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The First part of the Lord of the Rings Animated movie was released in 1978 by director Ralph Bakshi. The movie has been a controversial subject amongst Tolkien Fanatics since that moment. The opinions vary from a brilliant masterpiece to a big disgrace. The Movie is a combination of animation and live action. In the making of the movie the scenes were first acted out by real actors and then (partly) painted over by animators. This results in a style that needs getting used to.

The movie begins with a good introduction of the forging of the rings and how the ring came to the Shire in the possesion of Bilbo Baggins. The movie does a pretty good job in following the storyline of the books. A lot of parts are left out however or pass by very swiftly. Bakshi made some alterations to the story which resulted in even more protest by Tolkien fans. The most notible is the changing of the name Saruman in Aruman. The director found the names Sauron and Saruman too much alike and thus decided to change Saruman in Aruman. Just like the upcoming New Line Cinema movies, Tom Bombadil and some other side events have been removed from the storyline. Glorfindel and his part in the flight over the Fords has been replaced by Legolas who joins the hobbits before they even reach Rivendell.

The characters are portrayed pretty well although they all seem to suffer from a bit of over-acting. Especially Sam, whose love for Frodo seems just a bit too enthustiastic, has been a source of mockery for a long time. Unfortunately Bakshi never completed the second part and that leaves the first part with a very abrupt and unnatural ending.

Although this is certainly not the most appreciated movie interpretation of the books, it is still a very enjoyable movie for people who have read the book and are not to critical.

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