"The Lord Of The Rings" Movie Is Released

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is a 1978 animated fantasy film directed by Ralph Bakshi.

It is an adaptation of the first half of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Set in Middle-earth, the film follows a group of hobbits, elves, men, dwarves and wizards who form a Fellowship. They embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring made by the Dark Lord Sauron, and ensure his destruction. The film features the voices of William Squire, John Hurt, Michael Graham Cox and Anthony Daniels. The screenplay was written by Peter S. Beagle, based on an earlier draft by Chris Conkling.

Director Ralph Bakshi encountered Tolkien's writing early in his career, and had made several attempts to produce The Lord of the Rings as an animated film before being given funding by producer Saul Zaentz and distributor United Artists. The film is notable for its extensive use of rotoscoping, a technique in which scenes are first shot in live-action, then traced onto animation cels. Although the film was a financial success, it received a mixed reaction from critics, and the original distributors refused to fund a sequel to cover the remainder of the story. However, the film sparked new interest in Tolkien's writing, inspiring the production of several further adaptations of the story.