Renzo's Rant

Bakshi's Lord Of The Rings

I'm sure some of you have heard of the three movies that Peter Jackson has directed over the last few years. You know, the ones about the Lord of the Rings? They're almost good enough to make you forget about the last attempt to bring the books to the screen. Actually, no matter how good they may be (and they are), I'm never going to forget about Ralph Bakshi's animated version from 1978.

For those who haven't seen it, the film that Ralph Bakshi directed is quite possible the funniest thing ever, based solely on how crappy it is. It's right up there with Plan Nine From Outer Space in terms of unintentional humour. Let's talk a look, shall we?


Where to begin? Of the four hobbits, Frodo, Merry and Pippin are essentially the same drawing, with only minor differences in hair colour and clothes. They're also as cute as a button. Sam, on the other hand, looks like something a plumber pulls out of a clogged sink. It's something like this:

Bakshi also decided that for some reason, the Elves constantly emitted a glowing light. Thus the character of Legolas:

In what I can only assume was an attempt to visually represent ethnic minorities, Aragorn and Boromir were made into a Native American and a Viking, respectively. I'd like to add that neither of them wore pants, but rather tunics that resembled mini-skirts and would make Twiggy blush.

Rotoscoping: When filmmakers are working on a tight budget, they have to find ways to cut corners and keep costs down. When Ralph Bakshi made this movie, he decided to use a technique called rotoscoping. This is essentially filming live-action actors, then hand-drawing onto the film over top of the original recording. Apparently this is cheaper than animating the whole thing. However, he made two mistakes:

This is what happens when you try to draw an orc on top of film:

Creepy Sam:

When we are first introduced to the character, Sam is for some reason hiding in some bushes, intently gazing at Frodo. In the middle of the forest. In the middle of the night.

If you thought there were sexual overtones between these two in the Peter Jackson films, try watching this one. Sam gives the appearance of holding back the urge to jump Frodo, and Frodo looks like he's about to bolt. Every time they're alone together, Frodo's face becomes very frightened and nervous. I would be too, with this guy stalking me. He's also given to such brilliant lines as "Nim nim nim nim nim...the boats!"

So if that doesn't make you change your mind about wanting to watch the movie, don't blame me afterwards. I tried to warn you. Oh, and for the record, the hobbits actually were modeled after Mark Wahlberg, Billy Zane and an anonymous gay fireman.