Here, my fellow Tolkien fans, is my review of The Return of the King. Produced by Rankin Bass and Studio Ghibli predecessor Topcraft, this television special aired May 11, 1980 as a very unofficial sequel to Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings, which only covered Fellowship and most of Two Towers…
FARK.com directed me to a post entitled “10 Reasons why Gandalf is a terrible wizard.” The reason I decided to write a point-by-point response isn’t because I felt the need to rush to Gandalf’s defense, but because I don’t think the post is very well thought-out. If you’re going to go after Mithrandir, at least put some real effort into it.
So you’re finally adapting The Hobbit. I know you already have your script approved and your storyboards laid down, but if it isn’t too late, may I humbly make a few suggestions, from one fan to another?
In my current role as a (barely) paid (semi-) professional writer of Tolkien news, reviews and other ephemera, I took it upon myself to view again, for the first time since 1978, Bakshi’s “JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings,” and give it a second chance with an adult perspective.
Author JRR Tolkien believed that we each have a great sacrifice to make, for the betterment of all humanity. Frodo bore the Ring, for the sake of The Shire; Aragorn walked the Paths of the Dead, for the sake of the Free Peoples; and I watched Rankin/Bass Productions’ 1977 animated television production of “The Hobbit,” for you, my readers.
Why didn’t Frodo just ride an Eagle straight from Rivendell to Mt. Doom, and drop the One Ring into the lava? We know Gandalf was buddy-buddy with some giant Eagles, who rescued him from Orthanc and later snatched Frodo and Sam from certain immolation. If the Eagles can pick up the Hobbits from Mordor, why can’t they take them there as well?
What characters from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy could or should appear in the The Hobbit? Let’s run down the list…
Let me be clear — I love the movies. Love them. I genuinely do not believe that any other filmmaker on the planet would have done as good a job as Mr. Jackson… But here are my major gripes, as far as changes from the books.