Ralph Bakshi’s Son Restoring Cut Animated LORD OF THE RINGS Footage

BakshiLordOfTheRingsGandalf

Before Peter Jackson’s epic three-film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings animator Ralph Bakshi set out to bring the epic fantasy trilogy to the big screen in a pair of animated films. Using an array of techniques including rotoscoping, Bakshi was only able to complete the first half of the two planned movies. And although his Lord Of The Rings was met with middling reviews and not-so-great box office, the film is at least still remembered for its ambition.

And amidst all the work that Bakshi did to translate roughly two-thirds of Tolkien’s trilogy as faithfully as possible during the film’s 133-minute run time, there were a few things that didn’t make the final cut. And now Bakshi’s son Eddie Bakshi has been going back and restoring some of those moments by taking the original cel animation, scanning it and then assembling it to the scenes’ original timing sheets before posting them onto the animator’s Facebook page.

So far, just two short sequences have been posted, both from Gandalf’s battle with the balrog as he told it to Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas after they thought he had been killed in battle with the demonic beast. As to why the balrog looks different here than in the other scenes he see it in, the elder Bakshi explained to Boing Boing

Well, it’s hazy, but I was trying to make memories different than the real time story. I was wrestling with trying to separate the styles.

An interesting approach and its a shame that we only get to see a bit of what he had envisioned for the sequence. Admittedly, what did get one screen was interesting in its own way.

Bakshi explained why things reached the screen in the way that they did.

If you’re getting close to delivery, it’s better to cut the animation out to make the scene work, than racing to reanimate it to make the cut work.

As of now, the clips seem to be done only for the Facebook page. The movie is already out in a blu-ray edition and I don’t think there’s much of a chance of a special edition release, so this looks to be your only way of seeing these cut sequences for the time being.

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About Rich Drees 7024 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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