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Letter 201

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 201
RecipientRayner Unwin
Date7 September 1957
Subject(s)Consideration of an animated Lord of the Rings script

Letter 201 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary

On 4 September, representatives of an American company wishing to make an animated Lord of the Rings visited Tolkien and gave him a copy of the synopsis for the film. Tolkien told Rayner that he would receive the copy of the "Story Line" on Monday.

Tolkien said that an abridgement of the story would be pleasant, but the present script was a compression with over-crowding, confusion, blurring of climaxes, and general degradation. It reverted towards conventional "fairy-stories", with people galloping about on Eagles with little provocation, Lórien became a fairy-castle with "delicate minarets", and that sort of thing.

Still, Tolkien said he was prepared to play ball if they were open to advice and if Rayner thought the thing genuine and worthwhile.