Saturday, 24 May 2014

Bakshi Animated Lord of the Rings Part 3

I've been blogging my way through the Bakshi animated Lord of the Rings film, it's kind of like a live blog... but not so live.

In the last part of The Lord of the Rings the hobbits arrived at The Prancing Pony pub where they ran into Strider. He recruited himself to their cause and decided to accompany them to Rivendell. This didn’t end well for them though as the Black Riders caught up with them and Frodo was stabbed with a magical disappearing knife/lightsabre.

36. We’re now in Rivendell and it looks kind of rickety perched up on the side of a cliff.

37. Frodo wakes up calling for Gandalf and is promptly told off for his actions at Weathertop (but in a very likeable way). I think Gandalf is one of my favourite characters in this film because he’s so close to book!Gandalf; he uses the exact words from the book here.

38. Gandalf is a little bit upset that Frodo hasn’t asked him why he was late. Come on Gandalf, he’s just woken up from a Morgul blade induced coma. He plays Captain Exposition and tells Frodo Saruman the White is also a bad guy now and that he was saved by Gwaihir the eagle. Clearly Saruman should’ve paid more attention to animals; no word on Aruman’s feelings on the matter.

39. We finally see Bilbo again, reciting poetry to a bunch of badly drawn Elves. Bilbo’s been hanging out here for the last 17 years and he’s really short compared to Frodo.

40. Bilbo can’t believe his Ring is causing all this trouble. He asks to see the Ring and has a bit of a fit with quivery hands and eyes rolling back and I really shouldn’t but I find this bit kind of funny. This is enough to make him feel really guilty about everything. He has a bit of a cry but gets over it quickly as they’re summoned to the Council.

41. Elrond sits on a raised chair at the head of the table. Legs spread. Really lordly.

42. The narrator fills us in about what they talk about at the Council. We cover about fifty pages of the book in around three minutes.

43. Boromir is introducted. He’s a Viking. He has actual horns on him helmet and Brian Blessed’s beard.

44. I really want to ask Elrond to put his knees together. He tells them the Ring’s got to go to Mount Doom to be destroyed which really annoys Boromir. Gandalf says someone needs to take the Ring, kind of implying it’s going to be Frodo. Bilbo volunteers which makes Gandalf snitty because the hobbit is totally missing the point. Luckily Frodo got the memo though and he volunteers looking thoroughly miserable about it.

45. Sam appears from nowhere and gets nominated by Elrond to go with Frodo, I’m guessing this is his punishment for intruding on the so-called Secret Council. Didn’t seem too secret earlier on when Gandalf was announcing it.

46. Bilbo gives Frodo his mail vest, which we know has special properties from the way that it sparkles, and Sting. Frodo really is a giant among hobbits, he’s so tall compared to Bilbo. I don’t think Bilbo really understand what Frodo’s off to do because he tells the younger hobbit to bring back songs and tales, then starts singing to himself while Frodo walks away.

47. A voiceover as the Fellowship struggles through the snow tells us who is who. Notable is Gimli son of Glow-in.

48. The Fellowship pause while Aragorn and Gandalf argue about going to Moria. Gimli opts for Moria because he wants to see his cousin Baylin. I’m quite impressed at Boromir being out in the snow in his little skirt. Must be cold there.

49. So they head for Moria. Gandalf stands in front of the gate speaking all sorts of gibberish. Legolas is pissed at Gimli’s race for making a door which can’t be opened with any of Gandalf’s spell. Yeah, totally Gimli’s fault Legolas. Boromir suggests that maybe they should’ve brought Aruman, which is really helping the situation there, Boromir.

50. At last Gandalf figures out that the password is ‘friend’ which Legolas then explains just in case we’ve not read the book or weren’t paying attention because of Boromir’s little skirt.

51. They’re about to go inside when a tentacle grabs Frodo. Boromir and Aragorn rescue him but we’re treated to a glimpse of a tentacle reaching for Bill the pony. The pony doesn’t move and the shot cuts away so we can only guess that Bill doesn’t return home safe and sound.

52. Inside the mines, which look pretty deserted, they stop for a rest and Frodo sees some glowing green eyes watching them… who could that be?

53. Moria’s a bit of a dump with creepy faces on the wall. Definitely not inviting. Legolas and Gimli start bickering but Gandalf quickly shuts them up.

54. Pippin, who’s now turned blonde, drops a stone in a well while they stop in a guardroom. This sets off a tapping sound. Nothing further happens and they start moving again.

55. Then Gandalf finds a book so they all stop for a storytelling session. The Men identify Orc swords and Gandalf breaks the news to Gimli that cousin Baylin is dead. Gandalf’s voice is quite dramatic as he reads but the character’s movements don’t really match it.

56. Pippin’s all frightened so Gandalf reassures him that they’re going. Except that they then hear party blowers and a bunch of rotoscoped orcs show up for a party. Or a battle. Whatever.

57. The battle’s actually not too bad. The rotoscoping makes the movements look quite natural while there’s much swinging of swords going on. In the midst of it all Frodo takes a spear to the chest. Obviously they can’t kill him here so he gets up and they keep running.

58. This bit is quite funny. Aragorn stops and faces the hoard of orcs following them, warning them to come no closer. So they stop and wave their swords at him. Why did no one else think of just asking them not to chase them?

59. A snarling sound is heard which Gandalf identifies as a Balrog. It looks like one of the Wicked Witch of the West’s flying monkeys but bigger. Much bigger. It’s a gorilla with wings and a flaming sword. We get the classes ‘Fly, you fools’ as Gandalf gets whipped off the bridge and disappears into darkness. I’m sad because he’s the best character in this thing and we’re not going to see him again for ages now!

60. The rest of the crew run out of Moria, briefly stopped by two men in masks… I mean Orcs. Frodo doesn’t want to continue with Gandalf gone to which Aragorn tells him that they’ll have to go on without hope and have vengeance instead… that doesn’t sound very Aragorn-like!

Next week on The Lord of the Rings the remaining members of the Fellowship visit Lothlorien, Boromir almost joins (S)Aruman on the dark side and everyone ends up going their own separate ways.


  1. Really loving these posts, very funny. Been a long time since I've watched this actually, but just reading this I can remember so much and know I feel/felt the same in many instances!

    1. Glad you're enjoying them. I had a lot of fun writing them; it even made watching the film more bearable. ;-)


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