The Lord of the Rings
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It looked terrible then and it still does: cartoon characters move differently from live actors, and the attempt to duplicate natural movement ends in stylistic incoherence."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"The film is visually compelling even when murk overtakes the narrative."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Tolkien fans, who are familiar with novels, will find it enjoyble, while others may be confused by the action."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"It's a reckless film, blitzing through some plot points and stalling out over others; the lack of a particular rhythm does not do it any favors, and it is certainly not a fast 133 minutes."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"The live action version trumps it in every conceivable way; there simply is no comparison. And yet Middle Earth is still better off for its presence."
‑ Rob Vaux, Sci-Fi Movie Page
"Quite simply, those who do not know the characters of Middle Earth going in will not know them coming out."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Falls far short of the charm and sweep of the original story."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Innovative and beautiful, cheesy and disjointed."
‑ Sabadino Parker, PopMatters
"A contemporary viewing of The Lord of the Rings is an exercise in outlandishness as well as nostalgia: dreamlike, peculiar."
‑ Michael Nordine, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"... dark and fantastical with a mature approach rare in animated films of its day, and Bakshi's rotoscope process creates an unusually fluid and expressive style."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seanax.com
"Bakshi's version, using animation and live-action tracings, is uniformly excellent, sticking closely to the original text and visually echoing many of Tolkien's own drawings."
‑ , Time Out
"A showcase for inspired imagery and sheer strangeness, a near-miss magnum opus from another era, before the cult of Tolkien went Hollywood."
‑ Glenn Gaslin, Slate
"What most people remember is the mix of the live-action tracing within the traditional animation and just how effectively creepy it managed to be, but for the time this did a pretty good job of adapting the dense novels."
‑ , Empire Magazine
"Animated adventure too dated and dark for younger kids."
‑ Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
"... in retrospect it feels like an elegant, appropriately sized adaptation - with some beautiful animation work."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
More reviews for The Lord of the Rings on Rotten Tomatoes

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