman on Oct 21 2012, 5:16pm)


aruman
Rivendell


Oct 21 2012, 5:19pm

Post #24 of 25 (165 views)
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You know... [In reply to] Can't Post

For the past week I've been thinking about how much I love Glenn Yarbrough's songs in the R/B Tolkien films. His version of "Road goes ever on" or whatever is second to none, I also enjoy "Leave tomorrow 'til it comes," and of course, "Less can be more."

EDIT: I just looked up the songs and saw some pics of Glenn Yarbrough...the funny thing is, I always simply assumed he looked like the minstrel in R/B ROTK, and he looks nothing like him LOL

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.

(This post was edited by aruman on Oct 21 2012, 5:22pm)


Malveth
Rivendell

Oct 21 2012, 5:27pm

Post #25 of 25 (447 views)
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Gollum? [In reply to] Can't Post

Begins and ends with Peter Woodthorpe for me!

 
 

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