Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bakshi Animated Lord of the Rings Part 2

Time for the next instalment of the animated version of The Lord of the Rings.

When we last left off Gandalf had returned to the Shire to tell Frodo that Saw-ron is looking for the Ring before heading off to visit (S)Aruman. (S)Aruman revealed that he had gone over to the dark side and imprisoned Gandalf at the top of his tower. We return to Frodo and Sam as they set out on their journey to Rivendell.

21. Frodo and Sam are joined on their journey by Merry and Pippin, there’s a comment about the fact they aren’t waiting for Gandalf. A noise up ahead is not Gandalf as the hobbits think, instead it’s a Black Rider. He’s suitably evil looking with glowing red eyes. He’s quite scary until he opens his mouth and whines. Yeah, not exactly striking terror into my heart.

22. Sam reveals himself as thoroughly untrustworthy as Merry (with light hair) and Pippin (with dark hair) tell Frodo they know everything about his going away. Frodo’s kind of annoyed but they’re all going with him which Merry and Pippin are happy about; we know they’re happy because they jump up and down clapping, the hobbit way of expressing happiness.

23. At the Prancing Pony are a load of rotoscoped guys enjoying themselves. It’s a little weird seeing them interacting with the cartoonish hobbits. Things progress as in the book, Frodo sings and dances before falling off the table and putting on the Ring. He disappears which upsets everyone in the bar. Meanwhile Merry’s outside being attacked by Black Riders.

24. Strider is waiting for them in their room. He’s got a sort of Native American look but speaks with a BBC English accent. I like that they included the ‘look fair and feel foul’ comment. To prove who he is, Strider pulls out his broken sword and identifies himself as Aragorn son of Arathorn, promising he doesn’t want the Ring.

25. Now the Black Riders get kind of scary. Instead of breaking down doors they just materialise into the hobbit's’ bedroom and start slashing the place up. Definitely creepy. They don’t realise they’re in the wrong room until they’ve finished slashing up the sacks in the beds in place of hobbits. Instead of materialising into another room they have a bit of a rave and then ride off.

26. Aragorn leads the hobbits through the Marshes and lots of other scenery. Frodo gets a telling off for saying he’ll become a wraith if they keep stopping for lunch, he’s a little upset but when he hears a scary noise Aragorn gives him a little cuddle. Aww. Later Frodo gets some love from Sam while Aragorn tells them the story of Beren and Luthien. It’s interrupted by the Riders showing up again.

27. Everyone follows the instruction to stand round the fire, except Frodo who decides this would be a good time to play with his Ring. Aragorn almost catches him but it’s too late, Frodo puts on the Ring and comes face to face with what appears to be a gorilla in a helmet and cloak. It stabs him.

28. True to the book the Rider’s broken sword disappears. Unlike the book it doesn’t dissolve into dust, instead it disappears like a lightsabre going out. Complete with sound effect.

29. Now Frodo is really sick and Sam’s understandably worried. Aragorn gives him medical opinion, the gist of which is that they need to get to Rivendell pretty damn quick.

30. We get some nice jolly music and footsteps on the road ahead. The jolly music kind of gives away the fact that this probably isn’t a Black Rider. And nope, it’s not Glorfindel; it’s Legolas! He looks kind of funny, like a badly drawn Disney heartthrob.

31. As happy as Sam is to see an Elf he’s kind of annoyed that Frodo isn’t getting more time to rest, um Sam, did you not listen when Aragorn told you how urgently Frodo needed to get to Rivendell? Also Legolas knows way more than he should about the Ring.

32. With the Ford of Rivendell in sight a rotoscoped Rider appears, ignores Aragorn and makes straight for Frodo. Frodo’s horse whisks him off to the Ford with the Riders on his tail, leaving him alone, all poorly!sick with a bad guy who wants to kill him. It’s not really clear where this is taking place, there are stones and mists and dramatic lines in the background but everything’s sort of abstract.

33. At a word from the Black Rider everything goes into slow motion. Frodo’s horse collapses and four horsemen of the apocalypse, I mean Black Riders, come out of the sky with lightning behind them.

34. This is obviously a battle of wills between Frodo and the Riders but it’s kind of trippy with lightning flashing and other weird effects. Whatever’s going on, it seems to make Frodo feel better because he and the horse make a run for it, chased by all the Riders.

35. The lead Rider calls to Frodo for the Ring. Frodo tells them where to go (to Mordor, naturally). Then he pulls out his little knife and collapses. The Riders seize their opportunity but as they cross the water a big wave with white horses (literally) knocks them down. This is all a bit much for Frodo and he falls off his horse.

I know I’ve stopped slightly short of the twenty point mark, but here seems like a sensible place to stop. Next up the Council of Elrond and a tragedy in Moria.


  1. interesting blog with such long well written posts. I found you on the A to Z road trip. Hope it's a good weekend

    1. Thanks for the visit and I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

      I had to split this one up into five and they all still ended up being over 1000 words long!

      Enjoy the rest of the Road Trip.


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