The Animated Lord of the Rings

Animated lord of the rings nc.jpg

Release Date
August 12, 2020
Running Time
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(The Channel Awesome logo and NC title sequence are shown)

NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it–

Voice: Sigh...

NC: (looking around) Hello?

(We then cut to a woman (played by Tamara) wearing a beret and holding a glass of something-or-other in one hand and a book of Tolkien in the other. Beethoven's "Fur Elise" plays in the background)

Woman: Sigh...

NC: Why, do you have something to say, real Tolkien fan?

Tolkien fan: Oh, I was just sighing at the misfortune that you have to review that god-awful animated Lord of the Rings.

NC: The Ralph Bakshi one? Well, I mean...

(Cut to the title card for NC's "Old vs. New" video on "LOTR")

NC (vo): ...I've talked about it before in the past...

NC: ...and even though I do like the Jackson films more, I do think there's a lot of good things about it.

Tolkien fan: No, there's not.

NC: Well, I'm sorry it did nothing for you, but I actually got quite a bit out of it.

Tolkien fan: (smugly) No, you didn't.

NC: Dude, how do you know what I got out of it?

(Cut to a man (played by Malcolm) wearing a scarf around his neck and smoking a pipe. He speaks in a voice similar to Dignified, of the 3-D Brothers)

Man: Because no real fan would enjoy something so beneath us.

NC: Oh, is that so, real movie fan? God, your parents give you weird names.

Man: Yes, we smelt the stench of this film and wanted to congratulate you for tearing it apart.

NC: Look, I know this film isn't that beloved, but honestly, I think it gets way too much hate.

Man: GASP!

Tolkien fan: Double gasp!

Man: I hope you mean that ironically.

NC: No, I legit really like this film.

Tolkien fan: Are you not aware of the masterpieces that are the Peter Jackson movies?

Man: Though, wait, are we at the point where we dislike them yet?

Tolkien fan: No, we have to wait for one more botched Tolkien project (A shot of a news article is shown in the corner, announcing a Lord of the Rings TV series coming to Amazon Prime) and then we can say we always thought they were overrated.

Man: Ah.

NC: Okay, I know a lot of people make fun of this movie, especially after the Peter Jackson trilogy came out, but I still think there's a lot to praise about it.

Man: Nope, there's nothing.

NC: Not one thing, huh?

Tolkien fan: It's just a crazy film by a crazy man who doesn't under cinema or Tolkien.

(Suddenly, NC hears an explosion and looks offscreen to see Ralph Bakshi (played by Rob) come flying into the room, using Julie Taymor (Tamara) and Spike Lee (Malcolm) as his wings. He drops to the floor, then gets up, his hands balled into fists)

Bakshi: You wanna say that to my face, you elitist bastards?!

NC: Aw, great, you got real Bakshi involved!

Tolkien fan: So what?

NC: It's kind of like social distancing: far away, there's a lot to study; up close, it might be dangerous.

Man: Well, good thing we're extremely far away.

Bakshi: Oh, hey, you got something on your face. Come closer.

Man: (leaning in close) Oh?

(Suddenly, Bakshi reaches out and punches the man)

Man: How did you do that?!

NC: (shaking head) Things rarely make sense with him.

Tolkien fan: Oh, yeah, well, Peter Jackson took years to film his masterpieces, and you lazily told people to draw. I appreciate where the real talent is at.

Bakshi: Oh, you're so right. That's why I mailed you a present for being (points to his head) so smart.

Tolkien fan: (surprised as she sees a box in front of her) Oh, so you have. (laughs) Well... (laughs again) how kind of you (starts to open box) to kindly be so–

(As she opens the box, however, she lets out a scream, as a strange Bakshi-style drawing of a tentacled creature of some kind with teeth pops out and attacks her)

Bakshi: How dare you call me lazy, you brainless, babbling bimbo!

(Shots of invading armies being filmed are shown)

Bakshi (vo): Do you know how many armies I had to direct in the freezing cold? How many directors said this couldn't be filmed? How many fans, including Peter Jackson, may not have heard of "Lord of the Rings" if it weren't for me?!

NC: Yeah, maybe we should give a little background before we go any further.

(The title for this movie is shown, followed by footage of the movie)

NC (vo): First off, nobody, including the people that made it, would call this film perfect, but it did take more steps in furthering recognition for both animation and Tolkien than many give credit.

(Cut to footage of another concurrent animated movie: the Disney movie The Rescuers)

NC (vo): In the '70s, animation was in kind of a strange time. Disney was turning out very few films, and what they did turn out was not as mind-blowing as they once were.

(Now cut to a montage of clips of other Bakshi movies: Heavy Traffic, Fritz the Cat, and Wizards)

NC (vo): So this opened the door for other animators to experiment. Ralph Bakshi found success making animation for adults with a risque style that, much like the man himself, people either love or hate. I love them, if for any other reason just to see how many people would be offended watching them today.

(A clip of Fritz the Cat is shown)

Winston Schwartz (voiced by Judy Engles): Why does a great actor like James Earl Jones always have to play black men?

NC: (his head resting on his hand) God, I love these movies.

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