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The Return of the King (1980)

Not Rated | | Animation, Action, Adventure | TV Movie 11 May 1980
Two Hobbits struggle to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom while their friends desperately fight evil Lord Sauron's forces in a final battle.

Writers:

J.R.R. Tolkien (novels), Romeo Muller (adapted for the screen)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Orson Bean ... Frodo Baggins / Bilbo Baggins (voice)
Theodore Bikel ... Aragorn (voice)
William Conrad ... Lord Denethor (voice)
John Huston ... Gandalf (voice)
Roddy McDowall ... Samwise Gamgee (voice)
Brother Theodore ... Gollum / Smeagol (voice) (as Theodore)
Paul Frees ... Orc / Goblin / Uruk-Hai / Captain Shagrat / Lieutenant Snaga / Orc Sergeant / Lord Elrond (voice)
Don Messick ... King Theoden / Easterling / The Mouth of Sauron (voice)
John Stephenson ... Gondorian Guard / Dwimmerlaik - The Witch-King of Angmar (voice)
Casey Kasem ... Meriadoc 'Merry' Brandybuck (voice)
Sonny Melendrez ... Peregrin 'Pippin' Took (voice)
Nellie Bellflower ... Eowyn / Dernhelm (voice)
Glenn Yarbrough ... The Minstrel (voice)
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Storyline

This film adapts the final book of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy where the Hobbits, Frodo and Samwise, struggle through the barren land of Mordor to destroy the Ruling Ring in Mount Doom. At the same time, Gandalf and the others wage a desperate battle against the forces of Sauron at Minas Tirith, but Sauron seems to have the upper hand while the source of his power, the Ring, slowly threatens to corrupt its bearers. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Story of Hobbits. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of the King See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Bean, who had previously played Bilbo in The Hobbit (1977), plays Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in this film. In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, the part of Bilbo is played by Ian Holm, who had previously played Frodo in the BBC Radio adaptation. See more »

Goofs

Many names of locations and characters are mispronounced: Gorgoroth as Gorogoroth, Minas Tirith as Mine-as Tirith (instead of Me-nas), Cirith Ungol as Sirith Ungol (insteaf of Kirith), Smaug as Smog (instead of Sma-ug), Sauron as Soron (instead of Sow-ron), Lebennin as LebEnnin (instead of LEbennin). See more »

Quotes

Orcs: Where there's a whip there's a way, left right, left right. Where there's a whip there's a way, left right.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ringers: Lord of the Fans (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

An unsuccessful attempt to finish what Bakshi started, yet quite charming in that of itself
29 August 2002 | by DragoonKainSee all my reviews

I barely remember seeing this movie as a wee tot when it was aired on tv. I couldn't have been more than 3, but I remember the impression it left on me. I blame this cartoon for making me into the fantasy buff that I am today. The Hobbit was one of my first novels because of this little tv special, and it nearly brings a tear to my eye every time I see it. Perhaps because it brings back long forgotten memories of my youth, when I used to watch it on video over and over. Or perhaps because it is indeed a very charming little movie. For fans of the new movies, it may seem a little too dumbed down for their tastes. And indeed the story is dumbed down. My two favorite characters from the book, Legolas and Gimli, were cut out completely, yet I still like this adaptation despite the low budget and simplification of the story. It is definitely a kid friendly adaptation, maybe a little too kid friendly, but it was a Rankin/Bass cartoon to made for tv so it is to be expected. I don't know if I would still like it if I were seeing it for the first time today, since it does cut out most of the story. So I guess this isn't exactly a fair review, but then again, is any review fair? All our opinions are greatly affected by the context in which we observe any work of art. When I first saw this movie, I was a kid engrossed in the fantasy world before me. So, in a way, I'm glad I don't know how much I would like this movie if I were seeing it for the first time today.

I'm not quite sure if this tv special was made to complete the story that Ralph Bakshi left unfinished in his 1978's theatrical release of an animated (partially) Lord of the Rings. However, that movie ends somewhere in the middle of The Two Towers, and this one skirts a bit through a few events in The Fellowship of the Ring and the Hobbit (using animation from their 1978 tv special of The Hobbit), and skips right to the events of Return of the King. It manages to tell, in full, Frodo and Sam's quest to destroy the Ring from Cirith Ungol on, but leaves out everything regarding Legolas and Gimli. It also completely omits Aragorn's march through the paths of the Dead to the black fleet. This is disappointing since his return to Gondor is where the book gets its title, but I guess watching Aragorn lead an undead army may be a little much for kids. I guess after the release of Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, people wanted to see what happened next, and Rankin/Bass decided to tell the story of Return of the King to satisfy them. In this, they were unsuccessful. They simply skip too much. Still, it stands up rather well on its own, and serves as a better sequel to their version of The Hobbit than Bakshi's Lord of the Rings. The animation is very similar to the Hobbit and the voice actors are the same, so continuity between the two is preserved. Still, if they really wanted to finish the story where Bakshi left off, they should have at least summed up the events at the end of the Two Towers. It would have been cool to see the ents' siege of Isengard.

I reccomend renting this movie if you're a fan of the books. Fans of just the new movies could probably skip this one, unless they really want to find out what happens at the end of the story. Though not exactly the best representation of the book, it does answer a lot of questions, and has a charm all its own. Just keep in mind it's a kids movie, not to be taken in the same context as the new movies.


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