Saturday, 31 May 2014

Bakshi Animated Lord of the Rings Part 4

You may be pleased to hear that we’ve almost finished the kind of extended live blog of the Animated The Lord of the Rings film! This is the penultimate part.

In last week’s edition the Fellowship was formed, they set out for Mount Doom and passed through the Mines of Moria where we were forced to say goodbye to Gandalf. Now the Fellowship are forced to decide what to do without Gandalf.

61. Aragorn and Boromir have a heated debate about whether or not they should go to Lothlorien.

62. A second later we see Galadriel introducing herself, so guess where we’ve gone. She has a husband named Sellaborn, with an uh... interesting haircut. From the side view Galadriel looks kind of pretty but front on she has freakishly large eyes.

63. Aragorn and Frodo listen to a song about Gandalf. It’s sung by children and is so sickly sweet I can practically feel my teeth rotting as I listen to it.

64. There’s a little montage of male bonding as the Fellowship gets over losing Gandalf. The guys practice fighting and archery, Sam sniffs flowers and Legolas and Gimli seem slightly more friendly with each other.

65. Galadriel shows Sam her mirror and we don’t see what he sees, but it can’t be good because he announces that he needs to go home, except he doesn’t. Her mirror doesn’t look very clean, it’s like someone’s put oil in it. On Frodo’s turn he thinks he sees Gandalf except it must be Aruman. The Galadriel shows Frodo her ring; it has rainbow sparkles coming out of it. Pretty.

66. When Frodo offers Galadriel the Ring the film completely misses the point. She laughs and spins and sounds quite happy at the prospect. I don’t think that the person doing Galadriel’s voice really understood what she was saying at this bit because she doesn’t sound like she’s been tested at all, she sounds like a simpering schoolgirl!

67. The Fellowship heads down the river in boats, past the Argonath. It’s all a bit drear.

68. A moment later they’re stopped beside the river trying to work out where they’re going to go next. Frodo wants an hour to make the decision regarding which route they’ll take.

69. Boromir sneaks up behind him. God his skirt is short! He wants Frodo to go to Minas Tirith (except they all call it Mynas Tirith). Also no one in this film is capable of talking without waving their arms around so Boromir spends most of this speech clenching his fists and spreading his arms randomly. It culminates in him asking Frodo for the Ring and then chasing Frodo.

70. Frodo puts on the Ring and disappears and after a moment Boromir realises that maybe his approach wasn’t the best one to take. He returns to the Company where he admits he was a bit of a prat. No one stops to discuss the best course of action (or to tie Boromir up), they all just run away.

71. Sam finally shows some smarts and realises Frodo’ll be heading for a boat. It’s kind of nice the way Frodo and Sam debate where Frodo will go by rowing in opposite directions… at least I think that’s deliberate, otherwise it’s just really bad animation. They agree to go and Gollum follows them.

72. Merry and Pippin run into a bunch of rotoscoped orcs. This bit looks a bit funny because everything has a red tint to it. Boromir rescues them but is hit by a bunch of arrows. He proves that the skirt is just for show and he’s actually a real badass because he just pulls the whole wodge of arrows out and carries on fighting. Merry and Pippin just stand and watch for a moment, then run into the fight and are knocked out.

73. Boromir blows his horn until he’s hit by another arrow that finishes him off. By the time Aragorn finds him he’s feeling remorseful and asks Aragorn to go to Mynas Tirith. He also reveals that the orcs took the Halflings and they’re probably still alive… then he isn’t.

74. Since he’s a Viking he gets a Viking burial, complete with burning torches. Aragorn tells Legolas and Gimli (who’s really tall for a Dwarf) that they’re going for Merry and Pippin. Legolas thinks they’re dead. He’s such an optimist.

75. We’re treated to lots of running, including running in slow motion for some variety. There’s lots of nice scenery there, shame that the actual characters aren’t as well drawn.

76. We then get a really long shot of a bunch of black figures running across the countryside getting closer and closer. We get to see them from all different angles and perspectives which lets us know they’ve got Merry and Pippin and they’re still alive. This is pure padding, we skipped over the Council of Elrond in a couple of minutes but we’ve spent twice as long watching the orcs run! The orcs are obviously unpleasant fellows and it’s revealed they’re taking the hobbits to Isengard. Do do do do dodo do do dooo.

77. Then they’re all off running again.

78. Aragorn finds a little round thing… I’m guessing Pippin’s brooch. They debate whether they should keep running or rest for the night. While Legolas and Gimli debate this Aragorn runs off. Definite leader that one.

79. And then it’s the orcs again, this time being run down by a bunch of rotoscoped riders on horseback, all in a tinted sepia colour.

80. Back to Frodo and Sam who are pleased that they’ve got some rope from the Elves to get them down the cliffs. Sam looks across at Mount Doom. It’s a nice picture, in a creepy, deserted wilderness kind of way.

81. Gollum catches up with them and but they catch him first. He sounds sort of Scottish. Sometimes he looks perfect, just the way I picture him, and other times he looks just, well, weird.

82. Frodo recruits Gollum to their party. Sam does not look impressed by this but when Frodo tells Gollum he’s to lead them to Mordor Sam does produce a piece of rope as if from nowhere to tie him up. Then it’s Gollum’s turn to be thoroughly unimpressed.

83. And back to Merry, Pippin and the orcs who are surrounded by riders. The orcs keep fighting with each other. I’m no tactical expert but I don’t think that’s the most effective way to win a battle.
Legolas, meanwhile, is looking in the direction of the orcs and lamenting the fact that they’re far away. All that guy does is moan!

84. Merry and Pippin pretend that they’ve got the Ring and just as an orc’s about to take them out a Rider gets him first. The hobbits get away which is just as well because all the sepia tinted rotoscoping is kind of hard to focus on!

85. They wander into a river and Merry identifies their location as Fangorn Forest but they have to climb a tree to work out exactly where they are. A voice, who sounds a lot like Christopher Lee (but isn’t), announces his presence and a moment later Merry and Pippin are being carried through the forest by a tree-thing called Treebeard. They’ve got the resonance of his voice right but he doesn’t not look at all like an Ent, it’s kind of comical. Merry and Pippin clap like Treebeard’s just produced a big bowl of mushrooms when they hear him saying he doesn’t like orcs.

86. And who knows where they’re going or what’s going to happen to them because that’s the last time that we see them in this film!

Now don’t expect a proper resolution to this next week because if you do you’ll be disappointed. What you do have to look forward to is a trip to Aydoras, the battle of Helm’s Deep and a teeny bit more of Gollum, Frodo and Sam.

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