The Return of the King
The Return of the King (1980)

The second of Rankin/Bass' animated TV specials based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King plots the quest to defeat the evil wizard Sauron. Frodo, nephew of The Hobbit protagonist Bilbo Baggins, vows to destroy the Ring,… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1980
DVD Release Date: September 11, 2001
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Critic Score: 67% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

A joyless failure which has only the latent strength of Tolkien's fantastic imaginings to give it any merit whatsoever.

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Gregory Weinkauf

I love this. All of it. Although I adore what Peter & Co. did, I think this movie, for sheer atmosphere, slightly nudges out his Oscar-winner. Really.

Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Cartoon tale is darker, more complex than others in series.

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Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette

The cartoon version isn't that bad, espcecially when they couldn't use the first two books in the trilogy.

Clint Morris

McDowall is terrific

Steven D. Greydanus
Decent Films Guide

Works even less well than The Hobbit, which really is a children's story… overbearing folk-ballad soundtrack doesn't even gesture lyrically to Tolkien's poetry.

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More reviews for The Return of the King

Flixster Audience Score: 38% Flixster User Reviews
Conner Rainwater
Just a flat out weird interpretation of Lord Of The Rings, but this doesn't have the awesome roto-casting animation that the first one had. This definitely… More
Michael Gildea
So incredibly bad. At least the animated Lord of the Rings wasn't a musical. We can't say that here. Although "Frodo of the Nine Fingers" is… More
Luke Baldock
The original animated movie covered the first 2 books. It wasn't perfect, but it was very interesting to watch in this post-Jackson era. The Hobbit also… More
Dann Michalski
Rankin/Bass return to the works of Tolkien once more for the concluding chapter of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King. The story picks up with… More
Lafe Fredbjornson
I really enjoyed "The Hobbit" by Rankin/Bass, but thought this movie was a bit of an embarrassment. The animation used the odd Rankin/Bass style as… More