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Mainstream - Ralph Bashki The Lord of the Rings Blu-ray DVD Combo

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The Lord of the Rings - Ralph Bashki - Blu-ray DVD Combo
Voices by John Hurt, Christopher Guard, William Squire
Directed by Ralph Bashki
Originally released 1978
Warner Home Entertainment 2010
132 minutes

The Ralph Bashki animated The Lord of the Rings is a matter of taste. Many think it is quite good, others simply despise it. You can figure it out yourself with the Bashki Lord of the Rings Blu-ray – DVD – Digital copy set from Warner Brothers.

I doubt this release will appease any disagreement but most will agree that this animated movie could have used restoration work or a more pristine source print. Scratches and specs are apparent and sometimes quite so, especially when watching this Ralph Bashki animated film in Blu-ray. This is quite visible in the sequence where after leaving the marsh and the cave Frodo encounters the ringwraiths. The packaging says “Remastered Deluxe Edition” but I fail to see it in the product.

Bashki, an American animator, uses a distinctly British style in The Lord of the Rings with many scenes seemingly plucked out of storybook plates. This movie fuses both standard cell animation and rotoscoping (making live action scenes look animated by painting them over). The animation is not as smooth as it could have been and is sometimes visibly choppy. Also on the annoying side is the animation of Frodo who keeps changing form an older short-person like creature to something akin to a young boy.

Perhaps what causes such displeasure for those who dislike the animated Lord of the Rings is Bashki has no sense of visual continuity. The same background can change stylistically, in terms of colors, and in terms of detail six or seven times within the same scene.

All this said, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is a great tale and this animated version does manage that.

The Special feature on Ralph Bashki The Lord of the Rings Remastered Deluxe Edition Blu-ray DVD combo pack is a 30-minute documentary titled Forging Through the Darkness: The Ralph Bashki Vision for The Lord of the Rings

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